It is very easy to disturb the composure of the mind of a naturalist, just make him/her stand in middle of a tropical forest. Hundreds of variety of different organisms can be found in less than 1 sqft area of the jungle if observed so well. Moths, spiders, beetles, butterflies disguised as wasps, wasps shaped like ants, sticks that walk, leaves that open wings and fly. One of those creatures may be new to science – only a specialist could tell you which one.

The variety of animal and plant life is indeed vast and bewildering and ever since the beginning of science, people have wondered why this should be so. Over the centuries, many reasons have been suggested; one of the most widely accepted today was made by an English naturalist, Charles Darwin. In 1832 he visited Brazil where he collected 68 different species of small beetles in a single day. He was astounded that there should be so many. An explanation of why this was so occurred to him three years later when his expedition arrived in Galapagos Island which was no less than 1000kms away from main land yet he found similarities in species found both places with slight difference. eg Cormorants there had small wings and couldn’t fly, Large lizards called iguanas which fed on seaweed and clung to rocks among the waves with unusually long claws unlike their cousins from main land climbing trees and living on vegetation.

Darwin started to wonder if one species might, in time, change into another. May be thousands of years ago the mainland species somehow reached Galapagos island from South America with floating vegetation down the river to the sea. Once there, changed a bit and generations followed the change to suit their new hormones.

The difference between Island species and main land species were only small, but if such changes had taken place, was it not possible that over many million of years, many could add up to big changes. Like Fish developed muscular fins and crawled onto land to become amphibians. With water tight skin amphibians turned into reptiles. How did this happen? Darwin named the process “Natural Selection”.

His argument was, all individuals of the sam species are not the same. For eg. in one clutch of eggs from giant tortoise, there may be some hatchlings which will develop long necks than others because of factors inherited from their parents. in times of drought they will be able to reach leaves and so survive. Their siblings with shorter necks will starve and die. So the best fitted to surrounding will be selected to survive, In turn, they will pass on their characteristics to their offspring. After a great number of generations, tortoise on the dry island will have longer neck than those on watered islands. And so one species will have given rise to another.