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Marine zooplankton
Scale 3 Diat: carbon-macromolecules , Hierachy 1
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Play: Zooplankton has a MOVE of 1.
“Many of these creatures so low in the scale of nature are most exquisite in their forms & rich colours. — It creates a feeling of wonder that so much beauty should be apparently created for such little purpose.” (Darwin on plankton).

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Graphic by DIana
Zooplankton /ˌzoʊ.əˈplæŋktən/ are heterotrophic (sometimes detritivorous) plankton. Plankton are organisms drifting in oceans, seas, and bodies of fresh water. The word “zooplankton” is derived from the Greek zoon (ζῴον), meaning “animal”, and planktos (πλαγκτός), meaning “wanderer” or “drifter”.[1] Individual zooplankton are usually microscopic, but some (such as jellyfish) are larger and visible with the naked […] read more

Baobab Tree

Adansonia digitata
Scale 9 Diat: photosynthetic , Hierachy 1


Fact: During the voyage, the observation of this tree (which can grow to be 6000 years old), is thought to have made Darwin ponder the long timescales in the Earth’s geology.

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Adansonia digitata (baobab) is the most widespread of the Adansonia species on the African continent, found in the hot, dry savannahs of sub-Saharan Africa. Common names for the baobab include dead-rat tree (from the appearance of the fruits), monkey-bread tree (the soft, dry fruit is edible), upside-down tree (the sparse branches resemble roots), cream of […] read more

Giant Kelp

Macrocystis pyrifera
Scale 9 Diat: photosynthetic , Hierachy 1


Fact: Darwin is thought to be one of the first scientists to consider the ecological importance of kelp comparing them to an aquatic version of a forest of trees.

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Macrocystis pyrifera, commonly known as giant kelp or giant bladder kelp, is a species of kelp (large brown algae), and one of four species in the genus Macrocystis. Giant kelp is common along the coast of the easternPacific Ocean, from Baja California north to southeast Alaska, and is also found in the southern oceans nearSouth […] read more

Leaf Letter Flea Beetle

Aulonodera darwini
Scale 4 Diat: herbivore , Hierachy 2
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Play: This Flea beetle has a MOVE of 2.

Fact: This is one of four Australian insect species, collected by Darwin during the Beagle voyage, that bear his name.

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Graphic by Simon
Flea beetle is a general name applied to the small, jumping beetles of the leaf beetle family(Chrysomelidae). They make up the tribe Alticini, which is a part of the subfamily Galerucinae, though they were historically classified as a subfamily in their own right. Though most tribes of the Galerucinae are suspect of rampant paraphyly in […] read more

Sicyos villosus

Cucurbitaceae Sicyos villosus
Scale 7 Diat: photosynthetic , Hierachy 1
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Play: This plant is EXTINCT.
Fact: Darwin’s single dried specimen of Sicyos villosus, collected during the Beagle voyage, appears to be the only piece of evidence that showed this plant ever existed.

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Graphic by Golly
Sicyos is a flowering plant genus of the family Cucurbitaceae. Members of the genus are commonly known as burr cucumbers.[2] (From Wikipedia, August 2015) read more

Galapagos Prickly Pear

Opuntia echios
Scale 9 Diat: photosynthetic , Hierachy 1
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Fact: This prickly pear is a favourite meal for the Galápagos tortoises. It’s presence is also a selective pressure and has resulted in changes to the tortoise’s shell.

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Graphic by Robert
Opuntia echios is a species of plant in the Cactaceae family. It is endemic to theGalápagos Islands (Ecuador) and is commonly known as the Galápagos prickly pear, but there are five other species of prickly pears that also are endemic to the archipelago (O. galapageia, O. helleri, O. insularis, O. megasperma and O. saxicola). There […] read more