Richard Dawkins: Vestigial Organs: The Wings of the Flightless Cormorant

Jun 5, 2014

Richard Dawkins explains how vestigial organs like the stubby wings of the Flightless Cormorant were one of Darwin’s key arguments for Evolution.

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“In May 2007, I went to Galapagos with a large group from the
Center for Inquiry. As a small group of us walked with the guided
parties over the island, occasionally I would take the opportunity to
film the wildlife and speak about their significance. The result are
these ‘vignettes’, which were unscripted.”


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2 comments on “Richard Dawkins: Vestigial Organs: The Wings of the Flightless Cormorant

  • I wonder what are the limits to vestigial morphisms?

    It would seem wings became cumbersome, hampering the hunt, that the only abundant food source to be found is under water. Yet, there was a time when the comorant had to fish with large wings and still managed to propagate. I would think “good enough” would propagate right along with “better”….maybe a smaller population, but larger wings should be there too???

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  • From the video Dawkins says “I’ve actually dived – snorkeled- with flightless cormorants and it’s an amazing thing to see.”

    No kidding there. Some friends of mine have seen those things swimming 70ft underwater. That deep, and a bird swims by you and you’re thinking, what the hell are you doing here?

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