On the Origin of Species, 6th Edition

Darwin, Charles

Published: 1872 Type(s): Non-Fiction, Science Source: Feedbooks


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"But with regard to the material world, we can at least go so far as this— we can perceive that events are brought about not by insulated interpositions of Divine power, exerted in each particular case, but by the establishment of general laws."—Whewell: "Bridgewater Treatise". "The only distinct meaning of the word 'natural' is STATED, FIXED or SETTLED; since what is natural as much requires and presupposes an intelligent agent to render it so, i.e., to effect it continually or at stated times, as what is supernatural or miraculous does to effect it for once."—Butler: "Analogy of Revealed Religion". "To conclude, therefore, let no man out of a weak conceit of sobriety, or an ill-applied moderation, think or maintain, that a man can search too far or be too well studied in the book of God's word, or in the book of God's works; divinity or philosophy; but rather let men endeavour an endless progress or proficience in both."—Bacon: "Advancement of Learning".


An Historical Sketch Of The Progress Of Opinion On The Origin Of Species, Previously To The Publication Of The First Edition Of This Work
I will here give a brief sketch of the progress of opinion on the Origin of Species. Until recently the great majority of naturalists believed that species were immutable productions, and had been separately created. This view has been ably maintained by many authors. Some few naturalists, on the other hand, have believed that species undergo modification, and that the existing forms of life are the descendants by true generation of pre existing forms. Passing over allusions to the subject in the classical writers (Aristotle, in his "Physicae Auscultationes" (lib.2, cap.8, s.2), after remarking that rain does not fall in order to make the corn grow, any more than it falls to spoil the farmer's corn when threshed out of doors, applies the same argument to organisation; and adds (as translated by Mr. Clair Grece, who first pointed out the passage to me), "So what hinders the different parts (of the body) from having this merely accidental relation in nature? as the teeth, for example, grow by necessity, the front ones sharp, adapted for dividing, and the grinders flat, and serviceable for masticating the food; since they were not made for the sake of this, but it was the result of accident. And in like manner as to other parts in which there appears to exist an adaptation to an end. Wheresoever, therefore, all things together (that is all the parts of one whole) happened like as if they were made for the sake of something, these were preserved, having been appropriately constituted by an internal spontaneity; and whatsoever things were not thus constituted, perished and still perish." We here see the principle of natural selection shadowed forth, but how little Aristotle fully comprehended the principle, is shown by his remarks on the formation of the teeth.), the first author who in modern times has treated it in a scientific spirit was Buffon. But as his opinions fluctuated greatly at different periods, and as he does not enter on the causes or means of the transformation of species, I need not here enter on details. Lamarck was the first man whose conclusions on the subject excited much attention. This justly celebrated naturalist first published his views in 1801; he much enlarged them in 1809 in his "Philosophie Zoologique", and subsequently, 1815, in the Introduction to his "Hist. Nat. des Animaux sans Vertebres". In these works he up holds the doctrine that all species, including man, are descended from other species. He first did the eminent service of arousing attention to the probability of all change


in the organic, as well as in the inorganic world, being the result of law, and not of miraculous interposition. Lamarck seems to have been chiefly led to his conclusion on the gradual change of species, by the difficulty of distinguishing species and varieties, by the almost perfect gradation of forms in certain groups, and by the analogy of domestic productions. With respect to the means of modification, he attributed something to the direct action of the physical conditions of life, something to the crossing of already existing forms, and much to use and disuse, that is, to the effects of habit. To this latter agency he seems to attribute all the beautiful adaptations in nature; such as the long neck of the giraffe for browsing on the branches of trees. But he likewise believed in a law of progressive development, and as all the forms of life thus tend to progress, in order to account for the existence at the present day of simple productions, he maintains that such forms are now spontaneously generated. (I have taken the date of the first publication of Lamarck from Isidore Geoffroy Saint- Hilaire's ("Hist. Nat. Generale", tom. ii. page 405, 1859) excellent history of opinion on this subject. In this work a full account is given of Buffon's conclusions on the same subject. It is curious how largely my grandfather, Dr. Erasmus Darwin, anticipated the views and erroneous grounds of opinion of Lamarck in his "Zoonomia" (vol. i. pages 500-510), published in 1794. According to Isid. Geoffroy there is no doubt that Goethe was an extreme partisan of similar views, as shown in the introduction to a work written in 1794 and 1795, but not published till long afterward; he has pointedly remarked ("Goethe als Naturforscher", von Dr. Karl Meding, s. 34) that the future question for naturalists will be how, for instance, cattle got their horns and not for what they are used. It is rather a singular instance of the manner in which similar views arise at about the same time, that Goethe in Germany, Dr. Darwin in England, and Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire (as we shall immediately see) in France, came to the same conclusion on the origin of species, in the years 1794-5.) Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, as is stated in his "Life", written by his son, suspected, as early as 1795, that what we call species are various degenerations of the same type. It was not until 1828 that he published his conviction that the same forms have not been perpetuated since the origin of all things. Geoffroy seems to have relied chiefly on the conditions of life, or the "monde ambiant" as the cause of change. He was cautious in drawing conclusions, and did not believe that existing species are now undergoing modification; and, as his son adds, "C'est donc un probleme a reserver entierement a l'avenir, suppose meme que l'avenir doive avoir prise sur lui."


In 1813 Dr. W.C. Wells read before the Royal Society "An Account of a White Female, part of whose skin resembles that of a Negro"; but his paper was not published until his famous "Two Essays upon Dew and Single Vision" appeared in 1818. In this paper he distinctly recognises the principle of natural selection, and this is the first recognition which has been indicated; but he applies it only to the races of man, and to certain characters alone. After remarking that negroes and mulattoes enjoy an immunity from certain tropical diseases, he observes, firstly, that all animals tend to vary in some degree, and, secondly, that agriculturists improve their domesticated animals by selection; and then, he adds, but what is done in this latter case "by art, seems to be done with equal efficacy, though more slowly, by nature, in the formation of varieties of mankind, fitted for the country which they inhabit. Of the accidental varieties of man, which would occur among the first few and scattered inhabitants of the middle regions of Africa, some one would be better fitted than others to bear the diseases of the country. This race would consequently multiply, while the others would decrease; not only from their in ability to sustain the attacks of disease, but from their incapacity of contending with their more vigorous neighbours. The colour of this vigorous race I take for granted, from what has been already said, would be dark. But the same disposition to form varieties still existing, a darker and a darker race would in the course of time occur: and as the darkest would be the best fitted for the climate, this would at length become the most prevalent, if not the only race, in the particular country in which it had originated." He then extends these same views to the white inhabitants of colder climates. I am indebted to Mr. Rowley, of the United States, for having called my attention, through Mr. Brace, to the above passage of Dr. Wells' work. The Hon. and Rev. W. Herbert, afterward Dean of Manchester, in the fourth volume of the "Horticultural Transactions", 1822, and in his work on the "Amaryllidaceae" (1837, pages 19, 339), declares that "horticultural experiments have established, beyond the possibility of refutation, that botanical species are only a higher and more permanent class of varieties." He extends the same view to animals. The dean believes that single species of each genus were created in an originally highly plastic condition, and that these have produced, chiefly by inter-crossing, but likewise by variation, all our existing species. In 1826 Professor Grant, in the concluding paragraph in his wellknown paper ("Edinburgh Philosophical Journal", vol. XIV, page 283) on the Spongilla, clearly declares his belief that species are descended from


other species, and that they become improved in the course of modification. This same view was given in his Fifty-fifth Lecture, published in the "Lancet" in 1834. In 1831 Mr. Patrick Matthew published his work on "Naval Timber and Arboriculture", in which he gives precisely the same view on the origin of species as that (presently to be alluded to) propounded by Mr. Wallace and myself in the "Linnean Journal", and as that enlarged in the present volume. Unfortunately the view was given by Mr. Matthew very briefly in scattered passages in an appendix to a work on a different subject, so that it remained unnoticed until Mr. Matthew himself drew attention to it in the "Gardeners' Chronicle", on April 7, 1860. The differences of Mr. Matthew's views from mine are not of much importance: he seems to consider that the world was nearly depopulated at successive periods, and then restocked; and he gives as an alternative, that new forms may be generated "without the presence of any mold or germ of former aggregates." I am not sure that I understand some passages; but it seems that he attributes much influence to the direct action of the conditions of life. He clearly saw, however, the full force of the principle of natural selection. The celebrated geologist and naturalist, Von Buch, in his excellent "Description Physique des Isles Canaries" (1836, page 147), clearly expresses his belief that varieties slowly become changed into permanent species, which are no longer capable of intercrossing. Rafinesque, in his "New Flora of North America", published in 1836, wrote (page 6) as follows: "All species might have been varieties once, and many varieties are gradually becoming species by assuming constant and peculiar characters;" but further on (page 18) he adds, "except the original types or ancestors of the genus." In 1843-44 Professor Haldeman ("Boston Journal of Nat. Hist. U. States", vol. iv, page 468) has ably given the arguments for and against the hypothesis of the development and modification of species: he seems to lean toward the side of change. The "Vestiges of Creation" appeared in 1844. In the tenth and much improved edition (1853) the anonymous author says (page 155): "The proposition determined on after much consideration is, that the several series of animated beings, from the simplest and oldest up to the highest and most recent, are, under the providence of God, the results, FIRST, of an impulse which has been imparted to the forms of life, advancing them, in definite times, by generation, through grades of organisation


terminating in the highest dicotyledons and vertebrata, these grades being few in number, and generally marked by intervals of organic character, which we find to be a practical difficulty in ascertaining affinities; SECOND, of another impulse connected with the vital forces, tending, in the course of generations, to modify organic structures in accordance with external circumstances, as food, the nature of the habitat, and the meteoric agencies, these being the 'adaptations' of the natural theologian." The author apparently believes that organisation progresses by sudden leaps, but that the effects produced by the conditions of life are gradual. He argues with much force on general grounds that species are not immutable productions. But I cannot see how the two supposed "impulses" account in a scientific sense for the numerous and beautiful coadaptations which we see throughout nature; I cannot see that we thus gain any insight how, for instance, a woodpecker has become adapted to its peculiar habits of life. The work, from its powerful and brilliant style, though displaying in the early editions little accurate knowledge and a great want of scientific caution, immediately had a very wide circulation. In my opinion it has done excellent service in this country in calling attention to the subject, in removing prejudice, and in thus preparing the ground for the reception of analogous views. In 1846 the veteran geologist M.J. d'Omalius d'Halloy published in an excellent though short paper ("Bulletins de l'Acad. Roy. Bruxelles", tom. xiii, page 581) his opinion that it is more probable that new species have been produced by descent with modification than that they have been separately created: the author first promulgated this opinion in 1831. Professor Owen, in 1849 ("Nature of Limbs", page 86), wrote as follows: "The archetypal idea was manifested in the flesh under diverse such modifications, upon this planet, long prior to the existence of those animal species that actually exemplify it. To what natural laws or secondary causes the orderly succession and progression of such organic phenomena may have been committed, we, as yet, are ignorant." In his address to the British Association, in 1858, he speaks (page li) of "the axiom of the continuous operation of creative power, or of the ordained becoming of living things." Further on (page xc), after referring to geographical distribution, he adds, "These phenomena shake our confidence in the conclusion that the Apteryx of New Zealand and the Red Grouse of England were distinct creations in and for those islands respectively. Always, also, it may be well to bear in mind that by the word 'creation' the zoologist means 'a process he knows not what.'" He amplifies this idea by adding that when such cases as that of the Red Grouse are


"enumerated by the zoologist as evidence of distinct creation of the bird in and for such islands, he chiefly expresses that he knows not how the Red Grouse came to be there, and there exclusively; signifying also, by this mode of expressing such ignorance, his belief that both the bird and the islands owed their origin to a great first Creative Cause." If we interpret these sentences given in the same address, one by the other, it appears that this eminent philosopher felt in 1858 his confidence shaken that the Apteryx and the Red Grouse first appeared in their respective homes "he knew not how," or by some process "he knew not what." This address was delivered after the papers by Mr. Wallace and myself on the Origin of Species, presently to be referred to, had been read before the Linnean Society. When the first edition of this work was published, I was so completely deceived, as were many others, by such expressions as "the continuous operation of creative power," that I included Professor Owen with other palaeontologists as being firmly convinced of the immutability of species; but it appears ("Anat. of Vertebrates", vol. iii, page 796) that this was on my part a preposterous error. In the last edition of this work I inferred, and the inference still seems to me perfectly just, from a passage beginning with the words "no doubt the type- form," etc.(Ibid., vol. i, page xxxv), that Professor Owen admitted that natural selection may have done something in the formation of a new species; but this it appears (Ibid., vol. iii. page 798) is inaccurate and without evidence. I also gave some extracts from a correspondence between Professor Owen and the editor of the "London Review", from which it appeared manifest to the editor as well as to myself, that Professor Owen claimed to have promulgated the theory of natural selection before I had done so; and I expressed my surprise and satisfaction at this announcement; but as far as it is possible to understand certain recently published passages (Ibid., vol. iii. page 798) I have either partially or wholly again fallen into error. It is consolatory to me that others find Professor Owen's controversial writings as difficult to understand and to reconcile with each other, as I do. As far as the mere enunciation of the principle of natural selection is concerned, it is quite immaterial whether or not Professor Owen preceded me, for both of us, as shown in this historical sketch, were long ago preceded by Dr. Wells and Mr. Matthews. M. Isidore Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, in his lectures delivered in 1850 (of which a Resume appeared in the "Revue et Mag. de Zoolog.", Jan., 1851), briefly gives his reason for believing that specific characters "sont fixes, pour chaque espece, tant qu'elle se perpetue au milieu des memes circonstances: ils se modifient, si les circonstances ambiantes viennent a


changer. En resume, L'OBSERVATION des animaux sauvages demontre deja la variabilite LIMITEE des especes. Les EXPERIENCES sur les animaux sauvages devenus domestiques, et sur les animaux domestiques redevenus sauvages, la demontrent plus clairment encore. Ces memes experiences prouvent, de plus, que les differences produites peuvent etre de VALEUR GENERIQUE." In his "Hist. Nat. Generale" (tom. ii, page 430, 1859) he amplifies analogous conclusions. From a circular lately issued it appears that Dr. Freke, in 1851 ("Dublin Medical Press", page 322), propounded the doctrine that all organic beings have descended from one primordial form. His grounds of belief and treatment of the subject are wholly different from mine; but as Dr. Freke has now (1861) published his Essay on the "Origin of Species by means of Organic Affinity", the difficult attempt to give any idea of his views would be superfluous on my part. Mr. Herbert Spencer, in an Essay (originally published in the "Leader", March, 1852, and republished in his "Essays", in 1858), has contrasted the theories of the Creation and the Development of organic beings with remarkable skill and force. He argues from the analogy of domestic productions, from the changes which the embryos of many species undergo, from the difficulty of distinguishing species and varieties, and from the principle of general gradation, that species have been modified; and he attributes the modification to the change of circumstances. The author (1855) has also treated Psychology on the principle of the necessary acquirement of each mental power and capacity by gradation. In 1852 M. Naudin, a distinguished botanist, expressly stated, in an admirable paper on the Origin of Species ("Revue Horticole", page 102; since partly republished in the "Nouvelles Archives du Museum", tom. i, page 171), his belief that species are formed in an analogous manner as varieties are under cultivation; and the latter process he attributes to man's power of selection. But he does not show how selection acts under nature. He believes, like Dean Herbert, that species, when nascent, were more plastic than at present. He lays weight on what he calls the principle of finality, "puissance mysterieuse, indeterminee; fatalite pour les uns; pour les autres volonte providentielle, dont l'action incessante sur les etres vivantes determine, a toutes les epoques de l'existence du monde, la forme, le volume, et la duree de chacun d'eux, en raison de sa destinee dans l'ordre de choses dont il fait partie. C'est cette puissance qui harmonise chaque membre a l'ensemble, en l'appropriant a la fonction qu'il doit remplir dans l'organisme general de la nature, fonction qui est pour lui sa raison d'etre." (From references in Bronn's


From other references in Godron's work "Sur l'Espece". Baden Powell. des Naturhist. Burdach. Lecoq's large work make it a little doubtful how far he extends his views on the modification of species. page 250). 1855. 2nd Ser. it appears that the celebrated botanist and palaeontologist Unger published. page 357).". I may add. in 1852. or at least disbelieve in separate acts of creation.) In 1853 a celebrated geologist. Dalton. Geolog. Vereins der Preuss. not a casual phenomenon. and thus have given rise to new forms. "Thus living plants and animals are not separated from the extinct by new creations." A well-known French botanist." Some other passages scattered through M. x. Rheinlands". Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire et Goethe. but are to be regarded as their descendants through continued reproduction."Untersuchungen uber die Entwickelungs-Gesetze". supposed to have been caused by some miasma have arisen and spread over the world. The distinction of species he explains by the destruction of intermediate graduated forms. so at certain periods the germs of existing species may have been chemically affected by circumambient molecules of a particular nature. Bot. The "Philosophy of Creation" has been treated in a masterly manner by the Rev. Poiret and Fries. 1853. Schaaffhausen published an excellent pamphlet ("Verhand. In this same year. Lecoq. etc. Nothing can be more striking than the manner in which he shows that the introduction of new species is "a regular. been maintained by Oken in his mystical "Natur-Philosophie". likewise." 11 . i.). writes in 1854 ("Etudes sur Geograph. whereas a few have become modified. nous conduisent directement aux idees emises par deux hommes justement celebres. that of the thirty-four authors named in this Historical Sketch.. his belief that species undergo development and modification. in 1821. "On voit que nos recherches sur la fixite ou la variation de l'espece. in which he maintains the development of organic forms on the earth. Similar views have. have all admitted that new species are continually being produced. a similar belief. Dr. He infers that many species have kept true for long periods. who believe in the modification of species. tom. in Pander and Dalton's work on Fossil Sloths. as is well known. M. twenty-seven have written on special branches of natural history or geology. suggested that as new diseases. tom. expressed. Vincent. it seems that Bory St. Count Keyserling ("Bulletin de la Soc. in his "Essays on the Unity of Worlds".

in which. 1859. If. by Mr. "Zoologisch-Anthropologische Untersuchungen". read July 1. their existence would seem to show that the amount of modification which living beings have undergone during geological time is but very small in relation to the whole series of changes which they have suffered. or each great type of organisation. 1859." In December. if we suppose that each species of animal and plant. Referring to such cases. 12 . though unproven. 1858. The first edition of this work was published on November 24. on the other hand. we view "Persistent Types" in relation to that hypothesis which supposes the species living at any time to be the result of the gradual modification of pre-existing species. 1859. 1860. Von Baer. Wallace with admirable force and clearness. 51) his conviction. "It is difficult to comprehend the meaning of such facts as these. he remarks. Rudolph Wagner. Wallace and myself. and supports this doctrine by many original observations." The third volume of the "Journal of the Linnean Society" contains papers. a hypothesis which. and sadly damaged by some of its supporters. and the second edition on January 7. is yet the only one to which physiology lends any countenance. 1861. Professor Huxley gave a lecture before the Royal Institution on the "Persistent Types of Animal Life". Dr. Hooker published his "Introduction to the Australian Flora". In the first part of this great work he admits the truth of the descent and modification of species. toward whom all zoologists feel so profound a respect. expressed about the year 1859 (see Prof. "a natural in contradistinction to a miraculous process. was formed and placed upon the surface of the globe at long intervals by a distinct act of creative power.or. as stated in the introductory remarks to this volume. as Sir John Herschel expresses it. chiefly grounded on the laws of geographical distribution. and it is well to recollect that such an assumption is as unsupported by tradition or revelation as it is opposed to the general analogy of nature. In June. s. the theory of Natural Selection is promulgated by Mr. that forms now perfectly distinct have descended from a single parent-form.

I have been urged to publish this abstract. I can here give only the general conclusions at which I have arrived. that something might perhaps be made out on this question by patiently accumulating and reflecting on all sorts of facts which could possibly have any bearing on it. who both knew of my work—the latter having read my sketch of 1844—honoured me by thinking it advisable to publish. I cannot here give references and authorities for my several statements. with Mr. Hooker. who is now studying the natural history of the Malay Archipelago. Wallace's excellent memoir.M. My work is now (1859) nearly finished. must necessarily be imperfect. but which. which I now publish. with references. Beagle. Lyell and Dr. some brief extracts from my manuscripts. as Mr. I hope. these I enlarged in 1844 into a sketch of the conclusions. who sent it to the Linnean Society. These facts. with a request that I would forward it to Sir Charles Lyell. on which my conclusions have been grounded. as I give them to show that I have not been hasty in coming to a decision. No one can feel more sensible than I do of the necessity of hereafter publishing in detail all the facts. On my return home. as will be seen in the latter chapters of this volume. as it has been called by one of our greatest philosophers. This abstract. I have more especially been induced to do this. No doubt errors may have crept in. I was much struck with certain facts in the distribution of the organic beings inhabiting South America. in 1837. though I hope I have always been cautious in trusting to good authorities alone. and as my health is far from strong. and I hope in a future work to do this. In 1858 he sent me a memoir on this subject. has arrived at almost exactly the same general conclusions that I have on the origin of species.Introduction When on board H. Wallace.S. with a few facts in illustration. in most cases will suffice. I hope that I may be excused for entering on these personal details. which then seemed to me probable: from that period to the present day I have steadily pursued the same object. and drew up some short notes. For I am well aware that scarcely a single point is discussed in this volume on which facts cannot be 13 . Sir C. as naturalist. it occurred to me. and in the geological relations of the present to the past inhabitants of that continent. seemed to throw some light on the origin of species—that mystery of mysteries. and I must trust to the reader reposing some confidence in my accuracy. After five years' work I allowed myself to speculate on the subject. but as it will take me many more years to complete it. and it is published in the third volume of the Journal of that Society.

and this is here impossible. and other such facts. and which has flowers with separate sexes absolutely requiring the agency of certain insects to bring pollen from one flower to the other. such as climate. At the commencement of my observations it seemed to me probable that a careful study of domesticated animals and of cultivated plants would offer the best chance of making out this obscure problem. afforded 14 . A fair result can be obtained only by fully stating and balancing the facts and arguments on both sides of each question. beak. of the woodpecker. but it is preposterous to attribute to mere external conditions. often apparently leading to conclusions directly opposite to those at which I have arrived. as we shall hereafter see. etc. let this opportunity pass without expressing my deep obligations to Dr. which draws its nourishment from certain trees. on their embryological relations. In one limited sense. and tongue. I cannot. by the effects of external conditions. In the case of the mistletoe. of the highest importance to gain a clear insight into the means of modification and coadaptation. food. Nevertheless. tail. reflecting on the mutual affinities of organic beings. this may be true. I much regret that want of space prevents my having the satisfaction of acknowledging the generous assistance which I have received from very many naturalists. therefore. some of them personally unknown to me.. but had descended. from other species. would be unsatisfactory. with its feet. however.adduced. Nor have I been disappointed. which has seeds that must be transported by certain birds. like varieties. Hooker. of variation under domestication. has aided me in every possible way by his large stores of knowledge and his excellent judgment. as the only possible cause of variation. might come to the conclusion that species had not been independently created. with its relations to several distinct organic beings. their geographical distribution. until it could be shown how the innumerable species. In considering the origin of species. It is. such a conclusion. it is equally preposterous to account for the structure of this parasite. or of the volition of the plant itself. Naturalists continually refer to external conditions. the structure. even if well founded. for instance. or of habit. so as to acquire that perfection of structure and coadaptation which justly excites our admiration. geological succession. who. in this and in all other perplexing cases I have invariably found that our knowledge. imperfect though it be. so admirably adapted to catch insects under the bark of trees. for the last fifteen years. it is quite conceivable that a naturalist. inhabiting this world have been modified.

From the strong principle of inheritance. hybridism. In the next chapter the struggle for existence among all organic beings throughout the world.the best and safest clue. there is a frequently recurring struggle for existence. This is the doctrine of Malthus. both when mature and in an embryonic 15 . We shall thus see that a large amount of hereditary modification is at least possible. and leads to what I have called divergence of character. or the mental powers of animals. be compelled to treat this subject far too briefly. This fundamental subject of natural selection will be treated at some length in the fourth chapter. be enabled to discuss what circumstances are most favourable to variation. their geographical distribution throughout space. In the next chapter I shall discuss the complex and little known laws of variation. I shall devote the first chapter of this abstract to variation under domestication. the imperfection of the geological record. any selected variety will tend to propagate its new and modified form. and we shall then see how natural selection almost inevitably causes much extinction of the less improved forms of life. in the fourteenth. we shall see how great is the power of man in accumulating by his selection successive slight variations. their classification or mutual affinities. the most apparent and gravest difficulties in accepting the theory will be given: namely. and fourthly. the difficulties of transitions. In the five succeeding chapters. what is equally or more important. but I shall. which inevitably follows from the high geometrical ratio of their increase. From these considerations. consequently. if it vary however slightly in any manner profitable to itself. first. We shall. unfortunately. in the twelfth and thirteenth. applied to the whole animal and vegetable kingdoms. or how a simple being or a simple organ can be changed and perfected into a highly developed being or into an elaborately constructed organ. As many more individuals of each species are born than can possibly survive. as it can be treated properly only by giving long catalogues of facts. will have a better chance of surviving. although they have been very commonly neglected by naturalists. or the infertility of species and the fertility of varieties when intercrossed. and. thirdly. and thus be NATURALLY SELECTED. In the next chapter I shall consider the geological succession of organic beings throughout time. I will then pass on to the variability of species in a state of nature. under the complex and sometimes varying conditions of life. secondly the subject of instinct. it follows that any being. I may venture to express my conviction of the high value of such studies. will be considered. and as. however.

after the most deliberate study and dispassionate judgment of which I am capable. I am convinced that natural selection has been the most important. I can entertain no doubt. as I believe. if he make due allowance for our profound ignorance in regard to the mutual relations of the many beings which live around us. that each species has been independently created—is erroneous. but not the exclusive. In the last chapter I shall give a brief recapitulation of the whole work. I am fully convinced that species are not immutable. Who can explain why one species ranges widely and is very numerous. Although much remains obscure. and why another allied species has a narrow range and is rare? Yet these relations are of the highest importance. Still less do we know of the mutual relations of the innumerable inhabitants of the world during the many past geological epochs in its history. the future success and modification of every inhabitant of this world. means of modification. for they determine the present welfare and. but that those belonging to what are called the same genera are lineal descendants of some other and generally extinct species. Furthermore. in the same manner as the acknowledged varieties of any one species are the descendants of that species. and which I formerly entertained—namely. that the view which most naturalists until recently entertained. and will long remain obscure.condition. 16 . and a few concluding remarks. No one ought to feel surprise at much remaining as yet unexplained in regard to the origin of species and varieties.

17 . anciently followed.Chapter 1 Variation Under Domestication Causes of Variability — Effects of Habit and the use and disuse of Parts — Correlated Variation — Inheritance — Character of Domestic Varieties — Difficulty of distinguishing between Varieties and Species — Origin of Domestic Varieties from one or more Species — Domestic Pigeons. their Differences and Origin — Principles of Selection. their Effects — Methodical and Unconscious Selection — Unknown Origin of our Domestic Productions — Circumstances favourable to Man's power of Selection.

also.1. those to which the parent species had been exposed under nature. be little doubt about many slight changes. still yield new varieties: our oldest domesticated animals are still capable of rapid improvement or modification. such as wheat. No case is on record of a variable organism ceasing to vary under cultivation. Our oldest cultivated plants. colour from the nature of the food. it generally continues varying for many generations. thickness of the skin and hair from climate. And if we reflect on the vast diversity of the plants and animals which have been cultivated. There is. etc. It seems clear that organic beings must be exposed during several generations to new conditions to cause any great amount of variation. With respect to the direct action. that they generally differ more from each other than do the individuals of any one species or variety in a state of nature. They may be considered as definite when all or nearly all the offspring of individuals exposed to certain conditions during several generations are modified in the same manner. such as size from the amount of food. There can. Each of the endless variations which we see in 18 . the conditions of life appear to act in two ways—directly on the whole organisation or on certain parts alone and in directly by affecting the reproductive system. and somewhat different from. when the organisation has once begun to vary. As far as I am able to judge. as far as we can judge. the nature of the organism and the nature of the conditions. as Professor Weismann has lately insisted. It is extremely difficult to come to any conclusion in regard to the extent of the changes which have been thus definitely induced. and which have varied during all ages under the most different climates and treatment. and as I have incidently shown in my work on "Variation under Domestication. and that. however. we are driven to conclude that this great variability is due to our domestic productions having been raised under conditions of life not so uniform as. we must bear in mind that in every case. one of the first points which strikes us is. The effects on the offspring are either definite or in definite. on the other hand. dissimilar conditions. after long attending to the subject. dissimilar variations arise under conditions which appear to be nearly uniform. Causes of Variability When we compare the individuals of the same variety or sub-variety of our older cultivated plants and animals. and. some probability in the view propounded by Andrew Knight. The former seems to be much the more important." there are two factors: namely. that this variability may be partly connected with excess of food. for nearly similar variations sometimes arise under.

We see in definite variability in the endless slight peculiarities which distinguish the individuals of the same species. whether extremely slight or strongly marked. but erroneously attributed to vitiated instincts. Many facts clearly show how eminently susceptible the reproductive system is to very slight changes in the surrounding conditions. All such changes of structure. though kept in an almost free state in their native country! This is generally. and which cannot be accounted for by inheritance from either parent or from some more remote ancestor. With respect to what I have called the in direct action of changed conditions. as Kolreuter and others have remarked. and few things more difficult than to get it to breed freely under confinement. Such facts as the complex and extraordinary out growths which variably follow from the insertion of a minute drop of poison by a gall-producing insect. How many animals there are which will not breed. all probably would be modified in the same manner. namely. which appear among many individuals living together. and yet rarely 19 . In definite variability is a much more common result of changed conditions than definite variability. and if the same cause were to act uniformly during a long series of generations on many individuals. and in seedlings from the same seed-capsule. according to their state of body or constitution. may be considered as the in definite effects of the conditions of life on each individual organism. we may infer that variability is thus induced. or inflammation of various organs. and partly from the similarity. At long intervals of time. but monstrosities cannot be separated by any distinct line from slighter variations. shows us what singular modifications might result in the case of plants from a chemical change in the nature of the sap. between the variability which follows from the crossing of distinct species. partly from the fact of this system being extremely sensitive to any change in the conditions.the plumage of our fowls must have had some efficient cause. rheumatism. Many cultivated plants display the utmost vigour. in nearly the same manner as the chill effects different men in an in definite manner. causing coughs or colds. and has probably played a more important part in the formation of our domestic races. Even stronglymarked differences occasionally appear in the young of the same litter. even when the male and female unite. deviations of structure so strongly pronounced as to deserve to be called monstrosities arise. Nothing is more easy than to tame an animal. out of millions of individuals reared in the same country and fed on nearly the same food. through the reproductive system of being affected. and that which may be observed with plants and animals when reared under new or unnatural conditions.

breeding freely under confinement. but this is certainly an error. hardly ever lay fertile eggs. and when.. of plants which have suddenly produced a single bud with a new and sometimes widely different character from that of the other buds on the same plant.or never seed! In some few cases it has been discovered that a very trifling change. even from the tropics. we need not be surprised at this system. whereas. Some naturalists have maintained that all variations are connected with the act of sexual reproduction. and as buds on distinct trees. though often weak and sickly. has been known suddenly to assume a new character. on the other hand. offsets. on the one hand. acting irregularly. we see individuals. and sometimes by seed. can be propagated by grafts. Many exotic plants have pollen utterly worthless. carnivorous birds. that is. buds on peach. we see domesticated animals and plants. growing under different conditions.trees producing nectarines." as they are called by gardeners. with the rarest exception. I cannot here give the details which I have collected and elsewhere published on this curious subject. will determine whether or not a plant will produce seeds. with the exception of the plantigrades or bear family. I may add that as some organisms breed freely under the most unnatural conditions—for instance. I may mention that carnivorous animals. but to show how singular the laws are which determine the reproduction of animals under confinement. When. in the same condition as in the most sterile hybrids. and buds on common roses producing moss-roses— we clearly see that the nature of the conditions is of subordinate importance in comparison with the nature of 20 . such as a little more or less water at some particular period of growth. rabbits and ferrets kept in hutches—showing that their reproductive organs are not easily affected. when it does act under confinement. yet having their reproductive system so seriously affected by unperceived causes as to fail to act. and vary very slightly—perhaps hardly more than in a state of nature. so will some animals and plants withstand domestication or cultivation. but are far from rare under culture. long-lived. These bud variations. have sometimes yielded nearly the same variety—for instance. They occur rarely under nature. As a single bud out of many thousands produced year after year on the same tree under uniform conditions. for I have given in another work a long list of "sporting plants. and producing offspring somewhat unlike their parents. etc. breed in this country pretty freely under confinement. and healthy (of which I could give numerous instances). as they may be named. which seldom produce young. though taken young from a state of nature perfectly tamed.

by which a mass of combustible matter is ignited. perhaps of not more importance than the nature of the spark. has in determining the nature of the flames.the organism in determining each particular form of variation. 21 .

some few of which can be dimly seen. Many laws regulate variation. long-haired and coarse-haired animals are apt to have. With animals the increased use or disuse of parts has had a more marked influence. seems probable. thus I find in the domestic duck that the bones of the wing weigh less and the bones of the leg more. and this change may be safely attributed to the domestic duck flying much less. than do the same bones in the wild duck. Hilaire's great work on this subject. Colour and constitutional peculiarities go together. and walking more." Hairless dogs have imperfect teeth. and many instances are given in Isidore Geoffroy St. Tait that this is confined to the males. it appears that white sheep and pigs are injured by certain plants. and will hereafter be briefly discussed. while dark-coloured individuals escape: Professor Wyman has recently communicated to me a good illustration of this fact. Inheritance Changed habits produce an inherited effect as in the period of the flowering of plants when transported from one climate to another. "we select the black members of a litter for raising. Breeders believe that long limbs are almost always accompanied by an elongated head. Effects Of Habit And Of The Use Or Disuse Of Parts. from the animals being seldom much alarmed. 22 .2. Correlated Variation. and the view which has been suggested that the drooping is due to disuse of the muscles of the ear. I will here only allude to what may be called correlated variation. as is asserted. which coloured their bones pink. than its wild parents. but it has been lately stated by Mr. the correlations between quite distinct parts are very curious. Virginia squatters) added. and which caused the hoofs of all but the black varieties to drop off. of which many remarkable cases could be given among animals and plants. they informed him that the pigs ate the paint-root (Lachnanthes). The great and inherited development of the udders in cows and goats in countries where they are habitually milked. Not one of our domestic animals can be named which has not in some country drooping ears. and one of the "crackers" (i. in comparison with these organs in other countries. From facts collected by Heusinger. Some instances of correlation are quite whimsical. on asking some farmers in Virginia how it was that all their pigs were black. thus cats which are entirely white and have blue eyes are generally deaf. in proportion to the whole skeleton. as they alone have a good chance of living. Important changes in the embryo or larva will probably entail changes in the mature animal. In monstrosities.e. is probably another instance of the effects of use.

or in different species. potato.long or many horns. appearing in several members of the same family. If strange and rare deviations of structure are truly inherited. and departs in a slight degree from that of the parental type. in two large volumes. any very rare deviation. why the child often reverts in certain characteristics to its grandfather or grandmother or more remote ancestor. Any variation which is not inherited is unimportant for us. are endless. both those of slight and those of considerable physiological importance. he will almost certainly modify unintentionally other parts of the structure.. due to some extraordinary combination of circumstances. and non-inheritance as the anomaly. is sometimes inherited and sometimes not so. and thus augmenting. owing to the mysterious laws of correlation. It is well worth while carefully to study the several treatises on some of our old cultivated plants. the mere doctrine of chances almost compels us to attribute its reappearance to inheritance. as on the hyacinth. why a peculiarity is often transmitted from one sex to both sexes. or but dimly understood laws of variation are infinitely complex and diversified. that like produces like is his fundamental belief: doubts have been thrown on this principle only by theoretical writers. When any deviation of structure often appears. etc. but when among individuals. prickly skin. The laws governing inheritance are for the most part unknown. and we see it in the father and child. unknown.. No breeder doubts how strong is the tendency to inheritance. The results of the various. any peculiarity. pigeons with feathered feet have skin between their outer toes. even the dahlia. is the fullest and the best on this subject. Prosper Lucas' treatise. and those with long beaks large feet. etc. once among several million individuals—and it reappears in the child. more 23 . to look at the inheritance of every character whatever as the rule. The whole organisation seems to have become plastic. pigeons with short beaks have small feet. hairy bodies. Perhaps the correct way of viewing the whole subject would be. Dr. or to one sex alone. we cannot tell whether it may not be due to the same cause having acted on both. no one can say why the same peculiarity in different individuals of the same species. and it is really surprising to note the endless points of structure and constitution in which the varieties and sub-varieties differ slightly from each other. appears in the parent—say. Hence if man goes on selecting. apparently exposed to the same conditions. less strange and commoner deviations may be freely admitted to be inheritable. But the number and diversity of inheritable deviations of structure. Every one must have heard of cases of albinism.

