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Moving Mountains The Beagles crew spent the second year of the voyage 1833 surveying the east coast of South America while Darwin explored the interior on horseback. Eventually the ship made its way back to Tierra del Fuego where Darwin encountered another key piece of information. Earlier he had seen large rheas ostrich-like birds in the Pampas near Baha Blanca and had heard of a smaller and rarer rhea to the south it is now known unofficially as Darwins Rhea. Darwin was baffled by the presence of two similar kinds of birds in the same territory. While at Saint Gregorys Bay in the Straits of Magellan he met the giant Patagonians and questioned them about the tiny rhea. He learned it lived south of the Rio Negro while the larger one lived only north of the river. Thus Darwin acquired a small but important fact species appeared most similar to those in nearby but geographically separated areas rheas are flightless birds. After exploring the Santa Cruz River in April the Beagle rounded the Horn for the last time in May. Fighting through the dangerous channels lost in a world of rugged snowy crags blue glaciersand rainbows the Beagle made her way to the island of Chilo. After two weeks she headed north to Valparaiso Chile. From there Darwin struck out for the foothills of the Andes and reached Santiago on August 27. In September he fell seriously ill and barely got back to Valparaiso before collapsing for a month unable to get out of bed. Upon recovering the first news he heard was bad FitzRoy had suffered a nervous breakdown and had given up command of the Beagle. Ever the perfectionist the captain had pushed himself too far and snapped. Pringle Stokes the Beagles captain before FitzRoy shot himself at Port Famine in 1828 during the Beagles first voyage and FitzRoy appeared to be next. His officers however eventually convinced him to retake command and complete the journey. On November 21 the ship returned to Chilo. On an excursion across the island Darwin observed three volcanoes billowing smoke and on January 19 he saw Mount Osorno erupt. At midnight the sentry reported a fire on the horizon. At three in the morning Darwin and the rest of the crew stood on deck to watch the explosion of rock fire and lavaso bright it lit up the sky. Rhea darwinii. from the Zoology of the Beagle Volume 3 Birds John Gould. 17