You are not currently logged in.
Access JSTOR through your library or other institution:
If You Use a Screen ReaderThis content is available through Read Online (Free) program, which relies on page scans. Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Cultural Inheritance of Song and Its Role in the Evolution of Darwin's Finches
B. Rosemary Grant and Peter R. Grant
Vol. 50, No. 6 (Dec., 1996), pp. 2471-2487
Published by: Society for the Study of Evolution
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2410714
Page Count: 17
You can always find the topics here!Topics: Bird songs, Popular songs, Finches, Sons, Species, Neighborhoods, Female animals, Evolution, Fathers, Mating behavior
Were these topics helpful?See somethings inaccurate? Let us know!
Select the topics that are inaccurate.
Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Preview not available
Songs of Darwin's finches were studied on the Galapagos Island of Daphne Major from 1976 to 1995. A single, structurally simple, and unvarying song is sung throughout life by each male of the two common species, Geospiza fortis (medium ground finch) and G. scandens (cactus finch). Songs of the two species differ strongly in quantitative features, and individual variation among males is much broader in G. fortis than in G. scandens. Although there are exceptions, songs of sons strongly resemble the songs of their fathers. They also resemble the songs of their paternal grandfathers, but not their maternal grandfathers, indicating that they are culturally inherited and not genetically inherited. Female G. fortis display a tendency to avoid mating with males that sing the same type of song as their father. They also avoid mating with males that sing heterospecific song, with very rare exceptions. Thus song, an evolving, culturally inherited trait, is an important factor in species recognition and mate choice. It constrains the mating of females to conspecifics, even when there is no genetic penalty to interbreeding, and thus may play a crucial role in species formation by promoting genetic isolation on secondary contact. The barrier is leaky in that occasional errors in song transmission result in misimprinting, which leads to a low incidence of hybridization and introgression. Introgression slows the rate of postzygotic isolation, but can produce individuals in novel genetic and morphological space that can provide the starting point of a new evolutionary trajectory.
Evolution © 1996 Society for the Study of Evolution