First man to explain
o Charles Darwin
o Took a five year voyage
around the world after he
got out of college
o Served as a naturalist on
the British ship HMS Beagle
o Formed a theory of how
o Collected plant and
animal samples on his
o Visited the Galapagos
islands just west of Ecuador
Galapagos Island Discoveries
o Found that the finches on these
islands were similar to Ecuador’s
o Each island was still a little
different from the next
o Found that the beaks of the
finches had adapted to their
food source on the different
Darwin starts to think..
o How did we get these similar species?
o He had ideas about the Earth
o He found that Earth has been formed by
natural processes over a long period of time
o He had ideas about breeding
o Selective breeding- breeding plants/animals to
have desired characteristics
o He had ideas about populations
o Realized that any species can produce many
offspring, but they are limited by several factors.
What limits offspring?
Four factors that limit
o He found that really only a limited
amount of individuals will survive to
o There is something unique about the
survivors. They must have stronger
genetic traits. Those are the traits that will
pass down to their offspring.
Darwin’s thinking lead to his theory of Natural
o Once he returned from his voyage, he
thought for 20 yrs about the observations
he had taken from the world and wrote a
book called On the Origin of Species by
Means of Natural Selection.
o Darwin’s theory of natural selection is the
process by which individuals best
adapted to their environments survive
and reproduce more successfully than
less well adapted individuals
o This theory of natural selection is broken
into four parts.
Four Parts of Natural Selection
o 1) Overproduction
oOrganisms will give birth to
thousands of offspring realizing
that some will become adults and
others will not.
o 2) Inherited Variation
oEvery individual has its own combo
of traits. (similar to parents)
o 3) Struggle to Survive
o 4) Successful Reproduction
oThe organisms best adapted
in their environment will
produce the most surviving
o When Darwin was introducing his
theory of natural selection he
lacked two important things:
o 1- He didn’t know how we inherit
o 2- He didn’t know how the
o We have learned how both of
these occurrences happen, tell me
o 1) We inherit traits from our parents
when they get passed down to the
o 2) Variations occur because of the
different gene combinations that
can be made when the mother and
father come together to produce
Natural Selection in Action
o A population changes in
response to its
o Things that can affect an
o A new affect such as hunting
can play a role in how a
population level rises or falls.
o In 1930 Uganda’s male
elephant population that
contained tusks was 99% and
only 1% of them were born
without them. Today 85% of
male elephant population
o Because of this, more of the
tusk less elephants are
surviving and reproducing.
This trait does get passed
o Some organisms such as insects can
build resistance to certain chemicals.
o This can send an increase in a
particular insects population that
could be harmful.
o It doesn’t take long for insects to build
up this resistance and reproduce.
o Generation time: the period between
the birth of one generation and the
birth of the next generation.
o Many species will
have competitions for
o Some organisms may
over time have some
o Feather colors, smells,
dances, sounds, etc.
Forming a New Species
o May form if the groups get
separated from the original
o The two groups can adapt to their
environments and get to a point
where they are so different they
can’t even mate anymore.
o A new species is a result of evolution.
We call this speciation.