List of maps and illustrations
A note on this edition
Charles Darwin's Journal of Researches
Appendix One: Admiralty instructions for the Beagle voyage
Appendix Two: Robert FitzRoy's "Remarks with reference to the Deluge"
This richly readable book is the product of Charles Darwin's amazing journey aboard the Beagle where he made observations that led to his revolutionary theory of natural selection. Complete and unabridged.
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The natural history of this archipelago is very remarkable: it seems to be a little world within itself; the greater number of its inhabitants, both vegetable and animal, being found nowhere else. As I shall refer to this subject again, I will only here remark, as forming a striking character on first landing, that the birds are strangers to man. So tame and unsuspecting were they, that they did not even understand what was meant by stones being thrown at them; and quite regardless of us, they approached so close that any number of them might have been killed with a stick.
The Beagle sailed round Chatham Island, and anchored in several bays. One night I slept on shore, on a part of the island where some black cones – the former chimneys of the subterranean heated fluids – were extraordinarily numerous. From one small eminence, I counted sixty of these truncated hillocks, which were all surmounted by a more or less perfect crater. The greater number consisted merely of a ring of red scoriae, or slags, cemented together: and their height above the plain of lave, was not more than from 50 to 100 feet. From their regular form, they gave the country a workshop appearance, which strongly reminded me of those parts of Stratfordshire where the great iron foundries are most numerous.
Charles Darwin, geb. 1809 in Shrewsbury, England geboren, studierte u.a. Medizin und Theologie; sein sein eigentliches Interesse aber galt der Geologie und Biologie. Im Jahre 1831 ging er von Plymouth aus auf eine Weltreise, die die Weichen für sein ganzes weiteres Leben und Schaffen stellte. Charles Darwin starb 1882.