Tuesday, October 2, 2012

October 2

On October 2, 1836, Charles Darwin returned to Falmouth, Cornwall, in far southwest England, aboard the HMS Beagle, ending a five-year surveying expedition of lands in the south Atlantic and Pacific. It was the ship’s second survey voyage under Robert FitzRoy. Darwin went ashore all along the South American coast, spending thousands of hours making observations and collecting specimens and data, later visiting the Galapagos Archipelago where, famously, he focused on multiple species of finches, mockingbirds and tortoises that figured in his historic work, On the Origin of Species (1859). After his return, Darwin published his “journal and remarks,” later known as The Voyage of the Beagle (1839, pictured). In the second edition he hinted at a theory of evolution – “the first appearance of new beings on this earth.”

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