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Artist’s reconstruction of a new fossil species Hemignathus vorpalis (bottom), based on its probable resemblance to adult males of its genus: H. wilsoni (Akiapola’au, above) and H. lucidus hanepepe (Kauai Nukupu’u, middle). Illustration © J. Hume


Artist’s reconstruction of a new fossil species Hemignathus vorpalis (bottom), based on its probable resemblance to adult males of its genus: H. wilsoni (Akiapola’au, above) and H. lucidus hanepepe (Kauai Nukupu’u, middle).

Illustration © J. Hume

 

"Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution."
- Theodosius Dobzhansky, evolutionary biologist, 1973

 

Marine iguana, Amblyrhynchus cristatus

Marine iguana, Amblyrhynchus cristatus. Found only on the Galapagos Islands, this lizard is uniquely adapted to live and hunt in the sea. Thinking about how they got there and adapted to these islands helped Darwin in formulating his theory of natural selection.
Illustration by Wood Ronsaville Harlin, Inc. (c) Smithsonian Institution

 

 

Charles Robert Darwin was born in Shrewsbury, England, on February 12, 1809. Fifty years later, he published On the Origin of Species, one of the most influential books ever written.

In the 150 years since the book’s publication, Smithsonian scientists have expanded our understanding of evolution by investigating subjects as diverse and distant as ancient ears of corn in Mexico, brilliantly plumed birds in Hawaii, and a feathered dinosaur in Madagascar.

Since Darwin: The Evolution of Evolution focuses on the significant role that Darwin’s theories have played in explaining and unifying all biological sciences. Specimens from the Museum’s diverse collections such as insects, mammals, birds, flowers, and fossils, along with examples of our ongoing research, illustrate the importance of evolution as a scientific foundation, and how our knowledge of evolution has evolved over the last 150 years. 

Explore how Darwin, an indifferent student, became one of the world’s most famous scientists, and journey with Smithsonian researchers in their quests for new origins of species.

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