Posts Tagged ‘Cormorants’

Galapagos Icon of Evolution

Galapagos Icon of Evolution

In 1835, the Galapagos Islands piqued a young British naturalist’s endless curiosity. Equipped with technologies not much beyond a clock, compass, measuring tape, scale, thermometer, clinometer, and a microscope, the experience eventually propelled Charles Darwin to propose a new world-shattering theory of evolution in his 1859 book–The Origin of Species. Since then, technological advances have been revolutionizing science and challenging more than just Darwin’s theory of evolution.

For the first time, the genome of one of the most unique birds on the iconic islands, the cormorant (pictured), have been sequenced. Unique in that, of the more than forty known cormorant species in the world, the Galapagos Islands cormorant is the only species incapable of flying. To explore the genetic reasons, scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles, have been studying the genome of the flightless Galapagos cormorants associated with the bird’s loss of flight – the new Galapagos icon of evolution.

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Darwin, Then and Now is a journey through the most amazing story in the history of science - the history of evolution. The book encapsulates who Darwin was, what he said, and what scientists have discovered since the publication of The Origin of Species in 1859.

With over 1,000 references, Darwin Then and Now is a historical chronicle of the rise and fall of the once popular theory of biological evolution.