Re: An alternative to ST and AAT

Daan Sandee (
3 Dec 1996 17:48:33 GMT

In article <01bbdfc5$277a52e0$LocalHost@dan-pc> "Rohinton Collins" <> writes:
>A point of interest. Did anybody see the documentary on the Galapagos
>Islands which was narrated by, and starred Richard Dreyfuss? There is a
>flightless bird on one of the islands, I forget which species. Having
>arrived on the island on the wing several hundred years ago and finding
>that the only food source was the sea, the bird began evolving. It is now
>caught, like a snapshot of evolution, midway between what it was when it
>arrived at the island, and a flightless marine adapted bird, similar to the
>penguin. On land, it looks somewhat like its non-evolved cousin species,
>only with smaller wings with reduced plumage and a longer neck. When
>swimming in the sea it is a wonder to behold. It is still hampered to some
>degree by its avian heritage, but it is well on its way to evolving into a
>small penguin-like bird. This is the best evidence for evolution which I
>have yet witnessed. Does anyone remember the species which I have

Don't know what this is doing in this discussion, but ...

Flightless Cormorant (Phalacrocorax harrisi), of the Galapagos Islands
(Fernandina Is and parts of Isabela Is.)
Some corrections and additions on the above :
- plenty of cormorants are marine feeders, although they're always coastal
(not mid-ocean birds); in the UK, that includes the Shag (P.aristotelis),
which is predominantly marine (rare in estuaries);
- its ancestors arrived in the Galapagos probably tens of thousands, if not
hundreds of thousands, of years ago;
- it is the heaviest of all species of cormorants ; being flightless, it
was able to get bigger;
- it had no need of flight, and so lost the capability, because it had
sufficient food within swimming distance and there were no terrestrial

Daan Sandee
Burlington, MA Use this email address: sandee (at) cmns . think . com