The Origin of Species: The Beak of the Finch
This film explores four decades of research on the evolution of Galápagos finches, which has illuminated how species form and diversify.
Evolutionary biologists Rosemary and Peter Grant spent four decades tracking changes in body traits directly tied to survival in the famous Galápagos finches. They also identified behavioral characteristics that prevent different species from breeding with one another. Their pioneering studies documented natural selection in real time and revealed clues about how 13 distinct finch species arose from a single ancestral population that migrated from the mainland 2 million to 3 million years ago.
The “Abbreviated Film Guide” provides a short summary of the film, along with key concepts and connections to curriculum standards.
An audio descriptive version of the film is available via our media player.
adaptation, ecological niche, speciation, trait
Grant, Peter R., and B. Rosemary Grant. How and Why Species Multiply. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2008.
Weiner, Jonathan. The Beak of the Finch. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 1994.
Accessibility Level (WCAG compliance)
HS-LS2.A, HS-LS3.B, HS-LS4.B, HS-LS4.C
AP Biology (2019)
EVO-1, EVO-3, SYI-2, SYI-3
IB Biology (2016)
5.1, 5.4, C.1
AP Environmental Science (2020)
Topic(s): 2.6, 2.7
IB Environmental Systems and Societies (2017)
Vision and Change (2009)