From: Laura Sutherland, , More from this Affiliate
Published February 12, 2012 07:10 AM

Charles Darwin's Birthday Feb 12th

Sunday 12th February 2012 marks what would have been Darwin’s 203rd birthday, so we have decided to take a look back at the life of the father of evolutionary biology, Charles Robert Darwin.



Quite possibly the most famous biologist in history, Darwin was born on February 12th 1809 in Shrewsbury. His father was a doctor and Charles looked to be following in his footsteps when he enrolled at the University of Edinburgh to study medicine in 1825. However neither medicine nor theology, which he later studied at Cambridge, was able to captivate the young Darwin as much as his passion for natural history – which can only be seen as a good thing for the advancement of science!

In 1831, at the age of 22, Darwin joined a scientific expedition on board the HMS Beagle which took him around South America and across the Pacific. During the five year voyage he made copious notes, observations and collections of both natural history and geological artefacts, which ultimately led to the formulation of his theory of evolution by natural selection.

During his travels Darwin discovered many species new to science, a number of which have been named in his honour, including Darwin’s fox, one of the smallest foxes in the world and Darwin’s frog, both of which are native to Chile.

Photo of male Marine Iguana (Amblyrhynchus cristatus) via Shutterstock

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