Galapagos Island Finches

The goal of this small science project is to analyze the data already gathered by some experts. In this case these data come from Rosemary and Peter Grant who lived out on the Galapagos islands for a long time gathering data. It is presented here in CHART FORM, so the magic task here for you to be able to read data in charts. NOW THAT IS NOT AS EASY AS IT SOUNDS. Go ahead and answer the below questions by using the Data that is presented in the figures 1,2 and 3 from the Evolution in Action materials.

1.) Can you see the THREE DARWINIAN POSTULATES IN THE DATA? The reason these guys won a Nobel Prize was because they were able prove Darwin correct. Did they? Let’s see. Your first task is to write down the THREE POSTULATES OF DARWIN. (hint they are found in week2 lecture )
2.) Describe how the charts prove the three postulates correct. Actually describe which chart proves each postulate correct.
3.) How do you know that finches’ beak depth is heritable? Describe which chart and what data in the chart explain this.
4.) How did the finch population change from before the drought to after? Describe how it changes, what percentage of the finches change?
5.) Why do you think the average beak depth of the birds increased?

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The purpose of this assignment is to teach you how to read data. These charts should make sense to you because they will be seen again on the final exam. It is also neat to think about how the Grant’s actually acquired their data. Did they actually go out to the island and capture every finch and get its beak length? Is this possible? The answer is YES, they actually lived on the island for years and knew every finch by site (and they marked each one with bands). So they had really good data.

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