Finches of the Galapagos

The Galapagos Islands are host to landscapes and wildlife you won’t find anywhere else in the world. Once described as a “living laboratory” by Charles Darwin, this group of islands is the only place where you can walk among blue-footed boobies, swim with marine iguanas, and visit the famous giant tortoises.

Living among these unique animals are a species of small birds known as “Darwin’s finches.” Charles Darwin, a naturalist and biologist, first visited the Galapagos in the 1830’s and noticed that these closely related species of finches varied greatly in appearance, most specifically in the shape and size of their beaks. Little did Darwin know at the time, but these small birds aided in the growth of his theories of evolution and natural selection and changed science forever.

Currently, you can still find 14 species of finches in the Galapagos that Darwin studied almost 200 years ago. Darwin’s finches are now known to be the “fastest-evolving vertebrates” for their ability to change their appearance and behavior to better thrive in their environment. Ironically, scientists today have found that Darwin’s finches are under attack from a parasitic fly that has threatened extinction in some of the already endangered species of finches.

Research is well underway and plans have been implemented to help save these iconic birds but in the natural world, nothing is certain. As Darwin said, “It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.”

Join Cruise & Tour President and Founder Peggy Crull on her 17th trip to the Galapagos this October (Galapagos Wildlife Adventure) and experience for yourself the place and the animals that inspired Darwin’s famed theory of evolution. Of the 14 species of finches, Cruise & Tour guests will have the opportunity to view nine of them. I can’t guarantee that you will see all nine species, but if you do, I heard Peggy buys a round of drinks for the group (see last year’s group photo below)!

Call 800-383-3131 today to reserve your spot! There are only 3 spots remaining!!

By Allison Pintal