What are ten significant observations of Charles Darwin? Why were they important?

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gsenviro eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Charles Darwin sailed around the world in H.M.S. Beagle from 1831 to 1836 A.D. It was during this journey that Darwin made a number of observations, which ultimately led to his famous theory of evolution. Here is a list of significant observations made by Darwin during this journey:

  1. At Santiago, Darwin found a horizontal band of white shell 45 feet above sea level.
  2. The fossils found at the Falkland Islands were different from those found in South America.
  3. Along the shore of Punta Rica, Darwin came across a large fossil of ground sloth, embedded in the face of the cliff. He was curious as to why no such living animals were found in South America.
  4. Darwin was also puzzled to find large fossils in South America which obviously had food shortage and would have been unable to support such animals in the current time period (Darwin's time period).
  5. Darwin also found similar species in Europe and South America, even though these two continents are separated by a large distance.
  6. Darwin also found evidence that South America is slowly rising above the ocean. At the island of Quiriquina, he found fresh marine rocks above the ground surface—a result of a recent earthquake.
  7. Darwin made most of his significant observations in the Galapagos Islands. He observed a number of species of finches.
  8. These different species of finches had different shapes of beaks.
  9. He also observed that the various beak shapes were best suited for the type of food available on the islands where finches with those beaks lived.
  10. In Australia, Darwin found animals (such as the platypus) that were unique to the continent and were not found anywhere else.

Hope this helps. 

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