In the intervening years, the split colonies have continued to evolve - as living species do - albeit without contact with the other. Consequently, they have diverged, and no longer sing the same songs; a vital part of the species' courtship ritual. Additionally, the eastern finches have developed a dark stripe along their breast, which their western counterparts lack. Studies have found other, less obvious, genetic and morphological differences between the two.
As a result of all this there can be no interbreeding between them, and due to such a tiny population size, the mangrove finch is likely to evolve itself extinct. What a bunch of idiots.
The point of all this is to say that evolution doesn't always get it right. The natural world is all about survival of the fittest, and sometimes evolution gets it wrong, and heads down dead ends. Newer isn't always better, see. Sometimes natural selection kicks in, and boots a species into the dust.
And it isn't just the natural world this happens in; think of technology. It's full of evolutionary dead-ends, and "better" isn't always better; Betamax, Digital Audio Tape, 3DTV...
This "speciation" happens all the time in gaming. Sega's hardware business evolved itself to death. See also Atari, 3DO, Philips CD-i, Nokia N-Gage... Sometimes it's quick, sometimes it's slow... and sometimes... crocodiles win. And in terms of modern gaming, Nintendo is our crocodile; ancient, effective, and robust.
Crocodiles evolved around 200 million years ago. They might not be the fastest, smartest or most aesthetically pleasing creatures, but they survived the extinction of the dinosaurs - their aquatic nature helping them live through the asteroid strike which wiped out pretty much every major land animal 65 million years ago.
Not every crocodile species survived - the ten-ton sarcosuchus isn't around anymore, thank heck - but speaking broadly, crocodilians have evolved at a snail's pace, remaining largely unchanged for millions of years.
In short; if it ain't broke, evolution ain't gonna bother fixing it.
For at least the last few generations of hardware, Nintendo has stuck to its guns. At least in terms of internal hardware, it isn't trying to be the fastest, the prettiest, the most powerful, the noisiest. It's content to lurk in the water, doing its own thing, while bigger, more aggressive, creatures fight it out on the shores of its habitat.
We're witnessing gaming evolution happening before our eyes right now, and it's happening in a very different way to how it has done in the past. After decades of evolutionary leaps, the console giants are now attempting a slow and steady approach, albeit one which feels somewhat misguided.
Instead of wiping out their previous generations in a sudden Darwinian lurch, Sony and Microsoft are evolving in a way that will keep their predecessors around for longer. The PlayStation Pro and - unveiled last week - Microsoft's Xbox Scorpio are intended to replace their PlayStation 4 and Xbox One at a more crocodilian pace.
The question is whether the games console's natural environment - the gaming market - will care enough to let both survive. It feels like this is a battle to the death, and - while it may be a long, protracted battle - only one can survive.
By all accounts, Xbox Scorpio is going to be the most powerful games console ever released. It'll boast even more power than the current apex predator of the gaming scene, the PlayStation Pro, by a considerable margin.
When it arrives later this year, it'll be able to play all the existing Xbox One games, but be capable of displaying visuals which feel like a significant generational leap. According to Microsoft, it'll be comparable to the leap we're used to seeing from console generation to the next.
Microsoft has shifted a not inconsiderable 26 million Xbox Ones - though that's still less than half of the number Sony has achieved with its PlayStation 4. Microsoft's Xbox 360 was slightly more successful - possibly - than the PlayStation 3, selling around a million more units over the course of its life.
Something went badly wrong for the Xbox One, and it can be argued that the Xbox brand headed down an evolutionary cul-de-sac - bundling the One with the Kinect 2.0 (like a hen evolving a third leg, which it keeps tripping over) - from which it has struggled to reverse.
The thing is... while a more powerful games console might seem like a good thing, since the arrival of the Nintendo Switch it feels like we've entered a new epoch; one in which raw power no longer seems to matter as much.
Crocodiles don't need the longest legs, the brightest plumage, the sexiest roar to survive; they simply need to be able to survive in the environment that they call home.
The Xbox Scorpio doesn't excite me. I'm still playing Zelda: Breath of the Wild on the weakest of the current generation of games machines, and it is better than anything available currently on any other machine.
Better, more powerful, high-resolution, graphics wouldn't necessarily make Breath of the Wild a better game. I don't need a Nintendo Switch Pro, or a Switch Scorpio; I'm happy with what I've got, so long as Nintendo can keep supporting the hardware with games of comparable quality.
I'm sure there are millions of existing Xbox One and PlayStation 4 owners who have absolutely no intention of upgrading to the Pro and Scorpio. Game graphics are already amazing, but for some reason Microsoft and Sony fail to appreciate that . They're coming at gaming from the perspective of tech guys, not artists.
Nintendo on the other hand are artists - in both aesthetic terms and gameplay. They create their machines with input from the people who create their games, the people who tell them what they need. The bigger console guys seem to just copy what everyone else is doing, rather than consider the potential of what gaming can be.
Nintendo has a culture of games creation, and while it doesn't always get it right - hello, Wii U - more often than not their hardware starts at the point of the gameplay experience.
Games are the environment in which consoles thrive; without the games, the hardware cannot rise to the top. It's part of why the Xbox One has struggled, relatively speaking, in comparison to the PlayStation 4. Having stumbled out of the gate, its exclusive games simply haven't been strong enough to close the gap between its nearest rival.
There's no point pretending that Microsoft is trying to be anything other than top dog; it wants to be back at the pinnacle of the evolutionary tree, and it's trying to force that evolution by chucking raw graphical power at its hardware, rather than focus on the games. Last week's unveiling of the Scorpio was met mostly with a collective shrug from everyone but the tech nerds; "Fine, but what about the games?"
Microsoft's main selling point? "6 Teraflops of graphical processing power". Could they have been any more boring? Well actually... yeah. Yeah, they could - and they were.
Microsoft also threw around quotes like this: "Project Scorpio’s Vapour Chamber uses advanced liquid cooling to ensure the Scorpio Engine stays cool... A supercharger-style Centrifugal Fan rapidly pulls in and compresses air to deliver maximum cooling with minimum noise... To maximise performance and minimise power consumption, Project Scorpio uses the Hovis Method, a cutting edge digital power delivery system that custom tunes each console’s voltage."
Attention, Microsoft: most people don't care about ANY of that! Games, please. Make it about the GAMES - or you risk your Xbox brand going extinct. You're too far behind the PlayStation 4 to ever catch up or defeat it, and have to stop trying to compete for the same prey. You need to do something new, offer something different. You need to find your own environment to compete in.
Nintendo long ago side-stepped that processing race, and is content to do its own thing, to be apart from the battle between the big, heavy, predators.
Dinosaurs might have been the biggest, most powerful, creatures that ever walked the earth... but where are they now? They got wiped out, and those that remained became tiny, and took to the skies, where they stayed out of reach while mammals took over the land.
It's a lesson Nintendo learned generations ago; by not trying to compete, by being the best at what it does, by being the apex predator of its environment - rather than the planet - it has thrived, and continues to thrive. For as long as it continues in this way, I genuinely believe that Nintendo - while maybe not having the biggest-selling consoles - will outlive us all.