In many cases we do not know what the aboriginal stock was. which I think may be trusted. that our domestic varieties. and so could not tell whether or not nearly perfect reversion had ensued. These remarks are of course confined to the first APPEARANCE of the peculiarity. I have in vain endeavoured to discover on what decisive facts the above statement has so often and so boldly been made. to the males alone. in very poor soil—in which case. that peculiarities appearing in the males of our domestic breeds are often transmitted. I may here refer to a statement often made by naturalists—namely. the several races. Hence it has been argued that no deductions can be drawn from domestic races to species in a state of nature. It would be necessary. But hereditary diseases and some other facts make me believe that the rule has a wider extension. however. Nevertheless. gradually but invariably revert in character to their aboriginal stocks. when run wild. and that.commonly but not exclusively to the like sex. I believe this rule to be of the highest importance in explaining the laws of embryology. is that. as our varieties certainly do occasionally revert in some of their characters to ancestral forms. and not to the primary cause which may have acted on the ovules or on the male element. in order to prevent the effects of intercrossing. peculiarities in the silk-worm are known to appear at the corresponding caterpillar or cocoon stage. it seems to me not improbable that if we could succeed in naturalising. thus the inherited peculiarities in the horns of cattle could appear only in the offspring when nearly mature. or were to cultivate. in nearly the same manner as the increased length of the horns in the offspring from a shorthorned cow by a long-horned bull. A much more important rule. is clearly due to the male element. There would be great difficulty in proving its truth: we may safely conclude that very many of the most strongly marked domestic varieties could not possibly live in a wild state. when there is no apparent reason why a peculiarity should appear at any particular age. In many cases this could not be otherwise. at whatever period of life a peculiarity first appears. though sometimes earlier. some effect would have to be attributed to the DEFINITE action of the poor soil —that they would. though appearing late in life. either exclusively or in a much greater degree. of the cabbage. It is a fact of some importance to us. for instance. during many generations. or 24 . it tends to reappear in the offspring at a corresponding age. that only a single variety should be turned loose in its new home. to a large extent. yet that it does tend to appear in the offspring at the same period at which it first appeared in the parent. Having alluded to the subject of reversion.

If it could be shown that our domestic varieties manifested a strong tendency to reversion—that is. in such case. by blending together. for an unlimited number of generations. for by the experiment itself the conditions of life are changed. while kept under the same conditions and while kept in a considerable body. long and short-horned cattle. But there is not a shadow of evidence in favour of this view: to assert that we could not breed our cart and race-horses. I grant that we could deduce nothing from domestic varieties in regard to species. revert to the wild aboriginal stock. Whether or not the experiment would succeed is not of great importance for our line of argument. 25 .even wholly. and poultry of various breeds. to lose their acquired characters. so that free intercrossing might check. any slight deviations in their structure. and esculent vegetables. would be opposed to all experience.

they often differ in an extreme degree in some one part. Difficulty Of Distinguishing Between Varieties And Species. With these exceptions (and with that of the perfect fertility of varieties when crossed—a subject hereafter to be discussed). were the offspring of any single species. This must be admitted as true. if. all such valuations being at present empirical.3. spaniel and bull-dog. It has often been stated that domestic races do not differ from each other in characters of generic value. It can be shown that this statement is not correct. but the differences in most cases are less in degree. and compare them with closely allied species. which we all know propagate their kind truly. When it is explained how genera originate under nature. In attempting to estimate the amount of structural difference between allied domestic races. that. domestic races of the same species differ from each other in the same manner as do the closely allied species of the same genus in a state of nature. in several trifling respects. would be interesting. I do not believe. if it could be cleared up. If any well marked distinction existed between a domestic race and a species. we generally perceive in each domestic race. Domestic races often have a somewhat monstrous character. of the many foxes—inhabiting the different quarters of the world. and by other competent judges as mere varieties. This point. that the whole amount of difference between the several breeds of the dog has 26 . for the domestic races of many animals and plants have been ranked by some competent judges as the descendants of aboriginally distinct species. we are soon involved in doubt. less uniformity of character than in true species. from not knowing whether they are descended from one or several parent species. as we shall presently see. Origin Of Domestic Varieties From One Or More Species When we look to the hereditary varieties or races of our domestic animals and plants. Character Of Domestic Varieties. this source of doubt would not so perpetually recur. by which I mean. it could be shown that the greyhound. although differing from each other and from other species of the same genus. as already remarked. it will be seen that we have no right to expect often to find a generic amount of difference in our domesticated races. both when compared one with another. but naturalists differ much in determining what characters are of generic value. bloodhound. and more especially when compared with the species under nature to which they are nearest allied. terrier. for instance. then such facts would have great weight in making us doubt about the immutability of the many closely allied natural species—for instance.

were taken from a state of nature. and that some of these ancient breeds closely resemble. prevented their domestication? I cannot doubt that if other animals and plants. I do not dispute that these capacities have added largely to the value of most of our domesticated productions. and in the lake. kept by different tribes in different districts. but how could a savage possibly know. The lake-inhabitants of Switzerland cultivated several kinds of wheat and barley. there is presumptive or even strong evidence that all are descended from a single wild stock.habitations of Switzerland. and whether it would endure other climates? Has the little variability of the ass and goose. and likewise to withstand diverse climates. The argument mainly relied on by those who believe in the multiple origin of our domestic animals is. or the small power of endurance of warmth by the reindeer. all geologists believe that barbarian men existed at an enormously remote period. might have varied and given rise to distinct races. and belonging to equally diverse classes and countries. In the case of most of our anciently domesticated animals and plants. or are even identical with. as Heer has remarked. and we know that at the 27 . the poppy for oil and flax. All this clearly shows. the pea. and shows that animals were domesticated at a much earlier period than has hitherto been supposed. and could be made to breed for an equal number of generations under domestication. they would on an average vary as largely as the parent species of our existing domesticated productions have varied. whether they are descended from one or several wild species.been produced under domestication. much diversity in the breeds. when he first tamed an animal. on the monuments of Egypt. It has often been assumed that man has chosen for domestication animals and plants having an extraordinary inherent tendency to vary. or of cold by the common camel. I believe that a small part of the difference is due to their being descended from distinct species. They also carried on commerce with other nations. and they possessed several domesticated animals. during which the domesticated animals. those still existing. whether it would vary in succeeding generations. and this again implies a long continued previous period of less advanced civilisation. that we find in the most ancient times. it is not possible to come to any definite conclusion. equal in number to our domesticated productions. that they had at this early age progressed considerably in civilisation. In the case of strongly marked races of some other domesticated species. But this only throws far backward the history of civilisation. Since the discovery of flint tools in the superficial formations of many parts of the world.

we must admit that many domestic breeds must have originated in Europe. on the habits. from reasons which I cannot here give. But I may here state that. Spain. constitution and structure of the humped Indian cattle. With respect to horses. Even in the case of the breeds of the domestic dog throughout the 28 . has had its wild prototype. and several even within Great Britain. looking to the domestic dogs of the whole world. and France but few distinct from those of Germany.. and examined their skeletons. They believe that every race which breeds true. and of others who have studied this bird in India. Blyth. come to the conclusion that several wild species of Canidae have been tamed. has been carried to an absurd extreme by some authors. it is almost certain that they are descended from a different aboriginal stock from our European cattle. and some competent judges believe that these latter have had two or three wild progenitors. it appears to me almost certain that all are the descendants of the wild Indian fowl. etc. after a laborious collection of all known facts. indeed. let the distinctive characters be ever so slight. sheep. At this rate there must have existed at least a score of species of wild cattle.present day there is hardly a tribe so barbarous as not to have domesticated at least the dog. be looked upon as established by the admirable researches of Professor Rutimeyer. whether or not these deserve to be called species. In regard to sheep and goats I can form no decided opinion. flows in the veins of our domestic breeds. in some cases mingled together. etc. but that each of these kingdoms possesses several peculiar breeds of cattle. One author believes that there formerly existed eleven wild species of sheep peculiar to Great Britain! When we bear in mind that Britain has now not one peculiar mammal. From facts communicated to me by Mr. In regard to ducks and rabbits. and several goats. in opposition to several authors.. may. the evidence is clear that they are all descended from the common duck and wild rabbit. Having kept nearly all the English breeds of the fowl alive. as well as that of the specific distinction between the humped and common cattle. voice. having bred and crossed them. that all the races belong to the same species. and that their blood. and so with Hungary. I am doubtfully inclined to believe. in Europe alone. for whence otherwise could they have been derived? So it is in India. I have. This conclusion. The doctrine of the origin of our several domestic races from several aboriginal stocks. The origin of most of our domestic animals will probably forever remain vague. and this is the conclusion of Mr. as many sheep. some breeds of which differ much from each other. Gallus bankiva. Blyth.

in the wild state. Sir J.—so unlike all wild Canidae—ever existed in a state of nature? It has often been loosely said that all our races of dogs have been produced by the crossing of a few aboriginal species. the bloodhound. hardly two of them are alike. but to obtain a race intermediate between two quite distinct races would be very difficult. it cannot be doubted that there has been an immense amount of inherited variation. The offspring from the first cross between two pure breeds is tolerably and sometimes (as I have found with pigeons) quite uniform in character. as the Italian greyhound. Moreover. 29 .. Sebright expressly experimented with this object and failed. which I admit are descended from several wild species. and every thing seems simple enough. but when these mongrels are crossed one with another for several generations. pug-dog. we must admit the former existence of the most extreme forms. etc.world. and if we account for our several domestic races by this process. bloodhound. Many cases are on record showing that a race may be modified by occasional crosses if aided by the careful selection of the individuals which present the desired character. or Blenheim spaniel. the possibility of making distinct races by crossing has been greatly exaggerated. and then the difficulty of the task becomes manifest. etc. but by crossing we can only get forms in some degree intermediate between their parents. bull-dog. for who will believe that animals closely resembling the Italian greyhound. the bull-dog.

I have. The barb is allied to the carrier. instead of twelve or fourteen. with a line of reversed feathers down the breast. Several other less distinct breeds might be specified. and this is accompanied by greatly elongated eyelids. and it has. and by the Hon. may well excite astonishment and even laughter. and some of them are very important. and legs. others very long wings and tails. with long. after deliberation. wings. Murray from Persia. and have been permitted to join two of the London Pigeon Clubs. as their names express. proportionally to its size. Many treatises in different languages have been published on pigeons. The turbit has a short and conical beak. Compare the English carrier and the short-faced tumbler. entailing corresponding differences in their skulls. more especially by the Hon. I have associated with several eminent fanciers. The trumpeter and laugher. instead of a long beak. the normal number in all the members of the great pigeon family: these feathers are kept expanded and are carried so erect that in good birds the head and tail touch: the oil-gland is quite aborted. massive beak and large feet. C. I have kept every breed which I could purchase or obtain. which it glories in inflating. The diversity of the breeds is something astonishing. Elliot from India.4. has a very short and broad one. but. and tumbling in the air head over heels. elongated wing and tail feathers. some of the sub-breeds of runts have very long necks. taken up domestic pigeons. and a wide gape of mouth. and it has the habit of continually expanding. and have been most kindly favoured with skins from several quarters of the world. The fantail has thirty or even forty tail-feathers. as being of considerable antiquity. slightly. more especially the male bird. very large external orifices to the nostrils. The pouter has a much elongated body. The short-faced tumbler has a beak in outline almost like that of a finch. and its enormously developed crop. The Jacobin has the feathers so much reversed along the back of the neck that they form a hood. the upper part of the oesophagus. is also remarkable from the wonderful development of the carunculated skin about the head. and see the wonderful difference in their beaks. and the common tumbler has the singular inherited habit of flying at a great height in a compact flock. 30 . Their Differences And Origin Believing that it is always best to study some special group. The carrier. Breeds Of The Domestic Pigeon. W. utter a very different coo from the other breeds. others singularly short tails. The runt is a bird of great size.

differ remarkably. The size and shape of the apertures in the sternum are highly variable. in length and breadth and curvature. are all points of structure which are variable. as well as the breadth and length of the ramus of the lower jaw. which differ from each other in the most trifling respects. As several of the reasons which have led me to this belief are in some degree applicable in other cases. The manner of flight. Altogether at least a score of pigeons might be chosen. differs enormously. and in some breeds the voice and disposition. if shown to an ornithologist. and have not proceeded from the rock-pigeon. the number of the primary wing and caudal feathers. the proportional length of the eyelids. or species. so is the degree of divergence and relative size of the two arms of the furcula. Great as are the differences between the breeds of the pigeon. the barb. The period at which the perfect plumage is acquired varies. the size of the crop and of the upper part of the oesophagus. more especially as in each of these breeds several trulyinherited sub-breeds. of the tongue (not always in strict correlation with the length of beak). I do not believe that any ornithologist would in this case place the English carrier. The shape. for it is impossible to make the present domestic breeds by the crossing of any lesser 31 .In the skeletons of the several breeds. Lastly. could be shown him. of the orifice of the nostrils. the number of scutellae on the toes. I will here briefly give them. as he would call them. and he were told that they were wild birds. together with their relative breadth and the presence of processes. varies in a highly remarkable manner. as does the state of the down with which the nestling birds are clothed when hatched. would certainly be ranked by him as well-defined species. If the several breeds are not varieties. the runt. that all are descended from the rock-pigeon (Columba livia). Moreover. which. The caudal and sacral vertebrae vary in number. The proportional width of the gape of mouth. the relative length of the leg and foot. in certain breeds. as does the number of the ribs. they must have descended from at least seven or eight aboriginal stocks. the males and females have come to differ in a slight degree from each other. namely. pouter. the short-faced tumbler. the development and abortion of the oil-gland. and fantail in the same genus. I am fully convinced that the common opinion of naturalists is correct. including under this term several geographical races or sub-species. the development of the bones of the face. the relative length of the wing and tail to each other and to the body. The shape and size of the eggs vary. the development of skin between the toes.

and this. and applicable in several other cases. but not one has become wild or feral. that these very species have since all become extinct or unknown. we may look in vain through the whole great family of Columbidae for a beak like that of the English carrier. could a pouter be produced by crossing two breeds unless one of the parent-stocks possessed the characteristic enormous crop? The supposed aboriginal stocks must all have been rockpigeons. as to be quite prolific under confinement. Hence the supposed extermination of so many species having similar habits with the rock-pigeon seems a very rash assumption. but that he intentionally or by chance picked out extraordinarily abnormal species. which has the same habits with the domestic breeds. the several above-named domesticated breeds have been transported to all parts of the world. and these have not any of the characters of the domestic breeds. for tail-feathers like those of the fantail. Moreover. and yet be unknown to ornithologists. though the dovecot-pigeon. is. which is the rock-pigeon in a very slightly altered state. they did not breed or willingly perch on trees. Again. But besides C. An argument of great weight. colouring. or that of the short-faced tumbler. or on the shores of the Mediterranean. So many strange contingencies are improbable in the highest degree. livia. that the above-specified breeds. or they must have become extinct in the wild state. has not been exterminated even on several of the smaller British islets. considering their size. and in most parts of their structure.number: how. for reversed feathers like those of the Jacobin. are unlikely to be exterminated. yet are certainly highly abnormal in other parts. habits. for a crop like that of the pouter. and. not only that half-civilized man succeeded in thoroughly domesticating several species. and further. and the common rockpigeon. only two or three other species of rock-pigeons are known. yet on the hypothesis of the multiple origin of our pigeons. has become feral in several places. therefore. for instance. it must be assumed that at least seven or eight species were so thoroughly domesticated in ancient times by half-civilized man. though agreeing generally with the wild rock-pigeon in constitution. 32 . habits and remarkable characters. seems improbable. Hence the supposed aboriginal stocks must either still exist in the countries where they were originally domesticated. or barb. with its geographical sub-species. Hence it must be assumed. and good flyers. that is. some of them must have been carried back again into their native country. But birds breeding on precipices. voice. all recent experience shows that it is difficult to get wild animals to breed freely under domestication.

and some truly wild breeds. have. C. In a breed which has been crossed only once the tendency to revert to any character derived from such a cross will naturally become less and less. that all the several imagined aboriginal stocks were coloured and marked like the rock-pigeon. The wings have two black bars. on the well-known principle of reversion to ancestral characters. Now. the wings chequered with black. we must make one of the two following highly improbable suppositions. The rock-pigeon is of a slaty-blue. of generations. and which notoriously breeds very true. which is a white bird with a red tail and red spot on the forehead. although no other existing species is thus coloured and marked. as in each succeeding generation there will be less of the foreign blood. even to the white edging of the outer tail-feathers. Some semi-domestic breeds. has within a dozen. double black wing-bar. The tail has a terminal dark bar. Either. in every one of the domestic breeds. the mongrel offspring are very apt suddenly to acquire these characters. so that in each separate breed there might be a tendency to revert to the very same colours and markings. These several marks do not occur together in any other species of the whole family. taking thoroughly well-bred birds. when birds belonging to two or more distinct breeds are crossed. none of which are blue or have any of the above-specified marks. but the Indian sub-species. with the white loins. intermedia of Strickland. removed by a greater number of generations. which breed very true. Moreover. brown and mottled. sometimes concur perfectly developed. or at most within a score. the mongrels were dusky and mottled. even the purest. with white loins. for no instance is known of crossed descendants reverting to an ancestor of foreign blood. been crossed by the rock-pigeon: I say within a dozen or twenty generations. that each breed. has this part bluish. first. with some black barbs— and it so happens that blue varieties of barbs are so rare that I never heard of an instance in England. but when there has been no cross. as any wild rock-pigeon! We can understand these facts. if all the domestic breeds are descended from the rock-pigeon. Or. To give one instance out of several which I have observed: I crossed some white fantails. all the above marks. I also crossed a barb with a spot. and barred and white-edged tail-feathers. and the mongrels were black. and they produced a bird of as beautiful a blue colour. besides the two black bars. I then crossed one of the mongrel barb-fantails with a mongrel barb-spot. secondly. and there is a tendency in the breed to revert to a character which was lost during 33 . But if we deny this.Some facts in regard to the colouring of pigeons well deserve consideration. with the outer feathers externally edged at the base with white.

as compared with all other Columbidae. and that it agrees in habits and in a great number of points of structure with all the domestic breeds. should yield offspring perfectly fertile. and fantails now are. more especially those brought from distant countries.pigeon or Columba livia with its geographical sub-species. Thirdly. those characters which are mainly distinctive of each breed are in each eminently variable. if applied to species closely related to each other. I may add. for instance. but not with all the breeds. this conclusion is probably quite correct. Some authors believe that longcontinued domestication eliminates this strong tendency to sterility in species. Lastly. purposely made. though so like the rock-pigeon in most other respects—the occasional reappearance of the blue colour and various black marks in all the breeds. we may safely conclude that all our domestic breeds are descended from the rock. for all that we can see to the contrary. may be transmitted undiminished for an indefinite number of generations. and the 34 . between them and the rock-pigeon. In favour of this view.some former generation. yet that by comparing the several sub-breeds of these two races. Secondly. we can make. namely. so we can in some other cases. hardly any cases have been ascertained with certainty of hybrids from two quite distinct species of animals being perfectly fertile. firstly. the mongrel offspring being perfectly fertile—from these several reasons. and the number of tail-feathers in the fantail. the improbability of man having formerly made seven or eight supposed species of pigeons to breed freely under domestication—these supposed species being quite unknown in a wild state. this tendency. aboriginally as distinct as carriers. and their not having become anywhere feral—these species presenting certain very abnormal characters. seems to me rash in the extreme. the shortness of that of the tumbler. the hybrids or mongrels from between all the breeds of the pigeon are perfectly fertile. Now. tumblers. These two distinct cases of reversion are often confounded together by those who have written on inheritance. that although an English carrier or a short-faced tumbler differs immensely in certain characters from the rock-pigeon. an almost perfect series. and of some other domestic animals. on the most distinct breeds. both when kept pure and when crossed—and lastly. pouters. But to extend it so far as to suppose that species. as I can state from my own observations. From the history of the dog. inter se. taken together. From these several reasons. that the wild C. livia has been found capable of domestication in Europe and in India. the wattle and length of beak of the carrier.

by crossing the breeds. whether his cattle might not have descended from Long-horns. length. who was not fully convinced that each main breed was descended from a distinct species. but Mr. Van Mons. never less than 20. Birch informs me that pigeons are given in a bill of fare in the previous dynasty. that male and female pigeons can be easily mated for life. immense prices were given for pigeons.explanation of this fact will be obvious when we treat of selection. "His Majesty. about the year 1600.C.. in his treatise on pears and apples. continues the courtly historian. It is also a most favourable circumstance for the production of distinct breeds. or poultry. see how it is that the several breeds so often have a somewhat monstrous character.stock. as I have asked. as any naturalist could in coming to a similar conclusion in regard to the many species of finches. will likewise be obvious when we treat of selection. a celebrated raiser of Hereford cattle. are firmly convinced that the several breeds to which each has attended. also. We shall then. pigeons have been watched and tended with the utmost care. or both from a common parent. Ask. I felt fully as much difficulty in believing that since they had been domesticated they had all proceeded from a common parent. They have been domesticated for thousands of years in several quarters of the world. "nay. or other groups of birds. as was pointed out to me by Professor Lepsius. and loved by many people. One circumstance has struck me much. I have discussed the probable origin of domestic pigeons at some. that they can reckon up their pedigree and race. with whom I have conversed. I have never met a pigeon. or duck. and thus different breeds can be kept together in the same aviary. because when I first kept pigeons and watched the several kinds. in nature. as we hear from Pliny. and he will laugh you to scorn. In the time of the Romans. shows how utterly he disbelieves that the several sorts." About this same period the Dutch were as eager about pigeons as were the old Romans. which method was never practised before. has improved them astonishingly.000 pigeons were taken with the court. that nearly all the breeders of the various domestic animals and the cultivators of plants." and. The paramount importance of these considerations in explaining the immense amount of variation which pigeons have undergone. they are come to this pass. or rabbit fancier." Pigeons were much valued by Akber Khan in India. about 3000 B. for instance a Ribston-pippin or 35 . the earliest known record of pigeons is in the fifth Aegyptian dynasty. "The monarchs of Iran and Turan sent him some very rare birds. or whose treatises I have read. Fourthly. yet quite insufficient. well knowing how truly they breed. namely. are descended from so many aboriginally distinct species.

The explanation. May not those naturalists who. I think. Innumerable other examples could be given. is simple: from long-continued study they are strongly impressed with the differences between the several races. yet admit that many of our domestic races are descended from the same parents—may they not learn a lesson of caution. for they win their prizes by selecting such slight differences. could ever have proceeded from the seeds of the same tree. and knowing no more than he does of the intermediate links in the long lines of descent.Codlin-apple. and though they well know that each race varies slightly. yet they ignore all general arguments. and refuse to sum up in their minds slight differences accumulated during many successive generations. knowing far less of the laws of inheritance than does the breeder. when they deride the idea of species in a state of nature being lineal descendants of other species? 36 .

Breeders habitually speak of an animal's organisation as 37 . but to man's use or fancy. One of the most remarkable features in our domesticated races is that we see in them adaptation. Some variations useful to him have probably arisen suddenly. and to inspect the animals. the various breeds of sheep fitted either for cultivated land or mountain pasture. and that of another breed for another purpose. and flower-garden races of plants. and this amount of change may have suddenly arisen in a seedling. most useful to man at different seasons and for different purposes. believe that the fuller's teasel. when we compare the game-cock. we must. and this is known to have been the case with the ancon sheep. when we compare the many breeds of dogs. even within a single lifetime.5. It is certain that several of our eminent breeders have. with the wool of one breed good for one purpose. culinary. The key is man's power of accumulative selection: nature gives successive variations. many botanists. a greyhound and bloodhound. the dromedary and camel. either from one or from several allied species. in many cases. or so beautiful in his eyes. and some to habit. The great power of this principle of selection is not hypothetical. Principles Of Selection Anciently Followed. but he would be a bold man who would account by such agencies for the differences between a dray and racehorse. Some effect may be attributed to the direct and definite action of the external conditions of life. and with the bantam so small and elegant. for instance. So it has probably been with the turnspit dog. with "everlasting layers" which never desire to sit. look further than to mere variability. which can not be rivalled by any mechanical contrivance. not indeed to the animal's or plant's own good. orchard. I think. modified to a large extent their breeds of cattle and sheep. In order fully to realise what they have done it is almost necessary to read several of the many treatises devoted to this subject. is only a variety of the wild Dipsacus. each good for man in different ways. with other breeds so little quarrelsome. We can not suppose that all the breeds were suddenly produced as perfect and as useful as we now see them. a carrier and tumbler pigeon. indeed. we know that this has not been their history. so pertinacious in battle. or by one step. And Their Effects Let us now briefly consider the steps by which domestic races have been produced. when we compare the host of agricultural. In this sense he may be said to have made for himself useful breeds. But when we compare the dray-horse and race-horse. with its hooks. man adds them up in certain directions useful to him.

during successive generations. all the best breeders are strongly opposed to this practice. and the sheep are each time marked and classed. the steadily 38 . if he wants any of these qualities." In Saxony the importance of the principle of selection in regard to merino sheep is so fully recognised. except sometimes among closely allied sub-breeds. this is done three times at intervals of months. to give a very trifling instance. If I had space I could quote numerous passages to this effect from highly competent authorities. Youatt. he will succeed. and devotes his lifetime to it with indomitable perseverance. but to change it altogether. the closest selection is far more indispensable even than in ordinary cases. the principle would be so obvious as hardly to be worth notice. thus. Few would readily believe in the natural capacity and years of practice requisite to become even a skilful pigeon-fancier. and he studies his subject for years. And when a cross has been made. No one supposes that our choicest productions have been produced by a single variation from the aboriginal stock. who was probably better acquainted with the works of agriculturalists than almost any other individual. says: "It would seem as if they had chalked out upon a wall a form perfect in itself. not only to modify the character of his flock. and then had given it existence. and these have been exported to almost every quarter of the world. but the variations are here often more abrupt. The improvement is by no means generally due to crossing different breeds. of differences absolutely inappreciable by an uneducated eye—differences which I for one have vainly attempted to appreciate. What English breeders have actually effected is proved by the enormous prices given for animals with a good pedigree. which they can model almost as they please. We have proofs that this is not so in several cases in which exact records have been kept. speaks of the principle of selection as "that which enables the agriculturist. and who was himself a very good judge of animals. It is the magician's wand. and may make great improvements. If gifted with these qualities. like a picture by a connoisseur. so that the very best may ultimately be selected for breeding. If selection consisted merely in separating some very distinct variety and breeding from it. but its importance consists in the great effect produced by the accumulation in one direction. by means of which he may summon into life whatever form and mould he pleases. speaking of what breeders have done for sheep." Lord Somerville. he will assuredly fail. that men follow it as a trade: the sheep are placed on a table and are studied. The same principles are followed by horticulturists.something plastic. Not one man in a thousand has accuracy of eye and judgment sufficient to become an eminent breeder.

as a general rule. In regard to plants. by comparing the diversity of flowers in the different varieties of the same species in the flower-garden. the importance of which should never be overlooked. the seedraisers do not pick out the best plants. either in the leaves. but. this is hardly ever—I speak after careful observation—perhaps never. the diversity of leaves. in the kitchen-garden. and yet the flowers present very slight differences. But it is very far from true that the principle is a modern discovery. and the diversity of fruit of the same species in the orchard. the flowers. I could give several references to works of high antiquity." as they call the plants that deviate from the proper standard. When a race of plants is once pretty well established. in comparison with the flowers of the same varieties. and hairiness. pods. in which the full importance of the principle is acknowledged. and pull up the "rogues. With animals this kind of selection is.increasing size of the common gooseberry may be quoted. will produce races differing from each other chiefly in these characters. will ensure some differences. and laws were passed to prevent their exportation: the destruction of horses under a certain size was ordered. In rude and barbarous periods of English history choice animals were often imported. but merely go over their seedbeds. in a corresponding degree. likewise followed. and how extremely alike the flowers. shape. it has certainly been more attended to of late years. the case. and many treatises have been published on the subject. and the result has been. rapid and important. or whatever part is valued. We see an astonishing improvement in many florists' flowers. See how different the leaves of the cabbage are. or the fruit. and this may be compared to the "roguing" of plants by nurserymen. It may be objected that the principle of selection has been reduced to methodical practice for scarcely more than three-quarters of a century. in fact. colour. The principle of selection I find distinctly given in an ancient Chinese 39 . how much the fruit of the different kinds of gooseberries differ in size. or tubers. and how alike the leaves. for hardly any one is so careless as to breed from his worst animals. in comparison with the leaves and flowers of the same set of varieties. The law of correlated variation. when the flowers of the present day are compared with drawings made only twenty or thirty years ago. It is not that the varieties which differ largely in some one point do not differ at all in other points. how unlike the flowers of the heartsease are. there is another means of observing the accumulated effects of selection—namely. it cannot be doubted that the continued selection of slight variations.

Some of these facts do not show actual selection. have been a strange fact. It would. 40 . Explicit rules are laid down by some of the Roman classical writers. to improve the breed. as is attested by passages in Pliny. Savages now sometimes cross their dogs with wild canine animals. and is now attended to by the lowest savages. but they show that the breeding of domestic animals was carefully attended to in ancient times. it is clear that the colour of domestic animals was at that early period attended to. Livingstone states that good domestic breeds are highly valued by the negroes in the interior of Africa who have not associated with Europeans.encyclopaedia. as do some of the Esquimaux their teams of dogs. for the inheritance of good and bad qualities is so obvious. The savages in South Africa match their draught cattle by colour. indeed. had attention not been paid to breeding. and they formerly did so. From passages in Genesis.

Slow and insensible changes of this kind could never be recognised unless actual measurements or careful drawings of the breeds in question have been made long ago. by the regulations for the Goodwood Races. compared with the stock formerly kept in this country. we can trace the stages through which they have insensibly passed. by this very same process. for our purpose. and come to differ so greatly from the rock-pigeon. the forms and qualities of their cattle. as I am informed by him. would improve and modify any breed. that the change has been effected unconsciously and gradually. and which results from every one trying to possess and breed from the best individual animals. a form of selection. or but little changed. is more important.6. and afterwards breeds from his own best dogs. Thus. India. even during their lifetimes. and in this case the change has. which may be called unconscious. By comparing the accounts given in various old treatises of the former and present state of carrier and tumbler pigeons in Britain. There is reason to believe that King Charles' spaniel has been unconsciously modified to a large extent since the time of that monarch. and by careful training. English racehorses have come to surpass in fleetness and size the parent Arabs. a man who intends keeping pointers naturally tries to get as good dogs as he can. By a similar process of selection. superior to anything of the kind in the country. so that the latter. Lord Spencer and others have shown how the cattle of England have increased in weight and in early maturity. etc.. which may serve for comparison. and yet so effectually that. It is known that the English pointer has been greatly changed within the last century. individuals of the same breed exist in less civilised districts. Nevertheless we may infer that this process. unchanged. But. where the breed has been less improved. Collins. Unconscious Selection At the present time. Borrow has not seen. and has probably been slowly altered from it. eminent breeders try by methodical selection. only carried on more methodically. to make a new strain or sub-breed. however. with a distinct object in view. Mr. in the same way as Bakewell. any native dog in Spain like our pointer. In some cases. and Persia. though the old Spanish pointer certainly came from Spain. it is believed. 41 . been chiefly effected by crosses with the foxhound. but what concerns us is. Some highly competent authorities are convinced that the setter is directly derived from the spaniel. but he has no wish or expectation of permanently altering the breed. are favoured in the weights which they carry. did greatly modify. continued during centuries.

No one would expect to raise a first-rate melting pear from the seed of a wild pear. would be carefully preserved during famines and other accidents. No one would ever expect to get a firstrate heartsease or dahlia from the seed of a wild plant. in times of dearth. for any special purpose. appears. the production of the distinct strains." If there exist savages so barbarous as never to think of the inherited character of the offspring of their domestic animals. pelargonium. and. to which savages are so liable. Bakewell's flock. dahlia. and. rose. selecting it. and whether or not two or more species or races have become blended together by crossing. and yet the difference between the sheep possessed by these two gentlemen is so great that they have the appearance of being quite different varieties. whether or not sufficiently distinct to be ranked at their first appearance as distinct varieties. Burgess. when a slightly better variety chanced to appear. There is not a suspicion existing in the mind of any one at all acquainted with the subject that the owner of either of them has deviated in any one instance from the pure blood of Mr. by their killing and devouring their old women. but the art has been simple. Bakewell for upwards of fifty years. in so far that the breeders could never have expected. or even wished. may plainly be recognised in the increased size and beauty which we now see in the varieties of the heartsease. and such choice animals would thus generally leave more offspring than the inferior ones. I have seen great surprise expressed in horticultural works at the wonderful skill of gardeners in having produced such splendid results from such poor materials. Youatt remarks. The pear. though cultivated in classical times. has been followed almost unconsciously. so that in this case there would be a kind of unconscious selection going on. when compared with the older varieties or with their parent-stocks. and other plants. to produce the result which ensued—namely. as Mr. and so 42 . The two flocks of Leicester sheep kept by Mr. as of less value than their dogs. In plants the same gradual process of improvement through the occasional preservation of the best individuals. though he might succeed from a poor seedling growing wild. "Have been purely bred from the original stock of Mr. to have been a fruit of very inferior quality. from Pliny's description. if it had come from a garden-stock. sowing its seeds. yet any one animal particularly useful to them. as far as the final result is concerned. Buckley and Mr.Youatt gives an excellent illustration of the effects of a course of selection which may be considered as unconscious. It has consisted in always cultivating the best known variety. We see the value set on animals even by the barbarians of Tierra del Fuego.

But the gardeners of the classical period. or a 43 . and thus by a process of "natural selection. so rich in species. and relatively so slight in internal parts or organs. thus slowly and unconsciously accumulated. In regard to the domestic animals kept by uncivilised man. two sub-breeds might be formed. and likewise their differences being so great in external characters. has afforded us a single plant worth culture. A large amount of change. do not by a strange chance possess the aboriginal stocks of any useful plants. We can. partly explains why the varieties kept by savages. and therefore do not know. any deviation of structure excepting such as is externally visible. or only with much difficulty. as has been remarked by some authors. the Cape of Good Hope. It is not that these countries. I think. And in two countries very differently circumstanced. explains. it should not be overlooked that they almost always have to struggle for their own food. individuals of the same species. and indeed he rarely cares for what is internal. though we owe our excellent fruit in some small degree to their having naturally chosen and preserved the best varieties they could anywhere find. but that the native plants have not been improved by continued selection up to a standard of perfection comparable with that acquired by the plants in countries anciently civilised. He can never act by selection. at least during certain seasons. having slightly different constitutions or structure. as I believe. nor any other region inhabited by quite uncivilised man. have more of the character of true species than the varieties kept in civilised countries. who cultivated the best pears which they could procure.onwards. the wild parentstocks of the plants which have been longest cultivated in our flower and kitchen gardens." as will hereafter be more fully explained. If it has taken centuries or thousands of years to improve or modify most of our plants up to their present standard of usefulness to man. Man can hardly select. No man would ever try to make a fantail till he saw a pigeon with a tail developed in some slight degree in an unusual manner. would often succeed better in the one country than in the other. further understand the frequently abnormal character of our domestic races. how it is that our domestic races show adaptation in their structure or in their habits to man's wants or fancies. we can understand how it is that neither Australia. it becomes at once obvious. the well-known fact. perhaps. On the view here given of the important part which selection by man has played. that in a number of cases we cannot recognise. This. never thought what splendid fruit we should eat. excepting on variations which are first given to him in some slight degree by nature.

which differ only in colour. These views appear to explain what has sometimes been noticed. however slight. never dreamed what the descendants of that pigeon would become through long-continued. that most fleeting of characters. be judged of by the value which is now set on them. or takes more care than usual in matching his best animals. or like individuals of other and distinct breeds. as it is not one of the points of the breed. like a dialect of a language. have lately been exhibited as distinct at our poultry-shows.pouter till he saw a pigeon with a crop of somewhat unusual size. But. that we know hardly anything about the origin or history of any of our domestic breeds. in which as many as seventeen tailfeathers have been counted. after several breeds have fairly been established. like the present Java fantail. and will be recognised as something distinct and valuable. Perhaps the first pouter-pigeon did not inflate its crop much more than the turbit now does the upper part of its oesophagus—a habit which is disregarded by all fanciers. and thus improves them. When further improved by the same slow and gradual process. It is known that with pigeons many slight variations now occasionally appear. Perhaps the parent bird of all fantails had only fourteen tailfeathers somewhat expanded. the spreading of a new subbreed will be a slow process. But they will as yet hardly have a distinct name. can hardly be said to have a distinct origin. I have no doubt. hence the Toulouse and the common breed. The common goose has not given rise to any marked varieties. in most cases. utterly incorrect. But to use such an expression as trying to make a fantail is. and will then probably first receive a provincial name. Nor let it be thought that some great deviation of structure would be necessary to catch the fancier's eye: he perceives extremely small differences. and the improved animals slowly spread in the immediate neighbourhood. Nor must the value which would formerly have been set on any slight differences in the individuals of the same species. partly unconscious and partly methodical. In semi-civilised countries. selection. they will spread more widely. a breed. the more likely it would be to catch his attention. in fact. in one's own possession. A man preserves and breeds from an individual with some slight deviation of structure. namely. and it is in human nature to value any novelty. but these are rejected as faults or deviations from the standard of perfection in each breed. As soon as the points of value are once 44 . and from being only slightly valued. The man who first selected a pigeon with a slightly larger tail. their history will have been disregarded. with little free communication. and the more abnormal or unusual any character was when it first appeared.

according to the state of civilisation of the inhabitants—slowly to add to the characteristic features of the breed. varying. as I have called it. whatever they may be.acknowledged. and insensible changes. of unconscious selection will always tend—perhaps more at one period than at another. as the breed rises or falls in fashion—perhaps more in one district than in another. the principle. 45 . But the chance will be infinitely small of any record having been preserved of such slow.

Wandering savages or the inhabitants of open plains rarely possess more than one breed of the same species. Unless such attention be paid nothing can be effected. A large number of individuals of an animal or plant can be reared only where the conditions for its propagation are favourable. When the individuals are scanty all will be allowed to breed. "As they generally belong to poor people. from keeping large stocks of the same plant. but the slight varieties had been neglected. and raised seedlings from them. with respect to the sheep of part of Yorkshire. As soon. No doubt the strawberry had always varied since it was cultivated. Circumstances Favourable To Man's Power Of Selection I will now say a few words on the circumstances. not that mere individual differences are not amply sufficient. earlier. however. with extreme care. though mingled in the same aviary. In this respect enclosure of the land plays a part. or better fruit. and again picked out the best seedlings and bred from them. But probably the most important element is that the animal or plant should be so highly valued by man. facility in preventing crosses is an important element in the formation of new races—at least. and this circumstance must have largely favoured the formation of new breeds. that the closest attention is paid to even the slightest deviations in its qualities or structure. then (with some aid by crossing distinct species) those many admirable varieties of the strawberry were raised which have appeared during the last half-century. to allow of the accumulation of a large amount of modification in almost any desired direction. they never can be improved. and this will effectually prevent selection. in a country which is already stocked with other races. the chance of their appearance will be much increased by a large number of individuals being kept. as freely giving the materials for selection to work on.7. I have seen it gravely remarked. whatever their quality may be. 46 . A high degree of variability is obviously favourable. that it was most fortunate that the strawberry began to vary just when gardeners began to attend to this plant." On the other hand. nurserymen. But as variations manifestly useful or pleasing to man appear only occasionally. and this is a great convenience to the fancier. With animals. to man's power of selection. and are mostly IN SMALL LOTS. Pigeons can be mated for life. as gardeners picked out individual plants with slightly larger. for thus many races may be improved and kept true. favourable or the reverse. On this principle Marshall formerly remarked. are generally far more successful than amateurs in raising new and valuable varieties. Hence number is of the highest importance for success.

