Better known as the “Darwin’s finches”, it is the species of birds that, until now, most feeds on food prepared for human consumption. This phenomenon occurs due to the increasing population and tourism in Costa Rica and, also, in latitudes outside of our country.
Recently, a study has unveiled different gut macrobiotics in these birds, other than those that follow a diet based on wild nature.
It was also detected that birds that feed on this so-called “junk food” are usually, in most cases, heavier and larger which alter their normal activities if compared to others of their species that follow a natural diet.
What are Darwin’s finches?
It is a group of species of different birds that interttwine directly with Charles Darwin because he was the one who discovered them in the Galapagos Islands. Most of these species are home to the aforementioned island. But they also have records of them in Isla del Coco, Costa Rica.
Most of these are the same size; that is, from 10 to 20 centimeters. The most striking differences are in the size and shape of the beak. As a curious fact, the variants in the peaks occur because not all species eat the same foods. It means that this diet varies from species to species.
Why did they receive that name?
This name, as it is known today, appeared for the first time in 1936. And after that, it quickly became popular with the works developed by David Lack, who also devoted himself to studying this species in detail to learn more about it.
In 1973, professors of ecology and biology at the University of Princeton, United States, conducted exhaustive studies which point to more than 19,000 copies of 25 different generations. Many of these species have changed drastically, not only in the Galapagos Islands but also in Costa Rica. This also has to deal with the abrupt climate change that has been experienced over the years.
Human presence does change ecosystems
The Galapagos Islands, to which the British naturist Charles Darwin decided to dedicate many of his experiments, were the living laboratory of studies focused on evolution. The findings in most of these studies represent a clear example of how human presence directly influences ecosystems.
It is worth mentioning that, in the last 30 years, the archipelago has experienced a significant increase in the human population; we are currently talking about an estimated 1,500 inhabitants.
Studies and more studies
Recently, a well-known ecological magazine has carried out a series of studies that have made it possible to verify the negative impacts caused by fast junk food in Darwin’s finches. These are medium-sized birds that were discovered by the English scientist -that is why they call their name- and which also includes 17 other species.
What is this study about?
Scientists from a known university in the United States relied on 2 specific species to carry out this study. It consists of monitoring the feeding style of both species. In this case, Darwin’s finch Fuliginous, which prefers human food, and Darwin’s finch Geospiza Fortis, which is nourished by natural foods.
Among the main results of this study, it is that birds that feed on junk fast food experience serious changes in their macrobiotic intestinal metabolism. These changes lead them to die much more quickly than birds that were entirely nourished by-products of nature.
Obese specimens due to the consumption of junk food
Finches that live in areas where there is a lot of human activity have increased their body weight compared to those that only feed on nature.
In urban areas, we can notice that the birds are much larger and have much more muscle mass than other specimens. This is due to the eating disorder of what they eat.
This research also revealed that many of these chemicals, with which these foods are processed, can cause the same damage in humans to the point of shortening their average life duration.
When carrying out this type of research, the call is to be more aware when feeding because we are what we eat. In regard to this, a balanced diet will make our life much healthier so that we will experience an authentic zone of comfort and personal control.