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 tameness…is 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’.