Our class has been invited to go on a field trip with the famous naturalist and scientist, Charles Darwin. Our specific focus of study will be the amazing discoveries we helped him record made on the Galapagos Islands in 1835.
(How we are projected back into time is not important--use your imagination--this is the 21st Century!)
Our great journey around the world actually started four years earlier in December of 1831, when Darwin was 22. We are travelling on a ship named the HMS Beagle. As the ship's naturalist Darwin is in charge of collecting specimens and recording observations of all the plants and animals he saw on this long journey. We have been traveling with him as his research assistants for four long years as we helped him document all the flora and fauna in South America. It is September,1835, when the Beagle arrived at the Galapagos Islands. The animals on these islands were like nothing we had observed before.
After a month on the islands studying the Galapagos ecology, Darwin wrote in his journal:
Watercolour by George Richmond
"Here both in space and time, we seem to be brought somewhat near to that great fact--that mystery of mysteries--the first appearance of new beings on this earth."
What was so strange about these animals that he observed here that would make him make such a statement?
We will be helping him collect data on various species of animals that he obseved on the Galapagos Islands. We will use this data to help Darwin develop what later will be known as the Theory of Evolution.