The Beak of the Finch Characters
The Beak of the Finch: A Story of Evolution in Our Time by Jonathan Weiner is a work of nonfiction discussing evolutionary biology. The book follows biologists Peter and Rosemary Grant who spent 20 years examining Charles Darwin's theory of evolution by observing the finches on the Galapagos Island of Daphne Major. One of the most powerful theories the Grants present is that natural selection can occur within a single generation, using the rapid natural selection amongst the finches as an example. The Grants spent six months of each year tagging the finches and taking blood samples in order to prove their theory, which argued against Darwin's original claim that natural selection was a long, multi-generational process. The Grants were awarded the Leidy Award from the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia in 1994, and Weiner's book won the Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction in 1995.