{paginate}
1 of 3
1
{/paginate}
Bible Thumpers Everywhere Start Screeching: Finches on Galapagos Islands evolving
Posted: 13 July 2006 05:42 PM   [ Ignore ]
Senior Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  342
Joined  2004-11-08

Actually, I know the Truth: The Flying Spaghetti Monster touched the finches with his noodly appendages and forced the beaks to be smaller.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060713/ap_on_sc/darwin_evolution

=====

By RANDOLPH E. SCHMID, AP Science Writer

Finches on the Galapagos Islands that inspired Charles Darwin to develop the concept of evolution are now helping confirm it—by evolving.

A medium sized species of Darwin’s finch has evolved a smaller beak to take advantage of different seeds just two decades after the arrival of a larger rival for its original food source.

The altered beak size shows that species competing for food can undergo evolutionary change, said Peter Grant of Princeton University, lead author of the report appearing in Friday’s issue of the journal Science.

Grant has been studying Darwin’s finches for decades and previously recorded changes responding to a drought that altered what foods were available.

It’s rare for scientists to be able to document changes in the appearance of an animal in response to competition. More often it is seen when something moves into a new habitat or the climate changes and it has to find new food or resources, explained Robert C. Fleischer, a geneticist at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History and National Zoo.

This was certainly a documented case of microevolution, added Fleischer, who was not part of Grant’s research.

Grant studied the finches on the Galapagos island Daphne, where the medium ground finch, Geospiza fortis, faced no competition for food, eating both small and large seeds.

In 1982 a breeding population of large ground finches, Geospiza magnirostris, arrived on the island and began competing for the large seeds of the Tribulus plants. G. magnirostris was able to break open and eat these seeds three times faster than G. fortis, depleting the supply of these seeds.

In 2003 and 2004 little rain fell, further reducing the food supply. The result was high mortality among G. fortis with larger beaks, leaving a breeding population of small-beaked G. fortis that could eat the seeds from smaller plants and didn’t have to compete with the larger G. magnirostris for large seeds.

That’s a form of evolution known as character displacement, where natural selection produces an evolutionary change in the next generation, Grant explained in a recorded statement made available by Science.

The research was supported by the National Science Foundation.

 Signature 

In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.
-George Orwell

Profile
 
 
Posted: 13 July 2006 06:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  26039
Joined  2004-11-08

I remember watching something on PBS about this a few years ago, evidentally just after the drought.  I’m surprised it’s only in the news now.

 Signature 

Heaven must be really boring, if you think about it logically.
All the angels must be snoring.  Who could stand perfection for eternity?

Not me. - George Hrab

Profile
 
 
Posted: 13 July 2006 07:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
Five Star Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1194
Joined  2005-02-22

Newflash—-

All life, everywhere, at all times, is evolving at one rate or another…

*Whether Jesus told you about it or not…*

 Signature 

Canadian Bacon Rules !!!

Profile
 
 
Posted: 13 July 2006 07:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
New Member
Avatar
Rank
Total Posts:  13
Joined  2006-06-10
Charybdis - 13 July 2006 10:21 PM

I remember watching something on PBS about this a few years ago, evidentally just after the drought.  I’m surprised it’s only in the news now.

Must be a slow news day.

 Signature 

“Don’t blame me, blame technology”—Dr. John Kaiser-Roll

Profile
 
 
Posted: 13 July 2006 08:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
Five Star Member
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1167
Joined  2005-06-15

Aren’t they still finches?  The article doesn’t say anything about them changing into anything else.

 Signature 

Beerrun all we need is a 10 and a fiver a car, keys, and a sober driver

Profile
 
 
Posted: 13 July 2006 10:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
Five Star Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1313
Joined  2006-02-05

I understand and accept the species changing and evolving in response to a changing habitat, that is easy to understand and believe, but I surely do not understand how a new species starts…...

(It is easy to see how one ends, it is no longer competitive, or it gets over-hunted into extinction.)

But what brings abou a new species?

Dan Who some think is a new species himself

Profile
 
 
Posted: 14 July 2006 05:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
Member
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  154
Joined  2006-03-12

I believe speciation occurs when a change happens that is large enough to make mating either impossible or not likely to happen due to other factors (ie: size, coloration differences, mating songs and rituals… etc)

This article is more of an example of natural selection, which is a driving force of evolution…  I think it would only become true evolution if the large beaked members of the population for some reason only started mating with ones like themselves… and over time they became unable to mate with the small beaked ones due to morphological differences

Then again Im no biologist

Profile
 
 
Posted: 14 July 2006 10:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  26039
Joined  2004-11-08

Evolution occures even when breeding across populations.  That’s how beneficial genes spread the fastest.  If it’s truly a substantial benefit, then eventually all the members of the population will have the gene.  They won’t just breed among themselves.  I think it would be rare, if not impossible,  for a new species to evolve within a pre-existing population.  Any one mutant that was unable to breed successfully with their population would die out immediately.  Seperation is what drives speciation.  Any mingling and they all evolve together.

 Signature 

Heaven must be really boring, if you think about it logically.
All the angels must be snoring.  Who could stand perfection for eternity?

Not me. - George Hrab

Profile
 
 
Posted: 14 July 2006 12:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
Five Star Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  3174
Joined  2005-05-19

Quite. Why do I always get to these threads just a little too-late to add my two-pence worth?

 Signature 

“Never before in my time at the bar or on the bench have I ever had to deal with somebody who voluntarily allowed himself to be buggered by a dog on the public highway.”

Profile
 
 
Posted: 14 July 2006 01:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
Five Star Member
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4243
Joined  2005-06-05
Charybdis - 14 July 2006 02:52 PM

Evolution occures even when breeding across populations.  That’s how beneficial genes spread the fastest.  If it’s truly a substantial benefit, then eventually all the members of the population will have the gene.  They won’t just breed among themselves.  I think it would be rare, if not impossible,  for a new species to evolve within a pre-existing population.  Any one mutant that was unable to breed successfully with their population would die out immediately.  Seperation is what drives speciation.  Any mingling and they all evolve together.

It’s called sympatric speciation and its rarity or otherwise is not known with any certainty. The end result of a sympatric speciation where the new species surplants the old and of a population undergoing evolution without speciation would be very hard to distinguish without an extremely good record of the population being studied.

More here (TheScientist Magazine).

Profile
 
 
Posted: 14 July 2006 01:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  6453
Joined  2004-11-08

...I hope you weren’t really hoping to get someone’s goat with this..b/c a lot of Creationists believe in micro-evolution.  It’s the macroevolution they don’t believe in.  Like…A reptile turning into a mammal.

 Signature 

I’m loving the puppies.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 14 July 2006 05:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  372
Joined  2004-04-20

I know some mammals who quite regularly turn into vegetables. Couch potatoes, specifically.

Profile
 
 
   
{paginate}
1 of 3
1
{/paginate}