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Charles Darwin and his Voyage. Background on Charles Darwin. As a youth, Darwin struggled in school Father was a wealthy doctor At age 16, Darwin entered school to study medicine but was horrified by surgery Darwin’s interests lay with the natural sciences

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background on charles darwin
Background on Charles Darwin
  • As a youth, Darwin struggled in school
  • Father was a wealthy doctor
  • At age 16, Darwin entered school to study medicine but was horrified by surgery
  • Darwin’s interests lay with the natural sciences
  • 1827, Darwin was sent to Cambridge University to become a minister.
darwin s voyage
Darwin’s Voyage
  • 1831, Darwin’s professor recommended him as an unofficial naturalist on a voyage on the HMS Beagle.
darwin s contributions
Darwin’s contributions
  • Darwin developed a scientific theory of biological evolution that explains how modern organisms evolved over long periods of time through descent from common ancestors.
p atterns of biodiversity
Patterns of biodiversity
  • 1. Species vary globally
    • Noticed that different, yet ecologically similar animal species inhabited separated but ecologically similar habitats around the globe
    • Ex. Flightless birds , the rhea of South america, the ostriches on Africa, the emu on Australia
patterns of biodiversity
Patterns of Biodiversity
  • 2. Species vary locally
    • Noticed that different, yet related, animal species often occupied different habitats within a local area.
                  • Tortoises – shells designed for where they live and what they eat.
patterns of biodiversity1
Patterns of Biodiversity
  • 3. Species vary over time
    • Noticed that some fossils of extinct animals were similar to living species.
    • Fossil record
    • Glyptodont and the


darwin s voyage1
Darwin’s voyage
  • Sailed on Dec. 27, 1831
  • 5 years, collect samples, took many observations
  • 1859, published his ideas in a book called “On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection”
  • In Darwin’s Day, the thought was that

the earth was only a few thousand years

old and not much had changed.

  • Geologist James Hutton - - hypothesis on how geological processes have shaped the Earth.
    • Proposed forces beneath Earth’s surface can push rock layers upward, over long periods of time = mountain ranges
charles lyell
Charles Lyell
  • Wrote Principles of Geology in 1830, building off the work of Hutton
  • Geological processes we see today mush be the same ones that shaped Earth millions of years ago.
jean baptist lamarck
Jean Baptist Lamarck
  • Suggested organisms could change during their lifetimes by selectively using or not using various parts of their bodies.
  • Pass acquired traits on to their offspring, enabling species to change over time = inheritance of acquired traits
  • Ex. Giraffe neck
  • Why was this proven wrong??
thomas malthus
Thomas Malthus
  • Economist
  • Reasoned that if the human population grew unchecked, there wouldn’t be enough living space and food for everyone.
  • This does not happen, why?
  • Darwin realized that most organisms do not survive and reproduce, which do and why… survival of the fittest.
artificial selection
Artificial Selection
  • Nature provides the variations and humans select those they find useful
  • Ex. Breeding horses, dogs…
  • Darwin realized that the natural variations among individuals was very important because it provided raw material for change…evolution!
evolution by natural selection
Evolution by Natural Selection
  • 3 points that went into Darwin’s theory
    • The struggle for existence
    • Variation and adaptation
      • Adaptation – any heritable characteristic that increases an organism’s ability to survive and reproduce in its environment.
    • Survival of the fittest –
      • How well an organism can survive and reproduce in its environment.
natural selection
Natural Selection
  • Process by which organisms with variations most suited to their local environment survive and leave more offspring.
descent with modification
Descent with modification
  • Darwin suggested that over many generations, adaption could cause successful species to evolve into new species.
  • Principle of common descent – all species, living and extinct- are descended from ancient common ancestors.
evidence for evolution
Evidence for Evolution
  • Biogeography – study of where organisms live now and where they and their ancestors lived in the past.
  • Patterns in the distribution of living and fossil species tell us how modern organisms evolved from their ancetors
fossil evidence
Fossil Evidence
  • Many recently discovered fossils form series that trace the evolution of modern species from extinct ancestors.
  • Downfall to using fossils, hard to find complete set
comparative anatomy
Comparative Anatomy
  • Homologous structures – structures shared by related species and have been inherited from a common ancestor
    • Same structure – different function
  • Vestigial structures – inherited from ancestors but lost much or all of original function
    • Hip bones of dolphin
  • Looking at developmental stages of many animals with backbones.
  • Similar patterns of embryological development provide further evidence that organisms have descended from a common ancestor.
  • New science, looking at DNA, RNA and proteins, beyond Darwin’s time.
  • At the molecular level, the universal genetic code and homologous molecules provide evidence of common descent.