The Readable Darwin

Welcome to the Companion Website for
The Readable Darwin: The Origin of Species As Edited for Modern Readers

 

This website is a companion to the textbook The Readable Darwin by Jan A. Pechenik, published by Sinauer Associates.

Below are all of the links and videos referenced in each chapter of the book. Click a link to open it in a new window.

 

Introduction

Link 1 With the following link, you can see all of the changes that Darwin made for each of the six editions of The Origin of Species.
http://darwin-online.org.uk/Variorum

Link 2: For more information about the historic Wallace–Darwin joint presentation concerning the origin of species by means of natural selection, on July 1, 1858, see the following link:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/On_the_Tendency_of_Species_to_form_Varieties;_and_on_the_Perpetuation_of_Varieties_and_Species_by_Natural_Means_of_Selection

 

Chapter 1: Variation Under Domestication

Videos

1.1 Tumbler pigeon tumbling in flight
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HfIH6T2TFDg

Links

1.1 A very nice summary of Lamarck’s ideas about the causes of evolutionary change
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lamarckism

1.2 A list of all of the American Kennel Club recognized dog breeds, including photos
http://www.akc.org/breeds/breeds_a.cfm

1.3 The orange pippin website lists many of the 7,500 apple varieties presently in existence around the world
http://www.orangepippin.com/apples

 

Chapter 2: Variation in Nature

Links

2.1 Interesting information about primroses and other plants with dimorphic or trimorphic flowers, and why Darwin was so interested in them
http://darwinsflowers.wordpress.com/exhibit/function-of-flower-forms/

2.2 A brief summary of the difficulties in defining species
http://www.evolution.berkeley.edu/evosite/evo101/VADefiningSpecies.shtml

 

Chapter 3: The Struggle for Existence

Videos

3.1 Time-lapse video of a dandelion forming seeds, and the seeds blowing away in the wind
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=09aKfDNzIQ8

3.2 Dandelion seeds being blown away by the wind
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u8_gDqZGSq4

Links

3.1 Read about the five mass extinctions that have occurred on Earth in ancient times
http://science.nationalgeographic.com/science/prehistoric-world/mass-extinction/

3.2 Read an interview with Elizabeth Kolbert, who has published a book (2014) called The Sixth Extinction (Henry Holt and Co., publishers), about some of things that have been happening recently to natural populations of many organisms around the world
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/02/140218-kolbert-book-extinction-climate-science-amazon-rain-forest-wilderness/

3.3 You can listen to another interview with Elizabeth Kolbert, courtesy of NPR
http://www.npr.org/2014/02/12/275885377/in-the-worlds-sixth-extinction-are-humans-the-asteroid

 

Chapter 4: Natural Selection, or the Survival of the Fittest

Videos

4.1 Bird-of-Paradise Project from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology
http://www.birdsofparadiseproject.org/content.php?page=61

4.2 Bumblebee gathering nectar from flowers
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z8XitLqHWGw

4.3 Platypus on land and in water
http://video.nationalgeographic.com/video/animals/mammals-animals/other-mammals/platypus_duckbill/

4.4 Lungfish breathing outside water and hibernating for years
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tqWciuuKn3c

4.5 A day in the life (and death) of a lungfish
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1UKHimLZao

4.6 Natural selection and adaptation in pocket mice
http://www.hhmi.org/biointeractive/making-fittest-natural-selection-and-adaptation

Links

4.1 The evolution of four-footed terrestrial animals from aquatic ancestors
http://www.evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/article/evograms_04

4.2 More information (with photographs) about the spurs on rooster legs
http://www.ohioline.osu.edu/vme-fact/0014.html

4.3 Darwin and Wallace papers presented at the Linnean Society
http://www.calacademy.org/darwin/pdfs/Darwin_Wallace_1858.pdf

 

Chapter 5: Laws of Variation

Video

5.1 Differences in appearance and behavior in male and female pheasants
http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/life/Common_Pheasant#p00hhhgz

Links

5.1 Sexual dimorphism in a number of animals, including birds
http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/adaptations/Sexual_dimorphism#intro

5.2 Stripes appearing on donkeys, mules, and horses
http://www.brindlehorses.com/stripedhos/patton-article/patton.htm

5.3 600 horse breeds, including those mentioned by Darwin
http://www.theequinest.com/breeds/

 

Chapter 6: Difficulties with the Theory

Videos

6.1 Flying fish
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9uFjmeWnFZ4

6.2 Flying lemurs in Borneo
http://www.arkive.org/philippine-flying-lemur/cynocephalus-volans/video-00.html

6.3 Flying lemurs in the Philippines
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4USp_r91js

6.4 American mink
http://www.arkive.org/american-mink/mustela-vison/video-00.html

6.5 Electric knife fish
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/2012/04/electric-field-gives-knifefish-a-sixth-sense.html

6.6 Torpedo ray fish
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1qFpHgWIDQc

6.7 Bucket orchid pollination
http://quintessence.edublogs.org/bucket-orchid/

6.8 Catasetum fimbriatum pollination mechanism
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7lFt3_b3PIg

6.9 An orchid explosion
http://www.sciencefriday.com/video/03/18/2011/an-orchid-explosion.html

6.10 Frigate birds
http://science.howstuffworks.com/zoology/28382-fooled-by-nature-frigate-birds-video.htm

6.11 Puff adder attacks mouse
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6QKBG146dsI

 

Chapter 7: Miscellaneous Objections to the Theory of Natural Selection

Videos

7.1 An echinoderm pedicellaria in action
http://www.microscopy-uk.org.uk/mag/artjul00/urchin3.html

7.2 Flounder metamorphosis
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qePwW44HhNg

7.3 Twining motion of vines
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dTljaIVseTc
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fGBIT4ly-Vs

7.4 Avicularium
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Xb71G6_fbA

Links

7.1 Basic information about bryozoans and their avicularia. Click the link about half-way down the page to see a video of avicularia in action.
http://www.microscopy-uk.org.uk/mag/artmay01/bryozoan.html

7.2 Interesting information about the pedicellariae of sea urchins and sea stars, including videos of these structures in action.
http://www.asnailsodyssey.com/LEARNABOUT/URCHIN/urchPedi.php
http://www.asnailsodyssey.com/LEARNABOUT/SEASTAR/seasPedi.php

 

Chapter 8: Instinct

Videos

8.1 A cuckoo hijacks a warbler’s nest
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dAU5MTXmAPY

8.2 A cuckoo ejects other eggs from nest
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SO1WccH2_YM

8.3 Bees building hexagonal cells, including the mathematics behind it
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F5rWmGe0HBI

8.4 African red (Dorylus) ant bite
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TV41qsJjRGA

8.5 Driver ants (Dorylus wilverthi)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=77SyZn2W4-Y

Links

8.1 The role of physical forces in helping bees to build the honeycomb’s hexagonal cells
http://www.nature.com/news/how-honeycombs-can-build-themselves-1.13398

8.2 Here is a detailed description of how Darwin came to understand the process by which bees build their honeycombs, based upon his correspondence with many other researchers
http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/the-evolution-of-honey-comb

8.3 Answering a 2,000-year-old question about bees in an amusing way: Why hexagons?
http://www.npr.org/blogs/krulwich/2013/05/13/183704091/what-is-it-about-bees-and-hexagons

8.4 Fascinating recent evidence that some behavioral learning may be passed along to offspring, through the modified expression of existing genes (based on Dias and Ressler. 2014. Nature Neuroscience 17: 89–96).
http://www.nature.com/news/fearful-memories-haunt-mouse-descendants-1.14272