Sorting Finch Species
This interactive module allows students to explore concepts related to speciation by identifying which birds belong to one of two finch species.
The 13 species of finches that live in the Galápagos Islands evolved from a single common ancestor within the past 3 million years. Although these species may seem similar, they generally keep to themselves and don’t interbreed. This Click & Learn demonstrates how the finches discriminate between members of their own species and those of a closely related species based on song and appearance.
The accompanying worksheet guides students’ exploration.
Student Learning Targets
- Sort finches into two different groups based on their appearances and songs.
- Explain why hybrids may not be as fit as their parent species.
beak, cactus finch, Daphne Major, Galápagos, Geospiza, ground finch, hybrid, reproductive isolation, sonogram, spectrogram
HS-LS4-3, HS-LS4-5; SEP6, SEP7
AP Biology (2019)
EVO-1.C, EVO-1.D, EVO-1.E, EVO-1.M, EVO-3.D, EVO-3.E, EVO-3.F; SP1, SP2
IB Biology (2016)
5.1 5.4, C.1
AP Environmental Science (2020)
Topic(s): 2.6, 2.7
Learning Objectives & Practices: ERT-2.H, SP2
IB Environmental Systems and Societies (2017)
Common Core (2010)
Vision and Change (2009)
CC1, CC5; DP1