After sorting some business he realised he would have to live near London so lodged with Henslow before deciding to avoid distraction by renting a house of his own in Cambridge. In January 1837 he began presenting to the Zoological and Geological Societies, went to many dinners with eminent members of the scientific community and met many influential characters, such as Charles Babbage (inventor of the calculator).
He became too busy to travel between Cambridge and London so moved to a property near his brother and spent 7 months preparing his journal for publication. The zoological specimens also needed to be published, as a multi-volume work with coloured plates, but this would be expensive, so Henslow made a personal request to his old friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, for funding.
Meanwhile, the Zoological Society’s bird expert was taking great interest in the notes on finches and identified them as 14 distinct species, and Richard Owen the anatomist examined the fossils that had been collected, identifying a Giant sloth and what he at first believed to be a Giant extinct llama, both species new to science but related to existing species from South America. This confused Darwin as he was expecting them to be related to animals from similar latitudes in Africa, but instead this information undermined the Creation theory. Lyell suggested the Law of Succession where Providence replaced old animals with similar ones, but Darwin was not convinced.
In September he had to go back to Shrewsbury to recuperate after the onset of heart palpitations that would trouble him for the rest of his life. As the new secretary of the Geological Society he was increasingly in demand but managed to find time to maintain his interest in new ideas. He visited Jenny the orang-utan at the zoo and having never seen an ape before was amazed, noting that man should be humble upon encountering such a creature and consider himself from animals.