Common cactus finch, 19th century

Common cactus finch, 19th century

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Credit: Library of Congress, Rare Book and Special Collections Division/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Common cactus finch (Geospiza scandens), 19th-century illustration. This bird is one of Darwin's finches, here given an older binomial name of Cactornis scandens. The Darwin finches were collected by the British naturalist Charles Darwin when the survey ship HMS Beagle visited the Galapagos Islands in 1835. The differences between birds from different islands prompted Darwin's work on his theory of evolution. This illustration is Plate 42 from the 1841 volume on birds ('Part III: Birds') that forms part of the multi-volume work 'The Zoology of the Voyage of HMS Beagle'. This work described the animals collected and observed by the British naturalist Charles Darwin during the survey voyage of HMS Beagle during the years 1832 to 1836. This expedition established Darwin's reputation as a naturalist. 'The Zoology of the Voyage of HMS Beagle' was edited by Darwin and published between 1838 and 1843. The volume on birds was written by British naturalist John Gould.

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