Unfortunately, I could not get the NOVA film to play, but luckily I have seen it before. What really interests me the most about this film and Darwin in general is his history and adventures. This is the man that theorized Evolution, well Natural Selection. Charles Darwin is a bit of a hero of mine because of what he did. He was a scientist, but when you think scientist, you think of someone in a lab coat staying in a lab observing chemical reactions or something. Darwin was far from that, he was bold enough to travel the world in search of new species and new places. These scientific expeditions took him all over the world, but one of his most famous adventures landed him on the shores of the Galapagos Islands.
Many people have heard of what he has discovered there, from Finches to Beetles and many other creatures. For some reason, however, I thought his most interesting discovery were that of the turtles that reside on the islands. These monstrous tortoises would roam these islands searching for as much food as possible, and they did it for eons. They’ve done it for so long that their genetics even adapted to their very needs for survival. This is where it gets really interesting. When Charles Darwin first discovered these great beasts, he thought that they were all the same and that they all resided on every island. However, when he went from island to island, he observed that not only do these turtles search for food differently, but they are not actually genetically identical. Similar to how the finches changed, these turtles adapted to way of feeding that best fit their needs. On one island there would be a species of turtle that would have a hard and sharp beak and short necks that made it easier for them to break nuts and dig through stuff on the ground. On a different island, there would be other turtles, same family, that would have no beak, but their necks would be incredible long so that they could reach the leaves higher up on bushes and trees.
Like Darwin, I was amazed to hear this. That over time, these turtles literally changed they genetic make up just so that they could survive on the island they were put on. Now if only they could learn to swim, then they would be really well off, haha.