Some authors have maintained that the amount of variation in our domestic productions is soon reached. for recently in certain parts of Spain and of the United States this animal has been surprisingly modified and improved by careful selection.. more than do the distinct species of the same genera. although so much valued by women and children. though it has varied to a slight extent. in peacocks. after remaining fixed for many centuries. seems to have a singularly inflexible organisation. Wallace has remarked with much truth. in geese. which depends on many bodily characters. again vary under new conditions of life. and a dray-horse is comparably stronger. It would be somewhat rash to assert that the limit has been attained in any one case. as Mr. But what concerns us is that the domestic varieties of the same species differ from each other in almost every character. and the power of contraction in the muscular fibres. the donkey. from their nocturnal rambling habits. than any two natural species belonging to the same genus. So with plants. and can never afterward be exceeded. for almost all our animals and plants have been greatly improved in many ways within a recent period. from only a few being kept by poor people. can not be easily matched. etc. food and feathers. and probably with the length of hair. as this will be determined by the friction to be overcome. from not being very easily reared and a large stock not kept. For instance. yet the rarity or absence of distinct breeds of the cat. On the other hand. No doubt. and this implies variation. from the difficulty in pairing them. Hilaire has proved this in regard to size. and. but the goose. and little attention paid to their breeding. Eclipse was far fleeter. a limit will be at last reached. from being valuable only for two purposes. as I have elsewhere described. the seeds of the different 47 . and inferior birds may be freely rejected.Pigeons. Although I do not doubt that some domestic animals vary less than others. which man has attended to and selected. the weight of the body to be carried. under the conditions to which it is exposed when domesticated. With respect to fleetness. and more especially from no pleasure having been felt in the display of distinct breeds. in donkeys. could not. can be propagated in great numbers and at a very quick rate. I may add. there must be a limit to the fleetness of any terrestrial animal. Isidore Geoffroy St. It would be equally rash to assert that characters now increased to their utmost limit. may be attributed in main part to selection not having been brought into play: in cats. goose. as when killed they serve for food. peacock. we rarely see a distinct breed long kept up. such breeds as we do sometimes see are almost always imported from some other country. and so it is with colour. cats.

perhaps a great.. Over all these causes of change. but how much we do not know. In some cases the intercrossing of aboriginally distinct species appears to have played an important part in the origin of our breeds. for their endurance is only temporary. but plants not propagated by seed are of little importance to us. The same remark holds good in regard to the fruit of the several varieties of the plum. or unconsciously and slowly. With plants which are temporarily propagated by cuttings. as well as in many other analogous cases. their occasional intercrossing. and still more strongly with the melon. Changed conditions of life are of the highest importance in causing variability. both by acting directly on the organisation. the importance of crossing is immense. The final result is thus rendered infinitely complex. 48 . and indirectly by affecting the reproductive system. Some. largely aided in the formation of new sub-breeds. Something. To sum up on the origin of our domestic races of animals and plants. the accumulative action of selection. for the cultivator may here disregard the extreme variability both of hybrids and of mongrels. but the importance of crossing has been much exaggerated. whether applied methodically and quickly.varieties of the bean or maize probably differ more in size than do the seeds of the distinct species in any one genus in the same two families. Variability is governed by many unknown laws. buds. seems to have been the predominant power. but more efficiently. with the aid of selection. has. The greater or less force of inheritance and reversion determine whether variations shall endure. It is not probable that variability is an inherent and necessary contingent. both in regard to animals and to those plants which are propagated by seed. under all circumstances. effect may be attributed to the increased use or disuse of parts. etc. no doubt. and the sterility of hybrids. may be attributed to the definite action of the conditions of life. When several breeds have once been formed in any country. of which correlated growth is probably the most important.

much diffused. 49 . and in having restricted ranges. and common species. but unequally.Chapter 2 Variation Under Nature Variability — Individual differences — Doubtful species — Wide ranging. vary most — Species of the larger genera in each country vary more frequently than the species of the smaller genera — Many of the species of the larger genera resemble varieties in being very closely. related to each other.

By a monstrosity I presume is meant some considerable deviation of structure.1. Nor shall I here discuss the various definitions which have been given of the term species. and if any wild species of the same genus had naturally possessed a proboscis. are ever permanently propagated in a state of nature. No one definition has satisfied all naturalists. their preservation would depend on unusually favourable circumstances. Thus pigs have occasionally been born with a sort of proboscis. but these I shall reserve for a future work. and these alone bear on the question. Under domestication monstrosities sometimes occur which resemble normal structures in widely different animals. yet every naturalist knows vaguely what he means when he speaks of a species. The term "variety" is almost equally difficult to define. as that a complex machine should have been invented by man in a perfect state. or dwarfed plants on Alpine summits. They 50 . a long catalogue of dry facts ought to be given. such as we occasionally see in our domestic productions. Some authors use the term "variation" in a technical sense. after diligent search. but I have as yet failed to find. as they occur rarely and singly. would not in some cases be inherited for at least a few generations? And in this case I presume that the form would be called a variety. It may be doubted whether sudden and considerable deviations of structure. as implying a modification directly due to the physical conditions of life. To treat this subject properly. but here community of descent is almost universally implied. or not useful to the species. but who can say that the dwarfed condition of shells in the brackish waters of the Baltic. or the thicker fur of an animal from far northwards. cases of monstrosities resembling normal structures in nearly allied forms. Almost every part of every organic being is so beautifully related to its complex conditions of life that it seems as improbable that any part should have been suddenly produced perfect. though it can rarely be proved. more especially with plants. it might have been argued that this had appeared as a monstrosity. We have also what are called monstrosities. Before applying the principles arrived at in the last chapter to organic beings in a state of nature. Generally the term includes the unknown element of a distinct act of creation. and "variations" in this sense are supposed not to be inherited. but they graduate into varieties. we must briefly discuss whether these latter are subject to any variation. generally injurious. If monstrous forms of this kind ever do appear in a state of nature and are capable of reproduction (which is not always the case).

would. But I shall have to return in a future chapter to the preservation and perpetuation of single or occasional variations. and thus their abnormal character would almost inevitably be lost. during the first and succeeding generations cross with the ordinary form. 51 . also.

Lubbock has shown a degree of variability in these main nerves in Coccus. sometimes vary in the individuals of the same species. Authors sometimes argue in a circle when they state that important organs never vary. but I could show. and. There is one point connected with individual differences which is extremely perplexing: I refer to those genera which have been called "protean" or "polymorphic. I may add. This philosophical naturalist. which may almost be compared to the irregular branching of the stem of a tree." in which species present an inordinate 52 . which he could collect on good authority. for these same authors practically rank those parts as important (as some few naturalists have honestly confessed) which do not vary. may be called individual differences. has also shown that the muscles in the larvae of certain insects are far from uniform. no instance will ever be found of an important part varying. and compare them in many specimens of the same species. from being observed in the individuals of the same species inhabiting the same confined locality. It should be remembered that systematists are far from being pleased at finding variability in important characters. Individual Differences The many slight differences which appear in the offspring from the same parents. These individual differences generally affect what naturalists consider unimportant parts. but under any other point of view many instances assuredly can be given. for they are often inherited. by a long catalogue of facts. or which it may be presumed have thus arisen. and they thus afford materials for natural selection to act on and accumulate. yet Sir J. that parts which must be called important. as I have collected. it might have been thought that changes of this nature could have been effected only by slow degrees. whether viewed under a physiological or classificatory point of view. These individual differences are of the highest importance for us. and that there are not many men who will laboriously examine internal and important organs. I am convinced that the most experienced naturalist would be surprised at the number of the cases of variability. in the same manner as man accumulates in any given direction individual differences in his domesticated productions.2. under this point of view. as must be familiar to every one. during a course of years. It would never have been expected that the branching of the main nerves close to the great central ganglion of an insect would have been variable in the same species. No one supposes that all the individuals of the same species are cast in the same actual mould. even in important parts of structure.

and likewise. So it is. as is known to every one. great differences of structure. at former periods of time. also. are not now connected by intermediate gradations. Wallace. as we shall hereafter see. who has lately called attention to the subject. variations which are of no service or disservice to the species. and which consequently have not been seized on and rendered definite by natural selection. describes a certain butterfly which presents in the same island a great range of varieties connected by intermediate links. Mr. both with animals and plants. and of Brachiopod shells. and in the immature and larval states of many of the lower animals. the two or three forms. has shown that the females of certain species of butterflies. I am inclined to suspect that we see. both with animals and plants. but in some cases. With respect to many of these forms. and Hieracium among plants. In most polymorphic genera some of the species have fixed and definite characters. cases of dimorphism and trimorphism. hardly two naturalists agree whether to rank them as species or as varieties. independently of variation. for instance. several genera of insects. Thus also with ants. at least in some of these polymorphic genera. We may instance Rubus. and that an hermaphrodite plant 53 . Although in most of these cases. regularly appear under two or even three conspicuously distinct forms. with some dimorphic plants. These facts are very perplexing. It certainly at first appears a highly remarkable fact that the same female butterfly should have the power of producing at the same time three distinct female forms and a male.amount of variation. the male of a Tanais regularly occurs under two distinct forms. in the Malayan Archipelago. and the extreme links of the chain closely resemble the two forms of an allied dimorphic species inhabiting another part of the Malay Archipelago. with a few exceptions. it is possible that they were once thus connected. Wallace. for they seem to show that this kind of variability is independent of the conditions of life. Thus. as in the two sexes of various animals. Individuals of the same species often present. one of these has strong and differently shaped pincers. the castes are connected together by finely graduated varieties. not connected by intermediate varieties. Genera which are polymorphic in one country seem to be. There are. Rosa. Mr. as I have myself observed. as hereafter to be explained. polymorphic in other countries. and the other has antennae much more abundantly furnished with smelling-hairs. Fritz Muller has described analogous but more extraordinary cases with the males of certain Brazilian Crustaceans: thus. judging from Brachiopod shells. the several worker-castes are generally quite distinct. in the two or three castes of sterile females or workers among insects.

capsule three distinct hermaphrodite forms.should produce from the same seed. bearing three different kinds of females and three or even six different kinds of males. 54 . Nevertheless these cases are only exaggerations of the common fact that the female produces offspring of two sexes which sometimes differ from each other in a wonderful manner.

but which are so closely similar to other forms. H. that naturalists do not like to rank them as distinct species. ranking the most common. but because analogy leads the observer to suppose either that they do now somewhere exist. are in several respects the most important for us. drawn up by different botanists. the opinion of naturalists having sound judgment and wide experience seems the only guide to follow. in determining whether a form should be ranked as a species or a variety. whereas Mr. as far as we know. and see what a surprising number of forms have been ranked by one botanist as good species. But cases of great difficulty. sometimes arise in deciding whether or not to rank one form as a variety of another. of France. We must. and by another as mere varieties. Mr.C. for as long. not because the intermediate links have actually been found. including the most polymorphic forms. in many cases. or of the United States. Watson. or may formerly have existed. and here a wide door for the entry of doubt and conjecture is opened.3. decide by a majority of naturalists. has marked for me 182 British plants. We have every reason to believe that many of these doubtful and closely allied forms have permanently retained their characters for a long time. but which have all been ranked by botanists as species. and he has entirely omitted several highly polymorphic genera. to whom I lie under deep obligation for assistance of all kinds. Under genera. which are generally considered as varieties. but sometimes the one first described as the species. Compare the several floras of Great Britain. nor will the commonly assumed hybrid nature of the intermediate forms always remove the difficulty. even when they are closely connected by intermediate links. Bentham 55 . Practically. he treats the one as a variety of the other. which I will not here enumerate. for few well-marked and wellknown varieties can be named which have not been ranked as species by at least some competent judges. however. Doubtful Species The forms which possess in some considerable degree the character of species. Hence. and the other as the variety. and in making this list he has omitted many trifling varieties. however. one form is ranked as a variety of another. That varieties of this doubtful nature are far from uncommon cannot be disputed. but which nevertheless have been ranked by some botanists as species. as have good and true species. Babington gives 251 species. Mr. when a naturalist can unite by means of intermediate links any two forms. In very many cases. or are so closely linked to them by intermediate gradations.

but which have been ranked as species by some zoologists. Many years ago. and as true representative species. have been ranked by one eminent naturalist as undoubted species. especially on the Lepidoptera. How many of the birds and insects in North America and Europe. as geographical races or sub-species. representative species fill the same place in the natural economy of each island as do the local forms and sub-species. no certain criterion can possibly be given by which variable forms. The geographical races or sub-species are local forms completely fixed and isolated. but when all from the several islands are compared together. though at the same time the extreme forms are sufficiently distinct. one with another. but which would certainly be ranked as distinct species by many entomologists. when comparing. Wollaston's admirable work. shows that they may be classed under four heads. or. which differ very slightly from each other. namely. as local forms. and with those from the American mainland. the birds from the closely neighbouring islands of the Galapagos Archipelago. they are almost universally ranked by naturalists as true species. On the islets of the little Madeira group there are many insects which are characterized as varieties in Mr." Lastly. and seeing others compare. I was much struck how entirely vague and arbitrary is the distinction between species and varieties. The local forms are moderately constant and distinct in each separate island. and by another as varieties. inhabiting the islands of the great Malayan Archipelago. "There is no possible test but individual opinion to determine which of them shall be considered as species and which as varieties. but as they do not differ from each other by strongly marked and important characters. as they are often called. local forms. Wallace. the differences are seen to be so slight and graduated that it is impossible to define or describe them. but are common in separated areas. geographical races! Mr.gives only 112—a difference of 139 doubtful forms! Among animals which unite for each birth. as variable forms. but as they are distinguished from each other by a greater amount of difference than that between the local forms and sub-species. Nevertheless. doubtful forms. and which are highly locomotive. now generally regarded as varieties. in several valuable papers on the various animals. ranked by one zoologist as a species and by another as a variety. Several experienced ornithologists consider our British red grouse as only a strongly marked race of a Norwegian 56 . sub species and representative species can be recognised. can rarely be found within the same country. Even Ireland has a few animals. The first or variable forms vary much within the limits of the same island.

When the differences are rather more strongly marked. be sufficient? Mr. as varieties. size. there is always a good chance that intermediate forms will be discovered which will link together the extreme states. or inhabits many islands in the same archipelago. in other instances. Walsh to present in their larval or mature state. insects found living on different plants. and when the same identical form is met with in two distant countries. on the other hand. Walsh. The term species thus comes to be a mere useless abstraction. which inhabit distinct continents or islands. or in the nature of their secretions. but do not in consequence vary. or in both states. The naturalist thus loses his best guide in determining whether to rank doubtful forms as varieties or species. or between the several islets of these small archipelagos. When. Walsh ranks the forms which it may be supposed would freely intercross. Most vegetable-feeding insects live on one kind of plant or on one group of plants. has described what he calls Phytophagic varieties and Phytophagic species. slight. but then these same naturalists rank the slightest difference as of specific value.D. or in two geological formations. Mr. and presents different forms in the different areas. however.species. which of these Phytophagic forms ought to be called species and which varieties. have been observed by Mr. the forms are ranked by all entomologists as good species. even if he can do so for himself. implying and assuming a separate act of 57 . In some instances the males alone. B. Some few naturalists maintain that animals never present varieties. will suffice if that between America and Europe is ample. In several cases. an animal or plant ranges over the same continent. though constant differences in colour. as species. and when both sexes and all ages are affected. and those which appear to have lost this power. A wide distance between the homes of two doubtful forms leads many naturalists to rank them as distinct species. whereas the greater number rank it as an undoubted species peculiar to Great Britain. This likewise necessarily occurs with closely allied organisms. have been observed thus to differ in a slight degree. both males and females. But no observer can determine for another. will that between Europe and the Azores. but what distance. they believe that two distinct species are hidden under the same dress. it cannot be expected that intermediate links connecting the several forms should now be found. or Madeira. a distinguished entomologist of the United States. or the Canaries. As the differences depend on the insects having long fed on distinct plants. some feed indiscriminately on many kinds. and these are then degraded to the rank of varieties. it has been well asked.

These varieties. He first gives in detail all the many points of structure which vary in the several species. No one ever had more ample materials for the discrimination of the species. as Asa Gray has remarked in commenting on this memoir. the result of so much labour. etc. is vainly to beat the air. which are almost universally considered by other botanists to be varieties. will often be ranked by some authors as species. I may here allude to a remarkable memoir lately published by A. Such characters are not of course of specific value. considered by highly competent judges to be varieties. on the oaks of the whole world. who repeat that the greater part of our species are clearly limited. But to discuss whether they ought to be called species or varieties. sometimes without any assignable reason.. Yet it must be confessed that it is in the best known countries that we find the greatest number of them. This seemed to be true. from geographical distribution. sometimes according to age or development. analogical variation. and never found connected by intermediate states. hybridism. I have been struck with the fact that if any animal or plant in a state of nature be highly useful to man. After this discussion. he emphatically remarks: "They are mistaken. but space does not here permit me to discuss them. He specifies above a dozen characters which may be found varying even on the same branch. and estimates numerically the relative frequency of the variations. varieties of it will almost universally be found recorded. have been brought to bear in the attempt to determine their rank. for several interesting lines of argument. Many of the cases of strongly marked varieties or doubtful species well deserve consideration. such as generally enter into specific definitions. in many cases. before any definition of these terms has been generally accepted. de Candolle. It is certain that many forms. and in this country the highest botanical authorities and practical men can be quoted to show that the sessile and pedunculated oaks are either good and distinct species or mere varieties. resemble species so completely in character that they have been thus ranked by other highly competent judges. or from any cause closely attracts his attention. Look at the common oak.creation. so long as a genus was 58 . but they are. Close investigation. yet a German author makes more than a dozen species out of forms. or could have worked on them with more zeal and sagacity. how closely it has been studied. will no doubt bring naturalists to agree how to rank doubtful forms. moreover. and that the doubtful species are in a feeble minority. De Candolle then goes on to say that he gives the rank of species to the forms that differ by characters never varying on the same tree.

As he extends the range of his observations he will meet with more cases of difficulty. But if he confine his attention to one class within one country he will soon make up his mind how to rank most of the doubtful forms. how very generally there is some variation. which will be enumerated in his Prodromus as belonging to the oak family. and doubts as to specific limits augment. if these connecting forms which are now rare were to become totally extinct the three sub-species would hold exactly the same relation to each other as do the four or five provisionally admitted species which closely surround the typical Quercus robur. just like the pigeon or poultry fancier before alluded to. for he will become impressed. sessiliflora and pubescens. Just as we come to know them better. But if his observations be widely extended he will in the end generally be able to make up his own mind.imperfectly known. excepting six. geographical botany and zoology. were provisional. and its species were founded upon a few specimens. intermediate forms flow in. De Candolle admits that out of the 300 species. are clustered round three sub. with the amount of difference in the forms which he is continually studying. for he knows nothing of the amount and kind of variation to which the group is subject. and he has little general knowledge of analogical variation in other groups and in other countries by which to correct his first impressions. and the truth of this admission will often be disputed by other naturalists. and. and this shows. The forms which connect these three sub-species are comparatively rare. It should be added that De Candolle no longer believes that species are immutable creations. that is. but concludes that the derivative theory is the most natural one. that is to say. of anatomical structure and classification. but he will succeed in this at the expense of admitting much variation. at least. His general tendency will be to make many species. Thus Quercus robur has twenty-eight varieties. Finally. as Asa Gray again remarks. at least two-thirds are provisional species." He also adds that it is the best known species which present the greatest number of spontaneous varieties and sub-varieties. pedunculata.species." When a young naturalist commences the study of a group of organisms quite unknown to him he is at first much perplexed in determining what differences to consider as specific and what as varietal. all of which. "and the most accordant with the known facts in palaeontology. namely Q. for he will encounter a greater number of closely-allied forms. When he comes to study allied forms brought from countries not now continuous. in which case he cannot 59 . are not known strictly to fulfil the definition above given of a true species.

as of the highest importance for us. and both rank as independent species. as steps toward more strongly marked and permanent varieties. as has been shown to be the case by Mr. or they may endure as varieties for very long periods. From these remarks it will be seen that I look at the term species as one arbitrarily given. be the simple result of the nature of the organism and of the different physical conditions to which it has long been exposed. hereafter to be explained. in many cases. and that it does not essentially differ from the term variety. as leading to sub-species. he will be compelled to trust almost entirely to analogy. to a set of individuals closely resembling each other. These differences blend into each other by an insensible series. Certainly no clear line of demarcation has as yet been drawn between species and sub-species—that is. Wollaston with the varieties of certain fossil land-shells in Madeira. it would then rank as the species. and to the effects of the increased use or disuse of parts. but with respect to the more important and adaptive characters. and with plants by Gaston de Saporta. It need not be supposed that all varieties or incipient species attain the rank of species. the passage from one stage of difference to another may be safely attributed to the cumulative action of natural selection. which is given to less distinct and more fluctuating 60 . between sub-species and well-marked varieties. and at the latter. and his difficulties will rise to a climax. for the sake of convenience. Hence I look at individual differences. And I look at varieties which are in any degree more distinct and permanent. But we shall hereafter return to this subject. or between lesser varieties and individual differences. the forms which in the opinion of some naturalists come very near to. the rank of species. and then to species. and a series impresses the mind with the idea of an actual passage. though of small interest to the systematist. or both might co-exist. A well-marked variety may therefore be called an incipient species. but whether this belief is justifiable must be judged by the weight of the various facts and considerations to be given throughout this work. The passage from one stage of difference to another may. or. If a variety were to flourish so as to exceed in numbers the parent species.hope to find intermediate links. and the species as the variety. again. as being the first step towards such slight varieties as are barely thought worth recording in works on natural history. but do not quite arrive at. or it might come to supplant and exterminate the parent species. They may become extinct.

is also applied arbitrarily. The term variety. in comparison with mere individual differences.forms. for convenience sake. 61 . again.

is a far more important circumstance) with different sets of organic beings. however. it should be understood that reference is made only to the forms which come into competition with each 62 . Much Diffused. is rather perplexing." and other questions. Hooker. are the most diffused in their own country. as I consider them. as they are exposed to diverse physical conditions. still inherit those advantages that enabled their parents to become dominant over their compatriots. which. And this. in any limited country. or. In these remarks on predominence. The whole subject. perhaps. though in some slight degree modified. that is abound most in individuals. necessarily have to struggle with the other inhabitants of the country. to whom I am much indebted for valuable advice and assistance on this subject. might have been anticipated. the species which are already dominant will be the most likely to yield offspring. and this might have been expected. oftenest give rise to varieties sufficiently well-marked to have been recorded in botanical works. the species which are the most common. I shall reserve for a future work the discussion of these difficulties. for. Dr. treated as it necessarily here is with much brevity. Alphonse de Candolle and others have shown that plants which have very wide ranges generally present varieties. he thinks that the following statements are fairly well established. and the species which are most widely diffused within their own country (and this is a different consideration from wide range.4. But my tables further show that. Hence it is the most flourishing. and examined the tables. even in stronger terms. Wide-Ranging. and the tables of the proportional numbers of the varying species. and are the most numerous in individuals—which oftenest produce well-marked varieties. the dominant species—those which range widely.C." "divergence of character. as varieties. in order to become in any degree permanent. but Mr. or. Hooker permits me to add that after having carefully read my manuscript. by tabulating all the varieties in several well-worked floras. soon convinced me that there were many difficulties. H. and to a certain extent from commonness). and as they come into competition (which. I thought that some interesting results might be obtained in regard to the nature and relations of the species which vary most. as we shall hereafter see. incipient species. and allusions cannot be avoided to the "struggle for existence. hereafter to be discussed. as they may be called. And Common Species Vary Most Guided by theoretical considerations. Watson. At first this seemed a simple task. as did subsequently Dr.

63 . and more widely diffused. the comparison of course relates only to the members of the same group. which live under nearly the same conditions.other. But if the conferva or parasitic fungus exceeds its allies in the above respects. With respect to the number of individuals or commonness of species. One of the higher plants may be said to be dominant if it be more numerous in individuals and more widely diffused than the other plants of the same country. and more especially to the members of the same genus or class having nearly similar habits of life. it will then be dominant within its own class. A plant of this kind is not the less dominant because some conferva inhabiting the water or some parasitic fungus is infinitely more numerous in individuals.

5. Fresh water and salt-loving plants generally have very wide ranges and are much diffused. those including many species) being placed on one side. Again. and all those in the smaller genera on the other side. circumstances have been favourable for variation. we expect to find saplings.e. or those including many species. than the species of the smaller genera. From looking at species as only strongly marked and well-defined varieties. But so many causes tend to obscure this result. I was led to anticipate that the species of the larger genera in each country would oftener present varieties. shows that there is something in the organic or inorganic conditions of that country favourable to the genus. plants low in the scale of organisation are generally much more widely diffused than plants higher in the scale. but this seems to be connected with the nature of the stations inhabited by them. This might have been anticipated. Species Of The Larger Genera In Each Country Vary More Frequently Than The Species Of The Smaller Genera If the plants inhabiting a country as described in any Flora. Where many large trees grow. if we look at each species as a special act of creation. consequently. Where many species of a genus have been formed through variation.. and has little or no relation to the size of the genera to which the species belong. as a general rule. for the mere fact of many species of the same genus inhabiting any country. all those in the larger genera (i. for wherever many closely related species (i. the former will be found to include a somewhat larger number of the very common and much diffused or dominant species. On the other hand. into two nearly equal masses. To test the truth of this anticipation I have arranged the plants of twelve countries. and hence we might expect that the circumstances would generally still be favourable to variation. than in one having few. a larger proportional number of dominant species. the species of the larger genera on one side. and the coleopterous insects of two districts. and 64 . many varieties or incipient species ought. be divided into two equal masses. we might have expected to have found in the larger genera. and.e. there is no apparent reason why more varieties should occur in a group having many species. and here again there is no close relation to the size of the genera. species of the same genus) have been formed.. to be now forming. that I am surprised that my tables show even a small majority on the side of the larger genera. The cause of lowly-organised plants ranging widely will be discussed in our chapter on Geographical Distribution. I will here allude to only two causes of obscurity.

that where many species of a genus have been formed. on an average many are still forming. It is not that all large genera are now varying much. of incipient species. And this certainly holds true if varieties be looked at as incipient species. Moreover. or where. more especially as we have every reason to believe the process of manufacturing new species to be a slow one. and disappeared. declined. if we may use the expression. or that no small genera are now varying and increasing. that. the species of that genus present a number of varieties. for if this had been so. with from only one to four species. for wherever many species of the same genus have been formed.those of the smaller genera on the other side. the species of the large genera which present any varieties. and this certainly holds good. for my tables clearly show. we ought generally to find the manufactory still in action. All that we want to show is. These facts are of plain signification on the view that species are only strongly marked and permanent varieties. invariably present a larger average number of varieties than do the species of the small genera. and when all the least genera. as a general rule. are altogether excluded from the tables. 65 . and it has invariably proved to be the case that a larger proportion of the species on the side of the larger genera presented varieties. and are thus increasing in the number of their species. it would have been fatal to my theory. that is. the manufactory of species has been active. Both these results follow when another division is made. inasmuch as geology plainly tells us that small genera have in the lapse of time often increased greatly in size. beyond the average. and that large genera have often come to their maxima. than on the side of the smaller genera. wherever many species of a genus have been formed.

the species of the larger genera resemble varieties. for they differ from each other by a less than the usual amount of difference. judging by analogy whether or not the amount suffices to raise one or both to the rank of species. and. round their parent-species. is much less than that between the species of the same genus. and Westwood in regard to insects. we shall see how this may be explained. in which a number of varieties or incipient species greater than the average are now manufacturing. Or the case may be put in another way. naturalists are compelled to come to a determination by the amount of difference between them. As Fries has well remarked. the species of the larger genera are related to each other. Related To Each Other. and. and clustered round certain forms—that is. little groups of species are generally clustered like satellites around other species. as I call it. that the amount of difference between varieties. Now Fries has remarked in regard to plants. or lesser groups. many of the species already manufactured still to a certain extent resemble varieties. that in the larger genera. more than do the species of the smaller genera. I have endeavoured to test this numerically by averages. or sections. as far as my imperfect results go. But when we come to discuss the principle. And In Having Restricted Ranges There are other relations between the species of large genera and their recorded varieties which deserve notice. Moreover. that in large genera the amount of difference between the species is often exceedingly small. when compared with each other or with their parent-species. in the same manner as the varieties of any one species are related to each other. and how the lesser differences 66 .6. And what are varieties but groups of forms. Many Of The Species Included Within The Larger Genera Resemble Varieties In Being Very Closely. namely. and when intermediate links have not been found between doubtful forms. But Unequally. of divergence of character. I have also consulted some sagacious and experienced observers. they confirm the view. they may generally be divided into sub-genera. In this respect. they concur in this view. and it may be said. No naturalist pretends that all the species of a genus are equally distinct from each other. We have seen that there is no infallible criterion by which to distinguish species and well-marked varieties. Undoubtedly there is one most important point of difference between varieties and species. unequally related to each other. therefore. after deliberation. Hence the amount of difference is one very important criterion in settling whether two forms should be ranked as species or varieties.

There is one other point which is worth notice. often have much restricted ranges. But there is reason to believe that the species which are very closely allied to other species. Now. in this same catalogue. So that the acknowledged varieties have very nearly the same restricted average range. the species to which these varieties belong range over 14.9 of the provinces into which Mr. fifty-three acknowledged varieties are recorded. 67 . marked for me by Mr.7 provinces. Watson has marked for me in the wellsifted London catalogue of Plants (4th edition) sixty-three plants which are therein ranked as species. whereas.between varieties tend to increase into the greater differences between species. for if a variety were found to have a wider range than that of its supposed parent-species. but which he considers as so closely allied to other species as to be of doubtful value: these sixty-three reputed species range on an average over 6. This statement is indeed scarcely more than a truism. Varieties generally have much restricted ranges. and in so far resemble varieties.3 provinces. For instance. but which are almost universally ranked by British botanists as good and true species. Watson has divided Great Britain. their denominations would be reversed. H. Watson as doubtful species. as have the closely allied forms. Mr. and these range over 7.C.

and varieties. the forms of life throughout the universe become divided into groups subordinate to groups. secondly. And we can clearly understand these analogies. first. by steps hereafter to be explained. forming little clusters round other species. 68 . varieties cannot be distinguished from species—except. tend to become converted into new and distinct species. if species once existed as varieties. by the discovery of intermediate linking forms. and thus originated. Thus the larger genera tend to become larger. and. Species very closely allied to other species apparently have restricted ranges. these analogies are utterly inexplicable if species are independent creations. In genera having more than the average number of species in any country. by a certain indefinite amount of difference between them. are generally ranked as varieties. In large genera the species are apt to be closely but unequally allied together. and throughout nature the forms of life which are now dominant tend to become still more dominant by leaving many modified and dominant descendants. as we shall hereafter see. the larger genera also tend to break up into smaller genera. if differing very little. but the amount of difference considered necessary to give to any two forms the rank of species cannot be defined. whereas. But. We have also seen that it is the most flourishing or dominant species of the larger genera within each class which on an average yield the greatest number of varieties. notwithstanding that they cannot be closely connected. the species of these genera have more than the average number of varieties. In all these respects the species of large genera present a strong analogy with varieties. Summary Finally. And thus.7. for two forms.

Chapter 3 Struggle For Existence Its bearing on natural selection — The term used in a wide sense — Geometrical ratio of increase — Rapid increase of naturalised animals and plants — Nature of the checks to increase — Competition universal — Effects of climate — Protection from the number of individuals — Complex relations of all animals and plants throughout nature — Struggle for life most severe between individuals and varieties of the same species: often severe between species of the same genus — The relation of organism to organism the most important of all relations. 69 .

and only a little less plainly in the humblest parasite which clings to the hairs of a quadruped or feathers of a bird. Before entering on the subject of this chapter I must make a few preliminary remarks to show how the struggle for existence bears on natural selection. we see beautiful adaptations everywhere and in every part of the organic world. the two or three hundred doubtful forms of British plants are entitled to hold. if the existence of any well-marked varieties be admitted. which in most cases obviously differ from each other far more than do the varieties of the same species? How do those groups of species. by the term natural selection. It has been seen in the last chapter that among organic beings in a state of nature there is some individual variability: indeed I am not aware that this has ever been disputed. It is immaterial for us whether a multitude of doubtful forms be called species or sub-species or varieties. Herbert Spencer. been perfected? We see these beautiful co-adaptations most plainly in the woodpecker and the mistletoe. however slight and from whatever cause proceeding. also. helps us but little in understanding how species arise in nature. for instance. variations. is 70 . But the expression often used by Mr. in their infinitely complex relations to other organic beings and to their physical conditions of life. Again. in the structure of the beetle which dives through the water. will tend to the preservation of such individuals. of the many individuals of any species which are periodically born. and to the conditions of life and of one organic being to another being. if they be in any degree profitable to the individuals of a species. it may be asked. in order to mark its relation to man's power of selection. The offspring. which constitute what are called distinct genera and which differ from each other more than do the species of the same genus. how is it that varieties. will thus have a better chance of surviving. but a small number can survive. But the mere existence of individual variability and of some few well-marked varieties. arise? All these results. and will generally be inherited by the offspring. follow from the struggle for life. in short. though necessary as the foundation for the work. in the plumed seed which is wafted by the gentlest breeze. How have all those exquisite adaptations of one part of the organisation to another part. is preserved. of the Survival of the Fittest. for. if useful. as we shall more fully see in the next chapter. by which each slight variation.1. what rank. become ultimately converted into good and distinct species. Owing to this struggle. I have called this principle. which I have called incipient species.

Yet unless it be thoroughly engrained in the mind. or we forget how largely these songsters. the whole economy of nature. Nothing is easier than to admit in words the truth of the universal struggle for life. will be dimly seen or quite misunderstood. But Natural Selection. We will now discuss in a little more detail the struggle for existence. abundance. rarity. we often see superabundance of food. given to him by the hand of Nature. extinction. we do not see or we forget that the birds which are idly singing round us mostly live on insects or seeds. that. In regard to plants. no one has treated this subject with more spirit and ability than W. and are thus constantly destroying life. and is as immeasurably superior to man's feeble efforts. and variation. or their nestlings. 71 . it is not so at all seasons of each recurring year. The elder De Candolle and Lyell have largely and philosophically shown that all organic beings are exposed to severe competition. or more difficult—at least I found it so—than constantly to bear this conclusion in mind. we shall hereafter see. through the accumulation of slight but useful variations. are destroyed by birds and beasts of prey. and can adapt organic beings to his own uses. or their eggs. at greater length. as the works of Nature are to those of Art. is a power incessantly ready for action. Herbert. We have seen that man by selection can certainly produce great results.more accurate. we do not always bear in mind. Dean of Manchester. with every fact on distribution. as it well deserves. In my future work this subject will be treated. and is sometimes equally convenient. We behold the face of nature bright with gladness. though food may be now superabundant. evidently the result of his great horticultural knowledge.

but success in leaving progeny. may be more truly said to struggle with the plants of the same and other kinds which already clothe the ground. but can only in a far-fetched sense be said to struggle with these trees. and it may metaphorically be said to struggle with other fruit-bearing plants. and including (which is more important) not only the life of the individual. its existence depends on them. in a time of dearth. if too many of these parasites grow on the same tree. But several seedling mistletoes. which pass into each other. But a plant on the edge of a desert is said to struggle for life against the drought. growing close together on the same branch. in tempting the birds to devour and thus disseminate its seeds. may be truly said to struggle with each other which shall get food and live. for.2. In these several senses. may more truly be said to struggle with each other. including dependence of one being on another. though more properly it should be said to be dependent on the moisture. I use for convenience sake the general term of Struggle for Existence. The Term. of which only one of an average comes to maturity. it languishes and dies. 72 . Used In A Large Sense I should premise that I use this term in a large and metaphorical sense. Struggle For Existence. As the mistletoe is disseminated by birds. A plant which annually produces a thousand seeds. Two canine animals. The mistletoe is dependent on the apple and a few other trees.

There is no exception to the rule that every organic being naturally increases at so high a rate. then in twenty years there would be a million plants. all cannot do so. It is the doctrine of Malthus applied with manifold force to the whole animal and vegetable kingdoms. that. the numerous recorded cases of the astonishingly rapid increase of various animals in a state of nature. or with the individuals of distinct species. there would literally not be standing room for his progeny. bringing forth six young in the interval. its numbers would quickly become so inordinately great that no country could support the product. Although some species may be now increasing. either one individual with another of the same species. in numbers. and so on. for in this case there can be no artificial increase of food. as more individuals are produced than can possibly survive. and I have taken some pains to estimate its probable minimum rate of natural increase. or with the physical conditions of life. But we have better evidence on this subject than mere theoretical calculations. Still more striking is the evidence from our domestic animals of many kinds which have run wild in several parts of the world. and at this rate. which during its natural lifetime produces several eggs or seeds. the earth would soon be covered by the progeny of a single pair. if not destroyed. otherwise. and no prudential restraint from marriage. Every being. if the statements of the rate of increase of slow-breeding cattle and horses in South 73 . for the world would not hold them. more or less rapidly. in less than a thousand years.3. and surviving till one hundred years old. it will be safest to assume that it begins breeding when thirty years old. must suffer destruction during some period of its life. The elephant is reckoned the slowest breeder of all known animals. and during some season or occasional year. there must in every case be a struggle for existence. when circumstances have been favourable to them during two or three following seasons. Geometrical Ratio Of Increase A struggle for existence inevitably follows from the high rate at which all organic beings tend to increase. Hence. and goes on breeding till ninety years old. Even slow-breeding man has doubled in twenty-five years. on the principle of geometrical increase. after a period of from 740 to 750 years there would be nearly nineteen million elephants alive descended from the first pair. namely. if this be so. Linnaeus has calculated that if an annual plant produced only two seeds—and there is no plant so unproductive as this—and their seedlings next year produced two.

