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14 unique animals of the Galapagos Islands

By: Bryan Nelson on Nov. 1, 2013, 4:20 p.m.
Galapagos finch

Photo: Peter Wilton/Wiki Commons

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Galapagos finches

Since they played such an important role in the development of Darwin's theory of natural selection, the remarkable finches of the Galapagos are among the most famous animals on the islands. Around 13 different species exist, though they all evolved from a single ancestral species. Each species is most easily distinguished by differences in beak size and shape.

The evolution of the finches of the Galapagos illustrate an ideal example of adaptive radiation, in which organisms diversify rapidly.