Galapagos Island Essay

1617 words - 7 pages

Charles Darwin an English naturalist and geologist discovered several species of finches on the Galapagos Islands during his second voyage on the HMS Beagle in (1831). The Galapagos Islands are a small archipelago of islands which compose thirteen main islands and six smaller isles. The vast majority of these finches varied from island to island, the large variety of the finches differed from one another. E.g., (in their beak shape and size). The major driving force of diversification was due to ecological changes. Darwin did not think of the birds of the Galapagos as significant; all Darwin discerned was that the finches were different compared to the finches native to Ecuador. To this day ...view middle of the document...

After the El Nino something had changed, the finches were now beginning to breed excessively and also with numerous partners, this phenomenon led to an increased population of more than 400%. In addition, the El Nino had prompted a reverse in the survival rate between the large ground finches (Geospiza magnirostris) and the small ground finches (Geospiza fuliginosa). The small ground finches were less at risk to death, because of the abundance of small and soft seeds that the wet El Nino had produced. The large ground finches could not adapt to the small seeds due to their beak shape and size so therefore natural selection prevailed for the small ground finches. The El Nino also had caused microevolutionary changes in the inter-breeding population. The super-Nino integrated different breeds of finches together, and at the same time, the hybrids began their rise in speciation.
Species modify their phenotypes in ways that permit them to thrive in the local environment they colonized. Hybridizations among Darwin’s finches occurred repeatedly though rarely, resulting in elevated morphological features with the (cactus finch) Geospiza Scandens and the (medium ground finch) Geospiza fortis. Hybridization between the variations had an introgressive affect on their genotypes but demonstrated higher relative fitness under various climatic settings. The interbreeding between different variants of finches had caused changes in the offsprings DNA which resulted in hybrid finches. The combined phenotypes were genetically more adaptable to the environment that the hybrids were born into, making survival less at risk than their counterparts (purebreds). The finches diversified rapidly into a multitude of new varieties, particularly when a change in the ecosystem made new resources available. The finches had rapidly produced a number of new species from a small ancestral population to expanding into unoccupied areas. Variants that are best adapted to the conditions of their life are more likely to survive and reproduce themselves--Survival of the fittest (CITE). Darwin notes, “ Animals on separate islands, ought to become different if kept long enough apart with slightly different circumstances (CITE).
The research, Darwin performed and the species he had brought back to England from his expedition were noteworthy to the development of the original theory of evolution and his idea of natural selection. Darwin’s first book On the Origin of Species published in (1859) noted two key argument(s), “All living things on earth today are the descendants, with modifications, of earlier species,” he also proposed a mechanism; natural selection, to demonstrate how biological evolution takes hold (CITE). The finches on the Galapagos Islands are a significant example of biological evolution. They are typically exhibited as a notable instance of relative fitness and adaptive radiation.
The finches increased fitness for their environment by reproductive success--the...

Find Another Essay On galapagos island

The Harvesting of Sea Cucumbers in the Galapagos Islands

1654 words - 7 pages protect Galapagos, the islands were declared a national park in 1959. The Galapagos Marine Resources Reserve was created in 1986 to protect of the 29,000-square miles of waters that surround the island. The islands are now a biosphere reserve and the waters are a sanctuary for whales. Ecuador has a history of being very protective of its environment, and has been extremely strict with tourists. (Cohn, 1996) The Ecuadorian government opened


1488 words - 6 pages inhabiting the island. "The planned Isabela goat removal is no less than a battle to save the Galapagos' largest remaining population of giant tortoises, an icon of the famous archipelago 965 kilometers off Ecuador's coast" (Jocelyn Kaiser, 2001). Survival of the fittest will always win this type of game unless people interfere, which normally happens.The islands are bountiful in different types of beautiful vegetation for all to see, but these

galapagos islands

958 words - 4 pages Charles Darwin an English naturalist and geologist discovered several species of finches on the Galapagos Islands during his second voyage on the HMS Beagle in (1831). The Galapagos Islands are a small archipelago of islands which compose thirteen main islands and six smaller isles. The vast majority of these finches varied from island to island. Darwin was fascinated on the large variety of the finches and how they differed from one another

The Galapagos Islands

2000 words - 8 pages detrimentally threaten the natural wildlife, are a prominent cause of the decline of the biodiversity in the island habitats. The first entrance of invasive species in the Galapagos began in 1535, when Fray Tomás de Berlanga, a Spanish bishop of Panama, was exploring the coast of Ecuador. His ship was blown off course and he landed in the Galapagos Islands. Other mariners arrived with him and began hunting whales, and wrote about eating tortoises

This essay is about the natrual scientist, Charles Darwin. In this essay i will describe Darwins improtance to the science community

