It became clear that medicine was not the future Darwin desired. He noted the ugly side of nature as he observed them laying eggs in live caterpillars. Robert FitzRoy Robert FitzRoy was captain of HMS Beagle when Darwin was aboard. What would you imagine some of the hardships the explorers would have encountered on this voyage? There Darwin … Any interactives on this page can only be played while you are visiting our website. Each and every change in an organism’s genetics has helped to create new branches on the tree of life, adding to global biodiversity. He theorised there must be a link between the two. If you have a tablet or smartphone, you can also download the digital version onto your iOS or Android device. HMS Beagle (the group of similar organisms that can reproduce with each other. American Museum of Natural History: Darwin, National Geographic Magazine: Darwin's First Clues. Here Darwin stumbled across the large shell fossil of an extinct armadillo and the bones of giant ground sloths. This was an early indication of how Earth continuously changes. On his first stop Darwin began analysing the geology of the small Quail Island. Previously Darwin’s religion may have led him to see the good in Earth’s creations. Charles Darwin set sail on the ship HMS Beagle on December 27, 1831, from Plymouth, England. The Galápagos Islands are a chain of islands in the Pacific Ocean best known for their impressive array of plant and animal species. This is because Earth is also experiencing constant changes in structure and climate. Most people stuck to the belief that the planet’s design, and all of its inhabitants, were fixed. What types of plants did he note? Many diverse life forms are battling it out for their place in nature. He noticed the finches on the island were similar to the finches from the mainland, but each showed certain characteristics that helped them to gather food more easily in their specific habitat. Today views are very different. All it would take is one trip. Darwin filled notebooks with his observations of plants, animals, and geology. What is our history and how did we become the species we are today? He filled dozens of notebooks with careful observations on animals, plants and geology, and collected thousands of … Darwin was often seasick and also caught a fever. The ship’s captain approached Henslow, asking for his recommendation of a naturalist and companion to join the voyage and embark on the study of a lifetime. He believed the sea level must have dropped significantly. But perhaps the question that gives us the most purpose in life is trying to understand why we are here. Nowadays we are able to open a book or turn to the internet to look for these answers, but it would take a five-year sea voyage nearly 200 years ago to establish the modern understanding of how life on Earth evolved. (Image credit: Wiki/John Gould), Why would multiple sets of animals be created for the same life purpose? After his first visit, he returned a year later in 1834 for further study. APPLY LEAN SIX-SIGMA & … He understood the planet was constantly shifting. These specimens and his notebooks provided Darwin with a record of his observations as he developed the theory of evolution through natural selection. The Rights Holder for media is the person or group credited. When you reach out to him or her, you will need the page title, URL, and the date you accessed the resource. Gina Borgia, National Geographic Society But where did this theory of evolution come from? He would provide global evidence about the origin of species on Earth that most would come to accept. What he would later decide is that this was due to them evolving to live in each island’s unique environment. She or he will best know the preferred format. There Darwin spent considerable time ashore collecting plants and animals. Due to the popularity of Darwin's account, the pu… Students may need to conduct additional research to ensure their proposed posts are factual and something Darwin would have seen on the trip. Turning the clocks back to the 19th century, ideas about the world were very different to those commonly accepted today. If no button appears, you cannot download or save the media. In a continuous competition for survival that sees the strongest species thriving, evolution is an ongoing process with no final destination. Not only would this trip help Darwin forge his future, it would also provide answers to many of the questions dividing scientists at the time. (Image credit: PanBK/Wiki), Despite it being a relatively short stop to prepare for the sail home, Darwin didn’t put a halt to his research. As he watched the living armadillos run around the floor, he wondered how fossils and modern species could share so many similarities. Enrolling at Edinburgh University at 16, Darwin first studied medicine. When HMS Beagle set sail on 27 December 1831, Captain Fitzroy stated that there were 74 people on board. Could vaccinations have stopped the spread of plague in medieval times? Independently they came to the same conclusion: over generations, natural selection of inherited traits could give rise to new species. As he travelled to the different islands he noticed slight differences in the finches.