Jonathan Weiner wrote a well-known book about the long-term field studies of Galapagos finches by Peter and Rosemary Grant, titled The Beak of the Finch: A Story of Evolution in Our Time (Vintage). On the publication of their new book about their continued work, Weiner has written an essay of appreciation in the New York Times: “In Darwin’s Footsteps”.
They kept up their watch during years of downpours and years of drought — seasons of feast and famine for the finches. And Darwin’s process unfolded before their eyes in intense episodes that illustrated better than anything in the Origin the struggle for existence, and the ways that life adapts and emerges fitter from the struggle.
Weiner describes the most interesting discovery, the establishment of a new population that behaves like an incipient species, from a single founder.
The Grants’ book is titled, 40 Years of Evolution: Darwin’s Finches on Daphne Major Island.