638 words - 3 pages chatham Island, the largest of the Galapagos chain of islands. The volcanic islands of the Galapagos are like the islands of the Hawaiian archipelago. They were formed as the tectonic plates moved over hot spots which drilled holes in the plates moving above them, bubbling hot magma up through the crust at periodic times. Darwin was keenly interested in the question of how the islands were colonized. He believed that the birds there were blown off

Longevity of Galapagos Islands Giant Tortoises

1037 words - 4 pages speculate that smaller tortoises drifted to the Galapagos Islands where they found plentiful vegetation and practically no indigenous predators. Over time they evolved into the humble, lumbering giants that exist today. The phenomenon of gigantism evolution is seen in many island ecosystems where there is no need to hide from predators and no competition for food (Orenstein 108). This lack of predation would not last forever. In the nineteenth


844 words - 3 pages characteristics. Humming birds are adapted to their environment by having long beaks so they can get pollen easier. Chickens have small sharp beaks, which help them peck the ground for bugs and seeds. I know a great deal about plants, animals, of my native country, and I saw a diversity of beetles, turtles, birds, etc., on my travel to the Galapagos Islands. As I observed the Galapagos Islands, and resulted that each and every island is

The Marine Iguana

1045 words - 5 pages The Marine Iguana can also be known as its scientific name, Amblyrhynchus cristatus. They are found only on the Galapagos Islands, and have been called the reptiles of the sea. The Marine Iguana weighs up to 10kgs and can be up to 100cm’s in length, although the weight and lengths vary depending on what island they are from throughout the Galapagos islands. The Marine Iguana is usually seen as black and grey, occasionally going red and green

Explain how the plate tectonics theory helps our understanding of the formation of island chains such as Hawaii

1284 words - 6 pages Galapagos Islands in the East Pacific ocean have not gone through these stages of activity. Instead islands over a wide area underwent volcanism together. For instance, the Fernandina Island is located over the hot spot and last erupted in 2009, whereas the Cerro Azul volcano has moved with the Nazca Plate away from the hot spot yet still experiences volcanic activity as it last erupted in 2008. The further away from the hot spot the islands

Comparing the Old and Present Galapagos Islands

1173 words - 5 pages built such a powerful case that, among scientists at least, the issue was largely settled in favor of evolution and natural selection within ten years.Nowadays if you go to the Galapagos Islands, it isn't remotely close to the island that Darwin visited. Where there used to be an abundance of nature and so many examples of evolution; there is now civilization and you can go on pay tours around the island. Other than that not much has changed since

Biology Essay

2407 words - 10 pages finches since the death of Charles Darwin, Having spent just over 40 years on the island the biologists Peter and Rosemary Grant have been successively studying finch populations in the Galapagos and have showed that the mean beak sizes of successive generations of Darwin's finches have changed to adapt to the new food sources on the island of Daphne Major when in 1977 there was no rain for 551 days the small beaked seed-eating finches who could

Similar Essays

Galapagos Islands And Madagascar Similarities And Differences

578 words - 2 pages The Galapagos Islands and Madagascar compare and contrast in many ways. The Galapagos Islands are made up of twelve smaller islands with larger cliffs. Madagascar is one full island on the coast of Africa with vast ranges of mountains. The Galapagos is in the Pacific and Madagascar is in the Indian. They are both very similar even though they are located on opposite sides of the world. The two islands have unique species of animals and plants

The Galapagos Islands Essay

1773 words - 7 pages The Galapagos Islands, located about 600 miles west of continental Ecuador, contain a rich history of settlement and exploration and represent a living example of evolution that is still relevant today. For centuries, this chain of volcanic islands has been used uniquely by various cultures based off distinct needs. What has remained the same however is the fact that island isolation has forced many animal and plant species to adapt differently

Diversity In The Galapagos Islands Essay

1058 words - 5 pages Galapagos, but he didn't know that he would discover the theory of evolution. The plants on the Galapagos Island are very tropical and numerous in varietes. According to the Galapagos Conservancy there are about six hundred and forty native species of of plants on the Galapagos Islands. There are about eight hundred and twenty five introducer species. One hundred of the introduced species have become established in the wild. There are three major

Physical Attributes And Atmosphere Of Galapagos Islands. Speaks Of Mellville And Darwin

968 words - 4 pages centers his writing around the vegetation and related matters; rarely straying from direct description or using comparisons. Darwin in one of his few comparisons, relates the vegetation of the Galapagos Islands with that of 'the volcanic island of Fernando de Noronha,' unheard of by all, except the most worldly. This shows that Darwin makes no investment in the creation of an image in the minds of the common reader. Darwin writes of a specific