Charles Darwin Milestones

The Charles Darwin Specimens

Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection was one of the most significant milestones in the history of the Biological Sciences. It was proposed at a time (the 1850s) when nothing was known about how inheritance worked, or about the nature of genes. Yet subsequent advances in these fields, by Mendel (1860s), Watson and Crick (1950s) and other scientists, have confirmed and enriched Darwin’s theory, rather than coming up with some alternative view of how evolution happens.

Darwin’s 5-year voyage on the ship HMS Beagle, from 1831-1836, was to provide much of the evidence for his theory. He studied animals, plants, fossils and rocks in many parts of the world, perhaps most notably on the Galapagos Islands, off the coast of Ecuador. The many species of finches found there are now known as “Darwin’s Finches”; and several books (by various authors) have been devoted entirely to this group of birds, the most recent appearing in 2008.

Following the end of the voyage of the Beagle, Darwin presented his collection of birds and mammals to the Zoological Society of London. In 1855, the Council and Auditors of the Zoological Society decided to dispose of some of their collections, partly on account of inadequate storage facilities. sale to the Board of Direction, Queen’s College Galway (now NUI Galway), of a series of specimens, including the four displayed in the Zoology and Marine Biology Museum, which had been presented to the Society by Darwin. The specimens consist of three mammal species: a grison, a cavy and an Azara’s fox; and one bird species, a guira cuckoo. All four species were collected from South America.

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Retiring at 82: You've got to like your work

— ABC Local
She's spent the last 20 years working as a lecturer in horticulture at Charles Darwin University. "You've to like your work," says Mrs Hagan when asked why she kept working long after she could have put her feet up. "I like the students, the students ..

Uni ratings' big tick

— The Australian Financial Review
.. the University of Wollongong, Macquarie University, University of Technology Sydney, the University of South Australia, Deakin University, Murdoch University, Charles Darwin University, Curtin University of Technology, Flinders University, Griffith ..

Sugar glider moves around the family tree

— ABC Online
Thought for more than 150 years to be a subspecies of sugar glider, researchers based at Charles Darwin University in Darwin have recently found it more closely resembles two other species of glider, and they speculate that it may even represent an ..

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