Pinzon Island tortoise hatchling emerging from its egg at the Charles Darwin Research Station on Santa Cruz Island, Galápagos Islands, Ecuador
© Pete Oxford/Minden Picture
Wake up, it's Darwin Day
On Charles Darwin's birthday, we celebrate Darwin Day—and, of course, there's no better place to do that than the Galápagos Islands. Darwin is best known for his theory of evolution by natural selection, which he published in his 1859 book 'On the Origin of Species.' During his travels to the Galápagos Islands years earlier, Darwin observed creatures that were similar from island to island but had slightly different adaptations to better survive in their specific environments. This became a key component of his research.
The islands are home to thousands of unique species, including this Pinzon Island tortoise, which we see hatching from an egg at the Charles Darwin Research Station. These tortoises were once at the brink of extinction in the wild due to several factors, including centuries of capture by humans and predation by invasive rats. But thanks to conservation efforts at the Charles Darwin Research Station on Santa Cruz Island in the Galápagos, they're beginning to successfully hatch in the wild for the first time in more than 150 years.