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Chapter 6

Changes Over Time

Charles Darwin

Born Feb. 12, 1809

Joined crew of HMS Beagle, 1831
5 Year Voyage around world
Naturalist (studied the natural world)
Developed the theory of
evolution by natural selection

I. Darwins Theory
* the Beagle made many stops along the
coast of South America
Galapagos Islands
* Darwin observed living things as he traveled:

A. Darwins Observations
1. diversity
a. Darwin was amazed by the
tremendous diversity of living
he saw

species group of similar organisms

that can mate with each other and
produce offspring

2. fossils
a. Darwin saw fossil bones of animals
that had died long ago

fossil preserved remains or traces

of an organism that lived in the past

What is a Fossil?

The preserved remains or traces of an

organism that lived in the past.

B. Galapagos Organisms

volcanic islands off the coast of South America

1. Comparisons to South
a. many species were similar to species on
the mainland South America
examples = birds, plants
b. many organisms had slight differences
from organisms in South America
examples = iguanas
c. Darwin thought that the animals came
from South America but changed over

2. Comparisons Among the Islands

a. Darwin noticed that island species
varied from island-to-island
examples = finches, tortoises

3. Adaptations

adaptation a trait that helps an

organism survive and reproduce
examples = finches beaks, tortoises necks

How did the beaks of Galapagos finches

differ from one island to another ?

They differed in size and shape. Some

were narrow and needle-like, while
others were strong and wide.

C. Evolution
1. Darwins Reasoning
a. plants and animals that arrived on the
Galapagos Islands faced different
conditions than on the main land
b. he hypothesized that species gradually
changed over many generations to
become better adapted to the environment

evolution- is the gradual change in a

species over time

scientific theory- well tested concept
that explains a wide range of

2. Selective Breeding
a. Darwin studied other examples of
changes in living things to help him
understand how evolution might occur
example = offspring produced by
selective breeding (inbreeding or

What is a scientific theory ?

A well-tested concept that explains a

wide range of observations.

D. Natural Selection
* Darwin proposed his theory of
in his book The Origin of Species

natural selection- the process by

which individuals that are better

adapted to their environment are
more likely to survive and reproduce

* Darwin identified factors that affect the

process of natural selection
1. Overproduction
a. most species produce more offspring than
can possibly survive

2. Variations
variation- any differences between
individuals of the same species

3. Competition
a. since food and other resources are limited,
members of the species must compete with
each other to survive

4. Selection
a. some variations make individuals more likely
to survive and reproduce
b. the traits are passed down to offspring
example = turtle, moth
c. over time helpful traits may accumulate and
not favorable traits may disappear

5. Environmental Change
a. a change in the environment can affect an
organism ability to survive leading to
natural selection

Physical barrier
divides a

These two groups

are not able to
mate => may

6. Genes and Natural Selection

a. without variation all members of a species
would have the same traits
b. Darwin did not know what caused variation
c. Scientist later learned that variation can
result from:
* mutations
* shuffling of alleles during meiosis

What are the 6 factors Darwin

Identified for the process of
Natural Selection?


Overproduction 2.Variations 3.Competition

4. Selection 5. Environmental Change
6. Genes and Natural Selection


Egg with shell


Four limbs
Ancestor of animals