Follow the Clues

In The Voyage of the Beetle, Rosie the beetle leaves clues for Charles Darwin to lead him to the solution to the “Mystery of Mysteries.” Can you find the solution before Charles does?

Clues to the Mystery of Mysteries

  1. Every living organism is unique. Individuals vary, even within the same species.
  2. Living things have special traits that enable them to survive in their own particular surroundings.
  3. Within a species, some individuals may have a version of the trait that is more helpful to survival than other versions.
  4. In any given environment, each living thing has a special role to play in the intricate cycle of life. In different places, similar functions in the cycle of life are carried on by different organisms.
  5. The individuals that are best able to compete in the struggle for life pass on their survival abilities to their offspring. Individuals that are less able to compete often die before they have offspring. Soon, the only individuals left are those that have inherited the ability to compete most effectively for food or space of safety.
  6. New species appear and old ones disappear as the Earth changes. Many of these extinct organisms resemble the ones now living in the same part of the world.
  7. The Earth changes over time, sometimes slowly and sometimes more rapidly. Many small changes accumulate over unimaginably long periods to alter dramatically the face of the Earth.
  8. The most useful version of an inherited trait may be passed on from generation to generation. Over time, these small differences add up, so future generations may look very different from their ancestors.
  9. Even when two species are very different, there may be some individuals or groups that have traits that fall between the two extremes.