Charles Darwin has always intrigued us, especially his work on the Galapagos Islands and the finches that would become known as Darwin’s Finches. In the wonderful book, How and Why Species Multiply: The Radiation of Darwin’s Finches (Princeton Series in Evolutionary Biology), Peter R. Grant and B. Rosemary Grant provide a thorough account of their 34-year study of fourteen species of Darwin Finches and how they evolved.
Anyone with an interest in species diversity but might not be as attuned to deep science, will be pleased to know this book is actually readable. This is not to say that the information isn’t complex and by no means is the text watered down. But the Grants do an excellent job discussing topics such as speciation, radiation, natural selection, geographic isolation, hybridization, and more (topics we are behind the curve in). Mixed in with the text are graphs, tables, and charts to help illustrate the various topics without it feeling like a textbook.
The Grants are undoubtedly experts and extend their knowledge about these lovable “little brown birds” effectively to the reader. However, you may need to read through this book a couple times to fully digest all the wonderful science throughout.
Rating: 9 of 10 feathers
How and Why Species Multiply: The Radiation of Darwin’s Finches (Princeton Series in Evolutionary Biology)