Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Darwin's Mockingbirds at the Natural History Museum

We’ve all heard about Darwin’s finches. Now, London's Natural History Museum is giving us the chance to see two never-before-exhibited mockingbirds collected by Charles Darwin in the Galapagos.

Like the finches, differences in these birds first led Darwin to muse about the "stability of species" in June 1836. They go on display in mid-November.

Randal Keynes, Darwin's great-great-grandson (pictured left), notes that the gifted naturalist noticed " … the small differences between the two birds on … two [different] islands” and realized it was a “most remarkable fact in the distribution of organic beings."

Ultimately, of course, Darwin concluded that all creatures had descended, with modification, from common ancestors.

The BBC article can be accessed here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7713340.stm

Roxanne Enman

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