This news brief, from February 2009, celebrates Darwin's bicentennial by examining what we've learned about the evolution of the Galapagos finches since Darwin's time.
UC Museum of Paleontology
This article includes a video podcast, a set of discussion and extension questions for use in class, and hints about related lessons that might be used in conjunction with this one. Get more tips for using Evo in the News articles in your classroom.
Correspondence to the Next Generation Science Standards is indicated in parentheses after each relevant concept. See our conceptual framework for details.
- Present-day species evolved from earlier species; the relatedness of organisms is the result of common ancestry.
- Speciation is the splitting of one ancestral lineage into two or more descendent lineages.
- Occupying new environments can provide new selection pressures and new opportunities, leading to speciation.
- Scientific knowledge is open to question and revision as we come up with new ideas and discover new evidence.
- Scientists test their ideas using multiple lines of evidence.
- Science is a human endeavor.
- Our knowledge of the evolution of living things is always being refined as we gather more evidence.
- Evolutionary trees (i.e., phylogenies or cladograms) portray hypotheses about evolutionary relationships.