[2015] Yvette Rojas: Charles Darwin

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Scientific Biographies

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[2015] Yvette Rojas: Charles Darwin

Darwin travled to the Galapagos Islands in the year of 1831. Darwin went onboard because he wanted to see an active volcano. In order to get to the Galapagos Islands, he had to travle by ship. The ship that sailed him to the Galapagos Island was named H.M.S. Beagle.

Charles Darwin is known for being a naturalist and geologist. He developed the theory of evolution by natural selection, and went to the Galapagos Islands to discover more about nature. Charles Robert Darwin was born on February 12,1809 in Shrewsbury, United Kingdom, and died in April 19,1882 in Downe, United Kingdom.Charles Darwin was the fifth child and second son to his father,Robert Waring Darwin and his mother, Susannah Darwin. When Darwin was only eight years of age, his mother died. He was left as the responsibility of being raised and taken care of by his two older sisters. After Darwin grew up, his father wanted him to dedicate his time in studying medicine. So in 1825, his father made the decision of sending him to Edinburgh University. Even though Darwin was not interested in medicine and disliked the idea strongly, he did not hesitate. When Darwin went to school to study medicine, he struggled and eventually, failed at becoming someone in the field of medicine. Darwin's father was disappointed in him and considered him a disgrace. Soon after Darwin failed at medicine, he decided to become a minister. He also struggled and failed. Darwin was not very successful at the beginning, but even though he had failed in medicine and becoming a minister, he did not give up and kept on studying in things that interested him. After a while, Darwin decided to go to John Stevens Henslow's (one of his professers) class to study botany, which is the study of plants. While he attended there he began gathering beetles. The collection of beetles soon became extremely famous. His professer John Stevens Henslow was the person who was able to get Darwin on the ship that would take him to the Galapagos Islands. During his voyage, Darwin noted many interesting things. Sadly, when he was away he became ill with a tropical illness. That illness did not keep Darwin from doing what he wanted. After he came back from the voyage he began writing his books. In 1839 he and his cousin Emma Wedgwood got married.

Charles Darwin

Natural Selection

These pictures show where the islands are located and how they look like.

How Natural selection works- There are four steps:1. Overproduction- Offspring is produced to survive.2. Variation of traits- Every individual has different traits from their parents.3. Competition- Species compete for resources.4. Selection- The animals that have traits that are useful will be able to survive and pass traits onto their offspring.

Definition of Natural Selection- Organisms adapt to the environment to survive or reproduce.

Darwin and the Galapagos Islands

Charles Darwin

Books Darwin wrote

The Creatures of the Galapagos Islands

This picture shows the transportation Darwin took . It is a ship called the H.M.S. Beagle.

During Darwin's voyage, he saw many interesting animals. He questioned himself questions such as, why did the animals look how they looked and why they behaved the way they did. A few animals that Darwin saw and found interesting were, the iguanas (both marine and land), the finches, and the tortoises. While Darwin was there he spent every minute he could observing and studying how the animals moved, behaved, and looked. Charles Darwin also observed that each animal was well suited for their habitats. When Darwin observed the animals, he wrote down his observations. For the iguanas, he noted that the marine iguanas lived underwater and most of the time fed on seaweed. He also noted that the marine iguanas had dark colored skin. Another observation he made was that the land iguanas had lighter skin colors. He also wrote down that the land iguanas lived on land and fed on cacti. For the tortoises, he observed that each tortoise had a different shell depending on their habitat. He also noted that each island's tortoises had very different features. Another observation that Darwin had was that the tortoises that ate the vegetation that was on the ground had shells that were rounded, while the tortoises that fed on the higher vegetation had shells that were bent upward so that their necks (which were long) would be able to reach. The finches were the animals that Darwin was most interested in. They were also the animals that he studied the most. The first observation he made was that each species was different from each of the other species from the other islands. Another observation that he made was that they all appeared to be different types of birds. He also noted that every finch had different size beaks and bodies.

From left to right it shows the land iguana, the marine iguana,the huge tortoise, and the finch.

By Yvette Acevedo and Rubi Rojas


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