Charles Darwin was in the habit of devouring every animal he discovered. The man was an adventurous eater who experimented with everything he came across, from lizards, to giant rats, to pumas. He even slurped down giant tortoise pee just to find out how it tasted. Below are thirty things about that habit and other strange or unexpected habits of famous historic figures.
30. Charles Darwin’s Habit of Eating Every Animal He Discovered
English naturalist, biologist, and geologist Charles Robert Darwin (1809 – 1882) is best known for his theory of evolution. When he set sail aboard the HMS Beagle in 1831 for what turned out to be a five-year journey, few knew that his observations would revolutionize science, and the world, for that matter. Yet, that is precisely what happened. His Victorian contemporaries were shocked by his assertion that humans and animals shared a common ancestry. Today, his notion that all species are descended from common ancestors, is widely accepted. His take that species evolved into their current forms because of changes in heritable characteristics is a fundamental concept of science. One of history’s most influential figures, he was honored with burial in Westminster Abbey when he died.
Darwin, a late addition to the Beagle as a supernumerary naturalist, spent his time studying plants and animals, and gathering data for his theory of evolution through natural selection. Less known, is that Darwin, an adventurous gourmand, ate every animal he discovered. As a student at Cambridge University, long before he became famous, Darwin was a member of the Glutton Club. The student group’s members were in the habit of wolfing down “birds and beasts which were before unknown to human palate“. Among other things, they ate hawks, herons, and a brown owl so nauseating that the club dissolved after tasting it. However, as seen below, Darwin did not lose his taste for exotic meat.