HMS Beagle was a Cherokee class 10-gun brig of the Royal Navy, named after the beagle, a breed of dog. She was launched on 11 May 1820 from the Royal Dockyard of Woolwich on the River Thames, at a cost of £7,803.
Length: 27.5 metres (90 feet 4 inches)
Width: 7.5 metres (24 feet 6 inches)
Burden: 235 tons
Draught: 3.8 metres (12 feet 6inches)
HMS Beagle was the ship in which the naturalist, Charles Darwin, sailed around the world from 26 December 1831 to 27 February 1832 . The rich variety of animal and plant species that Darwin saw on the voyage on the Beagle led him to develop his theory of 'evolution by natural selection'.
Darwin realised that life was a constant struggle for survival: more creatures were born than the world's resources could sustain. Any individual with an advantage over its fellows would b more likely to endure long enough to reproduce and perhaps pass on its advantage to the next generation.
HMS Beagle made three voyages of exploration.
1826 - 1830: Leaves Plymouth on 22 May for first surveying voyage to Tierra del Fuego, South America.
1831 - 1832: Darwin joined the second voyage to South America and then around the world.
1837 - 1843: Third surveying voyage to Australia
In the Galapagos Islands Darwin noticed how the same species of birds, cut off from centuries on different islands, had developed in quite different ways. This and many other amazing discoveries