Darwin's Eden (04:33)
This episode will examine the creatures that inspired Charles Darwin on the Galapagos Islands. The Beagle traveled around South America in 1831. Alan Alda and Lynn Fowler explore Devil's Crown finding a land iguana. (Credits)
Giant Tortoises (04:41)
Alda reads an excerpt from Darwin's journal at the research center. Creatures vary in appearance from one island to the next in the Galapagos Islands. Dave Anderson returns every year to research mockingbirds.
On Floreana (02:28)
Darwin visited only four of the Galapagos Islands and collected hundreds of specimens. Lecocarpus and Scalesia Delosa are endemic plants to the islands. It took two years after the Beagles voyage ended before Darwin understood his finches.
Evolving Beaks (08:02)
Anderson and Aldo set up a mist net to catch a Darwin's finch. The sharp-beaked ground finch has a pointy little beak to eat grass seeds. Learn about other species such as the large ground finch and the main ground finch that evolve depending on the more plentiful seed.
Lizards of the Sea (03:30)
Alda swims with a sea lion pup. Fowler describes how the land animals arrived on the Galapagos on big chunks of land that floated. Male marine iguanas attract females with color and bobbing his head. Listen to an excerpt from Darwin's journal.
Last El Niño (08:22)
Martin Wikelski discusses how difficult the marine iguanas found the last large storm because its sole food source died. Female iguanas only have one egg and are selective about which male they choose to mate with. Alda attempts to catch and release an iguana.
Masked Killers (09:06)
Anderson bands a masked booby chick for identification on the island of Espanola. The male and female exchange gifts and accumulate a nest. After two chicks are born, the eldest chick pushes the second chick out of the nest on day five; parents will not intervene.
Paradise Lost (13:42)
People lived scattered in small fishing and farming communities when Darwin visited; 96% of the land is dedicated to a National Park. Experts discuss how they are conserving animal and plant species that are threatened with extinction due to tourism and immigration.
Credits: Alan Alda in Scientific American Frontiers: Voyage to the Galapagos (00:60)
Credits: Alan Alda in Scientific American Frontiers: Voyage to the Galapagos
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