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Daphne Major

Daphne Major is a volcanic island just north of Santa Cruz Island and just west of the Baltra Airport in the archipelago Colon, commonly known as the Galapagos Islands. It consists of a tuff crater, devoid of trees, whose rim rises 120 metres above the sea.

Though easily accessible to most visitors to the Galapagos, the national park service has highly restricted visits to this island, and it is primarily used for scientific research. An intensive study of Darwin's Finches was conducted here by biologists Peter and Rosemary Grant over a period of 20 years. They examined the behaviour and life cycles of finches, with the results strongly supporting Darwin's theory of evolution. Their efforts were documented in the Pulitzer Prize winning book The Beak of the Finch.

Daphne is home to a variety of other birds including Galapagos Martins, Blue-footed Booby, Masked Booby, Short-eared Owls, Red-billed Tropicbirds and Magnificent Frigatebirds.


B. Rosemary Grant and Peter R. Grant 1989. Evolutionary dynamics of a natural population: the large cactus finch of the Galapagos. Chicago

Grant, Peter R. 1999. ''Ecology and evolution of Darwin's finches. Princeton NJ.

Peter R. Grant and B. Rosemary Grant. 1992. Demography and the genetically effective sizes of two populations of Darwins finches. Ecology73(3): 766784.

Jonathan Weiner. 1994. The Beak of the Finch: A Story of Evolution in Our Time''. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. ISBN 0-679-40003-6.

Drought and the Demography of Darwins Medium Ground Finches on Isla Daphne Major, Wendy E. Sera, Baylor University. Accessed 2007-04-21.

External links

Daphne Island Information

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