Charles Darwin – Making Fossils and Natural Selection

Charles Darwin is most famous for his work on Natural Selection, the evidence for which came from his voyage on the HMS Beagle observing and collecting fossils, birds and whatever else he could find.

What is Natural Selection?

The theory behind Natural Selection is that characteristics more suited to an environment are more like to survive and pass those characteristics to their offspring.

The main features of Darwin’s theory are:

  • there is competition for resources such as food and water
  • within a population there is natural variation

Animals or plants that are poorly adapted to their environment are less likely to survive and reproduce, meaning their genes are less likely to be passed to the next generation.

Make your own fossils


Air drying clay or salt dough

Rolling pins

Small toy animals



Roll out a thick circle of clay slightly bigger than the toy animals you want to use.

Gently press the animals down so they leave an imprint.

Once the dough has been baked or left to air dry the fossils can be decorated using paint.

Make fossils

More ideas

Can you create fossils of different types of animals and ask a friend to match the animal to the fossil?

Find out why bird have different shaped beaks with this easy Natural Selection activity.

Charles Darwin and Making Fossils

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