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Charles Robert Darwin was an English naturalist. He was born at Shrewsbury on the 12th of February, 1809. His mother died in 1817. In 1825 Darwin attended the University at Edinburgh. There he studied medicine according to his father's will. In 1828 he went to Cambridge with the idea that he should become a clergyman.

From December 1831 to October 1830 Darwin sailed on the Beagle as a naturalist. The voyage of the Beagle was the real preparation for his lifework. He visited Atlantic islands, The South American coasts, the Galapagos Islands, Tahiti, New Zealand, Australia, Tasmania, Keeling Island, St. Helene and Brazil. His work on the geology of these islands became the subject of the "Structure and Distribution of Coral Reefs", which he published after his return in 1842. The theory advanced in this book about reef formation is still generally considered valid. On the 24th of November, 1859 Darwin published his greatest work On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life. The

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