Falconer. and latterly in Australia. from Cape Comorin to the Himalaya. a single one. had not been well authenticated. and there are plants which now range in India. as I hear from Dr. clothing square leagues of surface almost to the exclusion of every other plant. which are now the commonest over the wide plains of La Plata. and yet in the same country the condor may be the more numerous of the two. Hence we may confidently assert that all plants and animals are tending to increase at a geometrical ratio—that all would rapidly stock every station in which they could any how exist. to mislead us. we see no great destruction falling on them. no one supposes that the fertility of the animals or plants has been suddenly and temporarily increased in any sensible degree. and that in a state of nature an equal number would have somehow to be disposed of. A large number of eggs is of some importance to those species which depend on a fluctuating amount of food. that the slow breeders would require a few more years to people. like the hippobosca. simply explains their extraordinarily rapid increase and wide diffusion in their new homes. Several of the plants. the result of which never fails to be surprising. So it is with plants. One fly deposits hundreds of eggs. The obvious explanation is that the conditions of life have been highly favourable. and among animals there are very few which do not annually pair. But this difference does not determine how many individuals of the two species can be supported in a district. In such cases. The Fulmar petrel lays but one egg. and another. and endless others could be given. let it be ever so large. they would have been incredible. a whole district. Our familiarity with the larger domestic animals tends. which have been imported from America since its discovery.America. is. under favourable conditions. for it allows them rapidly to increase in 74 . have been introduced from Europe. and those which produce extremely few. and that this geometrical tendency to increase must be checked by destruction at some period of life. In a state of nature almost every full-grown plant annually produces seed. and we do not keep in mind that thousands are annually slaughtered for food. yet it is believed to be the most numerous bird in the world. Their geometrical ratio of increase. cases could be given of introduced plants which have become common throughout whole islands in a period of less than ten years. The only difference between organisms which annually produce eggs or seeds by the thousand. I think. such as the cardoon and a tall thistle. The condor lays a couple of eggs and the ostrich a score. and that there has consequently been less destruction of the old and young and that nearly all the young have been enabled to breed.

that heavy destruction inevitably falls either on the young or old during each generation or at recurrent intervals. but if many eggs or young are destroyed. and yet the average stock be fully kept up. If an animal can in any way protect its own eggs or young. mitigate the destruction ever so little. in all cases. a small number may be produced. Lighten any check.number. In looking at Nature. which lived on an average for a thousand years. it is most necessary to keep the foregoing considerations always in mind—never to forget that every single organic being may be said to be striving to the utmost to increase in numbers. and the number of the species will almost instantaneously increase to any amount. 75 . It would suffice to keep up the full number of a tree. But the real importance of a large number of eggs or seeds is to make up for much destruction at some period of life. many must be produced or the species will become extinct. the average number of any animal or plant depends only indirectly on the number of its eggs or seeds. that each lives by a struggle at some period of its life. so that. supposing that this seed were never destroyed and could be ensured to germinate in a fitting place. if a single seed were produced once in a thousand years. and this period in the great majority of cases is an early one.

on a piece of ground three feet long and two wide. and the case would be the same with turf closely browsed by quadrupeds. This subject of the checks to increase has been ably treated by several authors. the more vigorous plants gradually kill the less vigorous. Nor will this surprise any one who reflects how ignorant we are on this head. If turf which has long been mown. Nature Of The Checks To Increase The causes which check the natural tendency of each species to increase are most obscure. in some cases. though fully grown plants. as with the elephant. The amount of food for each species. With plants there is a vast destruction of seeds. even in regard to mankind. I marked all the seedlings of our native weeds as they came up. Here I will make only a few remarks. are destroyed in vast numbers by various enemies. 76 . there would. thus out of twenty species grown on a little plot of mown turf (three feet by four) nine species perished. be let to grow. of course. by as much as it swarms in numbers. dug and cleared. although so incomparably better known than any other animal. Eggs or very young animals seem generally to suffer most. be less game than at present. by so much will it tend to increase still further. more especially in regard to the feral animals of South America. but very frequently it is not the obtaining food. at the same time. We know not exactly what the checks are even in a single instance. and. from the other species being allowed to grow up freely. but the serving as prey to other animals. which determines the average number of a species. for instance. On the other hand. none are destroyed by beasts of prey. but from some observations which I have made it appears that the seedlings suffer most from germinating in ground already thickly stocked with other plants. If not one head of game were shot during the next twenty years in England. gives the extreme limit to which each can increase. Look at the most vigorous species. although hundreds of thousands of game animals are now annually shot. and hares on any large estate depends chiefly on the destruction of vermin. just to recall to the reader's mind some of the chief points. and out of 357 no less than 295 were destroyed. chiefly by slugs and insects. but this is not invariably the case. in all probability. if no vermin were destroyed. there seems to be little doubt that the stock of partridges. grouse. Seedlings. Thus. and where there could be no choking from other plants. also.4. and I hope in a future work to discuss it at considerable length. for even the tiger in India most rarely dares to attack a young elephant protected by its dam.

decreases northward. it will be the least vigorous individuals. and therefore of competitors. they will increase in numbers. for instance. for they cannot compete with our native plants nor resist destruction by our native animals. or from a damp region to a dry. than we do in proceeding southward or in descending a mountain. acts directly. and as each area is already fully stocked with inhabitants. When we travel southward and see a species decreasing in numbers. When we reach the Arctic regions. Even when climate. or in ascending a mountain. but in so far as climate chiefly acts in reducing food. But this is a false view. and finally disappearing. and periodical seasons of extreme cold or drought seem to be the most effective of all checks. which subsist on the same kind of food. the struggle for life is almost exclusively with the elements. we may feel sure that the cause lies quite as much in other species being favoured. from enemies or from competitors for the same place and food. whether of the same or of distinct species. That climate acts in main part indirectly by favouring other species we clearly see in the prodigious number of plants which in our gardens can perfectly well endure our climate. for the number of species of all kinds. as in this one being hurt. is an extraordinarily severe mortality from epidemics with man. which will suffer the most. we forget that each species. When we travel from south to north. 77 . it brings on the most severe struggle between the individuals. we far oftener meet with stunted forms. I estimated (chiefly from the greatly reduced numbers of nests in the spring) that the winter of 1854-5 destroyed four-fifths of the birds in my own grounds. So it is when we travel northward. extreme cold. The action of climate seems at first sight to be quite independent of the struggle for existence. and if these enemies or competitors be in the least degree favoured by any slight change of climate. we invariably see some species gradually getting rarer and rarer. or snow-capped summits. hence in going northward. and the change of climate being conspicuous. the other species must decrease. when we remember that ten per cent. or those which have got least food through the advancing winter. is constantly suffering enormous destruction at some period of its life. or absolute deserts.Climate plays an important part in determining the average numbers of a species. due to the DIRECTLY injurious action of climate. even where it most abounds. but which never become naturalised. we are tempted to attribute the whole effect to its direct action. but in a somewhat lesser degree. and this is a tremendous destruction.

increase in number proportionally to the supply of seed. For in such cases. though having a superabundance of food at this one season. increases inordinately in numbers in a small tract. as their numbers are checked during the winter. is absolutely necessary for its preservation. 78 . But even some of these so-called epidemics appear to be due to parasitic worms. because the seeds are in great excess compared with the number of birds which feed on them. explains. this seems generally to occur with our game animals—often ensue. a large stock of individuals of the same species. and thus save the species from utter destruction. This view of the necessity of a large stock of the same species for its preservation. in many cases. and that of some social plants being social.. we may believe. possibly in part through facility of diffusion among the crowded animals. I should add that the good effects of intercrossing. nor can the birds. but any one who has tried knows how troublesome it is to get seed from a few wheat or other such plants in a garden. been disproportionally favoured: and here comes in a sort of struggle between the parasite and its prey. I have in this case lost every single seed. owing to highly favourable circumstances. Thus we can easily raise plenty of corn and rape-seed. and here we have a limiting check independent of the struggle for life. relatively to the numbers of its enemies. On the other hand. in our fields. that is abounding in individuals. and the ill effects of close interbreeding.When a species. that a plant could exist only where the conditions of its life were so favourable that many could exist together. some singular facts in nature such as that of very rare plants being sometimes extremely abundant. in the few spots where they do exist. no doubt come into play in many of these cases. epidemics—at least. but I will not here enlarge on this subject. I believe. which have from some cause. even on the extreme verge of their range. etc.

which had never been touched by the hand of man. No wonder that. and literally I could not see a single Scotch fir. and the heath was frequented by two or three distinct insectivorous birds. at a point some hundred yards distant from one of the old clumps. Here there are extensive heaths. I counted thirty-two little trees. with the exception of the land having been enclosed. Complex Relations Of All Animals And Plants To Each Other In The Struggle For Existence Many cases are on record showing how complex and unexpected are the checks and relations between organic beings. and self-sown firs are now springing up in multitudes. which had been perpetually browsed down by the cattle. so close together that all cannot live. and had failed. but several hundred acres of exactly the same nature had been enclosed twenty-five years previously and planted with Scotch fir. as soon as the land was enclosed. The change in the native vegetation of the planted part of the heath was most remarkable. whence I could examine hundreds of acres of the unenclosed heath. and one of them. had. though a simple one. The effect on the insects must have been still greater. which. for six insectivorous birds were very common in the plantations. nothing whatever else having been done. In Staffordshire. with twenty-six rings of growth.5. But how important an element enclosure is. on the estate of a relation. which have to struggle together in the same country. with a few clumps of old Scotch firs on the distant hill-tops: within the last ten years large spaces have been enclosed. But on looking closely between the stems of the heath. Here we see how potent has been the effect of the introduction of a single tree. interested me. there was a large and extremely barren heath. during many years tried to raise its head above the stems of the heath. When I ascertained that these young trees had not been sown or planted I was so much surprised at their numbers that I went to several points of view. but twelve species of plants (not counting grasses and carices) flourished in the plantations. it became thickly clothed with vigorously growing young firs. in Surrey. I found a multitude of seedlings and little trees. so that cattle could not enter. I will give only a single instance. more than is generally seen in passing from one quite different soil to another: not only the proportional numbers of the heath-plants were wholly changed. which could not be found on the heath. where I had ample means of investigation. which were not to be seen on the heath. I plainly saw near Farnham. Yet the heath was so extremely barren 79 . except the old planted clumps. In one square yard.

numerous as they are. and this would certainly greatly alter (as indeed I have observed in parts of South America) the vegetation: this again would largely affect the insects. which lays its eggs in the navels of these animals when first born. 80 . The increase of these flies. pratense) produced 2. Nevertheless. we invoke cataclysms to desolate the world. and this would lessen the number of the navel-frequenting flies—then cattle and horses would become feral. for here neither cattle nor horses nor dogs have ever run wild. Nearly all our orchidaceous plants absolutely require the visits of insects to remove their pollenmasses and thus to fertilise them. that we marvel when we hear of the extinction of an organic being. but twenty other heads. Again. so profound is our ignorance. if certain insectivorous birds were to decrease in Paraguay. the insectivorous birds. and this. protected from bees. Battle within battle must be continually recurring with varying success. I have also found that the visits of bees are necessary for the fertilisation of some kinds of clover. must be habitually checked by some means. Hence. and so high our presumption. and so onwards in ever-increasing circles of complexity. though they swarm southward and northward in a feral state. from its peculiar structure. as we have just seen in Staffordshire. and consequently. Not that under nature the relations will ever be as simple as this. Here we see that cattle absolutely determine the existence of the Scotch fir. or invent laws on the duration of the forms of life! I am tempted to give one more instance showing how plants and animals. the parasitic insects would probably increase. remote in the scale of nature. I find from experiments that humblebees are almost indispensable to the fertilisation of the heartsease (Viola tricolor).700 seeds. Perhaps Paraguay offers the most curious instance of this. and as we do not see the cause. probably by other parasitic insects. are bound together by a web of complex relations. never sets a seed. and yet in the long-run the forces are so nicely balanced that the face of nature remains for long periods of time uniform. I shall hereafter have occasion to show that the exotic Lobelia fulgens is never visited in my garden by insects. but in several parts of the world insects determine the existence of cattle.and so extensive that no one would ever have imagined that cattle would have so closely and effectually searched it for food. and Azara and Rengger have shown that this is caused by the greater number in Paraguay of a certain fly. 100 heads of red clover (T.290 seeds. produced not one. for instance twenty heads of Dutch clover (Trifolium repens) yielded 2. for other bees do not visit this flower. though assuredly the merest trifle would give the victory to one organic being over another.

snails. and other animals with birds and beasts of prey—all striving to increase. or on the other plants which first clothed the ground and thus checked the growth of the trees. a very different vegetation springs up. but how simple is the problem where each shall 81 . all feeding on each other. It has been suggested that moths may fertilise the clovers. probably come into play. but it has been observed that ancient Indian ruins in the Southern United States. acting at different periods of life. who has long attended to the habits of humble-bees. many different checks. and during different seasons or years. what war between insect and insect—between insects. But how false a view is this! Every one has heard that when an American forest is cut down. Humble bees alone visit red clover. their seeds and seedlings. What a struggle must have gone on during long centuries between the several kinds of trees. if the whole genus of humble-bees became extinct or very rare in England. the heartsease and red clover would become very rare. we are tempted to attribute their proportional numbers and kinds to what we call chance. or wholly disappear. from their weight not being sufficient to depress the wing petals." Hence it is quite credible that the presence of a feline animal in large numbers in a district might determine. which destroy their combs and nests. which I attribute to the number of cats that destroy the mice. but I doubt whether they could do so in the case of the red clover. Hence we may infer as highly probable that. now display the same beautiful diversity and proportion of kinds as in the surrounding virgin forests.but the same number of protected heads produced not a single seed. and Colonel Newman. as every one knows. "Near villages and small towns I have found the nests of humble-bees more numerous than elsewhere. which must formerly have been cleared of trees. through the intervention first of mice and then of bees. Throw up a handful of feathers. In some cases it can be shown that widely-different checks act on the same species in different districts. the frequency of certain flowers in that district! In the case of every species. on the number of cats. each annually scattering its seeds by the thousand. and all fall to the ground according to definite laws. or even the existence of the species. The number of humble-bees in any district depends in a great measure upon the number of field-mice. or on the trees. and Colonel Newman says." Now the number of mice is largely dependent. some one check or some few being generally the most potent. believes that "more than two-thirds of them are thus destroyed all over England. but all will concur in determining the average number. When we look at the plants and bushes clothing an entangled bank. as other bees cannot reach the nectar.

they must be each year harvested separately. so that they cannot be kept together. To keep up a mixed stock of even such extremely close varieties as the variously coloured sweet-peas. the struggle will generally be almost equally severe. and we sometimes see the contest soon decided: for instance. and constitution. and the mixed seed be resown. will beat the others and so yield more seed. as of a parasite on its prey. in the course of centuries. and will consequently in a few years supplant the other varieties. habits. for they frequent the same districts.fall compared to that of the action and reaction of the innumerable plants and animals which have determined. some of the varieties which best suit the soil or climate. the proportional numbers and kinds of trees now growing on the old Indian ruins! The dependency of one organic being on another. In the case of varieties of the same species. lies generally between beings remote in the scale of nature. But the struggle will almost invariably be most severe between the individuals of the same species. that the original proportions of a mixed stock (crossing being prevented) could be kept up for half-a-dozen generations. as in the case of locusts and grassfeeding quadrupeds. It may even be doubted whether the varieties of any of our domestic plants or animals have so exactly the same strength. in the same manner as beings in a state of nature. and the seed then mixed in due proportion. This is likewise sometimes the case with those which may strictly be said to struggle with each other for existence. and if the seed or young were not annually preserved in due proportion. The same result has followed from keeping together different varieties of the medicinal leech. if they were allowed to struggle together. 82 . otherwise the weaker kinds will steadily decrease in number and disappear. if several varieties of wheat be sown together. So again with the varieties of sheep: it has been asserted that certain mountain-varieties will starve out other mountain-varieties. require the same food. and are exposed to the same dangers. or are naturally the most fertile.

the relation seems at first confined to the elements of air and water. The recent increase of the missel-thrush in parts of Scotland has caused the decrease of the song-thrush. This is obvious in the structure of the teeth and talons of the tiger. and to escape serving as prey to other animals. Struggle For Life Most Severe Between Individuals And Varieties Of The Same Species As the species of the same genus usually have. and in the flattened and fringed legs of the water-beetle. and always in structure. The store of nutriment laid up within the seeds of many plants seems at first sight to have no sort of relation to other plants. allows it to compete with other aquatic insects. if they come into competition with each other. A corollary of the highest importance may be deduced from the foregoing remarks. In Australia the imported hive-bee is rapidly exterminating the small. But from the strong growth of young plants produced from such seeds. in the most essential yet often hidden manner. and so in other cases. namely. the struggle will generally be more severe between them. We can dimly see why the competition should be most severe between allied forms.6. or from which it has to escape. or on which it preys. the structure of its legs. as peas and beans. One species of charlock has been known to supplant another species. which fill nearly the same place in the economy of nature. though by no means invariably. In the water-beetle. We see this in the recent extension over parts of the United States of one species of swallow having caused the decrease of another species. and in that of the legs and claws of the parasite which clings to the hair on the tiger's body. that the structure of every organic being is related. to that of all other organic beings. How frequently we hear of one species of rat taking the place of another species under the most different climates! In Russia the small Asiatic cockroach has everywhere driven before it its great congener. to hunt for its own prey. so well adapted for diving. it may be suspected that 83 . Yet the advantage of the plumed seeds no doubt stands in the closest relation to the land being already thickly clothed with other plants. but probably in no one case could we precisely say why one species has been victorious over another in the great battle of life. much similarity in habits and constitution. so that the seeds may be widely distributed and fall on unoccupied ground. stingless native bee. with which it comes into competition for food or residence. when sown in the midst of long grass. But in the beautifully plumed seed of the dandelion. than between the species of distinct genera.

during each generation.the chief use of the nutriment in the seed is to favour the growth of the seedlings. and that the vigorous. although the climate may be exactly the same as in its former home. during some season of the year. whilst struggling with other plants growing vigorously all around. but we have reason to believe that only a few plants or animals range so far. This ought to convince us of our ignorance on the mutual relations of all organic beings. among new competitors. If its average numbers are to increase in its new home. the healthy. and the happy survive and multiply. or at intervals. On the confines of its geographical range. It is good thus to try in imagination to give any one species an advantage over another. Not until we reach the extreme confines of life. that they are destroyed exclusively by the rigour of the climate. or over the animals which prey on it. has to struggle for life and to suffer great destruction. at some period of its life. Probably in no single instance should we know what to do. a conviction as necessary. yet there will be competition between some few species. Hence we can see that when a plant or animal is placed in a new country. that death is generally prompt. for the warmest or dampest spots. will competition cease. In this case we can clearly see that if we wish in imagination to give the plant the power of increasing in numbers. we should have to modify it in a different way to what we should have had to do in its native country. that no fear is felt. or between the individuals of the same species. 84 . as it is difficult to acquire. All that we can do is to keep steadily in mind that each organic being is striving to increase in a geometrical ratio. When we reflect on this struggle we may console ourselves with the full belief that the war of nature is not incessant. for elsewhere it ranges into slightly hotter or colder. The land may be extremely cold or dry. damper or drier districts. we should have to give it some advantage over its competitors. Look at a plant in the midst of its range! Why does it not double or quadruple its numbers? We know that it can perfectly well withstand a little more heat or cold. a change of constitution with respect to climate would clearly be an advantage to our plant. the conditions of its life will generally be changed in an essential manner. dampness or dryness. that each. in the Arctic regions or on the borders of an utter desert. for we should have to give it some advantage over a different set of competitors or enemies.

number of individuals — Slow action — Extinction caused by Natural Selection — Divergence of Character. Or The Survival Of The Fittest Natural Selection — its power compared with man's selection — its power on characters of trifling importance — its power at all ages and on both sexes — Sexual Selection — On the generality of intercrosses between individuals of the same species — Circumstances favourable and unfavourable to the results of Natural Selection. isolation.Chapter 4 Natural Selection. namely. related to the diversity of inhabitants of any small area and to naturalisation — Action of Natural Selection. through Divergence of Character and Extinction. intercrossing. on the descendants from a common parent — Explains the Grouping of all organic beings — Advance in organisation — Low forms preserved — Convergence of character — Indefinite multiplication of species — Summary. 85 .

we may feel sure that any variation in the least degree injurious would be rigidly destroyed. in those under nature. Variations neither useful nor injurious would not be affected by natural selection. or the Survival of the Fittest. he can neither originate varieties nor prevent their occurrence. and the destruction of those which are injurious. Unintentionally he exposes organic beings to new and changing conditions of life. No one 86 . act in regard to variation? Can the principle of selection. This preservation of favourable individual differences and variations. be borne in mind. Under domestication. and consequently what infinitely varied diversities of structure might be of use to each being under changing conditions of life. How will the struggle for existence. Let it also be borne in mind how infinitely complex and close-fitting are the mutual relations of all organic beings to each other and to their physical conditions of life. which we have seen is so potent in the hands of man. and variability ensues. should occur in the course of many successive generations? If such do occur. Can it then be thought improbable. in a lesser degree. would have the best chance of surviving and procreating their kind? On the other hand. however slight.1. as well as the strength of the hereditary tendency. Some have even imagined that natural selection induces variability. But the variability. and would be left either a fluctuating element. whereas it implies only the preservation of such variations as arise and are beneficial to the being under its conditions of life. apply under nature? I think we shall see that it can act most efficiently. I have called Natural Selection. or would ultimately become fixed. Let the endless number of slight variations and individual differences occurring in our domestic productions. and. but similar changes of conditions might and do occur under nature. that other variations useful in some way to each being in the great and complex battle of life. owing to the nature of the organism and the nature of the conditions. which we almost universally meet with in our domestic productions is not directly produced. by man. as Hooker and Asa Gray have well remarked. over others. briefly discussed in the last chapter. as perhaps we see in certain polymorphic species. can we doubt (remembering that many more individuals are born than can possibly survive) that individuals having any advantage. it may truly be said that the whole organisation becomes in some degree plastic. Several writers have misapprehended or objected to the term Natural Selection. he can only preserve and accumulate such as do occur. seeing that variations useful to man have undoubtedly occurred.

and by laws the sequence of events as ascertained by us. and they are almost necessary for brevity. for. which man for some object selects. With a little familiarity such superficial objections will be forgotten. of climate. Others have objected that the term selection implies conscious choice in the animals which become modified. natural selection is a false term. and some species will probably become extinct. new forms would certainly immigrate. or of a country partly surrounded by barriers. from what we have seen of the intimate and complex manner in which the inhabitants of each country are bound together. We shall best understand the probable course of natural selection by taking the case of a country undergoing some slight physical change. as plants have no volition. for instance. But in the case of an island. and in this case the individual differences given by nature. Let it be remembered how powerful the influence of a single introduced tree or mammal has been shown to be. The proportional numbers of its inhabitants will almost immediately undergo a change. natural selection is not applicable to them! In the literal sense of the word. and it has even been urged that. In such cases. by better adapting them to their altered conditions. no doubt. must of necessity first occur. If the country were open on its borders. but I mean by nature. but who ever objected to chemists speaking of the elective affinities of the various elements?—and yet an acid cannot strictly be said to elect the base with which it in preference combines. would tend to be preserved. So again it is difficult to avoid personifying the word Nature. which in any way favoured the individuals of any species. only the aggregate action and product of many natural laws. 87 . these same places would have been seized on by intruders. independently of the change of climate itself. and natural selection would have free scope for the work of improvement. but who objects to an author speaking of the attraction of gravity as ruling the movements of the planets? Every one knows what is meant and is implied by such metaphorical expressions. and this would likewise seriously disturb the relations of some of the former inhabitants. would seriously affect the others. had the area been open to immigration. we should then have places in the economy of nature which would assuredly be better filled up if some of the original inhabitants were in some manner modified. We may conclude. that any change in the numerical proportions of the inhabitants. into which new and better adapted forms could not freely enter. It has been said that I speak of natural selection as an active power or Deity. slight modifications.objects to agriculturists speaking of the potent effects of man's selection.

we may safely conclude that the natives might have been modified with advantage. for in all countries. For as all the inhabitants of each country are struggling together with nicely balanced forces. and certainly has produced. to check immigration. that none of them could be still better adapted or improved. and still further modifications of the same kind would often still further increase the advantage. if I may be allowed to personify the natural preservation or survival of the fittest. extremely slight modifications in the structure or habits of one species would often give it an advantage over others. as long as the species continued under the same conditions of life and profited by similar means of subsistence and defence. as is implied by the fact of their selection. as shown in the first chapter. or any unusual degree of isolation. natural selection can do nothing. by affording a better chance of the occurrence of profitable variations." it must never be forgotten that mere individual differences are included.We have good reason to believe. As man can produce. And as foreigners have thus in every country beaten some of the natives. as of climate. so could natural selection. Under the term of "variations. and in the foregoing cases the conditions the changed. He seldom exercises each selected character in some peculiar and fitting manner. Nature only for that of the being which she tends. but far more easily from having incomparably longer time for action. As man can produce a great result with his domestic animals and plants by adding up in any given direction individual differences. a great result by his methodical and unconscious means of selection. on every shade of constitutional difference. so as to have better resisted the intruders. Man selects only for his own good. No country can be named in which all the native inhabitants are now so perfectly adapted to each other and to the physical conditions under which they live. and this would manifestly be favourable to natural selection. is necessary in order that new and unoccupied places should be left for natural selection to fill up by improving some of the varying inhabitants. that changes in the conditions of life give a tendency to increased variability. Nor do I believe that any great physical change. on the whole machinery of life. Unless such occur. cares nothing for appearances. the natives have been so far conquered by naturalised productions that they have allowed some foreigners to take firm possession of the land. Every selected character is fully exercised by her. he feeds a long and a short-beaked pigeon 88 . She can act on every internal organ. Man keeps the natives of many climates in the same country. what may not natural selection effect? Man can act only on external and visible characters: Nature. except in so far as they are useful to any being.

step by step. the slightest variations. vary or present individual differences of the same favourable nature as before. But whether it is true. does not allow the most vigorous males to struggle for the females. Although natural selection can act only through and for the good of each being. that they should be infinitely better adapted to the most complex conditions of life. at the improvement of each organic being in relation to its organic and inorganic conditions of life. which we are apt to consider as of very trifling importance. may thus be acted on. yet characters and structures. or at least by some modification prominent enough to catch the eye or to be plainly useful to him. In order that any great amount of modification should be effected in a species. the slightest differences of structure or constitution may well turn the nicely-balanced scale in the struggle for life. then. and should plainly bear the stamp of far higher workmanship? It may metaphorically be said that natural selection is daily and hourly scrutinising. rejecting those that are bad. this can hardly be considered as an unwarrantable assumption. we can judge only by seeing how far the hypothesis accords with and explains the general phenomena of nature. the ordinary belief that the amount of possible variation is a strictly limited quantity. compared with those accumulated by Nature during whole geological periods! Can we wonder. but protects during each varying season. and then so imperfect is our view into long-past geological ages that we see only that the forms of life are now different from what they formerly were. How fleeting are the wishes and efforts of man! How short his time. and so be preserved. he does not rigidly destroy all inferior animals. is likewise a simple assumption. When we see leaf- 89 . and so onward. We see nothing of these slow changes in progress. that Nature's productions should be far "truer" in character than man's productions. until the hand of time has marked the long lapse of ages. silently and insensibly working. he exposes sheep with long and short wool to the same climate. He often begins his selection by some half-monstrous form. all his productions. throughout the world. perhaps after a long interval of time. and these must again be preserved. Seeing that individual differences of the same kind perpetually recur. and consequently how poor will be his results. WHENEVER AND WHEREVER OPPORTUNITY OFFERS. On the other hand. a variety. preserving and adding up all that are good.on the same food. Under nature. as far as lies in his power. he does not exercise a long-backed or long-legged quadruped in any peculiar manner. when once formed must again.

—so much so that on parts of the continent persons are warned not to keep white pigeons. true and constant. and bark-feeders mottled-grey. in the shape. Downing. with all the aids of art. assuredly. the red-grouse the colour of heather. We have seen how the colour of hogs. for instance. tend to reappear in the offspring at the same period. determines whether they shall live or die. in the horns of our sheep 90 . in a state of nature. As we see that those variations which. food. which feed on the "paint-root" in Virginia. the down on the fruit and the colour of the flesh are considered by botanists as characters of the most trifling importance. under domestication. etc. they are known to suffer largely from birds of prey. It is also necessary to bear in mind that. as being the most liable to destruction. other modifications. these slight differences make a great difference in cultivating the several varieties. in the caterpillar and cocoon stages of the varieties of the silkworm. In plants. we must not forget that climate. as far as our ignorance permits us to judge. appear at any particular period of life. such differences would effectually settle which variety. in the eggs of poultry. we should remember how essential it is in a flock of white sheep to destroy a lamb with the faintest trace of black. In looking at many small points of difference between species. seem quite unimportant. the alpine ptarmigan white in winter. have no doubt produced some direct effect. and in keeping that colour.eating insects green. whether a smooth or downy. often of the most unexpected nature. if not destroyed at some period of their lives. and hawks are guided by eyesight to their prey. would increase in countless numbers. should succeed. Hence natural selection might be effective in giving the proper colour to each kind of grouse. Grouse. whereas another disease attacks yellow-fleshed peaches far more than those with other coloured flesh. when one part varies and the variations are accumulated through natural selection. that purple plums suffer far more from a certain disease than yellow plums. size and flavour of the seeds of the many varieties of our culinary and agricultural plants. will ensue. a yellow or a purple-fleshed fruit. and in the colour of the down of their chickens. when once acquired. where the trees would have to struggle with other trees and with a host of enemies. we must believe that these tints are of service to these birds and insects in preserving them from danger. than those with down. a Curculio. If. Nor ought we to think that the occasional destruction of an animal of any particular colour would produce little effect. yet we hear from an excellent horticulturist.. owing to the law of correlation. that in the United States smooth-skinned fruits suffer far more from a beetle. which.

Now. If it profit a plant to have its seeds more and more widely disseminated by the wind. conversely. so in a state of nature natural selection will be enabled to act on and modify organic beings at any age. It has been asserted. for all with weak beaks would inevitably perish: or. through correlation. the process of modification would be very slow. used for breaking the eggs. A structure used only once in an animal's life. is to modify the structure of one species. which can have little or no influence on the course of natural selection. if the community profits by the selected change. the thickness of the shell being known to vary like every other structure. and there would be simultaneously the most rigorous selection of all the young birds within the egg. I can see no greater difficulty in this being effected through natural selection. might be modified to any extent by natural selection. but in all cases natural selection will ensure that they shall not be injurious: for if they were so. the species would become extinct. if nature had to make the beak of a full-grown pigeon very short for the bird's own advantage. I cannot find one case which will bear investigation. and these could be modified through natural selection 91 . It may be well here to remark that with all beings there must be much fortuitous destruction. than in the cotton-planter increasing and improving by selection the down in the pods on his cottontrees. modifications in the adult may affect the structure of the larva. for instance. wholly different from those which concern the mature insect. by the accumulation of variations profitable at that age. and though statements to this effect may be found in works of natural history. In social animals it will adapt the structure of each individual for the benefit of the whole community. and by their inheritance at a corresponding age. without giving it any advantage. the structure of the adult. which had the most powerful and hardest beaks. and these modifications may affect. so that fanciers assist in the act of hatching. Natural selection will modify the structure of the young in relation to the parent and of the parent in relation to the young. that of the best short-beaked tumbler-pigeons a greater number perish in the egg than are able to get out of it. For instance. more delicate and more easily broken shells might be selected. the great jaws possessed by certain insects. for the good of another species. a vast number of eggs or seeds are annually devoured. Natural selection may modify and adapt the larva of an insect to a score of contingencies.and cattle when nearly adult. What natural selection cannot do. So. used exclusively for opening the cocoon—or the hard tip to the beak of unhatched birds. if of high importance to it.

Yet many of these eggs or seeds would perhaps. 92 .only if they varied in some manner which protected them from their enemies. will tend to propagate their kind in larger numbers than the less well adapted. If the numbers be wholly kept down by the causes just indicated. supposing that there is any variability in a favourable direction. but this is no valid objection to its efficiency at other times and in other ways. for we are far from having any reason to suppose that many species ever undergo modification and improvement at the same time in the same area. the best adapted individuals. whether or not they be the best adapted to their conditions. if the number which can exist in any district be not wholly kept down by such causes—or again let the destruction of eggs or seeds be so great that only a hundredth or a thousandth part are developed—yet of those which do survive. So again a vast number of mature animals and plants. But let the destruction of the adults be ever so heavy. if not destroyed. natural selection will be powerless in certain beneficial directions. as will often have been the case. must be annually destroyed by accidental causes. have yielded individuals better adapted to their conditions of life than any of those which happened to survive. which would not be in the least degree mitigated by certain changes of structure or constitution which would in other ways be beneficial to the species.

as commonly occurs. and the hooked jaw to the male salmon. length of spur. the males of certain hymenopterous insects have been frequently seen by that inimitable observer M. but few or no offspring. All those who have attended to the subject. This form of selection depends. Sexual selection. male stag-beetles sometimes bear wounds from the huge mandibles of other males. though to them and to others. But in many cases victory depends not so much on general vigour. Sexual Selection Inasmuch as peculiarities often appear under domestication in one sex and become hereditarily attached to that sex. The males of carnivorous animals are already well armed. bellowing. confined to the male sex. A hornless stag or spurless cock would have a poor chance of leaving numerous offspring. the contest is often of a more peaceful character. Sexual selection is. the most vigorous males. generally the males. or for one sex to be modified in relation to the other sex. severest between the males of polygamous animals. therefore. an apparently unconcerned beholder of the struggle. so no doubt it will be under nature. will leave most progeny. The result is not death to the unsuccessful competitor. Among birds. might surely give indomitable courage. by always allowing the victor to breed. not on a struggle for existence in relation to other organic beings or to external conditions. for the shield may be as important for victory as the sword or spear. and whirling round. Thus it is rendered possible for the two sexes to be modified through natural selection in relation to different habits of life. less rigorous than natural selection. Fabre. the 93 . as the mane of the lion. and these seem oftenest provided with special weapons. Generally. This leads me to say a few words on what I have called sexual selection. in nearly the same manner as does the brutal cockfighter by the careful selection of his best cocks.2. for the possession of the other sex. but on having special weapons. How low in the scale of nature the law of battle descends I know not. believe that there is the severest rivalry between the males of many species to attract. but on a struggle between the individuals of one sex. male alligators have been described as fighting. and strength to the wing to strike in the spurred leg. like Indians in a war-dance. perhaps. special means of defence may be given through means of sexual selection. The war is. for the possession of the females. as is sometimes the case. those which are best fitted for their places in nature. fighting for a particular female who sits by. and then retires with the conqueror. by singing. male salmons have been observed fighting all day long.

such differences have been mainly caused by sexual selection: that is. standing by as spectators. and some others. Thus it is. which apparently have not been augmented through selection by man. I cannot here enter on the necessary details. The rock-thrush of Guiana. might produce a marked effect. in their weapons. colour. Those who have closely attended to birds in confinement well know that they often take individual preferences and dislikes: thus Sir R. and it is doubtful whether it can be ornamental in the eyes of the female bird. and transmitted to the males alone or to both sexes at corresponding ages. according to his standard of beauty. during thousands of generations. 94 . which. by individual males having had. or ornament. but differ in structure. had the tuft appeared under domestication it would have been called a monstrosity.females. and successive males display with the most elaborate care. Heron has described how a pied peacock was eminently attractive to all his hen birds. according to their standard of beauty. some slight advantage over other males. I can see no good reason to doubt that female birds. and show off in the best manner. by selecting. at last choose the most attractive partner. Some well-known laws. or charms. but I have not space here to enter on this subject. but if man can in a short time give beauty and an elegant carriage to his bantams. as I believe. birds of paradise. The tuft of hair on the breast of the wild turkey-cock cannot be of any use. means of defence. which they have transmitted to their male offspring alone. in comparison with the plumage of the young. they likewise perform strange antics before the females. indeed. the most melodious or beautiful males. that when the males and females of any animal have the same general habits of life. congregate. Yet. I would not wish to attribute all sexual differences to this agency: for we see in our domestic animals peculiarities arising and becoming attached to the male sex. their gorgeous plumage. can partly be explained through the action of sexual selection on variations occurring at different ages. with respect to the plumage of male and female birds. in successive generations.

and another hunting on marshy ground and almost nightly catching woodcocks or snipes. had from any change in the country increased in numbers. 95 . one cat. the wolves inhabiting a mountainous district. Or. according to Mr. another mice. provided always that they retained strength to master their prey at this or some other period of the year. if any slight innate change of habit or of structure benefited an individual wolf. St. or that other prey had decreased in numbers. and let us suppose that the fleetest prey. a cub might be born with an innate tendency to pursue certain kinds of prey. which preys on various animals. another hares or rabbits. Pierce. for we often observe great differences in the natural tendencies of our domestic animals. Nor can this be thought very improbable. Under such circumstances the swiftest and slimmest wolves have the best chance of surviving. Let us take the case of a wolf. a deer for instance. with shorter legs. or by that kind of unconscious selection which follows from each man trying to keep the best dogs without any thought of modifying the breed. during that season of the year when the wolf was hardest pressed for food. would naturally be forced to hunt different prey. I must beg permission to give one or two imaginary illustrations. than that man should be able to improve the fleetness of his greyhounds by careful and methodical selection. bringing home winged game. I can see no more reason to doubt that this would be the result. there are two varieties of the wolf inhabiting the Catskill Mountains. Now. which pursues deer. some by strength. taking to catch rats. John. for instance. and those frequenting the lowlands. Some of its young would probably inherit the same habits or structure. a new variety might be formed which would either supplant or coexist with the parent-form of wolf. and so be preserved or selected. one with a light greyhound-like form. when they were compelled to prey on other animals. and some by fleetness. Illustrations Of The Action Of Natural Selection. natural selection acts. again. it would have the best chance of surviving and of leaving offspring. as I believe. Even without any change in the proportional numbers of the animals on which our wolf preyed. The tendency to catch rats rather than mice is known to be inherited. and by the repetition of this process. and the other more bulky. and from the continued preservation of the individuals best fitted for the two sites.3. I may add that. in the United States. securing some by craft. one cat. according to Mr. Or The Survival Of The Fittest In order to make it clear how. which more frequently attacks the shepherd's flocks.

