Daphne Major is one of the minor islands (land area <1km2) in the archipelago, but a site of key ecological importance for the study of Darwin’s finches. This was the location of extensive research by Peter and Rosemary Grant. During the drought of 1977 they observed smaller seeds were more quickly eaten than larger ones. They then observed a directional change in beak morphology of finches towards larger, more durable beaks which could crack the larger nuts which remained. This was a key observation of natural selection driving adaptation.
Daphne Major features on these pages: