Biology

Tag archives for Biology

I have about ten favorite species of tree, and one of them is the corotĂș. Why? Because of one of the most interesting plant-animal interaction stories of recent times. The story, complete with extinct elephant-like creatures and a real Sherlock Holmes science theme can be read, along with some great images, at A Neotropical Savanna:…

Pagel on Darwin

Mark Pagel, evolutionary theorist extraordinaire, has published an Insight piece in Nature on Natural selection 150 years on. Pagel, well known for myriad projects in natural selecition theory and adaptation, and for developing with Harvey the widely used statistical phylogenetic method (and for being a reader of my thesis) wishes Charles Darwin a happy 200th…

Elephants and Horses

In 1833, Darwin spent a fair amount of time on the East Coast of South America, including in the Pampas, where he had access to abundant fossil material. Here I’d like to examine his writings about some of the megafauna, including Toxodon, Mastodon, and horses, and his further considerations of biogeography and evolution.

Everyone knows about Darwin’s Finches, of the Galapagos Islands. But of course, Darwin made observations of birds throughout his travels on The Beagle. Here, I present a number of passages from The Voyage that include some of these observations.

Fossil Quadrupeds

Charles Darwin wrote a book called Geological Observations on South America. Since Fitzroy needed to carry out intensive and extensive coastal mapping in South America, and Darwin was, at heart, a geologist more than anything else (at least during the Beagle’s voyage), this meant that Darwin would become the world’s expert on South American geology.…

Darwin and The Gauchos

We’re half way through Darwin Month, and only a tiny ways through the voyage. Need to hurry up! So, let’s skip ahead a bit and hit the Gauchos….

Darwin South of the Tropics

Eventually, the Beagle headed south to the area of Uruguay and Argentina, still on the Atlantic Coast, where extensive mapping of the coastal waters was required.