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Charles Darwin Facts for Kids

Charles Darwin Facts for Kids

Find out all about Charles Darwin, his life and his theory of evolution, along with some fascinating facts, to help you understand the scientific contributions of this famous naturalist!  

Explore our Evolution and Inheritance Lessons for KS2!

Who is Charles Darwin? 

Charles Darwin was a British naturalist who was born in The Mount House, Shrewsbury on the 12th February 1809. A naturalist is someone who studies things in nature such as animals and plants and how they live. He is best known for his theory of evolution.

Charles Darwin 1809-1882

What was Charles Darwin known for? 

Charles Darwin studied the natural world over many years, taking part in expeditions to regions such as Brazil, Argentina, Chile, and remote islands such as the Galápagos. He spent five years travelling and gathering information. On his voyage on the HMS Beagle between 1831 and 1836, Charles Darwin collected samples of plants, animals, rocks and fossils which he took home to England to study. These observations helped scientists to learn more about the way the Earth's surface is formed and how it has changed over time. 

What did Charles Darwin discover? 

Upon his return from his travels, Charles Darwin began to question the origin and adaption of species and how they have changed over time. In 1859, Charles Darwin published his book ‘On the Origin of Species’ which outlined his theory of evolution. Darwin challenged the idea that God made all animals and plants on Earth. Instead, he suggested that species change over time, adapting to their environment. His theory included the idea of ‘natural selection’ or in other words ‘survival of the fittest’. This is where a variation of a species may change to suit its surroundings, adapting to make sure of its survival - however, another variation of a species may not be able to adapt as well and so the variation dies out. 


Theory of Evolution
Picture depicting Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution

How did Charles Darwin die? 

For years, Charles Darwin lived with a chronic condition. It was said that he suffered for many years with symptoms such as eczema, headaches, sickness and boils. Some suggested this mystery disease could have been because of parasites picked up on his travels around the world. Others now believe Darwin may have had Crohn's disease. 

On the 19th April 1882, Darwin suffered heart failure at his home, Down House in Kent. Darwin was reportedly a family man, and on his deathbed said to his wife, Emma:


“I am not the least afraid of death. Remember what a good wife you have been to me. Tell all my children to remember how good they have been to me.” 


He was buried in Westminster Abbey in London, UK. 

View and download our free Charles Darwin Poster

Fun Facts about Charles Darwin

  • Charles Darwin co-developed his theory of evolution with Alfred Wallace. 
  • Charles Darwin dropped out of medical school because he couldn’t stand the sight of blood. 
  • In 1839 Charles Darwin married his cousin, Emma Wedgwood. Although this is something that seems strange nowadays, back then it was widely accepted. 
  • Darwin waited 20 years to publish his theory of evolution due to worries that people were not ready for his radical ideas. 
  • He not only studied animals from around the world… he also ate them! 
  • In 2000, Charles Darwin appeared on the back of a £10 note. It was discontinued in 2018. 
  • Charles Darwin was a scientist, as well as being a Christian. 
  • He was born on the 12th February 1809, the same day as Abraham Lincoln. 
  • Charles Darwin wrote a pros and cons list on whether to marry or not. 
  • He loved hiking! 
  • Darwin played two games of backgammon with his wife every evening. 


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Brycey - September 5, 2023

This website was very helpful and i will recommend to my friends.

a human from earth - September 5, 2023

i havent left my name on this site but thanks for the info bc i really needed it!

anonymous - September 5, 2023

thanks for the info

Darcy - December 20, 2022

I think this was really helpful thank you, PlanBee

adam - December 7, 2022

hi this was very intresting

Catherine - October 28, 2022

Thank you for your comment John. The blog has been updated to correct the mistake.

John K Hughes - October 28, 2022

Hi there – (this is not a criticism) just to point out that Charles Darwin was born in the family home known as The Mount in Shrewsbury, Shropshire on 12 Feb 1809 – not Kent as stated above. He was initially educated in Shrewsbury, and it was also from here that he left for his five-year voyage on the HMS Beagle. Charles married his cousin Emma Wedgwood and they lived at Down House in Kent. Hope this helps.

Some interesting and useful facts on this page for young learners!

adam - September 21, 2022


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