New discoveries about the well-known Darwin’s evolution theory have seen the light and show us that the evolution will never stop. Darwin’s Finches have more interested things to teach.
When we were kids, our professors taught us about Darwin’s Evolution theory and with it, we could also learn about all animal’s evolution, and particularly, about the Galapagos Finches and the way they selected their food for surviving. All these matters were compiled in the famous book On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin, which is actually very helpful for the scientific field. In that book, Darwin demonstrated how animals evolved and competed for different resources.
Researchers found out that thanks to a single gene known as HMGA2, the anatomy of the Finches have changed. By having a smaller beak, medium ground finches can eat tiny seeds and compete with large finches that eat bigger seeds leaving the little seeds alone. This information can be found in a Study published on April 21 in the Journal Science.
According to the study, published in Science Magazine, the gene HMGA2 is responsible for the changes in the body size of humans and animals, but the way it works is unknown. This study included small, medium, and large ground finches as well as small, medium, and large tree finches.
It is scientifically proved that a drought that occurred in the years 2005-2006, is the reason in the changes in the anatomy of the finches and that is why today, the finch population has smaller beaks than before the drought.
What do the scientists say?
Peter and Rosemary Grant, scientists at Princeton University, determined in their researches that 61% of birds that survived to the drought have the gene for the smaller beak in their organism, while those that died had only the same genotype. This helps to understand the behavior of other genes influenced by the life’s circumstances.
Leif Andersson, researcher at the Uppsala University in Sweden, declares that the chance of survival of finches with the gene HMGA2 is “clearly one of the highest yet recorded for an individual gene in nature,” a reported by Newsweek.
The mere fact that one gene is capable of driving a species’ ability to adapt to changes in the environment where they live is a very important contribution to the world of the evolutionary biology.
Source: Science Magazine