which varied in some manner. I speak of the slimmest individual wolves. I saw. also. It should be observed that in the above illustration. but by no means so for many of the lower organisms. These varieties would cross and blend where they met. If. and this led me fully to discuss the results of unconscious selection by man. and this chance would go on decreasing in the succeeding generations. from various causes of destruction. of which. for instance. judging by what we see taking place under domestication. The justice of these remarks cannot. and the other more bulky. He then shows that if a single individual were born. only two on an average survive to pro-create their kind. which more frequently attacks the shepherd's flocks. that. that this result would follow from the preservation during many generations of a large number of individuals 96 . I did not appreciate how rarely single variations. Nevertheless. such as a monstrosity. whether slight or strongly marked. and if one were born with its beak strongly curved. giving it twice as good a chance of life as that of the other individuals. and that. producing during their lifetime two hundred offspring. there are two varieties of the wolf inhabiting the Catskill Mountains in the United States. but there can hardly be a doubt. the young would have only a slightly better chance of surviving and breeding. would be a rare event.two varieties might slowly be formed. a bird of some kind could procure its food more easily by having its beak curved. one with a light greyhound-like form. I think. The author takes the case of a pair of animals. yet the chances would be strongly against its survival. I saw the great importance of individual differences. according to Mr. and that half its young inherited the favourable variation. but to this subject of intercrossing we shall soon have to return. Supposing it to survive and to breed. Pierce. until reading an able and valuable article in the "North British Review" (1867). it would generally be lost by subsequent intercrossing with ordinary individuals. still. could be perpetuated. that the preservation in a state of nature of any occasional deviation of structure. as the Reviewer goes onto show. In former editions of this work I sometimes spoke as if this latter alternative had frequently occurred. I may add. nevertheless there would be a very poor chance of this one individual perpetuating its kind to the exclusion of the common form. if at first preserved. and not of any single strongly marked variation having been preserved. with shorter legs. be disputed. which depends on the preservation of all the more or less valuable individuals. and on the destruction of the worst. which pursues deer. This is rather an extreme estimate for most of the higher animals. and which consequently flourished.

it would undoubtedly transmit to them. though small in quantity. fifth. If the new variety were successful in its battle for life. the original form would soon be supplanted by the modified form. or tenth part of the individuals may have been thus affected. for instance. Insects in seeking the nectar would get 97 . and would often breed together. and from the destruction of a still larger number with the straightest beaks. so that similarly modified individuals would soon exist in a small body together. if the variation were of a beneficial nature. frequently recur owing to a similar organisation being similarly acted on— of which fact numerous instances could be given with our domestic productions. but it may be here remarked that most animals and plants keep to their proper homes. if the varying individual did not actually transmit to its offspring its newly-acquired character. which almost always return to the same spot. I shall have to recur. but their visits do not in any way benefit the plant. which no one would rank as mere individual differences. let us suppose that the juice or nectar was excreted from the inside of the flowers of a certain number of plants of any species. and do not needlessly wander about. To the effects of intercrossing in eliminating variations of all kinds. through the survival of the fittest. This juice. In cases of this kind. of which fact several instances could be given. It may be worth while to give another and more complex illustration of the action of natural selection.with more or less strongly curved beaks. and at the backs of the leaves of the common laurel. apparently for the sake of eliminating something injurious from the sap: this is effected. is greedily sought by insects. Or only a third. it would slowly spread from a central district. Certain plants excrete sweet juice. as seems to be the common rule with varieties in a state of nature. we see this even with migratory birds. by glands at the base of the stipules in some Leguminosae. There can also be little doubt that the tendency to vary in the same manner has often been so strong that all the individuals of the same species have been similarly modified without the aid of any form of selection. In such cases. Consequently each newly-formed variety would generally be at first local. It should not. Thus Graba estimates that about one-fifth of the guillemots in the Faroe Islands consist of a variety so well marked. competing with and conquering the unchanged individuals on the margins of an ever-increasing circle. Now. as long as the existing conditions remained the same. be overlooked that certain rather strongly marked variations. however. a still stronger tendency to vary in the same manner. that it was formerly ranked as a distinct species under the name of Uria lacrymans.

regularly carry pollen from flower to flower. had been rendered highly attractive to insects. and on all. under the microscope. as soon as the plant had been rendered so highly attractive to insects that pollen was regularly carried from flower to flower. its destruction appears to be a simple loss to the plant. and would often transport it from one flower to another. which had flown from tree to tree in search of nectar. yet if a little pollen were carried. without exception. The flowers. as can be fully proved. gives rise to vigorous seedlings. and had larger anthers. in which not a grain of pollen can be detected. and that they do this effectually I could easily show by many striking facts. and a cross thus effected. When our plant. other holly-trees bear only female flowers. by the pollen-devouring insects from flower to flower. and the individuals which produced more and more pollen. also. taken from different branches. The weather had been cold and boisterous and therefore not favourable to bees.dusted with pollen. another process 98 . which had their stamens and pistils placed. and would oftenest be crossed. in relation to the size and habits of the particular insect which visited them. and a rudimentary pistil. As the wind had set for several days from the female to the male tree. The plants which produced flowers with the largest glands or nectaries. unintentionally on their part. We might have taken the case of insects visiting flowers for the sake of collecting pollen instead of nectar. the pollen could not thus have been carried. and so in the long-run would gain the upper hand and form a local variety. would be selected. I put the stigmas of twenty flowers. would oftenest be visited by insects. at first occasionally and then habitually. they would. so as to favour in any degree the transportal of the pollen. would likewise be favoured. and four stamens with shrivelled anthers. which consequently would have the best chance of flourishing and surviving. and as pollen is formed for the sole purpose of fertilisation. Some holly-trees bear only male flowers. The flowers of two distinct individuals of the same species would thus get crossed. which have four stamens producing a rather small quantity of pollen. Having found a female tree exactly sixty yards from a male tree. But to return to our imaginary case. I will give only one. these have a full-sized pistil. there were a few pollen-grains. as likewise illustrating one step in the separation of the sexes of plants. and on some a profusion. by the above process long continued. although nine-tenths of the pollen were destroyed it might still be a great gain to the plant to be thus robbed. excreting most nectar. and the act of crossing. nevertheless every female flower which I examined had been effectually fertilised by the bees.

might commence. No naturalist doubts the advantage of what has been called the "physiological division of labour. so that whole fields of the red clover offer in vain an abundant supply of precious nectar to the hive-bee. according to Asa Gray. which with a very little more trouble they can enter by the mouth. I could give many facts showing how anxious bees are to save time: for instance. and that certain insects depended in main part on its nectar for food. too slight to be appreciated by us. It would take up too much space to show the various steps. and as a more complete separation of the sexes of our plant would be advantageous on the principle of the division of labour. The tubes of the corolla of the common red or incarnate clovers (Trifolium pratense and incarnatum) do not on a hasty glance appear to differ in length. would be continually favoured or selected. their habit of cutting holes and sucking the nectar at the bases of certain flowers. through dimorphism and other means. then. In plants under culture and placed under new conditions of life. we may suppose the plant of which we have been slowly increasing the nectar by continued selection. and thus the communities to which they belonged would flourish and throw off many swarms inheriting the same peculiarities. Let us now turn to the nectar-feeding insects. as pollen is already carried regularly from flower to flower. or." hence we may believe that it would be advantageous to a plant to produce stamens alone in one flower or on one whole plant. which is visited by humble-bees alone. in an exactly intermediate condition. That this nectar is much liked by the hive-bee is certain. but I may add that some of the species of holly in North America are. The difference in the length of the corolla in the 99 . so that certain individuals would be able to obtain their food more quickly than others. yet the hive-bee can easily suck the nectar out of the incarnate clover. many hive-bees sucking the flowers through holes bitten in the base of the tube by humble bees. as he expresses it. for I have repeatedly seen. by which the separation of the sexes in plants of various kinds is apparently now in progress. but only in the autumn. it may be believed that under certain circumstances individual differences in the curvature or length of the proboscis. to be a common plant. Bearing such facts in mind. sometimes the male organs and sometimes the female organs become more or less impotent. are more or less dioeciously polygamous. but not out of the common red clover. etc. individuals with this tendency more and more increased.. until at last a complete separation of the sexes might be effected. and pistils alone in another flower or on another plant. might profit a bee or other insect. now if we suppose this to occur in ever so slight a degree under nature.

the flowers of the second crop are somewhat smaller. and as modern geology has almost banished such views as the excavation of a great valley by a single diluvial wave. spoken of as trifling and insignificant. and which freely crosses with it. it might be a great advantage to the hivebee to have a slightly longer or differently constructed proboscis. as the fertility of this clover absolutely depends on bees visiting the flowers. each profitable to the preserved being. is able to reach and suck the nectar of the red clover.two kinds of clover." but we now seldom hear the agencies which we see still at work. in a country where this kind of clover abounded. must be very trifling. modified and adapted to each other in the most perfect manner. when used in explaining the excavation of the deepest valleys or the formation of long lines of inland cliffs. as illustrative of geology. so will natural selection banish the belief of the continued creation of new organic beings. nor whether another published statement can be trusted. so that the hive-bees should be enabled to suck its flowers. Thus I can understand how a flower and a bee might slowly become. On the other hand. which is generally considered a mere variety of the common hive-bee. either simultaneously or one after the other. it might be a great advantage to the plant to have a shorter or more deeply divided corolla. I do not know whether this statement is accurate. for I have been assured that when red clover has been mown. 100 . I am well aware that this doctrine of natural selection. and that these are visited by many hive-bees. if humble-bees were to become rare in any country. that the Ligurian bee. namely. or of any great and sudden modification in their structure. by the continued preservation of all the individuals which presented slight deviations of structure mutually favourable to each other. which determines the visits of the hive-bee. exemplified in the above imaginary instances. Thus. is open to the same objections which were first urged against Sir Charles Lyell's noble views on "the modern changes of the earth. Natural selection acts only by the preservation and accumulation of small inherited modifications.

is there for supposing in these cases that two individuals ever concur in reproduction? As it is impossible here to enter on details. On The Intercrossing Of Individuals I must here introduce a short digression. All vertebrate animals. notwithstanding that the plant's own anthers and pistil stand so near each other as almost to ensure selffertilisation. which is all that concerns us. in accordance with the almost universal belief of breeders. two individuals regularly unite for reproduction.4. that is. such as the following. gives vigour and fertility to the offspring. though I have the materials prepared for an ample discussion. we can. I have collected so large a body of facts. Every hybridizer knows how unfavourable exposure to wet is to the fertilisation of a flower. But still there are many hermaphrodite animals which certainly do not habitually pair. Knight and Kolreuter. yet what a multitude of flowers have their anthers and stigmas fully exposed to the weather! If an occasional cross be indispensable. that CLOSE interbreeding diminishes vigour and fertility. concur for the reproduction of their kind. and a vast majority of plants are hermaphrodites. but in the case of hermaphrodites this is far from obvious. This view was long ago doubtfully suggested by Sprengel. it is of course obvious that two individuals must always (with the exception of the curious and not well understood cases of parthenogenesis) unite for each birth. which on any other view are inexplicable. or between individuals of the same variety but of another strain. that these facts alone incline me to believe that it is a general law of nature that no organic being fertilises itself for a perpetuity of generations. On the belief that this is a law of nature. and on the other hand. and made so many experiments. In the first place. showing. but that a cross with another individual is occasionally—perhaps at long intervals of time—indispensable. it may be asked. Modern research has much diminished the number of supposed hermaphrodites and of real hermaphrodites a large number pair. We shall presently see its importance. all insects and some other large groups of animals. Nevertheless there is reason to believe that with all hermaphrodites two individuals. but I must here treat the subject with extreme brevity. either occasionally or habitually. In the case of animals and plants with separated sexes. What reason. I think. pair for each birth. understand several large classes of facts. the fullest freedom for the entrance of pollen from another 101 . that with animals and plants a cross between different varieties. I must trust to some general considerations alone.

So necessary are the visits of bees to many papilionaceous flowers. the contrivance seems adapted solely to ensure self-fertilisation. just to touch with the same brush the anthers of one flower and then the stigma of another. for if a plant's own pollen and that from another species are placed on the same stigma. and as I can confirm. and not to carry pollen from one to the other. far from selffertilisation being favoured. as has been shown by Gartner. as in the great papilionaceous or pea-family. When the stamens of a flower suddenly spring towards the pistil. though by placing pollen from one flower on the stigma of another. Another species of Lobelia. seeds freely in my garden. to the great good of the plant. have their organs of fructification closely enclosed. to ensure fertilisation. and in this very genus. and more recently Hildebrand and others have shown. Insects act like a camel-hair pencil. but it must not be supposed that bees would thus produce a multitude of hybrids between distinct species. and no doubt it is useful for this end: but the agency of insects is often required to cause the stamens to spring forward. as Kolreuter has shown to be the case with the barberry. as I could show from the works of Sprengel and others. which seems to have a special contrivance for self-fertilisation. and as this flower is never visited. at least in my garden.individual will explain the above state of exposure of the organs. Now. I raise plenty of seedlings. by insects. if closely-allied forms or varieties are planted near each other. the former is so prepotent that it invariably and completely destroys. though there is no special mechanical contrivance to prevent the stigma receiving pollen from the same flower. or the stigma is 102 . there are special contrivances which effectually prevent the stigma receiving pollen from its own flower. Many flowers. before the stigma of that individual flower is ready to receive them. so largely do they naturally cross. it is well known that. or slowly move one after the other towards it. either the anthers burst before the stigma is ready for fertilisation. In numerous other cases. which is visited by bees. that their fertility is greatly diminished if these visits be prevented. it is scarcely possible for insects to fly from flower to flower. but these almost invariably present beautiful and curious adaptations in relation to the visits of insects. the influence of the foreign pollen. as Sprengel. it is hardly possible to raise pure seedlings. In very many other cases. and it is sufficient. on the other hand. there is a really beautiful and elaborate contrivance by which all the infinitely numerous pollengranules are swept out of the conjoined anthers of each flower. in Lobelia fulgens. it never sets a seed. as well as from my own observations: for instance. yet.

for a plant's own pollen is always prepotent over foreign pollen. That trees belonging to all orders have their sexes more often separated than other plants. How. as I found. In the case of a large tree covered with innumerable flowers. pollen must be regularly carried from flower to flower. it may be objected that pollen could seldom be carried from tree to tree. Hooker 103 . and flowers on the same tree can be considered as distinct individuals only in a limited sense. a large majority of the seedlings thus raised turn out. comes it that such a vast number of the seedlings are mongrelized? It must arise from the pollen of a distinct VARIETY having a prepotent effect over the flower's own pollen. and that this is part of the general law of good being derived from the intercrossing of distinct individuals of the same species. I believe this objection to be valid. then. and Dr. Yet the pistil of each cabbage-flower is surrounded not only by its own six stamens but by those of the many other flowers on the same plant. How strange are these facts! How strange that the pollen and stigmatic surface of the same flower. I find to be the case in this country. though placed so close together. should be in so many cases mutually useless to each other! How simply are these facts explained on the view of an occasional cross with a distinct individual being advantageous or indispensable! If several varieties of the cabbage. for I have found that plants carefully protected from insects produce the full number of pods. but that nature has largely provided against it by giving to trees a strong tendency to bear flowers with separated sexes. When the sexes are separated. Dr. So it is with the reciprocally dimorphic and trimorphic plants previously alluded to. radish. Hooker tabulated the trees of New Zealand. be allowed to seed near each other. Asa Gray those of the United States. mongrels: for instance. so that these so-named dichogamous plants have in fact separated sexes. and of these only 78 were true to their kind. and this will give a better chance of pollen being occasionally carried from tree to tree.ready before the pollen of that flower is ready. as if for the very purpose of self-fertilisation. On the other hand. and at most only from flower to flower on the same tree. onion. When distinct SPECIES are crossed the case is reversed. I raised 233 seedling cabbages from some plants of different varieties growing near each other. although the male and female flowers may be produced on the same tree. and the result was as I anticipated. and the pollen of each flower readily gets on its stigma without insect agency. but to this subject we shall return in a future chapter. and some even of these were not perfectly true. and must habitually be crossed. and of some other plants. and at my request Dr.

I have made these few remarks on trees simply to call attention to the subject.informs me that the rule does not hold good in Australia: but if most of the Australian trees are dichogamous. law of nature. But if. Professor Huxley. I have as yet failed. As yet I have not found a single terrestrial animal which can fertilise itself. some species of the same family and even of the same genus. namely. both with animals and plants. to discover a single hermaphrodite animal with the organs of reproduction so perfectly enclosed that access from without. but I have been enabled. analogous to the action of insects and of the wind with plants. the same result would follow as if they bore flowers with separated sexes. and the occasional influence of a distinct individual. This remarkable fact. can be shown to be physically impossible. which offers so strong a contrast with terrestrial plants. to prove that two individuals. if not universal. though agreeing closely with each other in their whole organisation. Cirripedes long appeared to me to present. very small. do sometimes cross. but these all pair. it appears that with animals and plants an occasional intercross between distinct individuals is a very general. but here the currents of water offer an obvious means for an occasional cross. and some unisexual. Of aquatic animals. the difference between them and unisexual species is. 104 . are hermaphrodites. after consultation with one of the highest authorities. As in the case of flowers. Turning for a brief space to animals: various terrestrial species are hermaphrodites. as far as function is concerned. by a fortunate chance. for owing to the nature of the fertilising element there are no means. there are many self-fertilising hermaphrodites. such as the land-mollusca and earth-worms. is intelligible on the view of an occasional cross being indispensable. under this point of view. but which I am unable here to give. From these several considerations and from the many special facts which I have collected. though both are self-fertilising hermaphrodites. a case of great difficulty. It must have struck most naturalists as a strange anomaly that. all hermaphrodites do occasionally intercross. by which an occasional cross could be effected with terrestrial animals without the concurrence of two individuals. in fact.

will tend to be preserved. Hence with animals of this nature. if the same species undergoes modification in different districts. a highly important element of success. With hermaphrodite organisms which cross only occasionally. Intercrossing will chiefly affect those animals which unite for each birth and wander much. though in different degrees. varieties will generally be confined to separated countries. Unless favourable variations be inherited by some at least of the offspring. but as this tendency has not prevented man from forming by selection numerous domestic races. she does not grant an indefinite period. notwithstanding that there is no separation of selected individuals. with some place in the natural polity not perfectly occupied. why should it prevail against natural selection? In the case of methodical selection. all the individuals varying in the right direction. under which term individual differences are always included. for within a confined area. A large number of individuals. Circumstances Favourable For The Production Of New Forms Through Natural Selection This is an extremely intricate subject. its several districts will almost certainly present different conditions of life. will compensate for a lesser amount of variability in each individual. a breeder selects for some definite object. Though nature grants long periods of time for the work of natural selection. will evidently be favourable. and is. I believe. Thus it will be under nature. But when many men. and all try to procure and breed from the best animals. The tendency to reversion may often check or prevent the work. nothing can be effected by natural selection. and this I find to be the case. and if the individuals be allowed freely to intercross. and likewise with animals which unite for each 105 . by giving a better chance within any given period for the appearance of profitable variations. if any one species does not become modified and improved in a corresponding degree with its competitors it will be exterminated.5. have a nearly common standard of perfection. for instance birds. his work will completely fail. But if the area be large. and which do not breed at a very quick rate. will in the long run generally be supplanted by one of the adjoining varieties. and then. without intending to alter the breed. A great amount of variability. for as all organic beings are striving to seize on each place in the economy of nature. the newly formed varieties will intercross on the confines of each. improvement surely but slowly follows from this unconscious process of selection. inhabiting intermediate districts. But we shall see in the sixth chapter that intermediate varieties.

If the conditions of life change and the form undergoes modification. will also be thus prevented. solely by natural selection preserving similar favourable variations. the organic and inorganic conditions of life will generally be almost uniform. we have reason to believe that occasional intercrosses take place with all animals and plants. but which wander little and can increase at a rapid rate. and which cannot possibly intercross. so that the individuals of the new variety would chiefly cross together. which do not propagate sexually. and thus in the long run the influence of crosses. Even if these take place only at long intervals of time. and through natural selection which will destroy any individuals departing from the proper type. that they will have a better chance of surviving and propagating their kind. Intercrossing with the inhabitants of the surrounding districts. even at rare intervals. and has shown that the service rendered by isolation in preventing crosses between newly-formed varieties is probably greater even than I 106 . In a confined or isolated area. we must not assume that free intercrossing would always eliminate the effects of natural selection. true and uniform in character. Isolation also is an important element in the modification of species through natural selection. On this principle nurserymen always prefer saving seed from a large body of plants. but. only through the principle of inheritance. will be great. It will obviously thus act far more efficiently with those animals which unite for each birth. from breeding at slightly different seasons. uniformity of character can be retained by them under the same conditions of life. Even with animals which unite for each birth. the young thus produced will gain so much in vigour and fertility over the offspring from long-continued self-fertilisation. so that natural selection will tend to modify all the varying individuals of the same species in the same manner. or of the same variety. a new and improved variety might be quickly formed on any one spot.birth. uniformity of character can be given to the modified offspring. as the chance of intercrossing is thus lessened. if not very large. and might there maintain itself in a body and afterward spread. nor conjugate. Moritz Wagner has lately published an interesting essay on this subject. Intercrossing plays a very important part in nature by keeping the individuals of the same species. as already stated. from haunting different stations. With respect to organic beings extremely low in the scale. and which do not propagate rapidly. for I can bring forward a considerable body of facts showing that within the same area two varieties of the same animal may long remain distinct. or from the individuals of each variety preferring to pair together.

If we turn to nature to test the truth of these remarks. such as of climate. after any physical change in the conditions. and this will retard the production of new species through natural selection. It likewise tends to increase the direct action of the physical conditions of life. that it gives a better chance of beneficial variations arising and of their being selected. Lastly. such as an oceanic island. have been produced there and nowhere else in the world. especially for the production of species which shall prove capable of enduring for a long period. although the number of the species inhabiting it is small.supposed. Lapse of time is only so far important. isolation will give time for a new variety to be improved at a slow rate. If. as if all the forms of life were necessarily undergoing change through some innate law. and thus new places in the natural economy of the district will be left open to be filled up by the modification of the old inhabitants. the immigration of better adapted organisms. however. and fixed. and this may sometimes be of much importance. on the whole I am inclined to believe that largeness of area is still more important. or from having very peculiar physical conditions. in relation to the constitution of each organism. the total number of the inhabitants will be small. an isolated area be very small. etc. as we shall see in our chapter on Geographical Distribution. The importance of isolation is likewise great in preventing. Hence an oceanic island at first sight seems to have been highly favourable for the production of new species. and of spreading widely. But from reasons already assigned I can by no means agree with this naturalist. and its importance in this respect is great. and this we are incapable of doing. Although isolation is of great importance in the production of new species. yet of these species a very large proportion are endemic. by decreasing the chances of favourable variations arising. either for or against natural selection. or a large open area like a continent. and look at any small isolated area. The mere lapse of time by itself does nothing.—that is. that migration and isolation are necessary elements for the formation of new species. elevation of the land. But we may thus deceive ourselves. not only will there be a better chance 107 . has been most favourable for the production of new organic forms. Throughout a great and open area.. for to ascertain whether a small isolated area. we ought to make the comparison within equal times. accumulated. I state this because it has been erroneously asserted that the element of time has been assumed by me to play an all-important part in modifying species. either from being surrounded by barriers.

and will give rise to the greatest number of new varieties and species. great areas. to a certain extent. remnants of a once preponderant order: and in fresh water we find some of the most anomalous forms now known in the world. and what is more important. Finally. Each new form. arising from the large number of individuals of the same species there supported. for instance. make a small area compared with that of the sea or of the land. All fresh water basins. And it is in fresh water basins that we find seven genera of Ganoid fishes. taken together. according to Oswald Heer. will be able to spread over the open and continuous area. On a small island. that the new forms produced on large areas.of favourable variations. or they will be exterminated. and there will have been less modification and less extermination. Consequently. like fossils. resembles to a certain extent the extinct tertiary flora of Europe. also. the fact of the productions of the smaller continent of Australia now yielding before those of the larger Europaeo-Asiatic area. Moreover. will be those that will spread most widely. These anomalous forms may be called living fossils. it is that continental productions have everywhere become so largely naturalised on islands. as the Ornithorhynchus and Lepidosiren. perhaps. In accordance with this view. owing to former oscillations of level. we can understand how it is that the flora of Madeira. they have endured to the present day. and old forms more slowly exterminated. They will thus play a more important part in the changing history of the organic world. and will thus come into competition with many other forms. also. and if some of these many species become modified and improved. we can. have concurred. although small isolated areas have been in some respects highly favourable for the production of new species. as soon as it has been much improved. the competition between fresh water productions will have been less severe than elsewhere. though now continuous. but the conditions of life are much more complex from the large number of already existing species. so that the good effects of isolation will generally. I conclude that. have existed in a broken condition. which. others will have to be improved in a corresponding degree. yet that the course of modification will generally have been more rapid on large areas. new forms will have been more slowly produced. from 108 . Hence. connect to a certain extent orders at present widely separated in the natural scale. Thus. which already have been victorious over many competitors. will often. understand some facts which will be again alluded to in our chapter on Geographical Distribution. the race for life will have been less severe.

While the area existed as a continent the inhabitants will have been numerous in individuals and kinds. ready to be filled up by better adapted forms. which generally take place very slowly. so that new places in the polity of each island will have had to be filled up by the modification of the old inhabitants. but all this will take place very slowly. it would often be long before differences of the right nature in various parts of the organisation might occur. I conclude that for terrestrial productions a large continental area. fitted to endure for a long time and to spread widely. the most favoured or improved varieties will have been enabled to spread. I do not believe so. But I do believe that natural selection will generally act 109 . and time will have been allowed for the varieties in each to become well modified and perfected. Although all the individuals of the same species differ in some slight degree from each other. and thus to produce new species. and therefore less severe. To sum up. and will have been subjected to severe competition. When converted by subsidence into large separate islands there will still have existed many individuals of the same species on each island: intercrossing on the confines of the range of each new species will have been checked: after physical changes of any kind immigration will have been prevented. the circumstances favourable and unfavourable for the production of new species through natural selection. competition. and again there will have been a fair field for natural selection to improve still further the inhabitants. there will have been much extinction of the less improved forms. As some few of the old inhabitants become modified the mutual relations of others will often be disturbed. by renewed elevation. as far as the extreme intricacy of the subject permits. That natural selection generally act with extreme slowness I fully admit. Many will exclaim that these several causes are amply sufficient to neutralise the power of natural selection. and this will create new places. which has undergone many oscillations of level. The result would often be greatly retarded by free intercrossing. It can act only when there are places in the natural polity of a district which can be better occupied by the modification of some of its existing inhabitants. and on the immigration of better adapted forms being prevented. will have been the most favourable for the production of many new forms of life. there will again have been very severe competition. the islands were reconverted into a continental area. and the relative proportional numbers of the various inhabitants of the reunited continent will again have been changed. The occurrence of such places will often depend on physical changes. When. and from having been exposed to less varied.having inhabited a confined area.

which may have been effected in the long course of time through nature's power of selection. 110 . one with another and with their physical conditions of life. only at long intervals of time. to the beauty and complexity of the coadaptations between all organic beings. Slow though the process of selection may be. I further believe that these slow. that is by the survival of the fittest. if feeble man can do much by artificial selection. intermittent results accord well with what geology tells us of the rate and manner at which the inhabitants of the world have changed. and only on a few of the inhabitants of the same region.very slowly. I can see no limit to the amount of change.

—which. Extinction Caused By Natural Selection This subject will be more fully discussed in our chapter on Geology. Hence. generally. but it must here be alluded to from being intimately connected with natural selection. We see the same process of extermination 111 . rare species will be less quickly modified or improved within any given period. during the progress of its formation. Natural selection acts solely through the preservation of variations in some way advantageous. and tend to exterminate them. during great fluctuations in the nature or the seasons. constitution and habits. That the number of specific forms has not indefinitely increased. We have seen that the species which are most numerous in individuals have the best chance of producing favourable variations within any given period. will generally press hardest on its nearest kindred. which consequently endure.—varieties of the same species. each area is already fully stocked with inhabitants. and we shall presently attempt to show why it is that the number of species throughout the world has not become immeasurably great. But we may go further than this. will the less favoured decrease and become rare. others will become rarer and rarer. that as new species in the course of time are formed through natural selection. From these several considerations I think it inevitably follows. And we have seen in the chapter on the Struggle for Existence that it is the most closely-allied forms. We have evidence of this. showing that it is the common and diffused or dominant species which offer the greatest number of recorded varieties. unless we admit that specific forms can go on indefinitely increasing in number. geology plainly tells us. that as the favoured forms increase in number. will naturally suffer most. for as new forms are produced. or from a temporary increase in the number of its enemies. and finally extinct. is the precursor to extinction. in the facts stated in the second chapter. and species of the same genus or related genera. The forms which stand in closest competition with those undergoing modification and improvement. each new variety or species. many old forms must become extinct. Rarity. generally come into the severest competition with each other. they will consequently be beaten in the race for life by the modified and improved descendants of the commoner species. as geology tells us. so. We can see that any form which is represented by few individuals will run a good chance of utter extinction. from having nearly the same structure. and it follows from this.6. Consequently. Owing to the high geometrical rate of increase of all organic beings.

through the selection of improved forms by man. it is historically known that the ancient black cattle were displaced by the longhorns. Many curious instances could be given showing how quickly new breeds of cattle. and varieties of flowers.among our domesticated productions." 112 . sheep and other animals. and that these "were swept away by the short-horns" (I quote the words of an agricultural writer) "as if by some murderous pestilence. In Yorkshire. take the place of older and inferior kinds.

or with shorter and shorter beaks. might cause one variety to differ in some character from its parents. for instance. is of high importance. but. varieties are species in the process of formation. these sub-breeds would become converted into two well-established and distinct breeds. and the offspring of this variety again to differ from its parent in the very same character and in a greater degree.. We shall here find something analogous. though having somewhat of the character of species—as is shown by the hopeless doubts in many cases how to rank them—yet certainly differ far less from each other than do good and distinct species. varieties. we must infer from most of the innumerable species throughout nature presenting well-marked differences. whereas varieties. from the continued selection of swifter horses in the one case. Divergence Of Character The principle. another fancier is struck by a pigeon having a rather longer beak. and on the acknowledged principle that "fanciers do not and will not admire a medium standard. Again. incipient species." they both go on (as has actually occurred with the sub-breeds of the tumbler-pigeon) choosing and breeding from birds with longer and longer beaks. does the lesser difference between varieties become augmented into the greater difference between species? That this does habitually happen. several important facts. the differences would become greater. present slight and ill-defined differences. race and cart horses.7. The early differences would be very slight. even strongly-marked ones. which I have designated by this term. or are. In practice. in the course of time. etc. the men of one nation or district required swifter horses. while those of another required stronger and bulkier horses. a fancier is. In the first place. and explains. As has always been my practice. as I believe. Nevertheless according to my view. could never have been effected by the mere chance accumulation of similar variations during many successive generations. the several breeds of pigeons. struck by a pigeon having a slightly shorter beak. but like extremes. then. as we may call it. as I have called them. 113 . Mere chance. and would be noted as forming two sub-breeds. but this alone would never account for so habitual and large a degree of difference as that between the species of the same genus. I have sought light on this head from our domestic productions. the supposed prototypes and parents of future well-marked species. It will be admitted that the production of races so different as short-horn and Hereford cattle. we may suppose that at an early period of history. and of stronger ones in the other. How. Ultimately after the lapse of centuries.

and so be enabled to increase in numbers. If its natural power of increase be allowed to act. for instance. So it will be with plants. a greater number of plants and a greater weight of dry herbage can be raised in the latter than in the former case. at first barely appreciable. and habits. can any analogous principle apply in nature? I believe it can and does apply most efficiently (though it was a long time before I saw how). then. We can clearly discern this in the case of animals with simple habits. The more diversified in habits and structure the descendants of our carnivorous animals become. and the varieties were continually selected which differed from each other in the same manner. being neither very swift nor very strong. It has been experimentally proved.As the differences became greater. would not have been used for breeding. Here. The same has been found to hold good when one variety and several mixed varieties of wheat have been sown on equal spaces of ground. though in a very slight degree. and the breeds to diverge in character. it can succeed in increasing (the country not undergoing any change in conditions) only by its varying descendants seizing on places at present occupied by other animals: some of them. if any one species of grass were to go on varying. of which the number that can be supported in any country has long ago arrived at its full average. including its modified descendants. by so much will they be better enabled to seize on many and widely diversified places in the polity of nature. a greater number of individual plants of this species. the inferior animals with intermediate characters. And we know that each species and each variety of grass is annually sowing almost countless seeds. Take the case of a carnivorous quadruped. and is thus striving. that if a plot of ground be sown with one species of grass. being enabled to feed on new kinds of prey. both from each other and from their common parent. we see in man's productions the action of what may be called the principle of divergence. What applies to one animal will apply throughout all time to all animals—that is. and some perhaps becoming less carnivorous. climbing trees. either dead or alive. if they vary—for otherwise natural selection can effect nothing. and will thus have tended to disappear. But how. Hence. the more places they will be enabled to occupy. 114 . and a similar plot be sown with several distinct genera of grasses. frequenting water. as do the distinct species and genera of grasses. some inhabiting new stations. causing differences. would succeed in living on the same piece of ground. it may be asked. constitution. from the simple circumstance that the more diversified the descendants from any one species become in structure. steadily to increase.

Consequently.as it may be said. to the utmost to increase in number. determine that the inhabitants. For instance. I found that a piece of turf. which had been exposed for many years to exactly the same conditions. and thus of supplanting the less distinct varieties." 260 naturalised plants are enumerated. three feet by four in size. and these belonged to eighteen genera and to eight orders. far more in new genera than in new species. that where they come into the closest competition. To give a single instance: in the last edition of Dr. but. take the rank of species. The same principle is seen in the naturalisation of plants through man's agency in foreign lands. is seen under many natural circumstances. in the course of many thousand generations. could live on it (supposing its nature not to be in any way peculiar). as a general rule. that floras gain by naturalisation. 115 . proportionally with the number of the native genera and species. the advantages of diversification of structure. the most distinct varieties of any one species of grass would have the best chance of succeeding and of increasing in numbers. and Alph. Farmers find that they can raise more food by a rotation of plants belonging to the most different orders: nature follows what may be called a simultaneous rotation. which thus jostle each other most closely. for these are commonly looked at as specially created and adapted for their own country. perhaps. Most of the animals and plants which live close round any small piece of ground. with the accompanying differences of habit and constitution. and varieties. which shows how much these plants differed from each other. It might have been expected that the plants which would succeed in becoming naturalised in any land would generally have been closely allied to the indigenes. But the case is very different. Asa Gray's "Manual of the Flora of the Northern United States. we always find great diversity in its inhabitants. So it is with the plants and insects on small and uniform islets: also in small ponds of fresh water. it is seen. and where the contest between individual and individual must be very severe. in his great and admirable work. In an extremely small area. supported twenty species of plants. have been expected that naturalised plants would have belonged to a few groups more especially adapted to certain stations in their new homes. The truth of the principle that the greatest amount of life can be supported by great diversification of structure. It might also. shall. especially if freely open to immigration. belong to what we call different genera and orders. and may be said to be striving to the utmost to live there. when rendered very distinct from each other. de Candolle has well remarked.

ruminant. with their organisation but little diversified. our carnivorous. we see the process of diversification in an early and incomplete stage of development. moreover. and have there become naturalised. So in the general economy of any land. from the indigenes. or flesh alone. which are divided into groups differing but little from each other. and we may at least infer that diversification of structure. In the Australian mammals. No physiologist doubts that a stomach by being adapted to digest vegetable matter alone. By considering the nature of the plants or animals which have in any country struggled successfully with the indigenes. for out of the 162 naturalised genera. no less than 100 genera are not there indigenous. as Mr. and thus a large proportional addition is made to the genera now living in the United States. amounting to new generic differences. could hardly compete with a set more perfectly diversified in structure. They differ. Waterhouse and others have remarked. could successfully compete with these well-developed orders. A set of animals.and these belong to 162 genera. whether the Australian marsupials. so will a greater number of individuals be capable of there supporting themselves. draws most nutriment from these substances. 116 . the same as that of the physiological division of labour in the organs of the same individual body—a subject so well elucidated by Milne Edwards. The advantage of diversification of structure in the inhabitants of the same region is. in fact. the more widely and perfectly the animals and plants are diversified for different habits of life. and rodent mammals. for instance. we may gain some crude idea in what manner some of the natives would have had to be modified in order to gain an advantage over their compatriots. to a large extent. and feebly representing. We thus see that these naturalised plants are of a highly diversified nature. It may be doubted. would be profitable to them.

