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Do Elephants Have Knees? And Other Stories of Darwinian Origins$
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Charles R., Jr. Ault

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781501704673

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501704673.001.0001

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Fossils, Folly & Faults

Fossils, Folly & Faults

Rounding South America

(p.36) 3 Fossils, Folly & Faults
Do Elephants Have Knees? And Other Stories of Darwinian Origins

Charles R. Ault

Cornell University Press

This chapter chronicles Charles Darwin's voyage aboard the Beagle, which set sail on September 7, 1835, for the Galápagos Islands and rounded South America. Catastrophes are no stranger to Darwin's journey as he sailed the southern oceans and trekked the Andes Mountains. Against a background of strife and danger, he sought creatures new to him—and often to science—whether the inhabitants of the land or the buried denizens of the past, the victims of extinction. On each of his excursions Darwin reveled in a cornucopia of fossil and faunal discoveries. This chapter discusses Darwin's search for fossils in places such as Bahía Blanca and Santa Fe, Patagonian Coast and Tierra del Fuego; his encounter with graybeards; the conflict over control of the Falkland Islands; and the demise of the Fuegians. It also considers Darwin's observations of volcanoes, earthquakes, and native Galápagos tortoises.

Keywords:   fossils, Charles Darwin, Beagle, Galápagos Islands, Tierra del Fuego, graybeards, Falkland Islands, volcanoes, earthquakes, Galápagos tortoises

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