Name Date Class
Who was Charles Darwin?
On each line, write the word or term that correctly completes each sentence.
Charles Darwin was an English
who lived in the 1800s.
He was interested in plants and
, and spent long hours studying their habitats. While serving as a naturalist on the British naval ship, the
, Darwin had the opportunity to study plant and animal life on the
. What he found fascinated him.
The Galápagos Islands are found off the coast of
Pacific Ocean. Darwin found the environments on the Galápagos Islands quite different.
. Some were more humid. Others were a mix of environments. Giant
lived on the islands, but as Darwin learned, the tortoises on each island looked different. This made Darwin curious. Darwin also found that a variety of
and finches lived on the
Galápagos Islands. He determined that he had come across several different
Darwin realized that a
existed between species and food sources on the islands. Importantly, he recognized that the tortoise species were related. He believed they shared a common
. But, why were they so different? Some tortoises had short necks; some had long necks. Darwin’s observations showed that tortoises with
necks lived on islands with short grass. Tortoises with
necks could stretch them and gobble the cacti growing on the island.
Darwin decided that the
he observed were a key to how organisms evolve. He developed the theory of evolution by
This theory says that populations of organisms with
that help them survive in their environment live longer, compete better, and
more than those that do not have the variations. Darwin believed he found the understanding of how
change as their environments change.
The Environment and Change Over Time