Born on February 12, 1809, biologist Charles Darwin’s contributions to the field of evolutionary biology are remembered to this date. In the 19th century, he proposed that all the current species have descended from common ancestors. He introduced the concept of natural selection which is the idea that some living organisms adapt to the changing environment. This transformation gives them better traits for survival in a particular environment. Here are some of the interesting facts about the naturalist on his birth anniversary:
-- It is unusual to know that a world-renowned biologist once dropped out of school but Charles Darwin did exactly that. He left medical school midway because he was apprehensive to see blood and also found the lectures boring. Although his father was a doctor, Darwin did not follow that path.
-- The phrase ‘Survival of the fittest’ has often been attributed to Darwin, however, he did not coin it. Although he used it in Origin of Species in 1869, the phrase was first said by philosopher-biologist Herbert Spencer in his book Principles of Biology, five years before in 1864.
-- Most of us know that Darwin studied birds and travelled to Galápagos Islands but not many are aware that Darwin also liked to eat exotic birds. It is said that he formed a Gourmet club as a student in Cambridge where people ate birds. Although he enjoyed eating birds like hawks, Darwin could not eat the brown owl. However, he continued tasting exotic birds when he started his voyage on HMS Beagle.
-- Apart from Darwin, another prominent man was born on the same day. The 16th President of the United States Abraham Lincoln shares his birthday with Darwin. Although the two of them were born in different countries and classes, their contributions are celebrated even today.
-- Darwin liked to be practical even when it came to his personal life. He is said to have prepared pros and cons list for marriage. It contained two columns stating things he can enjoy as a married man and another column that mentioned the benefits of not getting married. Eventually, Darwin married his cousin Emma Wedgwood.