Worrisome Reduction Seen in Population of Darwin’s Finches
A team of researchers through a recent study has found that population of finches that are found on the Galapagos Islands, which got famous due to Charles Darwin’s research on the theory of evolution, are facing a huge fall in their population.
According to the study published on December 18 in the journal of Applied Ecology, when Darwin was carrying out his research in the Galapagos Islands back in the early 1830s, he identified various types of finches, which had appearance but different beaks.
He gave a conclusion that all these avian creatures had a common ancestor, and they have slowly evolved due to environmental factors such as the supply of food they had access to.
According to study researchers, the survival of a fittest bird has become quite tough and the team has found that a new type of maggots has been badly hitting the bird’s population in recent years.
A team led by Dale Clayton, professor of evolution at the University of Utah for the study analyzed a group of medium ground finches which were among the first that were proved to be evolving based on external changes.
Researchers found that the iconic bird species is threatened by Hilornis downsi, parasitic flies. These flies for the first time were reported in 1997, and probably reached the archipelago in the 1960’s.
These parasitic flies lay eggs inside the bird’s nests and as the larva grow, they start attacking the tiny chicks, piercing their beaks and causing severe injuries which are often fatal in less than a week.
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