Natural Selection

Tag archives for Natural Selection

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.

Natural Selection was proposed jointly by Alfred Russel Wallace and Charles Darwin on this day 150 years ago. Darwin discovered the principle of Natural Selection, and worked it out, over several decades prior. Meanwhile A.R. Wallace also came up with Natural Selection as the mechanism for what he was seeing in the wild. Some time…