A letter-format essay about the advancements in the study of Darwin's Finches.

Essay by Dreamfire2003Junior High, 8th gradeA+, April 2003

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Dear Mr. Darwin,

I am writing this letter to inform you of the current status of the finches you were so fascinated with - what has changed since your visit, modern theories, and all of the currently identified species.

First and foremost, I would like to tell you that your works and studies on the finches have become the most closely tied to you out of all of your other various studies. Modern-day scientists have become just as intrigued (if not more so) with the drab-colored little birds as you were. They show a great promise in explaining how evolution and natural selection works, and could easily be considered one of the most important scientific discoveries in history.

Though the finches have not changed much in and of themselves since your last visit, much has been discovered about them that was not previously known. Although including all such discoveries in this text would be far too time and space consuming, I will inform you of some of the main changes below.

Although you originally grouped all of the various types of finches into four genera, many modern-day scientists have decided that there are in fact six different genera: the Geospiza, Camarhynchus, Cactospiza, Platyspiza, Certhidea, and the Pinaroloxias. In addition, scientists have identified 14 species of finches, and there may be more - scientists are still discovering things. Below I shall include a chart detailing the species in relation to the genera:

Common Name Genus Species

Small Ground Finch GeospizaFuliginosa

Medium Ground Finch GeospizaFortis

Large Ground Finch GeospizaMagnirostris

Sharp-beaked Ground Finch GeospizaDifficilis

Cactus Ground Finch GeospizaScandens

Large Cactus Ground Finch GeospizaConirostris

Small Tree FinchCamarhynchusParvulus

Medium Tree FinchCamarhynchusPauper

Large Tree FinchCamarhynchusPsittacula

Woodpecker FinchCactospizaPallidus

Mangrove Finch Cactospiza Heliobates

Vegetarian FinchPlatyspizaCrassirostris

Warbler Finch CerthideaOlivacea

Cocos Island FinchPinaroloxiasInornata

Although the above list is quite detailed,