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Darwin and Evolution: Track 1

2009 marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin and the 150th anniversary of the publication of On The Origin Of Species. This album introduces Darwin's great revelation: that species change and adapt according to their environment. Apparently diverse specimens and fossils reveal surprising results, such as the common ancestry of the hippopotamus and the dolphin, whose evolutionary paths diverged when their habitats changed. Research on sparrows show how particular characteristics are linked to success at surviving in the wild, and the selective breeding of dogs for aesthetic purposes shows how humans can influence the evolution of other species. This material forms part of The Open University course S366 Evolution.

By: The iTunes U team (Programme and web teams)

  • Duration 20 mins
  • Updated Friday 26th March 2010
  • Introductory level
  • Posted under Across the Sciences
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Track 1: Darwin and Evolution

A short introduction to this album.


© The Open University 2009


Tracks in this podcast:

Track   Title Description
1 Darwin and Evolution    A short introduction to this album. Play now Darwin and Evolution
2 Shared ancestries    Exhibits at the Natural History Museum in Tring reveal a striking shared ancestry between the hippo and the dolphin. Play now Shared ancestries
3 Birds and breeding    Darwin's study of the bizarre results of artificial breeding of pigeons shed light on evolutionary processes. Play now Birds and breeding
4 Dogs and breeding    Dogs used to be bred for their ability to help humans. Now selective breeding accentuates physical features at the expense of ability to survive in the wild. Play now Dogs and breeding
5 Sparrows and breeding    How differences in 'badge' sizes between males relates to success at finding food and rearing young. Play now Sparrows and breeding