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On the archipelago of the Galapagos Islands, which most geologists believe to be of volcanic origin without ever having had any land connection with the west coast of South America, Darwin discovered a group of small finches. These birds have since been classified into more than a dozen species. These birds have differences, particu-larly in their adaptations for food-getting. It is believed that all these species are descendants of a single species which migrated from the mainland. On the mainland there has never been more than a single species even though the rate of mutations
is thought to be the same in both locations.

Explain how each of the following could have played a role in the development of the
many species of Galapagos finches:

a. unoccupied ecologic niches

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    When an unoccupied ecologic niche occurs, often a species will change to fit into that niche.

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