What species was first named “FitzRoy’s Dolphin” by Charles Darwin?


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In 1831 Charles Darwin was invited by Capt. Robert FitzRoy (1805-1865) to be the naturalist on the H.M.S. Beagle’s voyage around the world. The voyage changed human civilization as Darwin, who had previously planned to be a clergyman, decided to change the course of his life’s ambitions and traded his religious ambitions for his scientific work that eventually led his theory of evolution. While on the five-year mission on FitzRoy’s H.M.S. Beagle, Darwin became the first to describe a new species of dolphin with a blue-black, dusky band running diagonally on the side to the tail. Today, the Lagenorhynchus obscurus, formerly known as FitzRoy’s Dolphin, is called the Dusky Dolphin.