Today In Science History:

English scientist Charles Darwin began his journey on the HMS Beagle, which would last around 5 years. This voyage allowed Darwin to study nature and observe evidence that lead to his theory of evolution!

The Beagle journeyed to the Galapagos Islands where Darwin studied creatures such as mockingbirds and tortoises. Darwin noticed that the mockingbirds on the Galapagos Islands, while related to a species found in Chile, differed from island to island. While studying the tortoises, he discovered that you could tell which island they came from based on variations in the shape of their shells.

After returning to London, Darwin began to formulate his theories of evolution and natural selection. His theory of evolution basically states that species adapt and change their biology overtime to suit their surroundings.  These adaptations include size, coloring, markings, and many other features. Darwin’s theory of natural selection states that species who are able to adapt to their surroundings are more likely to survive than those that do not adapt.

On this day, 188 years ago, Darwin set off on the journey that allowed scientists to understand evolution and natural selection!