Galapagos Islands

This passage describes a group of islands off of South America that contains a large variety of plants.

Lexile Level: 810L

Categories: People & Places Science & Technology Animals & Nature


The South American Galapagos archipelago inspired Charles Darwin's theory of evolution. The archipelago, or group of islands, is scattered around the equator. As a young man, Darwin sailed to the islands. His original plan was to discover a new system for classifying plants. At that time, scientists had not yet agreed on a common way to order the millions of varieties of plants they encountered. Galapagos is home to an unusual variety of species. The array of life forms stunned Darwin. The plants and animals were similar on each island. But Darwin noticed that many had distinct characteristics. Based on these observations, he proposed that species never stop evolving. Each type goes on struggling to adapt to its surroundings. The ideas he brought back from Galapagos inspired a controversy that continues to this day. Many years later, one of the islands of Galapagos was named "Charles Darwin."


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