Charles Darwin

Natural Selection

Charles Darwin

Charles Darwin developed his idea of Natural Selection while on the Galapagos Islands with the HMS Beagle. He grew up in a wealthy family and joined the crew after dropping out of medical school. He collected samples of animals from the islands and studied them aboard the ship. He then discovered that similar species had different characteristics that were adapted to their environment. He used these observations to develop his hypothesis of Natural Selection.

Natural Selection

In Natural Selection, the individuals that are best suited to their environment have a better chance of surviving and producing offspring like themselves. Because of this process, after many generations, the entire population will be better adapted to the environment. Charles Darwin introduced the idea of Natural Selection in his book The Origin of Species.

Natural Selection in Action!

Natural Selection in Nature

Natural Selection is apparent in many species, such as the ones above. Different types of tortoises on the Galapagos Islands have different shells suited for their environment. Galapagos Tortoises like "Lonesome George" had saddle-shaped shells that help them reach food in tall vegeation. Other tortioses living in the forests have dome-shaped shells so they can push through underbrush.

Land and marine iguanans on The Galapagos Islands also differ. Marine Iguanas, pictured above, are darker and more social than light-colored, territorial Land Iguanas,

Darwin also studied the Galapagos finches. These birds have different types of beaks, depending on their diet. This Medium Ground-Finch uses its large beak to crush seeds.


This video simplifies Natural Selection and makes it fun!

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Callie Smith and Chrissy Conrad