Charles Darwin Essay

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Charles Darwin

The famous naturalist Charles Darwin embarked on hundreds of miles of land excursions during the often-told story of the H. M. S. Beagle voyage, and on these trips, the most lasting visual impressions for Darwin are the Cordilleras Mountains, the Fuegian natives, and the Brazilian rainforests. The Beagle’s five-year world circumnavigation from 1831 to 1836 emphasized South America and so it is not so surprising the previously mentioned natural wonders had such important impact on Darwin. Somewhat unexpected, though, is the desolate Patagonia plains of Argentina which made an especially lasting impression on Darwin. While certainly not the only important lasting natural impressions for Darwin from the voyage,
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This general coastal survey was a time consuming task for the ship. This in turn allowed the ship’s unofficial naturalist, Charles Darwin, to pursue long expeditions into the South American mainland either by riverboat, horseback, or on foot. The voyage would spend a full three years surveying the South American coast, affording many opportunities for adventure. Chronologically, Darwin’s important encounter with the Brazilian rainforest came first, then Patagonia, then the Fuegian native-land, and finally the Cordilleras Mountains. This is not the order in which this paper will proceed, however, since its purpose revolves around how Darwin felt about his impressions – especially in retrospect. Indeed, this account will first discuss Darwin’s mighty Cordilleras, then his impressions about the Fuegian natives, then the tropical rainforest, and finally Patagonia.

Darwin first saw the east-facing snowy crest of the Andean Cordilleras during an excursion from April to May 1834. With the Beagle beached for repairs at the mouth of the Argentinean river Rio Santa Cruz, this excursion was a large one: twenty-five crew members lead by Captain FitzRoy. In spite of Darwin’s eagerness to reach the Andes, they seemed unreachable; the group ran out of provisions and only got within thirty miles of the Cordilleras from this westward approach.

After the Beagle reached the western side of South America, Darwin had
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