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Evolution & Extinction

Since life first appeared on planet Earth 4,000 million years ago it has spread, changed, grown, shrunk, developed fins, then legs, then fins again, wings, arms and tails and much, much more. What can explain the amazing ability of life to change so dramatically over such a long time? The Theory of Evolution!

Evolution simply explains how life has changed over time and how creatures have adapted to suit their environment. From the first fish to emerge on land to the double layer of fur belonging to the polar bear, adaptations like these have been and continue to be the result of creatures evolving over time to suit their environment. If life fails to evolve to changes that happen then extinction is inevitable. In fact 99 % of all types of life that has ever existed on planet Earth has now become extinct!

Scientist Charles Darwin developed the theory of evolution and published his ground breaking book "On the Origin of Species" in 1859. Thanks to this we are able to understand the amazing diversity of life on our planet. He explained that life can evolve through ‘Decent with Modification’ and Natural Selection’. What does this mean? To find out more check out www.bbc.co.uk/darwin.