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Depending on the season, there can be as many as fifty-eight distinct species of birds inhabiting the Galápagos Islands. Twenty-eight of those species live on the islands year-round, and thirteen of those species are finches. This means that depending on the time of year, finches account for roughly one quarter to one half of the avian species on the islands. During his voyage on the Beagle, Darwin puzzled over how so many different types of finches could not only survive together but thrive together on the island chain. What was the conclusion he arrived at decades later? Variation and differentiation.

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