The Probable Effects Of The Action Of Natural Selection Through Divergence Of Character And Extinction. for this will generally lead to the most different or divergent variations (represented by the outer dotted lines) being preserved and accumulated by natural selection. and the varying species of the large genera present a greater number of varieties. nor are they all supposed to endure for equal periods. Let A to L represent the species of a genus large in its own country. The intervals between the horizontal lines in the diagram. such as would be thought worthy of record in a systematic work. these species are supposed to resemble each other in unequal degrees. belonging to a genus large in its own country. on an average more species vary in large genera than in small genera. and is there marked by a small numbered letter. and are thus enabled to encroach on places occupied by other beings. We have. combined with the principles of natural selection and of extinction. I have said a large genus. may represent its varying offspring. When a dotted line reaches one of the horizontal lines. On The Descendants Of A Common Ancestor After the foregoing discussion. a sufficient amount of variation is supposed to have been accumulated to form it into a fairly well-marked variety. but of the most diversified nature. The variations are supposed to be extremely slight. also. Only those variations which are in some way profitable will be preserved or naturally selected. Now let us see how this principle of benefit being derived from divergence of character. but often after long intervals of time. they are not supposed all to appear simultaneously. And here the importance of the principle of benefit derived from divergence of character comes in. as is so generally the case in nature. widely-diffused. species (A) is supposed to have produced two fairly well-marked 117 . The branching and diverging dotted lines of unequal lengths proceeding from (A). and varying species. vary more than do the rare and restricted species. seen that the species. which has been much compressed. Let (A) be a common. tends to act. and as is represented in the diagram by the letters standing at unequal distances. because as we saw in the second chapter.8. we may assume that the modified descendants of any one species will succeed so much the better as they become more diversified in structure. The accompanying diagram will aid us in understanding this rather perplexing subject. which are the commonest and most widely-diffused. After a thousand generations. may represent each a thousand or more generations.

the more places they will be enabled to seize on. Variety m1 is supposed to have produced two varieties. they will also partake of those more general advantages which made the genus to which the parent-species belonged. owing to the principle of divergence. a large genus in its own country. and this will depend on infinitely complex relations. and under a condensed and simplified form up to the fourteen-thousandth generation. differing from each other. and may or may not produce more than one modified descendant. these two varieties. will tend to inherit those advantages which made their parent (A) more numerous than most of the other inhabitants of the same country. These two varieties will generally still be exposed to the same conditions which made their parents variable. and the tendency to variability is in itself hereditary. And all these circumstances are favourable to the production of new varieties. producing only a single variety. but in a more and more modified condition. and commonly in nearly the same manner as did their parents. In the diagram the process is represented up to the ten-thousandth generation. And after this interval. though in itself made somewhat irregular. and more considerably from their common parent (A). the most divergent of their variations will generally be preserved during the next thousand generations. namely m2 and s2. differ more from (A) than did variety a1. variety a1 is supposed in the diagram to have produced variety a2. and then again undergoes modification. for natural selection will always act according to the nature of the places which are either unoccupied or not perfectly occupied by other beings. then. nor that it goes on continuously. In our diagram the 118 . But I must here remark that I do not suppose that the process ever goes on so regularly as is represented in the diagram. will generally go on increasing in number and diverging in character. some producing two or three varieties. Moreover. and the more their modified progeny will increase.varieties. Thus the varieties or modified descendants of the common parent (A). it is far more probable that each form remains for long periods unaltered. consequently they will likewise tend to vary. some of the varieties. the more diversified in structure the descendants from any one species can be rendered. these two varieties be variable. and some failing to produce any. being only slightly modified forms. Nor do I suppose that the most divergent varieties are invariably preserved: a medium form may often long endure. But as a general rule. namely a1 and m1. If. after each thousand generations. which will. We may continue the process by similar steps for any length of time.

all descended from (A). as I believe. After ten thousand generations. species (A) is supposed to have produced three forms. if all the lines proceeding from (A) were removed. they will generally go on multiplying in number as well as diverging in character: this is represented in the diagram by the several divergent branches proceeding from (A). will. If we suppose the amount of change between each horizontal line in our diagram to be excessively small. and the number of modified descendants will not be increased. which. from having diverged in character during the successive generations. In some cases no doubt the process of modification will be confined to a single line of descent. after intervals long enough to allow the accumulation of a considerable amount of divergent variation. but perhaps unequally. 119 . but we have only to suppose the steps in the process of modification to be more numerous or greater in amount. often take the place of. But these breaks are imaginary. and might have been inserted anywhere. we get eight species. although the amount of divergent modification may have been augmented. Thus. f10. the earlier and less improved branches: this is represented in the diagram by some of the lower branches not reaching to the upper horizontal lines. In the same way the English racehorse and English pointer have apparently both gone on slowly diverging in character from their original stocks. from each other and from their common parent. and so destroy. and m10. The modified offspring from the later and more highly improved branches in the lines of descent. these three forms may still be only well-marked varieties. species are multiplied and genera are formed. a10. belonging to a large genus. As all the modified descendants from a common and widely-diffused species.line of succession is broken at regular intervals by small numbered letters marking the successive forms which have become sufficiently distinct to be recorded as varieties. to convert these three forms into doubtful or at least into well-defined species: thus the diagram illustrates the steps by which the small differences distinguishing varieties are increased into the larger differences distinguishing species. without either having given off any fresh branches or races. This case would be represented in the diagram. will have come to differ largely. it is probable. marked by the letters between a14 and m14. excepting that from a1 to a10. By continuing the same process for a greater number of generations (as shown in the diagram in a condensed and simplified manner). will tend to partake of the same advantages which made their parent successful in life.

As in each fully stocked country natural selection necessarily acts by the selected form having some advantage in the struggle for life over other forms. and this is shown in the diagram by the dotted lines unequally prolonged upwards. in which offspring and progenitor do not come into competition. will have played an important part. If. our diagram be assumed to represent a considerable amount of modification. the species which are already very different in character from each other. So it probably will be with many whole collateral lines of descent. After fourteen thousand generations. after ten thousand generations. that is between the less and more improved states of a the same species. If. represented in the diagram. In any genus.In a large genus it is probable that more than one species would vary. will generally tend to become extinct. For it should be remembered that the competition will generally be most severe between those forms which are most nearly related to each other in habits. In the diagram I have assumed that a second species (I) has produced. for these will have the best chance of seizing on new and widely different places in the polity of nature: hence in the diagram I have chosen the extreme species (A). 120 . then. however. Hence all the intermediate forms between the earlier and later states. being replaced by eight new species (a14 to m14). by analogous steps. and the nearly extreme species (I). according to the amount of change supposed to be represented between the horizontal lines. and species (I) will be replaced by six (n14 to z14) new species. six new species. marked by the letters n14 to z14. as those which have largely varied. either two well-marked varieties (w10 and z10) or two species. The other nine species (marked by capital letters) of our original genus. another of our principles. species (A) and all the earlier varieties will have become extinct. and have given rise to new varieties and species. there will be a constant tendency in the improved descendants of any one species to supplant and exterminate in each stage of descent their predecessors and their original progenitor. will generally tend to produce the greatest number of modified descendants. the modified offspring of a species get into some distinct country. may for long but unequal periods continue to transmit unaltered descendants. But during the process of modification. both may continue to exist. as well as the original parent-species itself. are supposed to have been produced. namely that of extinction. or become quickly adapted to some quite new station. which will be conquered by later and improved lines. constitution and structure.

are supposed to have gone on diverging in different directions. and m14. Of the eight descendants from (A) the three marked a14. species (A) being more nearly related to B. will probably have inherited some of the same advantages: they have also been modified and improved in a diversified manner at each stage of descent. But as the original species (I) differed largely from (A). and thus exterminated. differ considerably from the eight descendants from (A). standing nearly at the extreme end of the original genus. the extreme amount of difference in character between species a14 and z14 will be much greater than that between the most distinct of the original eleven species. will be in some degree distinct from the three first-named species. The intermediate species. e14. It seems. will be nearly related one to the other. will be widely different from the other five species. moreover. We may suppose that only one (F) of the two species (E and F) which were least closely related to the other nine original species. which connected the original species 121 . These two species (A and I). and species (I) more to G. so that they must originally have had some advantage over most of the other species of the genus. descended from the original eleven species. q14. p14. and may constitute a sub-genus or a distinct genus. o14. will be nearly related from having recently branched off from a10.But we may go further than this. The new species. the six descendants from (I) will. Their modified descendants. but. The original species of our genus were supposed to resemble each other in unequal degrees. and lastly. will be allied to each other in a widely different manner. Hence very few of the original species will have transmitted offspring to the fourteen-thousandth generation. The six descendants from (I) will form two sub-genera or genera. were also supposed to be very common and widely diffused species. than to the others. Owing to the divergent tendency of natural selection. The new species in our diagram. extremely probable that they will have taken the places of. and D than to the other species. also (and this is a very important consideration). L. H. as is so generally the case in nature. b14 and f14. but likewise some of the original species which were most nearly related to their parents. moreover. from having diverged at an earlier period from a5. K. so as to have become adapted to many related places in the natural economy of their country. owing to inheritance alone. C. not only their parents (A) and (I). has transmitted descendants to this late stage of descent. from having diverged at the first commencement of the process of modification. the two groups. therefore. will now be fifteen in number. fourteen in number at the fourteen-thousandth generation.

but each may represent a million or more generations. in some degree. Hence the six new species descended from (I). as now explained. In our diagram this is indicated by the broken lines beneath the capital letters. and those marked o14 to m14. it will be in some degree intermediate in character between the two groups descended from these two species. this point represents a species. It is worth while to reflect for a moment on the character of the new species F14. from two or more species of the same genus. and I think we shall then see that the diagram throws light on the affinities of extinct beings. In this case its affinities to the other fourteen new species will be of a curious and circuitous nature. except (F). will form three very distinct 122 . but rather between types of the two groups. those marked b14 and f14. or genera. In the diagram each horizontal line has hitherto been supposed to represent a thousand generations. which is supposed not to have diverged much in character. we suppose the amount of change represented by each successive group of diverging dotted lines to be great. the new species (F14) will not be directly intermediate between them. have to refer again to this subject. and the eight descendants from (A). If. in the diagram. when we come to our chapter on geology. that two or more genera are produced by descent with modification. which. to the formation of genera alone. either unaltered or altered only in a slight degree. But as these two groups have gone on diverging in character from the type of their parents. extinct. with those now living. intermediate in character between existing groups.(A) and (I). have all become. Being descended from a form that stood between the parent-species (A) and (I). will have to be ranked as very distinct genera. And the two or more parent-species are supposed to be descended from some one species of an earlier genus. Thus it is. though generally belonging to the same orders. families. I see no reason to limit the process of modification. or even as distinct sub-families. as I believe. now supposed to be extinct and unknown. and every naturalist will be able to call such cases before his mind. the forms marked a14 to p14. We shall. it may also represent a section of the successive strata of the earth's crust including extinct remains. converging in sub-branches downwards towards a single point. and have left no descendants. yet are often. the supposed progenitor of our several new sub-genera and genera. and we can understand this fact. but to have retained the form of (F). for the extinct species lived at various remote epochs when the branching lines of descent had diverged less.

as all the descendants of the same species form a class. yet. a multitude of smaller groups will become utterly extinct. that is. the later and more highly perfected sub-groups. the struggle for the production of new and modified descendants will mainly lie between the larger groups. These two groups of genera will thus form two distinct families. it will chiefly act on those which already have some advantage. the earth may 123 . for a long period. We have seen that in each country it is the species belonging to the larger genera which oftenest present varieties or incipient species. will. This. we can understand how it is that there exist so few classes in each main division of the animal and vegetable kingdoms. we can predict that the groups of organic beings which are now large and triumphant. according to this view. Although few of the most ancient species have left modified descendants. and these are supposed to be descended from some still more ancient and unknown form. owing to the continued and steady increase of the larger groups. I shall have to return to this subject in the chapter on classification. at remote geological periods. according to the amount of divergent modification supposed to be represented in the diagram. but I may add that as. Within the same large group. Small and broken groups and sub-groups will finally disappear. have now become extinct. extremely few will transmit descendants to a remote futurity. we may predict that. Hence. and leave no modified descendants. and. for we know that many groups. extremely few of the more ancient species have transmitted descendants to the present day. and thus lessen its chance of further variation and improvement. and consequently that. from branching out and seizing on many new places in the polity of nature. continue to increase. are descended from two species of the original genus. formerly most extensively developed. which have as yet suffered least extinction. for as natural selection acts through one form having some advantage over other forms in the struggle for existence. reduce its number. And the two new families. One large group will slowly conquer another large group. no man can predict. But which groups will ultimately prevail.genera. indeed. Looking still more remotely to the future. differing widely from the descendants of (A). which are all trying to increase in number. or orders. and the largeness of any group shows that its species have inherited from a common ancestor some advantage in common. Looking to the future. might have been expected. or orders. and which are least broken up. of the species living at any one period. We shall also have two very distinct genera descended from (I). will constantly tend to supplant and destroy the earlier and less improved sub-groups.

families. as at the present day.have been almost as well peopled with species of many genera. 124 . orders and classes.

to fishes. as with certain parasitic crustaceans. whereas other botanists. and here some botanists rank those plants as highest which have every organ. natural selection clearly leads towards this standard: for all physiologists admit that the specialisation of organs. like the sharks. look at the plants which have their several organs much modified and reduced in number as the highest. and their specialisation for different functions. in the adult state. as sepals. for instance. which are beneficial under the organic and inorganic conditions to which each creature is exposed at all periods of life. as I should be inclined to add. If we take as the standard of high organisation.like. the amount of differentiation of the parts of the same organic being. but there are cases. inasmuch as they are most strictly fish. the amount of differentiation and specialisation of the several organs in each being when adult (and this will include the advancement of the brain for intellectual purposes). But here we enter on a very intricate subject. probably with more truth. namely. It might be thought that the amount of change which the various parts and organs pass through in their development from embryo to maturity would suffice as a standard of comparison. fully developed in each flower. among which some naturalists rank those as highest which. in which several parts of the structure become less perfect. among which the standard of intellect is of course quite excluded. We see still more plainly the obscurity of the subject by turning to plants. as Milne Edwards would express it. is an advantage to each being. and differ most from the other vertebrate classes. petals. approach nearest to amphibians. This improvement inevitably leads to the gradual advancement of the organisation of the greater number of living beings throughout the world. while other naturalists rank the common bony or teleostean fishes as the highest. On The Degree To Which Organisation Tends To Advance Natural selection acts exclusively by the preservation and accumulation of variations. inasmuch as in this state they perform their functions better. or. Among the vertebrata the degree of intellect and an approach in structure to man clearly come into play. But we shall see how obscure this subject is if we look. Von Baer's standard seems the most widely applicable and the best. for naturalists have not defined to each other's satisfaction what is meant by an advance in organisation. so that the mature animal cannot be called higher than its larva. stamens and pistils.9. 125 . The ultimate result is that each creature tends to become more and more improved in relation to its conditions. the completeness of the division of physiological labour.

to the co-existence of mammals and fish—among mammalia. as the infusoria and rhizopods. as far as we can see. would it be to an infusorian animalcule—to an intestinal worm—or even to an earth-worm. and might remain for indefinite ages in their present lowly condition. these forms would be left. to 126 . If it were no advantage. for natural selection. On our theory the continued existence of lowly organisms offers no difficulty. Nearly the same remarks are applicable. And geology tells us that some of the lowest forms. seems to have felt this difficulty so strongly that he was led to suppose that new and simple forms are continually being produced by spontaneous generation.and hence the accumulation of variations tending towards specialisation is within the scope of natural selection. And it may be asked what advantage. if we look to the different grades of organisation within the same great group. who believed in an innate and inevitable tendency towards perfection in all organic beings. for every naturalist who has dissected some of the beings now ranked as very low in the scale. how is it that throughout the world a multitude of the lowest forms still exist. to be highly organised. by natural selection. or the survival of the fittest. we can see. and how is it that in each great class some forms are far more highly developed than others? Why have not the more highly developed forms every where supplanted and exterminated the lower? Lamarck. in the vertebrata. whatever the future may reveal. for instance. Science has not as yet proved the truth of this belief. to the co-existence of man and the ornithorhynchus—among fishes. bearing in mind that all organic beings are striving to increase at a high ratio and to seize on every unoccupied or less well occupied place in the economy of nature. that it is quite possible for natural selection gradually to fit a being to a situation in which several organs would be superfluous or useless: in such cases there would be retrogression in the scale of organisation. does not necessarily include progressive development—it only takes advantage of such variations as arise and are beneficial to each creature under its complex relations of life. On the other hand. unimproved or but little improved. Whether organisation on the whole has actually advanced from the remotest geological periods to the present day will be more conveniently discussed in our chapter on Geological Succession. have remained for an enormous period in nearly their present state. But it may be objected that if all organic beings thus tend to rise in the scale. must have been struck with their really wondrous and beautiful organisation. But to suppose that most of the many now existing low forms have not in the least advanced since the first dawn of life would be extremely rash.

and probably interfere little with each other. as I hear from Fritz Muller. so that warm-blooded mammals when inhabiting the water lie under a disadvantage in having to come continually to the surface to breathe. yet the scale will always present many degrees of perfection. and more liable to be put out of order and injured. members of the shark family would not tend to supplant the lancelet. In some few cases there has been what we must call retrogression or organisation. as we may believe. or of certain members in this class. has as sole companion and competitor on the barren sandy shore of South Brazil. has time sufficed for the utmost possible amount of development. edentata. But mammals and fish hardly come into competition with each other. when all organic beings. as we shall hereafter see. With fishes. where they have been subjected to less severe competition. and where their scanty numbers have retarded the chance of favourable variations arising. and rodents. marsupials. and this requires aerial respiration. I believe that many lowly organised forms now exist throughout the world. Looking to the first dawn of life. Finally. the advancement of the whole class of mammals.the co. as being of a more delicate nature. The three lowest orders of mammals. does not at all necessarily lead to the extinction of those groups with which they do not enter into close competition. In some cases. how.existence of the shark and the lancelet (Amphioxus). Herbert Spencer would probably answer that. or of certain members of each class. co-exist in South America in the same region with numerous monkeys. for the lancelet. lowly organised forms appear to have been preserved to the present day. to the highest grade would not lead to their taking the place of fishes. may have advanced and be still advancing throughout the world. for the high advancement of certain whole classes. could the first step in the advancement or differentiation of parts have arisen? Mr. from inhabiting confined or peculiar stations. namely. which latter fish in the extreme simplicity of its structure approaches the invertebrate classes. an anomalous annelid. it has been asked. In no case. presented the simplest structure. from various causes. probably. Physiologists believe that the brain must be bathed by warm blood to be highly active. But the main cause lies in the fact that under very simple conditions of life a high organisation would be of no service—possibly would be of actual disservice. Although organisation. on the whole. In some cases variations or individual differences of a favourable nature may never have arisen for natural selection to act on and accumulate. as soon as simple unicellular organisms came by growth or division to be compounded of 127 .

and thus the whole mass of individuals might be modified. It is. no natural selection. or became attached to any supporting surface. however. 128 . and still more so during past ages. or two distinct forms might arise. no one ought to feel surprise at much remaining as yet unexplained on the origin of species. But. as I remarked towards the close of the introduction. speculation on the subject is almost useless. But as we have no facts to guide us. until many forms had been produced: variations in a single species inhabiting an isolated station might be beneficial. and. if we make due allowance for our profound ignorance on the mutual relations of the inhabitants of the world at the present time. consequently.several cells. his law "that homologous units of any order become differentiated in proportion as their relations to incident forces become different" would come into action. an error to suppose that there would be no struggle for existence.

however. If this had occurred. had both produced a large number of new and divergent forms. namely on the variations which have arisen. we should meet with the same form. and as the number of species in any country goes on increasing. has likewise played a part. H. and thus the descendants of two distinct genera would converge into one. and it is not surprising that dissimilar substances should sometimes assume the same form. and that convergence.. should ever afterwards converge so closely as to lead to a near approach to identity throughout their whole organisation. Consequently there seems at first no limit to the amount of profitable diversification of structure. but I fully admit that the mutual relations of organic beings are more important. he apparently believes). would tend to make an indefinite number of specific forms.C. and this depends on the surrounding physical conditions. Watson thinks that I have overrated the importance of divergence of character (in which. Mr. As far as mere inorganic conditions are concerned. as it may be called. it is conceivable that these might approach each other so closely that they would have all to be classed under the same genus. these being due to causes far too intricate to be followed out—on the nature of the variations which have been preserved or selected. independently of genetic connection. It is incredible that the descendants of two organisms. The shape of a crystal is determined solely by the molecular forces. and in a still higher degree on the surrounding organisms with which each being has come into competition—and lastly. and therefore no limit to the 129 . But it would in most cases be extremely rash to attribute to convergence a close and general similarity of structure in the modified descendants of widely distinct forms. all of which have had their forms determined through equally complex relations. and the balance of evidence is opposed to any such an admission. recurring in widely separated geological formations. on inheritance (in itself a fluctuating element) from innumerable progenitors. Watson has also objected that the continued action of natural selection. which had originally differed in a marked manner. etc. together with divergence of character. the organic conditions of life must become more and more complex. If two species belonging to two distinct though allied genera. it seems probable that a sufficient number of species would soon become adapted to all considerable diversities of heat. moisture. but with organic beings we should bear in mind that the form of each depends on an infinitude of complex relations.10. Convergence Of Character Mr.

which has already beaten many competitors in its own home. Lastly. there are many invaders from different quarters of the globe. on the principal often explained. consequently. apparently. Hooker has recently shown that in the southeast corner of Australia. and thus check the inordinate increase of specific forms throughout the world. will. the process of giving birth to new specific forms would thus be retarded. a dominant species. When any species becomes very rare. Imagine the extreme case of as many species as individuals in England. which support such an astonishing number of species. But geology shows us. if an area be inhabited by very many species. etc. and that from the middle part of this same period. whereas the production of new species must always be slow. and such species will be liable to extermination from accidental fluctuations in the nature of the seasons or in the number of their enemies. close interbreeding will help to exterminate it. Rare species. depending so largely as it does on physical conditions. and each species will become rare if the number of species in any country becomes indefinitely increased. How much weight to attribute to these several considerations I will not pretend to say. many European plants have become naturalised. the number of mammals has not greatly or at all increased. consequently they will tend to supplant and exterminate several species in several areas. The process of extermination in such cases would be rapid. Alph. of red deer in Scotland and of bears in Norway. the endemic Australian species have been greatly reduced in number.number of species which might be produced. but conjointly they must limit in each country the tendency to an indefinite augmentation of specific forms. where. each or nearly each species will be represented by few individuals. and this I am inclined to think is the most important element. and the first severe winter or very dry summer would exterminate thousands on thousands of species. present within a given period few favourable variations. What then checks an indefinite increase in the number of species? The amount of life (I do not mean the number of specific forms) supported on an area must have a limit. de Candolle has shown that those species which spread widely tend generally to spread VERY widely. authors have thought that this comes into play in accounting for the deterioration of the aurochs in Lithuania. will tend to spread and supplant many others. Dr. therefore. that from an early part of the tertiary period the number of species of shells. 130 . We do not know that even the most prolific area is fully stocked with specific forms: at the Cape of Good Hope and in Australia.

during the modification of the descendants of any one species. on the principle of qualities being inherited at corresponding ages. and habits. low and simple forms will long endure if well fitted for their simple conditions of life. leads to divergence of character. I have called natural selection. these will tend to produce offspring similarly characterised. a severe struggle for life at some age. to be advantageous to them. This principle of preservation. and consequently. can modify the egg. and this cannot be disputed. Natural selection. and during the incessant 131 . also. habits and constitution. Among many animals sexual selection will have given its aid to ordinary selection by assuring to the most vigorous and best adapted males the greatest number of offspring. But we have already seen how it entails extinction. constitution. or young as easily as the adult. geology plainly declares. and these characters will be transmitted to one sex or to both sexes. Whether natural selection has really thus acted in adapting the various forms of life to their several conditions and stations. assuredly individuals thus characterised will have the best chance of being preserved in the struggle for life. It leads to the improvement of each creature in relation to its organic and inorganic conditions of life. and from the strong principle of inheritance. Sexual selection will also give characters useful to the males alone in their struggles or rivalry with other males. Summary Of Chapter If under changing conditions of life organic beings present individual differences in almost every part of their structure. to what must be regarded as an advance in organisation. or the survival of the fittest. and to the productions naturalised in foreign lands. according to the form of inheritance which prevails. owing to their geometrical rate of increase. it would be a most extraordinary fact if no variations had ever occurred useful to each being's own welfare. then. Natural selection. in most cases. and how largely extinction has acted in the world's history. But if variations useful to any organic being ever do occur. season or year. for the more organic beings diverge in structure. Therefore. of which we see proof by looking to the inhabitants of any small spot. in the same manner as so many variations have occurred useful to man.11. if there be. by so much the more can a large number be supported on the area. and this certainly cannot be disputed. Nevertheless. must be judged by the general tenour and balance of evidence given in the following chapters. considering the infinite complexity of the relations of all organic beings to each other and to their conditions of life. causing an infinite diversity in structure. seed.

The limbs divided into great branches. On these principles. Thus the small differences distinguishing varieties of the same species. and to overtop and kill the surrounding twigs and branches. species of distinct genera much less closely related. but seem clustered round points. which vary most. forming sub-families. and those produced during former years may represent the long succession of extinct species. when the tree was young. varieties of the same species most closely related. budding twigs. or even of distinct genera. till they equal the greater differences between species of the same genus. leads to divergence of character and to much extinction of the less improved and intermediate forms of life. and genera related in different degrees. as we have seen illustrated in the diagram. and the generally well defined distinctions between the innumerable organic beings in each class throughout the world. sub-classes. belonging to the larger genera within each class. The several subordinate groups in any class cannot be ranked in a single file. We have seen that it is the common. orders. At each period of growth all the growing twigs have tried to branch out on all sides. in the same manner as species and groups of species have at all times overmastered other species in the great battle for life. and these round other points. The green and budding twigs may represent existing species. families. the nature of the affinities. and this connexion of the former and present buds by ramifying 132 . the widely diffused. species of the same genus less closely and unequally related. If species had been independently created. forming sections and sub-genera. The affinities of all the beings of the same class have sometimes been represented by a great tree. no explanation would have been possible of this kind of classification. entailing extinction and divergence of character. may be explained. subordinate to groups. and classes. Natural selection. and widely ranging species. the better will be their chance of success in the battle for life. I believe this simile largely speaks the truth. as has just been remarked. steadily tend to increase. It is a truly wonderful fact—the wonder of which we are apt to overlook from familiarity—that all animals and all plants throughout all time and space should be related to each other in groups. in the manner which we everywhere behold—namely. the more diversified the descendants become. were themselves once. and so on in almost endless cycles. but it is explained through inheritance and the complex action of natural selection.struggle of all species to increase in numbers. and these into lesser and lesser branches. and these tend to transmit to their modified offspring that superiority which now makes them dominant in their own countries.

and genera which have now no living representatives. which fills with its dead and broken branches the crust of the earth. now grown into great branches. As buds give rise by growth to fresh buds. From the first growth of the tree. straggling branch springing from a fork low down in a tree. Of the many twigs which flourished when the tree was a mere bush. and these. As we here and there see a thin. if vigorous. and covers the surface with its ever-branching and beautiful ramifications. many a limb and branch has decayed and dropped off. yet survive and bear the other branches. and which by some chance has been favoured and is still alive on its summit. which in some small degree connects by its affinities two large branches of life. 133 . only two or three. so by generation I believe it has been with the great Tree of Life. and these fallen branches of various sizes may represent those whole orders. and which are known to us only in a fossil state. so with the species which lived during long-past geological periods. branch out and overtop on all sides many a feebler branch. very few have left living and modified descendants. so we occasionally see an animal like the Ornithorhynchus or Lepidosiren.branches may well represent the classification of all extinct and living species in groups subordinate to groups. and which has apparently been saved from fatal competition by having inhabited a protected station. families.

and lowly organised structures variable — Parts developed in an unusual manner are highly variable: specific characters more variable than generic: secondary sexual characters variable — Species of the same genus vary in an analogous manner — Reversions to long-lost characters — Summary.Chapter 5 Laws Of Variation Effects of changed conditions — Use and disuse. combined with natural selection. rudimentary. organs of flight and of vision — Acclimatisation — Correlated variation — Compensation and economy of growth — False correlations — Multiple. 134 .

There is reason to believe that in the course of time the effects have been greater than can be proved by clear evidence. cannot be attributed simply to such action.1. and Wollaston is convinced that residence near the sea affects the colours of insects. In the following cases the conditions seem to have produced some slight definite effect: E. directly on the whole organisation or on certain parts alone. Gould believes that birds of the same species are more brightly coloured under a clear atmosphere. In the first chapter I attempted to show that changed conditions act in two ways. food. and when living in shallow water. which we see throughout nature between various organic beings. or nearly all.. Forbes asserts that shells at their southern limit. the nature of the organism. than when living near the coast or on islands. and we have much fluctuating variability. when subjected to certain conditions. or slight deviations of structure. etc. 135 . I have hitherto sometimes spoken as if the variations—so common and multiform with organic beings under domestication. This. of course is a wholly incorrect expression. and indirectly through the reproductive system. the individuals become modified in the same way. lead to the conclusion that variability is generally related to the conditions of life to which each species has been exposed during several successive generations. MoquinTandon gives a list of plants which. It is very difficult to decide how far changed conditions. But we may safely conclude that the innumerable complex co-adaptations of structure. which is much the most important of the two. have acted in a definite manner. In the latter case the organisation seems to become plastic. Mr. as to make the child like its parents. but it serves to acknowledge plainly our ignorance of the cause of each particular variation. Some authors believe it to be as much the function of the reproductive system to produce individual differences. But the fact of variations and monstrosities occurring much more frequently under domestication than under nature. when growing near the sea-shore. and the greater variability of species having wide ranges than of those with restricted ranges. In all cases there are two factors. In the former case the nature of the organism is such that it yields readily. The direct action of changed conditions leads to definite or indefinite results. and the nature of the conditions. and all. and in a lesser degree with those under nature—were due to chance. are more brightly coloured than those of the same species from further north or from a greater depth. but this certainly does not always hold good. such as of climate.

variability is in some manner excited. either directly or indirectly. Instances could be given of similar varieties being produced from the same species under external conditions of life as different as can well be conceived. we cannot tell how much to attribute to the accumulative action of natural selection.have their leaves in some degree fleshy. innumerable instances are known to every naturalist. due to causes of which we are quite ignorant. we clearly see that the two elements of change are distinct. Again. or not varying at all. for the conditions determine whether this or that variety shall survive. of dissimilar varieties being produced under apparently the same external conditions. than on a tendency to vary. although living under the most opposite climates. 136 . but likewise to include natural selection. Thus. of species keeping true. it is well known to furriers that animals of the same species have thicker and better fur the further north they live. though not elsewhere fleshy. and how much to the action of the severe climate? For it would appear that climate has some direct action on the hair of our domestic quadrupeds. and. These slightly varying organisms are interesting in as far as they present characters analogous to those possessed by the species which are confined to similar conditions. but it is the will of man which accumulates the variations in certain direction. and how much to the definite action of the conditions of life. but who can tell how much of this difference may be due to the warmest-clad individuals having been favoured and preserved during many generations. When a variation is of the slightest use to any being. and it is this latter agency which answers to the survival of the fittest under nature. In one sense the conditions of life may be said. on the other hand. But when man is the selecting agent. Such considerations as these incline me to lay less weight on the direct action of the surrounding conditions. not only to cause variability.

In the Ateuchus or sacred beetle of the Egyptians. or feet. We may believe that the progenitor of the ostrich genus had habits like those of the bustard. Cunningham. it will perhaps be safest to look at the entire absence of the anterior tarsi in Ateuchus. Effects Of The Increased Use And Disuse Of Parts. but the remarkable cases observed by Brown-Sequard in guinea-pigs. for we know not the parent-forms. and that. but many animals possess structures which can be best explained by the effects of disuse. by kicking its enemies. I think there can be no doubt that use in our domestic animals has strengthened and enlarged certain parts. As the larger ground-feeding birds seldom take flight except to escape danger. according to Mr. but it can defend itself. but in a rudimentary condition. its legs were used more and its wings less. while the adults have lost this power. In the Onites apelles the tarsi are so habitually lost that the insect has been described as not having them. can fly. it is probable that the nearly wingless condition of several birds. not as cases of inherited mutilations. of many male dung-feeding beetles are often broken off. for as many dung-feeding beetles are 137 . In some other genera they are present. until they became incapable of flight. there is no greater anomaly in nature than a bird that cannot fly. should make us cautious in denying this tendency. but as due to the effects of long-continued disuse. Kirby has remarked (and I have observed the same fact) that the anterior tarsi. and their rudimentary condition in some other genera. and has its wings in nearly the same condition as the domestic Aylesbury duck: it is a remarkable fact that the young birds. he examined seventeen specimens in his own collection. of the inherited effects of operations. now inhabiting or which lately inhabited several oceanic islands.2. as efficiently as many quadrupeds. has been caused by disuse. and not one had even a relic left. As Controlled By Natural Selection From the facts alluded to in the first chapter. and is exposed to danger from which it cannot escape by flight. The logger-headed duck of South America can only flap along the surface of the water. as the size and weight of its body were increased during successive generations. Under free nature we have no standard of comparison by which to judge of the effects of long-continued use or disuse. The evidence that accidental mutilations can be inherited is at present not decisive. and disuse diminished them. tenanted by no beasts of prey. As Professor Owen has remarked. Hence. The ostrich indeed inhabits continents. and that such modifications are inherited. they are totally deficient. yet there are several in this state.

are so far deficient in wings that they cannot fly. as certain flower-feeding coleoptera and lepidoptera. as observed by Mr. and thus destroyed. will have had the best chance of surviving from not being blown out to sea. As with mariners shipwrecked near a coast. elsewhere excessively numerous. that the proportion of wingless beetles is larger on the exposed Desertas than in Madeira itself. lie much concealed. These several considerations make me believe that the wingless condition of so many Madeira beetles is mainly due to the action of natural selection. and which. their wings not at all reduced. whereas it would have been better for the bad swimmers if they had not been able to swim at all and had stuck to the wreck. which absolutely require the use of their wings. and. so strongly insisted on by Mr. no less than twenty-three have all their species in this condition! Several facts. therefore the tarsi cannot be of much importance or be much used by these insects. namely. that beetles in many parts of the world are very frequently blown to sea and perish. Wollaston has discovered the remarkable fact that 200 beetles. For when a new insect first arrived on the island. those beetles which most readily took to flight would oftenest have been blown to sea. For during many successive generations each individual beetle which flew least. but even enlarged. or mainly due to natural selection. the tendency of natural selection to enlarge or to reduce the wings. that certain large groups of beetles. this must happen early in life. have. Mr. Wollaston. Wollaston suspects.generally found with their tarsi lost. that the beetles in Madeira. as Mr. until the wind lulls and the sun shines. The eyes of moles and of some burrowing rodents are rudimentary in size. combined probably with disuse. it would have been better for the good swimmers if they had been able to swim still further. This state of 138 . In some cases we might easily put down to disuse modifications of structure which are wholly. This is quite compatible with the action of natural selection. and that. The insects in Madeira which are not ground-feeders. are here almost entirely absent. out of the 550 species (but more are now known) inhabiting Madeira. would depend on whether a greater number of individuals were saved by successfully battling with the winds. must habitually use their wings to gain their subsistence. and in some cases are quite covered by skin and fur. either from its wings having been ever so little less perfectly developed or from indolent habit. and especially the extraordinary fact. on the other hand. of the twenty-nine endemic genera. Wollaston. or by giving up the attempt and rarely or never flying.

acquired a dim perception of objects. though useless. In some of the crabs the foot-stalk for the eye remains. who had often caught them. so that. with the adhesion of the eyelids and growth of fur over them. in accordance with the old view of the blind animals having been separately created for the American and European caverns. belonging to the most different classes. are blind. a burrowing rodent. their loss may be attributed to disuse. though the eye is gone. namely. the eyes were lustrous and of large size. and the similarity which is exhibited in a few forms between the Mammoth Cave (in Kentucky) and the caves in Carniola. and if so. In South America. and as eyes are certainly not necessary to animals having subterranean habits. having been inflammation of the nictitating membrane. very close similarity in their organisation and affinities might have been expected. but aided perhaps by natural selection. This is certainly not the case if we look at the two whole faunas. is even more subterranean in its habits than the mole. a reduction in their size.the eyes is probably due to gradual reduction from disuse. One which I kept alive was certainly in this condition. with respect to the insects alone. It is difficult to imagine conditions of life more similar than deep limestone caverns under a nearly similar climate. could be in any way injurious to animals living in darkness. slowly migrated by successive generations from the outer world into the deeper and deeper recesses of the Kentucky caves. As it is difficult to imagine that eyes. otherwise than as a very plain expression of that analogy which subsists generally between the fauna of Europe and of North America. that they were frequently blind. and I was assured by a Spaniard. having in most cases ordinary powers of vision. natural selection would aid the effects of disuse. and these animals. as I am informed by Professor Silliman. as did 139 . In one of the blind animals. two of which were captured by Professor Silliman at above half a mile distance from the mouth of the cave. though the telescope with its glasses has been lost. after having been exposed for about a month to a graduated light. as appeared on dissection. which inhabit the caves of Carniola and Kentucky. the cave-rat (Neotoma). and therefore not in the profoundest depths. the tuco-tuco. It is well known that several animals. the stand for the telescope is there. the cause. Schiodte has remarked: "We are accordingly prevented from considering the entire phenomenon in any other light than something purely local. or Ctenomys. might in such case be an advantage. As frequent inflammation of the eyes must be injurious to any animal." On my view we must suppose that American animals.

the loss of vision in the cave species of this one genus has probably had no relation to its dark habitation. the Amblyopsis. last of all. but to distinct species. disuse will on this view have more or less perfectly obliterated its eyes. and. we might expect still to see in the caveanimals of America. and whose formation is quite peculiar. as a compensation for blindness. As a blind species of Bathyscia is found in abundance on shady rocks far from caves. have been accommodated to surrounding circumstances. as Schiodte remarks: "We accordingly look upon the subterranean faunas as small ramifications which have penetrated into the earth from the geographically limited faunas of the adjacent tracts. as Mr. We have some evidence of this gradation of habit. Notwithstanding such modifications. as Agassiz has remarked in regard to the blind fish. yet those which inhabit the several caves of Europe and America are distinct. Far from feeling surprise that some of the cave-animals should be very anomalous. as they extended themselves into darkness. for. and in those of Europe to the inhabitants of the European continent. and then have become extinct. have not as yet been found anywhere except in caves. It would be difficult to give any rational explanation of the affinities of the blind cave-animals to the other inhabitants of the two continents on the ordinary view of their independent creation. Next follow those that are constructed for twilight. that the species. Animals not far remote from ordinary forms. prepare the transition from light to darkness. affinities to the other inhabitants of that continent. That several of the inhabitants of the caves of the Old and New Worlds should be closely related.European animals into the caves of Europe. and natural selection will often have effected other changes. Another blind genus (Anophthalmus) offers this remarkable peculiarity. apply not to the same. but it is possible that the progenitors of these several species. as I hear from Professor Dana. such as an increase in the length of the antennae or palpi. and some of the European cave-insects are very closely allied to those of the surrounding country. Murray observes. excepting in their present secluded abodes. And this is the case with some of the American cave-animals. and as is the case with the blind Proteus. for it is natural that an insect already deprived of vision should readily become adapted to dark caverns." These remarks of Schiodte's it should be understood. By the time that an animal had reached. the deepest recesses. after numberless generations. we might expect from the well-known relationship of most of their other productions. while they were furnished with eyes. may formerly have ranged over both continents. those destined for total darkness. and which. with reference to the reptiles of 140 .

