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16.1 Darwin’s Voyage of Discovery

Lesson Objectives

State Charles Darwin’s contribution to science.

Describe the three patterns of biodiversity noted by Darwin.


Darwin’s Epic Journey

1. On the map below, (1) find and label the Galápagos Islands (2) circle the names of three large land masses Darwin did not visit on his voyage.

For Questions 2–4, complete each statement by writing the correct word or words. Refer to the map on this page as needed.

2. Darwin spent most of his time exploring the continent of ; he did not visit , , or .

3. During Darwin’s time, geologists were suggesting that Earth was .

4. Darwin’s work offers insight into the living world by showing organisms are constantly

Observations Aboard the Beagle

Use the drawings of the tortoises to answer Questions 5 and 6.

Isabela Island tortoise Hood Island tortoise
5. What important information about the Galápagos Islands tortoises did Darwin learn?

6. Given its body structure, which tortoise above would require a habitat where food is easy to reach?

Use the map on the previous page to answer Questions 7 and 8.

7. On the map, place the labels Rheas, Emus, and Ostriches on the continents where they are found. Why were the similarities among rheas, ostriches, and emus surprising to Darwin?

8. Why might Darwin come to think that the finches of the Galápagos Islands might be related to the finches of South America, despite how different the birds were in appearance?

9. Darwin observed that the birds he would eventually discover were finches had differently shaped beaks. What might this suggest about the eating habits of the birds? Explain.

10. What did the similarities between fossil animals and modern animals, like the glyptodont and armadillo, suggest to Darwin?

11. Complete the graphic organizer by listing three ways that species vary. For each pattern of biodiversity, list an example that Darwin observed.

an example of which is an example of which is an example of which is

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