Charles Darwin…quotes from Galapagos

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To celebrate Charles Darwin’s birthday (12th Feb) we have put together a list of some of our favourite Galapagos-related quotes by Darwin. If you have a favourite that we’ve not included, feel free to add it into the comments section below!

“The archipelago is a little world within itself, or rather a satellite attached to America, whence it has derived a few stray colonists, and has received the general character of its indigenous population.”

“The tortoise is very fond of water, drinking large quantities, and wallowing in the mud…When the tortoise arrives at the spring, quite regardless of any spectator, he buries his head in the water above his eyes, and greedily swallows great mouthfulls, at a rate of about ten in a minute.”

“I was always amused when overtaking one of these great monsters [a tortoise], as it was quietly pacing along, to see how suddenly, the instant I passed, it would draw in its head and legs, and uttering a deep hiss fall to the ground with a heavy sound, as if struck dead. I frequently got on their backs, and then giving a few raps on the hinder parts of their shells, they would rise up and walk away; – but I found it very difficult to keep my balance.”

“…by far the most remarkable feature in the natural history of this archipelago…is that the different islands to a considerable extent are inhabited by a different set of beings…I never dreamed that islands, about fifty or sixty miles apart, and most of them in sight of each other, formed of precisely the same rocks, placed under a quite similar climate, rising to a nearly equal height, would have been differently tenanted.”

“Extreme tamenessis common to all the terrestrial species…A gun is here superfluous; for with the muzzle I pushed a hawk off the branch of a tree.”

All quotes are from The Voyage of the ‘Beagle’.

One thought on “Charles Darwin…quotes from Galapagos

  1. The quote I remember was..
    I found a new species today while combing my beard. I found this large……
    When studying his diary the page concerned (number 161) was folded in half and detached.
    Also pages (162 to 169) were missing. Downe House at this time had meagre facilities to say the least and the pages were probably put to a certain use.
    Local villages such as Cudham, Luxted, Leaves Green, Keston and Alperton (Biggen Hill)
    remember Darwin as an amiable fellow once he got through the doors of the local hostelries.
    Old George from The Old Jail in Jail Lane listened to his tales of his world travels and
    remarked that he probably never went as far as Bromley in his life.
    We now know different. His travels thoughout the globe are legendary.
    As far as the statement “I found this large…” we can only sumise that what he founnd was
    not Chelonia Gelapago Galapagos Turtle for according to previous quotes it needed
    eight cups of water per minute to survive. In his beard?. That is unless he dribbled a lot.

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