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BNPS.co.uk (01202 558833)<br />
Pic: Bonhams/BNPS<br />
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A marine chronometer that helped Charles Darwin reach the Galapagos Islands where he discovered the theory of evolution has been unearthed.<br />
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The portable time-telling device was on board the British Admiralty survey ship HMS Beagle and was used to help the crew to navigate their way to the Pacific Ocean.<br />
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Scientist Darwin went on the second of three exploration trips made by the Beagle,<br />
from 1831 to 1836 to the Galapagos Islands.<br />
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During his time on there he famously observed giant tortoises and mockingbirds and identified that animals evolved to adapt and survive in their surroundings.<br />
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He went on to write about his theory of evolution in his seminal work 'On the Origin of Species'.<br />
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The previously unrecorded marine chronometer was one of 22 on board HMS Beagle but only two others are known to have survived and they are owned by the British Museum.<br />
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This one was sold by the British Admiralty in 1911 and it disappeared from records until now.<br />
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It is now being sold by its private owner at auction at Bonhams, with a pre-sale estimate of 50,000 pounds.