Darwin wrote: “Veins or beds of conglomerate; matrix and base the same.”
A good example of Darwin collecting a rock that was interesting rather than representative of the Island. This sample is a breccia of dunite and other fragments cemented together in a carbonate matrix. Large fragments of considerably altered dunite and shell fragments are cemented by a carbonate-rich pelletoid matrix.
This collection was a collaboration between The Open University and the Sedgwick Museum, created in 2009 to celebrate the bicentennial of the birth of Charles Darwin.
The Sedgwick Museum opened a new gallery, 'Darwin the Geologist', and created a museum-based virtual microscope to showcase rocks he collected during the Voyage of the Beagle. We enjoy this collection because Darwin did not always pick up a representative sample from the islands he visited; it's often the unusual rocks that caught his eye. Just explore the collection and you'll see what we mean. For those who have the opportunity, a visit to the museum is strongly recommended.