7 May 2022


Darwin and the Galapagos Islands

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Academic level: College

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Charles Darwin was an English naturalist who is known for his work in evolution which explained biological change. He was on a voyage which was exploring the world when he came up with the theory which tried to account for the origin of man in Galapagos Islands. Darwin’s visit to Galapagos Islands had a significant impact on the observations which were critical in the formation of the Theory of Natural Selection.

Why the geography and the geology of the Galapagos Islands were ideal

There were a lot of factors which made the Islands a right place where the study of different species could be carried out. One of the biggest factors which made the Island an ideal place was the availability of various species of animals and plants. The convergence of these species in a location made Darwin ponder about the similarities which were shown by different creatures in the Island. The vast array of organisms which were trapped on the island made it easy for observation to be made on various creatures (Sulloway, 1984) .

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Preparation of Darwin that allowed him to recognize important characteristics that linked populations of animals he studied in the Galapagos Islands to particular niches in their respective environments

Darwin prepared various species in the island into finches which he referred as Darwin’s finches. Darwin then experimented these finches and drew a conclusion which he explained the adaptive radiation of species by the changes in the environment. In his finches, he noticed the different similarities and noted down the differences in various organisms that he studied. Such as the similarities between the beaks and claws of birds from island to island. 

Contrast Darwin’s ideas about how populations of organisms can change over time with the ideas of Jean-Baptiste Lamarck

Lamarck and Darwin’s theories have a lot of differences in the way they viewed the evolution of species. While Lamarck saw the identical characteristics in all members capable of transformation, Darwin, on the other hand, saw a variation in interbreeding populations as capable of changing. Lamarck also saw the change as caused by the change in their surrounding environments which led to adaptation to suit the new environment. The features acquired due to the environmental change were later passed to the offspring. Darwin, on the other hand, believed that natural selection where organisms with better features survived were the primary factor that determined survival of organisms and characteristics were passed to the offspring only through genetics. Moreover, Darwin had a view that only genetic characteristics were the only ones passed to the offspring (Koonin, 2009)


Koonin, E. V. (2009). Is evolution Darwinian or/and Lamarckian? Biology direct , 42.

Sulloway, F. J. (1984). Darwin and the Galapagos. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society , 29-59.

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