Charles Darwin Galapagos Voyage

Charles Darwin Galapagos Expedition. In 1831 the H.M.S. Beagle sailed from England commanded by Robert Fitzroy.


charles darwin galapagos

The HMS Beagle expedition arrived to the Galapagos Island of San Cristobal on September 15th 1835.

The Beagle researched the Islands for about 5 weeks and Captain Robert Fitzroy developed a precise map of the Galapagos Islands that remained until 1942.

In the meantime, Charles Darwin made careful observations about both the geology and biology of the Galapagos Islands. Darwin was particularly struck by the differences between the wildlife of the different Islands.

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The distribution of the animals of the Galapagos Islands would not be nearly so wonderful, if for instance, one Island has a mocking-thrush and a second Island some other quite distinct species...

But it is the circumstance that several of the Islands possess their own species of Galapagos Tortoise, mocking-thrush, finches and numerous plants, these species having the same general habits, occupying analogous situations, and obviously filling the same place in the natural beauty of this Archipelago, that was something that amazed Charles Darwin Galapagos expedition.

Charles Darwin was 26 years old when he arrived on Galapagos San Cristobal Island. During his stay in the Galapagos he also visited the Islands of Floreana, Isabela, San Cristobal, and Santiago.

The same characteristics that struck during Charles Darwin Galapagos trip, strikes many visitors to date. It is the fact that the creatures that roam, fly and swim around these Islands often were so unique from those elsewhere.

Not only that many Galapagos species were distinct from those on the mainland, but that between Islands many species of similar features were so perfectly adapted for their environment.

Among those that struck Darwin so greatly were the Galapagos Finches with such varying diets as cactus and seeds, fruits and blood that are now named in his honor.

Darwin would later base some of his thought from the supposing that these finches were all descendants of the same lineage.

Darwin Said at Some Point of His Trip:

"The natural history of this Archipelago is very remarkable: it seems to be a little world within itself, the greater number of its inhabitants, both vegetable and animal, being found nowhere else."

During Charles Darwin Galapagos trip he examined the Giant tortoises and collected about ten plants, most of which he thought were unimpressive little things. Some tortoises were brought on board the Beagle as food.

Over the next few days the Beagle sailed around to the eastern side of Chatham Island and then surveyed southward along the coast.

A fresh source of water was located on the south-east part of the Island at a place later to be called Bahia de Agua Dulce.

Captain Robert Fitzroy finished up the survey of Chatham Island bySeptember 22nd 1835 and more tortoises were brought on board for food.

The next day the Beagle sailed out towards Barrington Island and spent the night between Hood and Charles Islands.

September 23rd was spent surveying the waters around Charles Island which was populated by a small colony of about 250 political prisoners from the country of Ecuador located about 600 miles East of the Galapagos Archipelago.

Darwin went on shore with Covington to collect plants and birds and climbed the highest hill of about 1,800 feet above sea level.

He also examined a few curious lava formations known as lava tubes.

Charles Darwin Galapagos Discovery:

Some of the specimens Darwin collected from the Galapagos Islands were:

One buzzard, two owls, three flycatchers, one Sylvicola, three species of mockingbirds, one species of finch, one swallow, one dove, 13 species of finches (Darwin remarked how fascinated he was by the beak gradations), one sea turtle, one tortoise, four lizards (sea and land iguanas and two other types), four snakes and very few insects.

Charles Darwin Galapagos expedition comes to an end. In his return from the voyage Darwin kept working in his theories, but he also had other projects to be concluded. The adventure of the Beagle had been a unique opportunity that was very useful.

In 1845 Darwin publishes a general description of his remarks, in The Voyage Of The Beagle. He also published some books about the Structure and Distribution of the Corral Reefs and Volcanic Islands, visited throughout the Voyage of the Beagle.

But Darwin's best work about the distribution of the species and their participation in the environment was still to come. It took him more than 25 years to complete it and this changed the way we perceived our world.

In 1859 Darwin publishes his book The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, it was heavily attacked because it did not support the depiction of creation given in the Bible.

Darwin's argument that natural selection, the engine of evolution worked automatically, leaving little or no room for the teachings of the Bible.

All species, he reasoned, produce far too many offspring for them all to survive, and therefore those with favorable variations, owing to chance are selected.

Charles Darwin Galapagos research changes completely the world understanding about life growing.

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