After setting sail from Callao, Peru on September 7, 1835, Charles Darwin first laid eyes on the Galapagos Archipelago eight days later. The islands themselves were fairly uninhabited by humans, though one of the islands to the south, Charles Island, was populated by a small colony of 250 political prisoners from nearby Ecuador.
It is on this string of islands that you watch Mr. Darwin make some of his most well-known observations that led to his theory of evolution by natural selection.
During your 35 day stay among the 22 islands off the west coast of South America, you join Charles Darwin in studying many native species of plants and animals. Among those that you study are iguanas, snakes and tortoises (one Englishman in charge of the prison colony remarked to Mr. Darwin that he could tell which island a tortoise came from by looking at the shape of its shell).
However, the most memorable of all of Mr. Darwin's subjects are the thirteen species of finches that he saw living throughout the Galapagos Islands. Mr. Darwin was particularly fascinated by the differences in beak shape that he noted amongst the similar-looking birds.
Why do the finches
have differently shaped beaks?
Click on Charles Darwin to view the diagram that will help you complete your log sheet for the Galapagos Islands:
Click on Darwin's Finch to continue your voyage
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|Last updated: March 03, 2008|