Tuesday, December 23, 2014

My Year of Darwin 12/23/2014: Thirds great fact of biogeography

 Charles Darwin

"the affinity of the productions of the same continent or sea, through the species themselves are distinct at different points and stationsCharles Darwin, Origin of Species 1st edition (on Kindle)

I think this is one of the clearest examples where you can take something from Darwin's early days on the Beagle translated to Origins. Clusters of related species are found together rather than dispersed across wide areas. Biogeographers would call this centers of endemism. Each major island in the Galapagos has its own species of mockingbird and tortoise. Several species in southern South America, like rheas and tyrant flycatchers, have related species just to the north. 

Explaining these three facts from a creationists perspective... try it. 


  1. What! Myiophobus and Empidonax are related! Who would have thunk it!

    There was an Acadian Flycatcher where I lived in SC who had adapted (his or her) feeding habits to lawn mowing. As soon as I fired up the mower, it would show up and follow me around on a series of secondary perches - swooping in whenever an insect fled from the lawn.

  2. That's cool. The best I could do is here them off in the distance during my surveys. There's a great story about Alexander Skutch walking through the forest with his walking stick flicking leaves for antbirds. He was against banding birds (you should just watch them enough to know individuals) and regularly killed predators of birds on his property. Interesting man.