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ACTIVITY: The Voyage of the Beagle


A painting of the HMS Beagle at Tierra del Fuego by Conrad Martens


Charles Darwin’s work was critical to the development of evolutionary thinking, and his claims about how species change over time were fueled by his experiences as a young man on a research ship called the HMS Beagle. In this activity, you’ll learn how to interpret images and maps in order to extract information about Darwin’s trip to the Galapagos Islands.


Look at material in the Voyage of the Beagle Gallery and respond to these questions on the Voyage of the Beagle Worksheet.
First, examine the images and read the captions of these slides: Route of the HMS Beagle, Charles Darwin, Tierra del Fuego, and Galapagos Islands.
  • What information do these images provide about the voyage Darwin made and the kinds of ecosystems he explored?
Now, look at the images and read the captions of Ancient Animals of Argentina and the Galapagos Finches to answer these questions:
  • fossils of extinct animals?
  • How did Darwin explain the fact that there were different types of finches, with different beaks, on each of the islands of the Galapagos?
Compare your answers to the sample answers and see how you did!

For Further Discussion

In the Questions Area below, list one contributing factor that you think was particularly significant to Darwin’s conclusion that all of the finches evolved from the same species. Then, respond to someone else’s contributing factor by commenting on why that contributing factor was significant.

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