Dusky dolphin, 1832-1836.
2 9 c m
actual image size: 32cm x 21cm

Dusky dolphin, 1832-1836.

Fitzroy, Robert

© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library


Watercolour by Admiral Robert Fitzroy (1805-1865) from 'The Zoology of the Voyage of HMS Beagle', published in London, 1839-1843, and edited by the British originator of evolutionary theory Charles Darwin (1809-1882). Darwin was naturalist on 'HMS Beagle' during its voyage of 1832-1836, the purpose of which was to make a scientific survey of the South American waters. He named this dolphin Delphinus fitzRoyii after Robert Fitzroy the Beagle's captain; it was later identified as belonging to a new species. Darwin's observations contributed to his discovery of the principle of natural selection of heritable variation as the cause of evolution. His most famous work, 'On the origin of species by means of natural selection', was published in 1859.



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