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Contact: Caroline Perry
cperry@seas.harvard.edu
617-496-1351
Harvard University

Diagram of Taxonomy, Development, and Beak Shape

Caption: A comparison of beak developmental programs and eventual beak shapes reveals a high degree of flexibility in their relationship. Darwin's finches (Geospiza, bottom left) and the Lesser Antillean Bullfinch ("small bullfinch") employ similar cell populations and genes to establish very distinct beak shapes, while the larger species of Caribbean bullfinches use a novel combination of two signaling molecules to build a beak identical in shape to the smaller bullfinch.

Credit: Image courtesy of Ricardo Mallarino

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