I am only surprised that more wrecks of ancient life have not been preserved. owing to the less severe competition to which the scanty inhabitants of these dark abodes will have been exposed.Europe. 141 .

We have reason to believe that species in a state of nature are closely limited in their ranges by the competition of other organic beings quite as much as. Acclimatisation Habit is hereditary with plants. acclimatisation must be readily effected during a long course of descent. they become acclimatised: thus the pines and rhododendrons. Mr. or more than. as in the period of flowering. in the time of sleep. to a certain extent. several authentic instances could be adduced of species having largely extended.C. Thwaites informs me that he has observed similar facts in Ceylon.. in the amount of rain requisite for seeds to germinate. naturally habituated to different temperatures. their range from warmer to colder latitudes. by adaptation to particular climates. within historical times. and conversely. and because they bred readily under confinement. H. we have evidence with some few plants. so as to be better fitted for them than they were at first. But the degree of adaptation of species to the climates under which they live is often overrated. but we do not positively know that these animals were strictly adapted to their native climate. and I could give other cases. and this leads me to say a few words on acclimatisation. We may infer this from our frequent inability to predict whether or not an imported plant will endure our climate. and from the number of plants and animals brought from different countries which are here perfectly healthy. and not because they were subsequently found capable of far-extended transportation. Hooker from the same species growing at different heights on the Himalayas. In regard to animals. that is. if it be true that all the species of the same genus are descended from a single parent-form. the common and extraordinary 142 . raised from seed collected by Dr. Watson on European species of plants brought from the Azores to England. analogous observations have been made by Mr. of their becoming.3. As we may infer that our domestic animals were originally chosen by uncivilised man because they were useful. etc. were found to possess in this country different constitutional powers of resisting cold. though in all ordinary cases we assume such to be the case. It is notorious that each species is adapted to the climate of its own home: species from an arctic or even from a temperate region cannot endure a tropical climate. or conversely. So again. As it is extremely common for distinct species belonging to the same genus to inhabit hot and cold countries. nor do we know that they have subsequently become specially acclimatised to their new homes. many succulent plants cannot endure a damp climate. But whether or not this adaptation is in most cases very close.

into action. be due to habit. push the foregoing argument too far. the capacity of enduring the most different climates by man himself and by his domestic animals. for they live under the cold climate of Faroe in the north and of the Falklands in the south. and 143 . How much of the acclimatisation of species to any peculiar climate is due to mere habit. but of being perfectly fertile (a far severer test) under them. for instance. brought. of a tropical and arctic wolf may perhaps be mingled in our domestic breeds. this is strikingly shown in works on fruit-trees published in the United States. And as it is not likely that man should have succeeded in selecting so many breeds and sub-breeds with constitutions specially fitted for their own districts. whereas the living species are now all tropical or subtropical in their habits. both from analogy and from the incessant advice given in agricultural works. The case of the Jerusalem artichoke. Hence adaptation to any special climate may be looked at as a quality readily grafted on an innate wide flexibility of constitution. ought not to be looked at as anomalies. On this view. I think. and as most of these varieties are of recent origin. on account of the probable origin of some of our domestic animals from several wild stocks: the blood.capacity in our domestic animals of not only withstanding the most different climates. but they have been transported by man to many parts of the world. common to most animals. and how much to the natural selection of varieties having different innate constitutions. however. On the other hand. under peculiar circumstances. they cannot owe their constitutional differences to habit. may be used as an argument that a large proportion of other animals now in a state of nature could easily be brought to bear widely different climates. but as examples of a very common flexibility of constitution. to be very cautious in transporting animals from one district to another. That habit or custom has some influence. the result must. natural selection would inevitably tend to preserve those individuals which were born with constitutions best adapted to any country which they inhabited. even in the ancient Encyclopaedias of China. In treatises on many kinds of cultivated plants. which is never propagated in England by seed. and now have a far wider range than any other rodent. I must believe. is an obscure question. and on many an island in the torrid zones. and how much to both means combined. The rat and mouse cannot be considered as domestic animals. certain varieties are said to withstand certain climates better than others. and the fact of the extinct elephant and rhinoceros having formerly endured a glacial climate. We must not. in which certain varieties are habitually recommended for the northern and others for the southern states.

as proving that acclimatisation cannot be effected. has even been advanced. with care to prevent accidental crosses. but that the effects have often been largely combined with. have. new varieties have not been produced. 144 . Nor let it be supposed that differences in the constitution of seedling kidneybeans never appear. On the whole. in some cases. the experiment cannot be said to have been even tried. and with much greater weight. his kidneybeans so early that a very large proportion are destroyed by frost. during a score of generations. or use and disuse. consequently. for it is now as tender as ever it was! The case. and then again get seed from these seedlings. and then collect seed from the few survivors. also. played a considerable part in the modification of the constitution and structure. and of this fact I have myself observed striking instances. for an account has been published how much more hardy some seedlings are than others. with the same precautions. of the kidney-bean has been often cited for a similar purpose.of which. the natural selection of innate variations. we may conclude that habit. and sometimes overmastered by. but until some one will sow.

4. that variations of structure arising in the young or larvae naturally tend to affect the structure of the mature animal. and which. or between the tortoiseshell colour and the female sex. seem eminently liable to vary in a like manner: we see this in the right and left sides of the body varying in the same manner. tend to cohere. Hard parts seem to affect the form of adjoining soft parts. in the front and hind legs. that when slight variations in any one part occur and are accumulated through natural selection. Geoffroy St. it is believed by some authors that with birds the diversity in the shape of the pelvis causes the remarkable diversity in the shape of the kidneys. One of the most obvious real cases is. The nature of the bond is frequently quite obscure. Correlated Variation I mean by this expression that the whole organisation is so tied together. other parts become modified. it might probably have been rendered permanent by natural selection. the shape of the body and the manner of swallowing determine the position and form of several of the most important viscera. as has been remarked by some authors. or between the presence of more or 145 . Others believe that the shape of the pelvis in the human mother influences by pressure the shape of the head of the child. We shall presently see that simple inheritance often gives the false appearance of correlation. coexist without our being able to assign any reason. and if this had been of any great use to the breed. What can be more singular than the relation in cats between complete whiteness and blue eyes with deafness. Hilaire has forcibly remarked that certain malconformations frequently. are identical in structure. and that others rarely. and even in the jaws and limbs. most imperfectly understood. this is often seen in monstrous plants: and nothing is more common than the union of homologous parts in normal structures. These tendencies. This is a very important subject. according to Schlegel. Is. and no doubt wholly different classes of facts may be here easily confounded together. I do not doubt. The several parts which are homologous. and which are necessarily exposed to similar conditions. varying together. Homologous parts. for the lower jaw is believed by some anatomists to be homologous with the limbs. In snakes. as in the union of the petals into a tube. may be mastered more or less completely by natural selection: thus a family of stags once existed with an antler only on one side. M. at an early embryonic period. between their feathered feet and skin betwixt the outer toes. or in pigeons. during its growth and development.

the species with the densest heads which most frequently differ in their inner and outer flowers.less down on the young pigeon when first hatched. natural selection may have come into play. or necessary for the fertilisation of these plants. as an instance of this fact. that with irregular flowers those nearest to the axis are most subject to peloria. Mivart has remarked. etc. or to their mutual pressure. but with the Umbelliferae it is by no means. that in many pelargoniums the two upper petals in the central flower of the truss often lose their patches of darker colour. scaly ant-eaters. But in some of these plants the seeds also differ in shape and sculpture. again. but this can hardly be the sole case. and as a striking case of correlation. is highly probable.. that it has little value. We know. that is to become abnormally symmetrical. When the colour is absent from only one of the two upper petals. without any difference in the corolla. and the shape of the seeds in the rayflorets of some Compositae countenances this idea. I know of no case better adapted to show the importance of the laws of correlation and variation. Cetacea (whales) and Edentata (armadilloes. for instance. Possibly these several differences may be connected with the different flow of nutriment towards the central and external flowers. whose agency is highly advantageous. These differences have sometimes been attributed to the pressure of the involucra on the florets. by drawing nourishment from the reproductive organs causes their abortion. It might have been thought that the development of the raypetals. as Mr. I may add. with the future colour of its plumage. are likewise on the whole the most abnormal in their teeth. though here no doubt homology comes into play? With respect to this latter case of correlation. for in some Compositae the seeds of the outer and inner florets differ. and this difference is often accompanied with the partial or complete abortion of the reproductive organs. as Dr. Sprengel's idea that the ray-florets serve to attract insects. Hooker informs me. the adherent nectary is quite aborted. independently of utility. the relation between the hair and the teeth in the naked Turkish dog. but there are so many exceptions to this rule. viz. and if so. But with respect to the 146 . the central flower thus becoming peloric or regular. Everyone is familiar with the difference between the ray and central florets of. and when this occurs. the daisy. and therefore of natural selection. than that of the difference between the outer and inner flowers in some Compositous and Umbelliferous plants. or. With respect to the development of the corolla. the nectary is not quite aborted but is much shortened.). I think it can hardly be accidental that the two orders of mammals which are most abnormal in their dermal covering. at least.

seeds. for an ancient progenitor may have acquired through natural selection some one modification in structure. unless the capsules were open. and these two modifications. may be wholly due to the laws of variation and correlation. Alph. De Candolle has remarked that winged seeds are never found in fruits which do not open. I should explain this rule by the impossibility of seeds gradually becoming winged through natural selection. having been transmitted to a whole group of descendants with diverse habits. which were a little better adapted to be wafted by the wind. and which in truth are simply due to inheritance. for in this case alone could the seeds. gain an advantage over others less well fitted for wide dispersal. some other and independent modification. 147 . viewed by systematists as of high value. yet in the Umbelliferae these differences are of such apparent importance—the seeds being sometimes orthospermous in the exterior flowers and coelospermous in the central flowers—that the elder De Candolle founded his main divisions in the order on such characters. can be in any way beneficial. would naturally be thought to be in some necessary manner correlated. as far as we can judge. of the slightest service to the species. which are not always correlated with any difference in the corolla. without being. after thousands of generations. and. it seems impossible that their differences in shape. For instance. Some other correlations are apparently due to the manner in which natural selection can alone act. Hence modifications of structure. We may often falsely attribute to correlated variation structures which are common to whole groups of species.

as Goethe expressed it. before useful. I will not. and furnished with great nerves and muscles. their law of compensation or balancement of growth. for I see hardly any way of distinguishing between the effects. If under changed conditions of life a structure. but many good observers. it loses more or less completely its own shell or carapace. thus it is difficult to get a cow to give much milk and to fatten readily. becomes less useful. at about the same time. here give any instances. the fruit itself gains largely in size and quality. the actual withdrawal of nutriment from one part owing to the excess of growth in another and adjoining part. When the seeds in our fruits become atrophied. Now the saving of a large and complex structure. I suspect. "in order to spend on one side. Compensation And Economy Of Growth The elder Geoffroy and Goethe propounded. and. but in the parasitic and protected Proteolepas." I think this holds true to a certain extent with our domestic productions: if nourishment flows to one part or organ in excess. would 148 . This is the case with the male Ibla. and a large beard by diminished wattles. may be merged under a more general principle. also.5. and of which many other instances could be given: namely. With species in a state of nature it can hardly be maintained that the law is of universal application. a large tuft of feathers on the head is generally accompanied by a diminished comb. believe in its truth. on the other hand. to another part. nature is forced to economise on the other side. more especially botanists. its diminution will be favoured. when rendered superfluous. it rarely flows. and likewise some other facts. the whole anterior part of the head is reduced to the merest rudiment attached to the bases of the prehensile antennae. that when a cirripede is parasitic within another cirripede and is thus protected. namely. that some of the cases of compensation which have been advanced. on the one hand. The same varieties of the cabbage do not yield abundant and nutritious foliage and a copious supply of oil-bearing seeds. of a part being largely developed through natural selection and another and adjoining part being reduced by the same process or by disuse. however. or. I can thus only understand a fact with which I was much struck when examining cirripedes. at least in excess. for it will profit the individual not to have its nutriment wasted in building up a useless structure. and in a truly extraordinary manner with the Proteolepas: for the carapace in all other cirripedes consists of the three highly important anterior segments of the head enormously developed. In our poultry. that natural selection is continually trying to economise in every part of the organisation.

And conversely. Thus. through changed habits. without by any means causing some other part to be largely developed in a corresponding degree. by less nutriment being wasted. 149 . superfluous. each would have a better chance of supporting itself.be a decided advantage to each successive individual of the species. as soon as it becomes. that natural selection may perfectly well succeed in largely developing an organ without requiring as a necessary compensation the reduction of some adjoining part. natural selection will tend in the long run to reduce any part of the organisation. for in the struggle for life to which every animal is exposed. as I believe.

and the stamens in polyandrous flowers) the number is variable. is constant. and I will here only add that their variability seems to result from their uselessness. that beings which stand low in the scale of nature are more variable than those which are higher. Rudimentary parts. the foregoing statements accord with the common opinion of naturalists. Multiple. whilst a tool for some particular purpose must be of some particular shape. I presume that lowness here means that the several parts of the organisation have been but little specialised for particular functions. why natural selection should not have preserved or rejected each little deviation of form so carefully as when the part has to serve for some one special purpose. Natural selection. Rudimentary. that is. And Lowly-Organised Structures Are Variable It seems to be a rule. Hilaire. Geoffroy St. as remarked by Is. as is generally admitted. is a sign of low organisation. As "vegetative repetition. can act solely through and for the advantage of each being. have further remarked that multiple parts are extremely liable to vary in structure. when it occurs in lesser numbers." to use Professor Owen's expression. it should never be forgotten. 150 . both with varieties and species.6. are apt to be highly variable. whereas the number of the same part or organ. We shall have to recur to this subject. In the same way that a knife which has to cut all sorts of things may be of almost any shape. we can perhaps see why it should remain variable. and consequently from natural selection having had no power to check deviations in their structure. The same author as well as some botanists. that when any part or organ is repeated many times in the same individual (as the vertebrae in snakes. and as long as the same part has to perform diversified work.

in a future work. but the rule would not apply here. these valves present a marvellous amount of diversification. whether or not displayed in any unusual manner—of which fact I think there can be little doubt. as they seldom offer remarkable secondary sexual characters. The term. however unusually developed. I can only state my conviction that it is a rule of high generality. Pyrgoma. Tends To Be Highly Variable Several years ago I was much struck by a remark to the above effect made by Mr. but I hope that I have made due allowances for them. and they differ extremely little even in distinct genera. In Comparison With The Same Part In Allied Species. I shall. relates to characters which are attached to one sex. in every sense of the word. and which cannot possibly be here introduced. very important structures. It should be understood that the rule by no means applies to any part. I particularly attended to Mr. Waterhouse. The rule applies to males and females. secondary sexual characters. but are not directly connected with the act of reproduction. as it illustrates the rule in its largest application. and I am fully convinced that the rule almost always holds good. used by Hunter. A Part Developed In Any Species In An Extraordinary Degree Or Manner. Professor Owen. I will here give only one. Thus. The rule being so plainly applicable in the case of secondary sexual characters. The rule applies very strongly in the case of secondary sexual characters. also. unless it be unusually developed in one species or in a few species in comparison with the same part in many closely allied species. The opercular valves of sessile cirripedes (rock barnacles) are. I am aware of several causes of error. whilst investigating this order. give a list of all the more remarkable cases. because the whole group of bats possesses wings. the wing of the bat is a most abnormal structure in the class of mammals. the homologous valves in the different species being sometimes wholly unlike in shape. when displayed in any unusual manner. It is hopeless to attempt to convince any one of the truth of the above proposition without giving the long array of facts which I have collected. and the amount of variation in the individuals of the same species is so great that 151 . Waterhouse's remark. it would apply only if some one species had wings developed in a remarkable manner in comparison with the other species of the same genus. but more rarely to females. seems to have come to a nearly similar conclusion. may be due to the great variability of these characters. but in the several species of one genus.7. But that our rule is not confined to secondary sexual characters is clearly shown in the case of hermaphrodite cirripedes.

and no selection be applied. on the other hand. In the long run selection gains the day. I cannot make out that it applies to plants. and in those which have been but little specialised for any particular purpose. the fair presumption is that it is of high importance to that species: nevertheless it is in this case eminently liable to variation. as in that of the short-faced tumbler. the power of steady selection to keep the breed true. for in such cases natural selection either has not or cannot come into full play. and see what a prodigious amount of difference there is in the beak of tumblers. in the beak and wattle of carriers. which at the present time are undergoing rapid change by continued selection. it is notoriously difficult to breed nearly perfect birds. that part (for instance. on the one hand.it is no exaggeration to state that the varieties of the same species differ more from each other in the characters derived from these important organs. any part or the whole animal be neglected. than do the species belonging to other distinct genera. with all its parts as we now see them. as well as an innate tendency to new variations. many departing widely from the standard. I have particularly attended to them. and we do not expect to fail so completely as to breed a bird as coarse as a common tumbler pigeon from a good short- 152 . As with birds the individuals of the same species. and. There may truly be said to be a constant struggle going on between. Even in the same sub-breed. I think we can obtain some light. etc. and perhaps in polymorphic groups. and thus the organisation is left in a fluctuating condition. If. we see a nearly parallel case. had not the great variability in plants made it particularly difficult to compare their relative degrees of variability. and this would have seriously shaken my belief in its truth.. I can see no explanation. First let me make some preliminary remarks. in the carriage and tail of fantails. In rudimentary organs. in our domestic animals. vary extremely little. Why should this be so? On the view that each species has been independently created. But on the view that groups of species are descended from some other species. When we see any part or organ developed in a remarkable degree or manner in a species. Look at the individuals of the same breed of the pigeon. are also eminently liable to variation. that those points in our domestic animals. But what here more particularly concerns us is. the tendency to reversion to a less perfect state. and have been modified through natural selection. inhabiting the same country. these being the points now mainly attended to by English fanciers. and the rule certainly seems to hold good in this class. the comb in the Dorking fowl) or the whole breed will cease to have a uniform character: and the breed may be said to be degenerating.

according to our theory. we may conclude that this part has undergone an extraordinary amount of modification since the period when the several species branched off from the common progenitor of the genus. This period will seldom be remote in any extreme degree. 153 . I see no reason to doubt. But as long as selection is rapidly going on. That the struggle between natural selection on the one hand. and the tendency to reversion and variability on the other hand. however abnormal it may be. as species rarely endure for more than one geological period. Now let us turn to nature. will in the course of time cease.faced strain. much variability in the parts undergoing modification may always be expected. For in this case the variability will seldom as yet have been fixed by the continued selection of the individuals varying in the required manner and degree. I am convinced. still present in a high degree. Hence. when an organ. as it may be called. is the case. It is only in those cases in which the modification has been comparatively recent and extraordinarily great that we ought to find the GENERATIVE VARIABILITY. And this. An extraordinary amount of modification implies an unusually large and long-continued amount of variability. we might. as in the case of the wing of the bat. and that the most abnormally developed organs may be made constant. for an immense period in nearly the same state. and by the continued rejection of those tending to revert to a former and less modified condition. has been transmitted in approximately the same condition to many modified descendants. and thus it has come not to be more variable than any other structure. When a part has been developed in an extraordinary manner in any one species. compared with the other species of the same genus. it must have existed. still expect to find more variability in such parts than in other parts of the organisation which have remained for a much longer period nearly constant. But as the variability of the extraordinarily developed part or organ has been so great and long-continued within a period not excessively remote. as a general rule. which has continually been accumulated by natural selection for the benefit of the species.

and its variation would be a more unusual circumstance. Hilaire apparently entertains no doubt. however. and in which they 154 . Or to state the case in another manner: the points in which all the species of a genus resemble each other.8. the colour would become a generic character. Geoffroy St. On the ordinary view of each species having been independently created. which differs from the same part in other independently created species of the same genus. namely. but if all the species had blue flowers. have to return to this point in the chapter on Classification. the colour would be only a specific character. I have chosen this example because the explanation which most naturalists would advance is not here applicable. I believe this explanation is partly. Specific Characters More Variable Than Generic Characters The principle discussed under the last heading may be applied to our present subject. It is notorious that specific characters are more variable than generic. that when an author remarks with surprise that some important organ or part. though its physiological importance may remain the same. why should that part of the structure. we might expect often to find them still continuing to vary in those parts of their structure which have varied within a moderately recent period. which is generally very constant throughout a large group of species. But on the view that species are only strongly marked and fixed varieties. that ordinary specific characters are more variable than generic. DIFFERS considerably in closely-allied species. It would be almost superfluous to adduce evidence in support of the statement. that specific characters are more variable than generic. but with respect to important characters. the more subject it is to anomalies in the individuals. because they are taken from parts of less physiological importance than those commonly used for classing genera. yet only indirectly. when it sinks in value and becomes only of specific value. And this fact shows that a character. and no one would be surprised at one of the blue species varying into red. which is generally of generic value. and which have thus come to differ. it is often VARIABLE in the individuals of the same species. To explain by a simple example what is meant: if in a large genus of plants some species had blue flowers and some had red. often becomes variable. or conversely. Something of the same kind applies to monstrosities: at least Is. be more variable than those parts which are closely alike in the several species? I do not see that any explanation can be given. I have repeatedly noticed in works on natural history. true. I shall. that the more an organ normally differs in the different species of the same group.

differ from allied genera. the points in which species differ from other species of the same genus are called specific characters. it is probable that they should still often be in some degree variable—at least more variable than those parts of the organisation which have for a very long period remained constant. in exactly the same manner: and as these so-called generic characters have been inherited from before the period when the several species first branched off from their common progenitor. it is not probable that they should vary at the present day. and subsequently have not varied or come to differ in any degree. fitted to more or less widely different habits. 155 . are called generic characters. or only in a slight degree. On the other hand. and these characters may be attributed to inheritance from a common progenitor. and as these specific characters have varied and come to differ since the period when the species branched off from a common progenitor. for it can rarely have happened that natural selection will have modified several distinct species.

the neuration of the wings is a character of the highest importance. as it does not entail death.9. whatever part of the structure of the common progenitor. It will also be admitted that species of the same group differ from each other more widely in their secondary sexual characters. that secondary sexual characters are highly variable. that several minute crustaceans offer excellent illustrations of this law. as have the two sexes of any one species. as they are highly variable. for instance. the relation can hardly be accidental. than in other parts of their organisation. without my entering on details. but we can see why they should not have been rendered as constant and uniform as others. the sexual characters are afforded mainly by the anterior antennae and by the fifth pair of legs: the specific differences also are principally given by these organs. for instance. became variable. and as the differences in these cases are of a very unusual nature. Lubbock has recently remarked. Sir J. because common to large groups. Of this fact I will give in illustration the first two instances which happen to stand on my list. "In Pontella. Consequently. it is highly probable. but in certain genera the neuration differs in the different species. It is a remarkable fact. or of its early descendants. and may thus have succeeded in giving to the species of the same group a greater amount of difference in these than in other respects. but only gives fewer offspring to the less favoured males. the number varies greatly and the number likewise differs in the two sexes of the same species. which is less rigid in its action than ordinary selection. The same number of joints in the tarsi is a character common to very large groups of beetles. the amount of difference between the males of gallinaceous birds. in which secondary sexual characters are strongly displayed. be 156 . compare. with the amount of difference between the females. and likewise in the two sexes of the same species. variations of this part would. sexual selection will have had a wide scope for action." This relation has a clear meaning on my view: I look at all the species of the same genus as having as certainly descended from the same progenitor. Secondary Sexual Characters Variable I think it will be admitted by naturalists. that the secondary differences between the two sexes of the same species are generally displayed in the very same parts of the organisation in which the species of the same genus differ from each other. for they are accumulated by sexual selection. but in the Engidae. as Westwood has remarked. Again in the fossorial hymenoptera. Whatever the cause may be of the variability of secondary sexual characters. The cause of the original variability of these characters is not manifest.

overmastered the tendency to reversion and to further variability. or those which distinguish species from species. that the great variability of secondary sexual characters and their great difference in closely allied species. and the slight degree of variability in a part. and for ordinary purposes. from whom they have inherited much in common. All being mainly due to the species of the same group being the descendants of a common progenitor. or those which are possessed by all the species. are all principles closely connected together. however extraordinarily it may be developed. to natural selection having more or less completely. Finally. in order to fit the several places in the economy of nature. and likewise to fit the two sexes of the same species to each other. according to the lapse of time. that secondary sexual and ordinary specific differences are generally displayed in the same parts of the organisation. to sexual selection being less rigid than ordinary selection.taken advantage of by natural and sexual selection. to parts which have recently and largely varied being more likely still to go on varying than parts which have long been inherited and have not varied. then. that the frequent extreme variability of any part which is developed in a species in an extraordinary manner in comparison with the same part in its congeners. or to fit the males to struggle with other males for the possession of the females. than of generic characters. 157 . and thus having been adapted for secondary sexual. and to variations in the same parts having been accumulated by natural and sexual selection. I conclude that the greater variability of specific characters. if it be common to a whole group of species.

of slaty-blue birds with two black bars on the wings. I think. The most distinct breeds of the pigeon. who has grouped them under his law of equable variability. these coloured marks are eminently liable to appear in the crossed offspring of two distinct and 158 . characters not possessed by the aboriginal rock-pigeon. Or Reverts To Some Of The Characters Of An Early Progenitor These propositions will be most readily understood by looking to our domestic races. confidently come to this conclusion. plants which several botanists rank as varieties produced by cultivation from a common parent: if this be not so. the occasional appearance in all the breeds. and not of a new yet analogous variation appearing in the several breeds.10. namely. however. We may. the case will then be one of analogous variation in two so-called distinct species. Many similar cases of analogous variation have been observed by Naudin in the great gourd family. and by various authors in our cereals. not to the vera causa of community of descent. or as commonly called roots. but to three separate yet closely related acts of creation. Similar cases occurring with insects under natural conditions have lately been discussed with much ability by Mr. According to the ordinary view of each species having been independently created. these then are analogous variations in two or more distinct races. I presume that no one will doubt that all such analogous variations are due to the several races of the pigeon having inherited from a common parent the same constitution and tendency to variation. the fantail. as we have seen. I presume that no one will doubt that this is a case of reversion. and with feathers on the feet. Distinct Species Present Analogous Variations. we have another case. with the outer feathers externally edged near their bases with white. With pigeons. in countries widely apart. In the vegetable kingdom we have a case of analogous variation. and to these a third may be added. of the Swedish turnip and ruta-baga. because. in the enlarged stems. white loins. we should have to attribute this similarity in the enlarged stems of these three plants. The frequent presence of fourteen or even sixteen tail-feathers in the pouter may be considered as a variation representing the normal structure of another race. when acted on by similar unknown influences. So That A Variety Of One Species Often Assumes A Character Proper To An Allied Species. a bar at the end of the tail. the common turnip. namely. As all these marks are characteristic of the parent rock-pigeon. Walsh. present sub-varieties with reversed feathers on the head. and a consequent tendency to vary in a like manner.

from one ancestor. the tendency. the most probable hypothesis is.differently coloured breeds. is only 1 in 2048. After twelve generations. It might further be expected that the species of the same genus would 159 . But characters exclusively due to analogous variation would probably be of an unimportant nature. reappears after a great number of generations. beyond the influence of the mere act of crossing on the laws of inheritance. is developed. But when a breed has been crossed only once by some other breed. in accordance with the different habits of the species. In a breed which has not been crossed. When a character which has been lost in a breed. but in which BOTH parents have lost some character which their progenitor possessed. it is probable that there is a latent tendency in each generation to produce blue plumage. it might be expected that they would occasionally vary in an analogous manner. is not greater than that of quite useless or rudimentary organs being similarly transmitted. the offspring occasionally show for many generations a tendency to revert in character to the foreign breed—some say. with the several marks. as we see. which very rarely produces a blue bird. or that a variety of one species would resemble in certain characters another and distinct species. whether strong or weak. for a dozen or even a score of generations. not that one individual suddenly takes after an ancestor removed by some hundred generations. to use a common expression. it is generally believed that a tendency to reversion is retained by this remnant of foreign blood. be transmitted for almost any number of generations. and at last. and in this case there is nothing in the external conditions of life to cause the reappearance of the slaty-blue. With the barb-pigeon. for instance. to reproduce the lost character might. this other species being. The abstract improbability of such a tendency being transmitted through a vast number of generations. under unknown favourable conditions. as was formerly remarked. probably for hundreds of generations. and yet. for the preservation of all functionally important characters will have been determined through natural selection. As all the species of the same genus are supposed to be descended from a common progenitor. but that in each successive generation the character in question has been lying latent. No doubt it is a very surprising fact that characters should reappear after having been lost for many. so that the varieties of two or more species would resemble each other. the proportion of blood. according to our view. A mere tendency to produce a rudiment is indeed sometimes thus inherited. only a well-marked and permanent variety. for all that we can see to the contrary.

also. although under nature it must generally be left doubtful. we do not know the common ancestor of any natural group. as it were. whether such characters in our domestic breeds were reversions or only analogous variations. as before. partly under domestication and partly under nature. A white ass. The difficulty in distinguishing variable species is largely due to the varieties mocking. yet we ought. and is very variable in length and outline. like those on the legs of a zebra. which themselves can only doubtfully be ranked as species. has been described without either spinal or shoulder stripe. I lie under the great disadvantage of not being able to give them. I believe this to be true. It has been asserted that these are plainest in the foal. or actually quite 160 . and what are new but analogous variations. we could not have told. A considerable catalogue. More especially we might have inferred this from the blue colour and the several marks so often appearing when differently coloured breeds are crossed. sometimes to find the varying offspring of a species assuming characters which are already present in other members of the same group. not indeed as affecting any important character. in some degree. The ass sometimes has very distinct transverse bars on its legs. It is a case almost certainly of reversion. on our theory. for instance. Hence. But the best evidence of analogous variations is afforded by parts or organs which are generally constant in character. that they have in varying assumed some of the characters of the others. but we might have inferred that the blue colour was a case of reversion from the number of the markings. As. and seem to me very remarkable.occasionally exhibit reversions to long-lost characters. which are correlated with this tint. give one curious and complex case. however. other species of the same genus. If. but here. I can only repeat that such cases certainly occur. but NOT an albino. unless all these closely allied forms be considered as independently created species. could be given of forms intermediate between two other forms. however. I will. the same part or organ in an allied species. but which occasionally vary so as to resemble. and these stripes are sometimes very obscure. we cannot distinguish between reversionary and analogous characters. we did not know that the parent rock-pigeon was not feather-footed or turn-crowned. what cases are reversions to formerly existing characters. And this undoubtedly is the case. and which would not probably have all appeared together from simple variation. and from inquiries which I have made. I have collected a long list of such cases. The stripe on the shoulder is sometimes double. and this shows. but from occurring in several species of the same genus.

both with THREE parallel stripes on each shoulder.W. 161 . which is sometimes double and sometimes treble. Blyth has seen a specimen of the hemionus with a distinct shoulder-stripe. is without bars on the legs. I have myself seen a dun Devonshire pony. Mr. is sometimes striped. a horse without stripes is not considered as purely bred. In the northwest part of India the Kattywar breed of horses is so generally striped. was marked on its hinder quarters and on its forehead with numerous very narrow. a faint shoulder-stripe may sometimes be seen in duns. Edwards. that with the English race-horse the spinal stripe is much commoner in the foal than in the full-grown animal. Without here entering on further details I may state that I have collected cases of leg and shoulder stripes in horses of very different breeds in various countries from Britain to Eastern China. the legs are generally barred. when a week old. transverse bars on the legs are not rare in duns. I have myself recently bred a foal from a bay mare (offspring of a Turkoman horse and a Flemish mare) by a bay English race-horse. and the shoulder-stripe. The spine is always striped.lost. The stripes are often plainest in the foal. In all parts of the world these stripes occur far oftenest in duns and mouse-duns. and sometimes quite disappear in old horses. I have also reason to suspect. and its legs were feebly striped. The koulan of Pallas is said to have been seen with a double shoulder-stripe. I have collected cases in England of the spinal stripe in horses of the most distinct breeds. W. and from Norway in the north to the Malay Archipelago in the south. This foal. though it properly has none. by the term dun a large range of colour is included. from one between brown and black to a close approach to cream colour. that. in dark-coloured asses. though so plainly barred like a zebra over the body. and I have been informed by Colonel Poole that foals of this species are generally striped on the legs and faintly on the shoulder. who examined this breed for the Indian Government. The quagga. My son made a careful examination and sketch for me of a dun Belgian cart-horse with a double stripe on each shoulder and with leg-stripes. is common. moreover. mouse-duns. the side of the face. from information given me by Mr. and in one instance in a chestnut. and of ALL colours. dark. and a small dun Welsh pony has been carefully described to me. All the stripes soon disappeared completely. With respect to the horse. zebra-like bars. Colonel Poole has seen both gray and bay Kattywar horses striped when first foaled. Gray has figured one specimen with very distinct zebralike bars on the hocks. as I hear from Colonel Poole. but Dr. and I have seen a trace in a bay horse.

and in one of them there was a double shoulder-stripe. like those on the dun Devonshire and Welsh ponies. has given a figure of a similar mule. believes that the several breeds of the horse are descended from several aboriginal species. Gosse. etc. and had three short shoulder-stripes. a hybrid has been figured by Dr. and this is another most remarkable case. of hybrids between the ass and zebra. and that the above-described appearances are all due to ancient crosses with the dun stock. the lanky Kattywar race. Rollin asserts that the common mule from the ass and horse is particularly apt to have bars on its legs. the dun. that I was led solely from the occurrence of the face-stripes on this hybrid from the ass and hemionus to ask Colonel Poole whether such face-stripes ever occurred in the eminently striped Kattywar breed of horses. inhabiting the most distant parts of the world. Gray (and he informs me that he knows of a second case) from the ass and the hemionus. I was so convinced that not even a stripe of colour appears from what is commonly called chance. The appearance of the stripes is not accompanied by any change 162 . were much more plainly barred across the legs than is even the pure quagga. and even had some zebra-like stripes on the sides of its face. Now let us turn to the effects of crossing the several species of the horse genus. for it is highly improbable that the heavy Belgian cart-horse. In the horse we see this tendency strong whenever a dun tint appears—a tint which approaches to that of the general colouring of the other species of the genus. and this hybrid. In four coloured drawings. W.C. I once saw a mule with its legs so much striped that any one might have thought that it was a hybrid zebra. What now are we to say to these several facts? We see several distinct species of the horse genus becoming. about nine out of ten mules have striped legs. Welsh ponies. striped on the legs like a zebra. the hybrid and even the pure offspring subsequently produced from the same mare by a black Arabian sire. or striped on the shoulders like an ass. one of which. though the ass only occasionally has stripes on his legs and the hemionus has none and has not even a shoulder-stripe. from a chestnut mare and male quagga. and was. should have all have been crossed with one supposed aboriginal stock. Norwegian cobs.. Martin. was striped. the legs were much more plainly barred than the rest of the body. in his excellent treatise on the horse. as we have seen. Lastly. which I have seen.I am aware that Colonel Hamilton Smith. in certain parts of the United States. according to Mr. nevertheless had all four legs barred. In Lord Morton's famous hybrid. answered in the affirmative. who has written on this subject. and Mr. With respect to this last fact. by simple variation. But this view may be safely rejected.

these bars and other marks invariably reappear. and that each has been created with a strong tendency. and how exactly parallel is the case with that of the species of the horse genus! For myself. is—that there is a TENDENCY in the young of each successive generation to produce the long-lost character. both under nature and under domestication. and that this tendency. when crossed with species inhabiting distant quarters of the world. as it seems to me. I would almost as soon believe with the old and ignorant cosmogonists. the hemionus. in this particular manner. We see this tendency to become striped most strongly displayed in hybrids from between several of the most distinct species. And we have just seen that in several species of the horse genus the stripes are either plainer or appear more commonly in the young than in the old. but had been created in stone so as to mock the shells now living on the sea-shore. assert that each species has been created with a tendency to vary. sometimes prevails. and I see an animal striped like a zebra. I venture confidently to look back thousands on thousands of generations. Call the breeds of pigeons. not their own parents. with certain bars and other marks. He who believes that each equine species was independently created. to reject a real for an unreal. species. the common parent of our domestic horse (whether or not it be descended from one or more wild stocks) of the ass. but perhaps otherwise very differently constructed. I have stated that the most probable hypothesis to account for the reappearance of very ancient characters. It makes the works of God a mere mockery and deception. I presume.of form. so as often to become striped like the other species of the genus. some of which have bred true for centuries. Now observe the case of the several breeds of pigeons: they are descended from a pigeon (including two or three subspecies or geographical races) of a bluish colour. that fossil shells had never lived. but without any other change of form or character. and when any breed assumes by simple variation a bluish tint. to produce hybrids resembling in their stripes. but other species of the genus. and zebra. 163 . we see a strong tendency for the blue tint and bars and marks to reappear in the mongrels. or by any other new character. from unknown causes. quagga. When the oldest and truest breeds of various colours are crossed. or at least for an unknown cause. To admit this view is. will.

