Proof of Evolution?

Proof of Evolution? Birds of Prey Avoid Extinction by Growing Longer Beaks in Just 10 Years

By Meghan Bartels  

In an impressive feat of adaptation, the beak size of a particular bird of prey has changed in just 10 years in order to keep up with a change in its food supply. 

In 2005, snail kites, which live in central Florida, got a nasty surprise. The birds get their name from their very favorite food, apple snails. These birds are equipped with a long, hooked beak perfect for snatching the snails out from their spiral shells. But between 2005 and 2008, those apple snails were replaced by a foreign, larger relative. Rather than starve, the snail kites were able to grow larger beaks in order to keep pace with their tasty targets—all in less than a decade, according to a new paper published in the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution