40 Years of Evolution: Darwin's Finches on Daphne Major Island

Princeton University Press
Free sample

Renowned evolutionary biologists Peter and Rosemary Grant have produced landmark studies of the Galápagos finches first made famous by Charles Darwin. In How and Why Species Multiply, they offered a complete evolutionary history of Darwin's finches since their origin almost three million years ago. Now, in their richly illustrated new book, 40 Years of Evolution, the authors turn their attention to events taking place on a contemporary scale. By continuously tracking finch populations over a period of four decades, they uncover the causes and consequences of significant events leading to evolutionary changes in species.

The authors used a vast and unparalleled range of ecological, behavioral, and genetic data--including song recordings, DNA analyses, and feeding and breeding behavior--to measure changes in finch populations on the small island of Daphne Major in the Galápagos archipelago. They find that natural selection happens repeatedly, that finches hybridize and exchange genes rarely, and that they compete for scarce food in times of drought, with the remarkable result that the finch populations today differ significantly in average beak size and shape from those of forty years ago. The authors' most spectacular discovery is the initiation and establishment of a new lineage that now behaves as a new species, differing from others in size, song, and other characteristics. The authors emphasize the immeasurable value of continuous long-term studies of natural populations and of critical opportunities for detecting and understanding rare but significant events.

By following the fates of finches for several generations, 40 Years of Evolution offers unparalleled insights into ecological and evolutionary changes in natural environments.

Read more

About the author

Peter R. Grant and B. Rosemary Grant are both emeritus professors in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Princeton University. They are the coauthors of How and Why Species Multiply and coeditors of In Search of the Causes of Evolution (both Princeton).
Read more
Loading...

Additional Information

Publisher
Princeton University Press
Read more
Published on
Apr 6, 2014
Read more
Pages
432
Read more
ISBN
9781400851300
Read more
Language
English
Read more
Genres
Nature / Animals / Birds
Science / Life Sciences / Biology
Science / Life Sciences / Evolution
Science / Life Sciences / Zoology / Ornithology
Read more
Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
Read more
Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
Read more
Eligible for Family Library

Reading information

Smartphones and Tablets

Install the Google Play Books app for Android and iPad/iPhone. It syncs automatically with your account and allows you to read online or offline wherever you are.

Laptops and Computers

You can read books purchased on Google Play using your computer's web browser.

eReaders and other devices

To read on e-ink devices like the Sony eReader or Barnes & Noble Nook, you'll need to download a file and transfer it to your device. Please follow the detailed Help center instructions to transfer the files to supported eReaders.
Through an integration of systematics, genetics, and related disciplines, the Modern Synthesis of Evolutionary Biology came into being over fifty years ago. Knowledge of evolution has since been transformed by several revolutions: the way we interpret the fossil record has been radically affected by theories of continental drift and asteroid impacts; the way we classify organisms has been influenced by the development of cladistics. Perhaps the most dramatic revolution has been the explosion in molecular biology of information about the genome. Aiming to capture the excitement of modern evolutionary biology, six prominent scientists here explore important issues and problems in their areas of specialization and identify the most promising directions of future research.

The scope of this volume ranges from macroevolutionary patterns in the Precambrian to molecular evolution of the genome. Major themes include the origin and maintenance of variation and the causes of evolutionary change. Chapters on paleontology, ecology, behavior, development, and cell and molecular biology are contributed by Jim Valentine, Graham Bell, Mary Jane West Eberhard, Leo Buss, Marc Kirschner, and Marty Kreitman. The book contains an introductory chapter by John Bonner, whose seminal work is honored here.

Originally published in 1992.

The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

Through an integration of systematics, genetics, and related disciplines, the Modern Synthesis of Evolutionary Biology came into being over fifty years ago. Knowledge of evolution has since been transformed by several revolutions: the way we interpret the fossil record has been radically affected by theories of continental drift and asteroid impacts; the way we classify organisms has been influenced by the development of cladistics. Perhaps the most dramatic revolution has been the explosion in molecular biology of information about the genome. Aiming to capture the excitement of modern evolutionary biology, six prominent scientists here explore important issues and problems in their areas of specialization and identify the most promising directions of future research.

The scope of this volume ranges from macroevolutionary patterns in the Precambrian to molecular evolution of the genome. Major themes include the origin and maintenance of variation and the causes of evolutionary change. Chapters on paleontology, ecology, behavior, development, and cell and molecular biology are contributed by Jim Valentine, Graham Bell, Mary Jane West Eberhard, Leo Buss, Marc Kirschner, and Marty Kreitman. The book contains an introductory chapter by John Bonner, whose seminal work is honored here.

Originally published in 1992.

The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

©2018 GoogleSite Terms of ServicePrivacyDevelopersArtistsAbout Google|Location: United StatesLanguage: English (United States)
By purchasing this item, you are transacting with Google Payments and agreeing to the Google Payments Terms of Service and Privacy Notice.