Darwin and the Warrah

While in the Falklands, Darwin encountered Dusicyon Australis, a native wolf called the Warrah.  How did the animal wind up on the islands?  Darwin was mystified, since he found no evidence the creature existed anywhere else.  The naturalist observed that the Warrah was remarkably tame, and he described a gaucho […]

Montevideo: Indigenous Peoples and Mutinous Black Troops

Darwin and the crew of HMS Beagle traveled to Montevideo in 1832, the era of Britain’s so-called “informal empire” in South America.  At the time, Montevideo was a crucial slave port, but as whites struggled for independence slaves sought retribution.  Attracted by offers of manumission, some slaves became soldiers, while […]

Indigenous Cultures and Food

In Chiloé, I visited the Dalcahue Museum. Chiloé is known for its wide variety of potatoes, which Darwin disparaged.  The island is home to hundreds of varieties of potato, and DNA studies have demonstrated that Chiloé is the original global home of the potato.

Fossils and Minerals in Santiago

Ammonite display at National Museum of Natural History.  For more on Darwin’s ammonites, see my other post here. I also visited the Geological Museum where I spoke with experts.  

Lush Vegetation of Petrohué

Near Mt. Osorno lies Vicente Pérez Rosales National Park and Petrohué Falls, featuring temperate rain forest.  The area contains 30 species of mammals, including the kodkod cat or güiña, and 80 species of birds. Within the forest, one may come across Coigues, a type of beech and the most common […]

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