An illustration of Charles Darwin sitting at a table surrounded by plants and birds

Illustration: Sabina Radeva | On the Origin of Species

1. It took Charles Darwin, an English naturalist, 20 years to write and publish his original book On the Origin of Species that explained the process of evolution.

2. No two animals are the same, even if they belong to the same species.

3. There are over 340 breeds of dog, yet they all come from one kind of wild wolf that existed many years ago.

4. Humans share the same five-fingered bone structure in their hands with lots of other animals that have paws, wings or flippers, such as lemurs and bats.

An illustration of the similar hand bone structure in humans, lemurs and frogs

Illustration: Sabina Radeva | On the Origin of Species

5. Many of the pets, farm animals and garden flowers we see today are the result of human choice. For example, farmers would have chosen to breed the chickens that lay the best eggs, and gardeners would have encouraged the most beautiful plants to grow.

6. The slightest difference in colour or design can help an animal or plant live, survive and reproduce better in the wild. This is known as natural selection.

7. Instinct is another important part of natural selection. For example, most birds know they must travel to warmer places to survive during winter.

An illustration of a group of wild horses running together

Illustration: Sabina Radeva | On the Origin of Species

8. If animals and plants did not compete to survive, the earth would be covered by the offspring of a single pair.

9. Little changes within one species can add up and create a whole new species.

10. But often these changes happen over thousands of years. So, it’s hard to see evolution happening with our own eyes.

An illustration of different fossils and bones from extinct species such as the mammoth and dodo bird

Illustration: Sabina Radeva | On the Origin of Species

11. Fossils are evidence of extinct species. However, perfect conditions are needed for fossils to form.

12. We are able to see from fossils that dinosaurs, woolly mammoths and dodos lived many years ago. But we’ll never really know all of the weird and wonderful species that previously existed!

An illustration of a dolphin swimming in the ocean

Illustration: Sabina Radeva | On the Origin of Species

13. Although they both live underwater, dolphins evolved from mammals whereas sharks evolved from fish ancestors.

14. Humans, animals, plants, insects and even bacteria, all descend from the first living things that ever came to be.

15. At one point in time, whales walked on land! 

  • On The Origin of Species

  • The first ever picture-book retelling of Charles Darwin's On The Origin of Species.

    'A long, long time ago, before humans even existed, the living world looked very different from how it looks today.'

    For most of human history, people believed that everything in the world was created at once. But scientists started to challenge that idea and in 1859 Charles Darwin, a naturalist and biologist, wrote a famous book called On the Origin of Species that revolutionised the way that we have understood evolution ever since.

    Now molecular biologist and illustrator Sabina Radeva has recreated Darwin's most famous work as a beautifully illustrated book for children and adults alike. The stunning pictures bring the theory of evolution to life for young readers, and anyone who wants to learn about evolution.

    Pulling together Darwin's observations from his travels around the world and his ground-breaking explanation of how species form, develop, and change over hundreds of thousands of years, On The Origin of Species is as relevant and important now as it ever was.

    A very important project, most beautifully realised. Sabina Radeva's thoughtful text and gorgeous pictures together tell the story of On The Origin of Species, and of Evolution itself, with clarity, humour and great charm. - Emma Darwin

    An entrancing picture-book retelling of Darwin's on the Origin of Species ... filled with informative, beautifully designed diagrams and maps. - The Guardian

  • Buy the book
  • Evolution Colouring and Activity Book

  • Learn about variation, competition and the struggle for existence with the help of this beautifully illustrated and accessible activity book for children.

    Packed full with detailed colouring pages and mind-grabbing activities, this is a book to inspire creativity as well as an understanding of one of the most fundamental scientific theories of all time.

  • Buy the book

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