Genome study unmasks evolution of Darwin's finches

February 11, 2015 6:02 PM

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A genome study of the famed Darwin finch species on the Galapagos and Cocos islands has unveiled a gene behind the 15 species' remarkable variation of beaks, a feature that helped inspire the father of evolutionary theory.

The study of 120 individual birds from across the South American island chain finds that a single species radiated into more than a dozen others over the past million years, a change fueled by hybridization.

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