Are you a fan of the 19th Century

scientist, Charles Darwin?

If so, this website is for you!  


This website aims to draw together key publications, media and websites on Charles Darwin for the enthusiast.

Tree of Lifecrop orchidjpegcrop


Aberration - deviation: a departure from what is

normal or desirable; chromosome aberration  an

irregularity in the number or structure of chromosomes,

usually a gain, loss, exchange, or alteration of sequence

of genetic material, which often alters embryonic



Coevolution - The evolution of two or more interdepen-

dent species, each adapting to changes in the other; the

evolution of complementary adaptations in two or more

species of organisms because of a special relationship

that exists between them.  It occurs, for example,

between predators and prey and between insects and

the flowers that they pollinate.


Earthworm casts - Earthworms are one of nature's recyclers, eating old leaves and other forest and garden detritus and turning it into soil. Earthworm casts are the rounded leftovers from a worm's meal: they are worm faeces.


Evolution -theory of development from earlier forms: the theoretical process by which all species develop from earlier forms of life;  the gradual development of something into a more complex or better form.  Click here for more information


Extinction - This is the end of an organism or group of organisms, usually species. Extinction normally coincides with the death of the last individual.  It can be local, regional or global. It is normally preceeded by a lack of capacity to breed and recover.


Cross fertilisation - fertilisation by the union of male and female gametes from different individuals of the same species


Cross pollination - the transfer of pollen from the anther of one plant to the stigma of another plant

Descent with modification by the action of wind, insects etc.


Food chain - a succession of organisms in an ecological community whereby energy passes from one organism to another; simple food linkages between plants and animals in a habitat


Fossil record -Fossils (from Classical Latin fossilis, literally "obtained by digging ") are the preserved remains or traces of animals, plants, and other organisms from the remote past. The totality of fossils, both discovered and undiscovered, and their placement in fossiliferous (fossil-containing) rock formations and sedimentary layers (strata) is known as the fossil record.


Gametes - cell involved in sexual reproduction: a specialized male or female cell with half the normal number of chromosomes that unites with a cell of the opposite sex in the process of sexual reproduction.


Genetic form - Genetics is the study of genes, heredity and variation in living organisms. Genetic form is how genes present or manifest themselves.


Hermaphrodite- organisms that have both sexes; a plant or animal with both male and female reproductive organs


Hybrid - the offspring of genetically dissimilar parents or stock, especially the offspring of breeding plants or animals from of different varieties, species or races


Innate - present from birth: relating to qualities that a person or animal is born with


K strategy - In ecology, R/K selection theory relates to the selection of combinations of traits in an organism that trade off between quantity and quality of offspring. The focus upon either increased quantity of offspring at the expense of individual parental investment, or reduced quantity of offspring with a corresponding increased parental investment, varies widely, seemingly to promote success in particular environments.The etymology is from an equation where r comes from rate and K comes from carrying capacity. R-selection makes a species prone to numerous reproduction at low cost per individual offspring, while K-selected species expend high cost in reproduction for a low number of more difficult to produce offspring. Neither mode of propagation is intrinsically superior


Learnt behaviour -A learned behavior is one that you decide to learn, unlike 'innate' behavior. An instinct is a behaviour that happens automatically without any learning needed.


Mutation - change in genetic material: a random change in a gene or chromosome resulting in a new trait or characteristic that can be inherited. Mutation can be a source of beneficial genetic variation, or it can be neutral or harmful in effect.


Nitrogenous - containing nitrogen or nitrogen compounds. The three essential ingredients of plant food are nitrogen, potassium and phosphorous.


Ornithologist - a person who studies birds


Parasite - An organism that grows, feeds and is sheltered by another organism without contributing anything to the survival of that host


Pliocene - the epoch of geological time 5 million to 1.6 million years ago


Pollinia -mass of pollen grains: a cohering mass of pollen grains transported as a whole during pollination, typical of orchids and milkweeds


Propagules -a propagule is any material that is used for the purpose of propagating an organism to the next stage in their life cycle via dispersal. Usually used in connection to plants, fungi and bacteria.


R Strategy - See K strategy


Recessive gene -A recessive trait is hidden unless you have two genes for this trait. That one of a pair of alternative genes whose effect is masked by the activity of the second when both are present in the same cell or organism.


Sexual selection -The sexual selection concept arises from the observation that many animals had evolve features whose function is not to help individuals survive, but help them to maximize their reproductive success.


Shaws - a local name given in Kent to thin strips of woodland or wide hedgerows.


Species -a basic biological classification and containing individuals that resemble one another and may interbreed


Tendril -thin plant part attached to support: a modified stem, leaf, or other part of a climbing plant, usually in the form of a thread, that coils around and attaches the plant to supporting objects


Traits - inherited characteristic; a quality or characteristic that is genetically determined


Viviparous - bearing live young, not eggs; giving birth to living offspring that develop in the mother's body