Darwin’s finches sing out-of-tune call after parasites deform beaks

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Concern over mating as malformed beaks and nostrils lead to ‘subpar songs’ – study

Tree finches made famous by Charles Darwin’s visit to the Galápagos islands in the 19th century have gone out of tune because of parasitic infections that damage the birds’ beaks and nostrils.

Researchers found that male finches that picked up the fly parasite had malformed beaks and enlarged nostrils that led to “subpar songs”, making it harder for the birds to find mates and reproduce.

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