But whenever we have the means of instituting a comparison. the nature of which we are unable to understand. and have not differed within this same period. because they have recently varied and thus come to differ. that organic beings low in the scale are more variable than those standing higher in the scale. Changes of structure at an early age may affect parts subsequently developed. where there has been much former variation and differentiation. and use in strengthening. Summary Our ignorance of the laws of variation is profound. so that their modifications have not been closely checked by natural selection. Habit in producing constitutional peculiarities. for in a district where many species of a genus are found—that is. on an average. and which have their whole organisation more specialised.11. and many cases of correlated variation. appear in many cases to have been potent in their effects. but we have also seen in the second chapter that the same principle applies to the whole individual. perhaps arising from such parts not having been closely specialised for any particular function. and disuse in weakening and diminishing organs. the same laws appear to have acted in producing the lesser differences between varieties of the same species. It follows probably from this same cause. are not regulated by natural selection. undoubtedly occur. Not in one case out of a hundred can we pretend to assign any reason why this or that part has varied. Homologous parts tend to vary in the same manner. the characters which have come to differ since the several species of the same genus branched off from a common parent—are more variable than generic characters. though we have not sufficient evidence on this head. and homologous parts tend to cohere. we now find. Rudimentary organs. and every part of the structure which can be saved without detriment will be saved. and these may become strongly marked in the course of time. perhaps it tends to draw nourishment from the adjoining parts. and hence are variable. and the greater differences between species of the same genus. Changed conditions generally induce mere fluctuating variability. Specific characters—that is. but sometimes they cause direct and definite effects. from being useless. most 164 . Modifications in hard parts and in external parts sometimes affect softer and internal parts. or where the manufactory of new specific forms has been actively at work—in that district and among these species. Multiple parts are variable in number and in structure. or those which have long been inherited. In these remarks we have referred to special parts or organs being still variable. When one part is largely developed.

But when a species with an extraordinarily developed organ has become the parent of many modified descendants—which on our view must be a very slow process. requiring a long lapse of time—in this case. and specific differences to the several species of the same genus. such modifications will add to the beautiful and harmonious diversity of nature. 165 . Whatever the cause may be of each slight difference between the offspring and their parents—and a cause for each must exist—we have reason to believe that it is the steady accumulation of beneficial differences which has given rise to all the more important modifications of structure in relation to the habits of each species. and natural selection will in such cases not as yet have had time to overcome the tendency to further variability and to reversion to a less modified state. must have gone through an extraordinary amount of modification since the genus arose.varieties. Secondary sexual characters are highly variable. Any part or organ developed to an extraordinary size or in an extraordinary manner. and thus we can understand why it should often still be variable in a much higher degree than other parts. and exposed to similar influences. and such characters differ much in the species of the same group. Although new and important modifications may not arise from reversion and analogous variation. for variation is a longcontinued and slow process. Species inheriting nearly the same constitution from a common parent. naturally tend to present analogous variations. Variability in the same parts of the organisation has generally been taken advantage of in giving secondary sexual differences to the two sexes of the same species. or these same species may occasionally revert to some of the characters of their ancient progenitors. natural selection has succeeded in giving a fixed character to the organ. in however extraordinary a manner it may have been developed. in comparison with the same part or organ in the allied species.

166 .Chapter 6 Difficulties Of The Theory Difficulties of the theory of descent with modification — Absence or rarity of transitional varieties — Transitions in habits of life — Diversified habits in the same species — Species with habits widely different from those of their allies — Organs of extreme perfection — Modes of transition — Cases of difficulty — Natura non facit saltum — Organs of small importance — Organs not in all cases absolutely perfect — The law of Unity of Type and of the Conditions of Existence embraced by the theory of Natural Selection.

on the one hand. fatal to the theory. the structure and habits of a bat. why. their fertility is unimpaired? The two first heads will be here discussed. when varieties are crossed.1. for instance. if species have descended from other species by fine gradations. could have been formed by the modification of some other animal with widely different habits and structure? Can we believe that natural selection could produce. whereas. some miscellaneous objections in the following chapter. is it possible that an animal having. can instincts be acquired and modified through natural selection? What shall we say to the instinct which leads the bee to make cells. the greater number are only apparent. These difficulties and objections may be classed under the following heads: First. but. which serves as a flyflapper. and which has practically anticipated the discoveries of profound mathematicians? Fourthly. Long before the reader has arrived at this part of my work. being sterile and producing sterile offspring. well defined? Secondly. do we not everywhere see innumerable transitional forms? Why is not all nature in confusion. as we see them. Instinct and Hybridism in the two succeeding chapters. on the other hand. when crossed. an organ so wonderful as the eye? Thirdly. how can we account for species. I think. an organ of trifling importance. to the best of my judgment. instead of the species being. Some of them are so serious that to this day I can hardly reflect on them without being in some degree staggered. 167 . such as the tail of a giraffe. and. a crowd of difficulties will have occurred to him. and those that are real are not.

why do we not now find closely-linking intermediate varieties? This difficulty for a long time quite confounded me. the other becomes more and more frequent. we generally meet at successive intervals with closely allied or representative species. each has become adapted to the conditions of life of its own region. evidently filling nearly the same place in the natural economy of the land. we surely ought to find at the present time many transitional forms. both the parent and all the transitional varieties will generally have been exterminated by the very process of the formation and perfection of the new form. they are generally as absolutely distinct from each other in every detail of structure as are specimens taken from the metropolis inhabited by each. But I think it can be in large part explained. having intermediate conditions of life. but the natural collections have been imperfectly made. and finally to exterminate. 168 . Hence. and only at long intervals of time. and as the one becomes rarer and rarer. By my theory these allied species are descended from a common parent. and has supplanted and exterminated its original parentform and all the transitional varieties between its past and present states. till the one replaces the other. But. The crust of the earth is a vast museum. Thus extinction and natural selection go hand in hand. and may be embedded there in a fossil condition. though they must have existed there. On The Absence Or Rarity Of Transitional Varieties As natural selection acts solely by the preservation of profitable modifications. if we look at each species as descended from some unknown form. why do we not find them embedded in countless numbers in the crust of the earth? It will be more convenient to discuss this question in the chapter on the imperfection of the geological record. But in the intermediate region. its own less improved parent-form and other less-favoured forms with which it comes into competition. as by this theory innumerable transitional forms must have existed. But if we compare these species where they intermingle. Let us take a simple case: in travelling from north to south over a continent. These representative species often meet and interlock. Hence we ought not to expect at the present time to meet with numerous transitional varieties in each region. But it may be urged that when several closely allied species inhabit the same territory. and during the process of modification.2. and I will here only state that I believe the answer mainly lies in the record being incomparably less perfect than is generally supposed. each new form will tend in a fully-stocked country to take the place of.

as Alph. then becoming somewhat abruptly rarer and rarer on the confines. be extremely liable 169 . were it not for other competing species. though I do not doubt that the formerly broken condition of areas now continuous. or by which it is destroyed. Geology would lead us to believe that most continents have been broken up into islands even during the later tertiary periods. but in large part on the presence of other species. or in the nature of the seasons. But when we bear in mind that almost every species. more especially with freely-crossing and wandering animals. during fluctuations in the number of its enemies or of its prey. But I will pass over this way of escaping from the difficulty. for I believe that many perfectly defined species have been formed on strictly continuous areas. De Candolle has observed. has played an important part in the formation of new species. and finally disappearing. even in its metropolis. We see the same fact in ascending mountains. because an area is now continuous. would increase immensely in numbers. on which it lives. not blending one into another by insensible gradations. Moreover. in short. To those who look at climate and the physical conditions of life as the all-important elements of distribution. a common alpine species disappears. The same fact has been noticed by E. as climate and height or depth graduate away insensibly. the range of any one species. By changes in the form of the land and of climate. these facts ought to cause surprise. and in such islands distinct species might have been separately formed without the possibility of intermediate varieties existing in the intermediate zones. In looking at species as they are now distributed over a wide area. that each organic being is either directly or indirectly related in the most important manner to other organic beings—we see that the range of the inhabitants of any country by no means exclusively depends on insensibly changing physical conditions. each species on the confines of its range. we generally find them tolerably numerous over a large territory. will. will tend to be sharply defined. Forbes in sounding the depths of the sea with the dredge.In the first place we should be extremely cautious in inferring. where it exists in lessened numbers. Hence the neutral territory between two representative species is generally narrow in comparison with the territory proper to each. that it has been continuous during a long period. and sometimes it is quite remarkable how abruptly. marine areas now continuous must often have existed within recent times in a far less continuous and uniform condition than at present. that nearly all either prey on or serve as prey for others. depending as it does on the range of others. or with which it comes into competition. and as these species are already defined objects.

accounts for the common species in each 170 . and practically. as a general rule. within any given period. as already remarked. Asa Gray. Now. in the race for life. as I believe. this rule holds good with varieties in a state of nature. For any form existing in lesser numbers would. But it is a far more important consideration. as varieties do not essentially differ from species. It is the same principle which.to utter extermination. and thus its geographical range will come to be still more sharply defined. Dr. Hence. than will the rarer forms which exist in lesser numbers. and a third variety to a narrow intermediate zone. from inhabiting larger areas. that during the process of further modification. and in this particular case the intermediate form would be eminently liable to the inroads of closely allied forms existing on both sides of it. they should be exterminated and disappear. of presenting further favourable variations for natural selection to seize on. will have a great advantage over the intermediate variety. when inhabiting a continuous area. the more common forms. And it would appear from information given me by Mr. when varieties intermediate between two other forms occur. the same rule will probably apply to both. if we may trust these facts and inferences. As allied or representative species. they are much rarer numerically than the forms which they connect. as far as I can make out. will tend to beat and supplant the less common forms. the two which exist in larger numbers. For forms existing in larger numbers will have a better chance. then. in which they become rather suddenly rarer and rarer. Watson. run a greater chance of being exterminated than one existing in large numbers. sooner than the forms which they originally linked together. and conclude that varieties linking two other varieties together generally have existed in lesser numbers than the forms which they connect. The intermediate variety. with a comparatively narrow neutral territory between them. by which two varieties are supposed to be converted and perfected into two distinct species. I have met with striking instances of the rule in the case of varieties intermediate between well-marked varieties in the genus Balanus. and if we take a varying species inhabiting a very large area. for these will be more slowly modified and improved. and Mr. will exist in lesser numbers from inhabiting a narrow and lesser area. we shall have to adapt two varieties to two large areas. Wollaston. consequently. then we can understand why intermediate varieties should not endure for very long periods: why. that generally. are generally distributed in such a manner that each has a wide range. which exists in smaller numbers in a narrow and intermediate zone.

may have separately been rendered sufficiently distinct to rank as representative species. and until a place in the natural polity of the country can be better filled by some modification of some one or more of its inhabitants. I may illustrate what I mean by supposing three varieties of sheep to be kept. must formerly have existed within each isolated portion of the land. hilly tract. And such new places will depend on slow changes of climate. and natural selection can do nothing until favourable individual differences or variations occur. or on the occasional immigration of new inhabitants. intermediate hill variety. and that the inhabitants are all trying with equal steadiness and skill to improve their stocks by selection. more especially among the classes which unite for each birth and wander much. intermediate varieties between the several representative species and their common parent. a second to a comparatively narrow. Secondly. and consequently the improved mountain or plain breed will soon take the place of the less improved hill breed. will come into close contact with each other. and. with the new forms thus produced and the old ones acting and reacting on each other. areas now continuous must often have existed within the recent period as isolated portions. one adapted to an extensive mountainous region. which originally existed in greater numbers. Thirdly. I believe that species come to be tolerably well-defined objects. but these links during the process of natural selection will have been supplanted and exterminated. hilly tract. presenting on an average a greater number of well-marked varieties than do the rarer species. and this assuredly we do see. and do not at any one period present an inextricable chaos of varying and intermediate links: first. without the interposition of the supplanted. we ought to see only a few species presenting slight modifications of structure in some degree permanent. the chances in this case will be strongly in favour of the great holders on the mountains or on the plains improving their breeds more quickly than the small holders on the intermediate narrow. probably. when two or more varieties have been formed in different portions of a strictly continuous area. on some of the old inhabitants becoming slowly modified. but they 171 . at first have been formed in the intermediate zones. because new varieties are very slowly formed.country. and thus the two breeds. in a still more important degree. so that they will no longer be found in a living state. So that. and a third to the wide plains at the base. for variation is a slow process. intermediate varieties will. in any one region and at any one time. as shown in the second chapter. To sum up. it is probable. In this case. in which many forms.

in the aggregate. as has been so often remarked. but the very process of natural selection constantly tends. from reasons already assigned (namely from what we know of the actual distribution of closely allied or representative species. looking not to any one time. if my theory be true. Consequently evidence of their former existence could be found only among fossil remains. From this cause alone the intermediate varieties will be liable to accidental extermination. to exterminate the parent forms and the intermediate links. Lastly. they will almost certainly be beaten and supplanted by the forms which they connect. must assuredly have existed. which are preserved. and during the process of further modification through natural selection.will generally have had a short duration. for these. present more varieties. 172 . in an extremely imperfect and intermittent record. as we shall attempt to show in a future chapter. and thus be further improved through natural selection and gain further advantages. but at all time. from existing in greater numbers will. exist in the intermediate zones in lesser numbers than the varieties which they tend to connect. For these intermediate varieties will. numberless intermediate varieties. linking closely together all the species of the same group. and likewise of acknowledged varieties).

for. and which resembles an otter in its fur. let other competing rodents or new beasts of prey immigrate.3. If a different case had been taken. Look at the family of squirrels. to the so-called flying squirrels. And it seems to me that nothing less than a long list of such cases is sufficient to lessen the difficulty in any particular case like that of the bat. and as each exists by a struggle for life. as Sir J. I can give only one or two instances of transitional habits and structures in allied species. here we have the finest gradation from animals with their tails only slightly flattened. during summer this animal dives for and preys on fish. but during the long winter it leaves the frozen waters. and all analogy would lead us to believe that some. by enabling it to escape birds or beasts of prey. and flying squirrels have their limbs and even the base of the tail united by a broad expanse of skin. But it does not follow from this fact that the structure of each squirrel is the best that it is possible to conceive under all possible conditions. and preys. or to collect food more quickly. of the squirrels would decrease in numbers or become 173 . Yet I think such difficulties have little weight. at least. which serves as a parachute and allows them to glide through the air to an astonishing distance from tree to tree. and from others. like other polecats on mice and land animals. Let the climate and vegetation change. Here. and it had been asked how an insectivorous quadruped could possibly have been converted into a flying bat. or. either constant or occasional. as there is reason to believe. On The Origin And Transition Of Organic Beings With Peculiar Habits And Structure It has been asked by the opponents of such views as I hold. in the same species. Look at the Mustela vison of North America. the question would have been far more difficult to answer. which has webbed feet. how. I lie under a heavy disadvantage. and of diversified habits. We cannot doubt that each structure is of use to each kind of squirrel in its own country. Richardson has remarked. short legs. with the posterior part of their bodies rather wide and with the skin on their flanks rather full. for instance. it is clear that each must be well adapted to its place in nature. out of the many striking cases which I have collected. and form of tail. for how could the animal in its transitional state have subsisted? It would be easy to show that there now exist carnivorous animals presenting close intermediate grades from strictly terrestrial to aquatic habits. to lessen the danger from occasional falls. could a land carnivorous animal have been converted into one with aquatic habits. as on other occasions. or old ones become modified.

as far as the organs of flight are concerned. each modification being useful. like the penguin. and this. a perfect so-called flying squirrel was produced. In certain bats in which the wing-membrane extends from the top of the shoulder to the tail and includes the hind-legs. we perhaps see traces of an apparatus originally fitted for gliding through the air rather than for flight. in the continued preservation of individuals with fuller and fuller flank-membranes. I can see no difficulty. for each has to live by a struggle: but it is not necessarily the best possible under all possible conditions.exterminated. which perhaps may all be the result of disuse. An extremely wide flank-membrane stretches from the corners of the jaw to the tail. and includes the limbs with the elongated fingers. like the logger headed duck (Micropterus of Eyton). as fins in the water and as front legs on the land. more especially under changing conditions of life. This flank. like the ostrich. Nor can I see any insuperable difficulty in further believing it possible that the membrane-connected fingers and fore-arm of the Galeopithecus might have been greatly lengthened by natural selection. Although no graduated links of structure. each being propagated. and that each was developed in the same manner as with the less perfectly gliding squirrels. but they serve to show what diversified means of transition are at least possible. yet there is no difficulty in supposing that such links formerly existed. like the apteryx? Yet the structure of each of these birds is good for it. which was formerly ranked among bats. Therefore.membrane is furnished with an extensor muscle. as sails. It must not be inferred from these remarks that any of the grades of wingstructure here alluded to. under the conditions of life to which it is exposed. who would have ventured to surmise that birds might have existed which used their wings solely as flappers. each grade of structure having been useful to its possessor. indicate the steps by which birds actually acquired their perfect power of flight. by the accumulated effects of this process of natural selection. Now look at the Galeopithecus or so-called flying lemur. Seeing that a few members of such water-breathing classes as the Crustacea and Mollusca are adapted to live on the land. and seeing that 174 . now connect the Galeopithecus with the other Insectivora. and functionally for no purpose. unless they also become modified and improved in structure in a corresponding manner. until. but is now believed to belong to the Insectivora. would have converted the animal into a bat. fitted for gliding through the air. If about a dozen genera of birds were to become extinct.

both probably often occurring almost simultaneously. it is conceivable that flying-fish. until their organs of flight had come to a high stage of perfection. which now glide far through the air. we should bear in mind that animals displaying early transitional grades of the structure will seldom have survived to the present day. from their having existed in lesser numbers. and formerly had flying reptiles. so far as we know. In either case it would be easy for natural selection to adapt the structure of the animal to its changed habits. difficult to decide and immaterial for us.we have flying birds and mammals. which were gradually rendered more perfect through natural selection. hovering over one spot and then proceeding to another. flying insects of the most diversified types. Of cases of changed habits it will suffice merely to allude to that of the many British insects which now feed on exotic plants. In our own country the larger titmouse (Parus major) 175 . than in the case of species with fully developed structures. Hence the chance of discovering species with transitional grades of structure in a fossil condition will always be less. to return to our imaginary illustration of the flying-fish. for taking prey of many kinds in many ways. it does not seem probable that fishes capable of true flight would have been developed under many subordinate forms. or whether slight modifications of structure lead to changed habits. who would have ever imagined that in an early transitional state they had been inhabitants of the open ocean. and then dashing into it like a kingfisher at a fish. we may conclude that transitional states between structures fitted for very different habits of life will rarely have been developed at an early period in great numbers and under many subordinate forms. Thus. slightly rising and turning by the aid of their fluttering fins. If this had been effected. and at other times standing stationary on the margin of water. might have been modified into perfectly winged animals. on the land and in the water. as the wings of a bird for flight. or exclusively on artificial substances. whether habits generally change first and structure afterwards. I will now give two or three instances. or exclusively to one of its several habits. and had used their incipient organs of flight exclusively. in the individuals of the same species. to escape being devoured by other fish? When we see any structure highly perfected for any particular habit. for they will have been supplanted by their successors. however. so as to have given them a decided advantage over other animals in the battle for life. Of diversified habits innumerable instances could be given: I have often watched a tyrant flycatcher (Saurophagus sulphuratus) in South America. like a kestrel. It is. Furthermore. both of diversified and of changed habits.

that a Mexican Colaptes has been described by De Saussure as boring holes into hard wood in order to lay up a store of acorns. but. Petrels are the most aerial and oceanic of birds. as I can assert. frequents trees. this same woodpecker. the harsh tone of the voice. is a woodpecker. Can a more striking instance of adaptation be given than that of a woodpecker for climbing trees and seizing insects in the chinks of the bark? Yet in North America there are woodpeckers which feed largely on fruit. it is essentially a petrel. not only from my own observations. strong beak. in the quiet sounds of Tierra del Fuego. On the plains of La Plata. a long. whereas the woodpecker of La Plata has had its structure only slightly 176 . we might expect that such individuals would occasionally give rise to new species. in all the essential parts of its structure. however. As we sometimes see individuals following habits different from those proper to their species and to the other species of the same genus. And such instances occur in nature. and a straight. the Puffinuria berardi. but with many parts of its organisation profoundly modified in relation to its new habits of life. and others with elongated wings which chase insects on the wing. insects in the water.pointed tongue. would be mistaken by any one for an auk or a grebe. there is a woodpecker (Colaptes campestris) which has two toes before and two behind. but not so stiff as in the typical wood-peckers. in its manner of swimming and of flying when made to take flight. and bores holes in the trunk for its nest. almost like a creeper. I may mention as another illustration of the varied habits of this genus. however. The beak. In North America the black bear was seen by Hearne swimming for hours with widely open mouth. kills small birds by blows on the head.may be seen climbing branches. like a shrike. its close blood-relationship to our common woodpecker is plainly declared. in certain large districts it does not climb trees. yet. nevertheless. where hardly a tree grows. pointed tail-feathers. as Mr. in its general habits. having anomalous habits. sufficiently stiff to support the bird in a vertical position on a post. thus catching. and it makes its nest in holes in banks! In certain other districts. Even in such trifling characters as the colouring. Hudson states. Hence this Colaptes. and thus breaking them like a nuthatch. but from those of the accurate Azara. is not so straight or so strong as in the typical woodpeckers but it is strong enough to bore into wood. it sometimes. and I have many times seen and heard it hammering the seeds of the yew on a branch. almost like a whale. in its astonishing power of diving. and undulatory flight. and with their structure either slightly or considerably modified from that of their type.

but this seems to me only restating the fact in dignified language. The water-hen and landrail are members of this order. excepting the genus Proctotrupes.—using its wings under water and grasping stones with its feet. that in these cases it has pleased the Creator to cause a being of one type to take the place of one belonging to another type. What seems plainer than that the long toes. not furnished with membrane. living on the dry land and rarely alighting on the water. alight on the surface of the ocean. are formed for walking over swamps and floating plants. although their toes are only bordered by membrane. In the case of the water-ouzel. What can be plainer than that the webbed feet of ducks and geese are formed for swimming? Yet there are upland geese with webbed feet which rarely go near the water. and thus gains an advantage over some other inhabitant of the same country. must occasionally have felt surprise when he has met with an animal having habits and structure not in agreement. yet this bird. The webbed feet of the upland goose may be said to have become almost rudimentary in function.modified. has seen the frigate-bird. He who believes that each being has been created as we now see it. yet the first is nearly as aquatic as the coot. In such cases. In the frigate-bird. He who believes in the struggle for existence and in the principle of natural selection. will acknowledge that every organic being is constantly endeavouring to increase in numbers. of the Grallatores. and the second is nearly as terrestrial as the quail or partridge. it will seize on the place of that inhabitant. however different that may be from its own place. the deeply scooped membrane between the toes shows that structure has begun to change. grebes and coots are eminently aquatic. though not in structure. which is allied to the thrush family. He who believes in separate and innumerable acts of creation may say. and no one except Audubon. Hence it will cause him no surprise that there should be geese and frigate-birds with webbed feet. either in habits or structure. by examining its dead body. and remains as long as four hours beneath the surface. and many others could be given. All the members of the great order of Hymenopterous insects are terrestrial. which Sir John Lubbock has discovered to be aquatic in its habits. would never have suspected its sub-aquatic habits. subsists by diving. 177 . and that if any one being varies ever so little. habits have changed without a corresponding change of structure. On the other hand. which has all its four toes webbed. it often enters the water and dives about by the use not of its legs but of its wings. the acutest observer. yet it exhibits no modification in structure in accordance with its abnormal habits.

that there should be diving thrushes and diving Hymenoptera. living in meadows instead of in swamps.that there should be long-toed corncrakes. that there should be woodpeckers where hardly a tree grows. 178 . and petrels with the habits of auks.

in order to see what gradations are possible. but this is scarcely ever possible. that if numerous gradations from a simple and imperfect eye to one complex and perfect can be shown to exist. and if such variations should be useful to any animal under changing conditions of life. and we are forced to look to other species and genera of the same group. seems. it does not seem impossible that certain sensitive elements in their sarcode should become aggregated and developed into nerves. as every philosopher knows. and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration. according to M. however. Eyes of the above simple nature are not capable of distinct vision. endowed with this special sensibility.4. But the state of the same organ in distinct classes may incidentally throw light on the steps by which it has been perfected. The simplest organ which can be called an eye consists of an optic nerve. descend even a step lower and find aggregates of pigment-cells. could have been formed by natural selection. though insuperable by our imagination. we ought to look exclusively to its lineal progenitors. How a nerve comes to be sensitive to light. should not be considered as subversive of the theory. and serve only to distinguish 179 . for admitting different amounts of light. but the old saying of Vox populi. each grade being useful to its possessor. as is likewise certainly the case. then the difficulty of believing that a perfect and complex eye could be formed by natural selection. apparently serving as organs of vision. that is to the collateral descendants from the same parent-form. as is certainly the case. cannot be trusted in science. the common sense of mankind declared the doctrine false. absurd in the highest degree. as some of the lowest organisms in which nerves cannot be detected. hardly concerns us more than how life itself originated. In searching for the gradations through which an organ in any species has been perfected. Jourdain. Organs Of Extreme Perfection And Complication To suppose that the eye with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances. but I may remark that. vox Dei. I freely confess. without any nerves. and for the chance of some gradations having been transmitted in an unaltered or little altered condition. When it was first said that the sun stood still and the world turned round. are capable of perceiving light. and resting merely on sarcodic tissue. Reason tells me. surrounded by pigment-cells and covered by translucent skin. if further. We may. but without any lens or other refractive body. the eye ever varies and the variations be inherited.

light from darkness. In certain star-fishes, small depressions in the layer of pigment which surrounds the nerve are filled, as described by the author just quoted, with transparent gelatinous matter, projecting with a convex surface, like the cornea in the higher animals. He suggests that this serves not to form an image, but only to concentrate the luminous rays and render their perception more easy. In this concentration of the rays we gain the first and by far the most important step towards the formation of a true, picture-forming eye; for we have only to place the naked extremity of the optic nerve, which in some of the lower animals lies deeply buried in the body, and in some near the surface, at the right distance from the concentrating apparatus, and an image will be formed on it. In the great class of the Articulata, we may start from an optic nerve simply coated with pigment, the latter sometimes forming a sort of pupil, but destitute of lens or other optical contrivance. With insects it is now known that the numerous facets on the cornea of their great compound eyes form true lenses, and that the cones include curiously modified nervous filaments. But these organs in the Articulata are so much diversified that Muller formerly made three main classes with seven subdivisions, besides a fourth main class of aggregated simple eyes. When we reflect on these facts, here given much too briefly, with respect to the wide, diversified, and graduated range of structure in the eyes of the lower animals; and when we bear in mind how small the number of all living forms must be in comparison with those which have become extinct, the difficulty ceases to be very great in believing that natural selection may have converted the simple apparatus of an optic nerve, coated with pigment and invested by transparent membrane, into an optical instrument as perfect as is possessed by any member of the Articulata class. He who will go thus far, ought not to hesitate to go one step further, if he finds on finishing this volume that large bodies of facts, otherwise inexplicable, can be explained by the theory of modification through natural selection; he ought to admit that a structure even as perfect as an eagle's eye might thus be formed, although in this case he does not know the transitional states. It has been objected that in order to modify the eye and still preserve it as a perfect instrument, many changes would have to be effected simultaneously, which, it is assumed, could not be done through natural selection; but as I have attempted to show in my work on the variation of domestic animals, it is not necessary to suppose that the modifications were all simultaneous, if they were extremely slight


and gradual. Different kinds of modification would, also, serve for the same general purpose: as Mr. Wallace has remarked, "If a lens has too short or too long a focus, it may be amended either by an alteration of curvature, or an alteration of density; if the curvature be irregular, and the rays do not converge to a point, then any increased regularity of curvature will be an improvement. So the contraction of the iris and the muscular movements of the eye are neither of them essential to vision, but only improvements which might have been added and perfected at any stage of the construction of the instrument." Within the highest division of the animal kingdom, namely, the Vertebrata, we can start from an eye so simple, that it consists, as in the lancelet, of a little sack of transparent skin, furnished with a nerve and lined with pigment, but destitute of any other apparatus. In fishes and reptiles, as Owen has remarked, "The range of gradation of dioptric structures is very great." It is a significant fact that even in man, according to the high authority of Virchow, the beautiful crystalline lens is formed in the embryo by an accumulation of epidermic cells, lying in a sack-like fold of the skin; and the vitreous body is formed from embryonic subcutaneous tissue. To arrive, however, at a just conclusion regarding the formation of the eye, with all its marvellous yet not absolutely perfect characters, it is indispensable that the reason should conquer the imagination; but I have felt the difficulty far to keenly to be surprised at others hesitating to extend the principle of natural selection to so startling a length. It is scarcely possible to avoid comparing the eye with a telescope. We know that this instrument has been perfected by the long-continued efforts of the highest human intellects; and we naturally infer that the eye has been formed by a somewhat analogous process. But may not this inference be presumptuous? Have we any right to assume that the Creator works by intellectual powers like those of man? If we must compare the eye to an optical instrument, we ought in imagination to take a thick layer of transparent tissue, with spaces filled with fluid, and with a nerve sensitive to light beneath, and then suppose every part of this layer to be continually changing slowly in density, so as to separate into layers of different densities and thicknesses, placed at different distances from each other, and with the surfaces of each layer slowly changing in form. Further we must suppose that there is a power, represented by natural selection or the survival of the fittest, always intently watching each slight alteration in the transparent layers; and carefully preserving each which, under varied circumstances, in any way or degree, tends to produce a distincter image. We must suppose each new state of the


instrument to be multiplied by the million; each to be preserved until a better is produced, and then the old ones to be all destroyed. In living bodies, variation will cause the slight alteration, generation will multiply them almost infinitely, and natural selection will pick out with unerring skill each improvement. Let this process go on for millions of years; and during each year on millions of individuals of many kinds; and may we not believe that a living optical instrument might thus be formed as superior to one of glass, as the works of the Creator are to those of man?


5. Modes Of Transition
If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down. But I can find out no such case. No doubt many organs exist of which we do not know the transitional grades, more especially if we look to much-isolated species, around which, according to the theory, there has been much extinction. Or again, if we take an organ common to all the members of a class, for in this latter case the organ must have been originally formed at a remote period, since which all the many members of the class have been developed; and in order to discover the early transitional grades through which the organ has passed, we should have to look to very ancient ancestral forms, long since become extinct. We should be extremely cautious in concluding that an organ could not have been formed by transitional gradations of some kind. Numerous cases could be given among the lower animals of the same organ performing at the same time wholly distinct functions; thus in the larva of the dragon-fly and in the fish Cobites the alimentary canal respires, digests, and excretes. In the Hydra, the animal may be turned inside out, and the exterior surface will then digest and the stomach respire. In such cases natural selection might specialise, if any advantage were thus gained, the whole or part of an organ, which had previously performed two functions, for one function alone, and thus by insensible steps greatly change its nature. Many plants are known which regularly produce at the same time differently constructed flowers; and if such plants were to produce one kind alone, a great change would be effected with comparative suddenness in the character of the species. It is, however, probable that the two sorts of flowers borne by the same plant were originally differentiated by finely graduated steps, which may still be followed in some few cases. Again, two distinct organs, or the same organ under two very different forms, may simultaneously perform in the same individual the same function, and this is an extremely important means of transition: to give one instance—there are fish with gills or branchiae that breathe the air dissolved in the water, at the same time that they breathe free air in their swim-bladders, this latter organ being divided by highly vascular partitions and having a ductus pneumaticus for the supply of air. To give another instance from the vegetable kingdom: plants climb by three distinct means, by spirally twining, by clasping a support with their sensitive


tendrils, and by the emission of aerial rootlets; these three means are usually found in distinct groups, but some few species exhibit two of the means, or even all three, combined in the same individual. In all such cases one of the two organs might readily be modified and perfected so as to perform all the work, being aided during the progress of modification by the other organ; and then this other organ might be modified for some other and quite distinct purpose, or be wholly obliterated. The illustration of the swim-bladder in fishes is a good one, because it shows us clearly the highly important fact that an organ originally constructed for one purpose, namely flotation, may be converted into one for a widely different purpose, namely respiration. The swim-bladder has, also, been worked in as an accessory to the auditory organs of certain fishes. All physiologists admit that the swim-bladder is homologous, or "ideally similar" in position and structure with the lungs of the higher vertebrate animals: hence there is no reason to doubt that the swimbladder has actually been converted into lungs, or an organ used exclusively for respiration. According to this view it may be inferred that all vertebrate animals with true lungs are descended by ordinary generation from an ancient and unknown prototype which was furnished with a floating apparatus or swim-bladder. We can thus, as I infer from Professor Owen's interesting description of these parts, understand the strange fact that every particle of food and drink which we swallow has to pass over the orifice of the trachea, with some risk of falling into the lungs, notwithstanding the beautiful contrivance by which the glottis is closed. In the higher Vertebrata the branchiae have wholly disappeared—but in the embryo the slits on the sides of the neck and the loop-like course of the arteries still mark their former position. But it is conceivable that the now utterly lost branchiae might have been gradually worked in by natural selection for some distinct purpose: for instance, Landois has shown that the wings of insects are developed from the trachea; it is therefore highly probable that in this great class organs which once served for respiration have been actually converted into organs for flight. In considering transitions of organs, it is so important to bear in mind the probability of conversion from one function to another, that I will give another instance. Pedunculated cirripedes have two minute folds of skin, called by me the ovigerous frena, which serve, through the means of a sticky secretion, to retain the eggs until they are hatched within the sack. These cirripedes have no branchiae, the whole surface of the body and of the sack, together with the small frena, serving for respiration.


The Balanidae or sessile cirripedes, on the other hand, have no ovigerous frena, the eggs lying loose at the bottom of the sack, within the well-enclosed shell; but they have, in the same relative position with the frena, large, much-folded membranes, which freely communicate with the circulatory lacunae of the sack and body, and which have been considered by all naturalists to act as branchiae. Now I think no one will dispute that the ovigerous frena in the one family are strictly homologous with the branchiae of the other family; indeed, they graduate into each other. Therefore it need not be doubted that the two little folds of skin, which originally served as ovigerous frena, but which, likewise, very slightly aided in the act of respiration, have been gradually converted by natural selection into branchiae, simply through an increase in their size and the obliteration of their adhesive glands. If all pedunculated cirripedes had become extinct, and they have suffered far more extinction than have sessile cirripedes, who would ever have imagined that the branchiae in this latter family had originally existed as organs for preventing the ova from being washed out of the sack? There is another possible mode of transition, namely, through the acceleration or retardation of the period of reproduction. This has lately been insisted on by Professor Cope and others in the United States. It is now known that some animals are capable of reproduction at a very early age, before they have acquired their perfect characters; and if this power became thoroughly well developed in a species, it seems probable that the adult stage of development would sooner or later be lost; and in this case, especially if the larva differed much from the mature form, the character of the species would be greatly changed and degraded. Again, not a few animals, after arriving at maturity, go on changing in character during nearly their whole lives. With mammals, for instance, the form of the skull is often much altered with age, of which Dr. Murie has given some striking instances with seals. Every one knows how the horns of stags become more and more branched, and the plumes of some birds become more finely developed, as they grow older. Professor Cope states that the teeth of certain lizards change much in shape with advancing years. With crustaceans not only many trivial, but some important parts assume a new character, as recorded by Fritz Muller, after maturity. In all such cases- -and many could be given—if the age for reproduction were retarded, the character of the species, at least in its adult state, would be modified; nor is it improbable that the previous and earlier stages of development would in some cases be hurried through and finally lost. Whether species have often or ever been modified through this


comparatively sudden mode of transition, I can form no opinion; but if this has occurred, it is probable that the differences between the young and the mature, and between the mature and the old, were primordially acquired by graduated steps.


6. Special Difficulties Of The Theory Of Natural Selection
Although we must be extremely cautious in concluding that any organ could not have been produced by successive, small, transitional gradations, yet undoubtedly serious cases of difficulty occur. One of the most serious is that of neuter insects, which are often differently constructed from either the males or fertile females; but this case will be treated of in the next chapter. The electric organs of fishes offer another case of special difficulty; for it is impossible to conceive by what steps these wondrous organs have been produced. But this is not surprising, for we do not even know of what use they are. In the gymnotus and torpedo they no doubt serve as powerful means of defence, and perhaps for securing prey; yet in the ray, as observed by Matteucci, an analogous organ in the tail manifests but little electricity, even when the animal is greatly irritated; so little that it can hardly be of any use for the above purposes. Moreover, in the ray, besides the organ just referred to, there is, as Dr. R. McDonnell has shown, another organ near the head, not known to be electrical, but which appears to be the real homologue of the electric battery in the torpedo. It is generally admitted that there exists between these organs and ordinary muscle a close analogy, in intimate structure, in the distribution of the nerves, and in the manner in which they are acted on by various reagents. It should, also, be especially observed that muscular contraction is accompanied by an electrical discharge; and, as Dr. Radcliffe insists, "in the electrical apparatus of the torpedo during rest, there would seem to be a charge in every respect like that which is met with in muscle and nerve during the rest, and the discharge of the torpedo, instead of being peculiar, may be only another form of the discharge which attends upon the action of muscle and motor nerve." Beyond this we cannot at present go in the way of explanation; but as we know so little about the uses of these organs, and as we know nothing about the habits and structure of the progenitors of the existing electric fishes, it would be extremely bold to maintain that no serviceable transitions are possible by which these organs might have been gradually developed. These organs appear at first to offer another and far more serious difficulty; for they occur in about a dozen kinds of fish, of which several are widely remote in their affinities. When the same organ is found in several members of the same class, especially if in members having very different habits of life, we may generally attribute its presence to inheritance from a common ancestor; and its absence in some of the members to


loss through disuse or natural selection. So that, if the electric organs had been inherited from some one ancient progenitor, we might have expected that all electric fishes would have been specially related to each other; but this is far from the case. Nor does geology at all lead to the belief that most fishes formerly possessed electric organs, which their modified descendants have now lost. But when we look at the subject more closely, we find in the several fishes provided with electric organs, that these are situated in different parts of the body, that they differ in construction, as in the arrangement of the plates, and, according to Pacini, in the process or means by which the electricity is excited—and lastly, in being supplied with nerves proceeding from different sources, and this is perhaps the most important of all the differences. Hence in the several fishes furnished with electric organs, these cannot be considered as homologous, but only as analogous in function. Consequently there is no reason to suppose that they have been inherited from a common progenitor; for had this been the case they would have closely resembled each other in all respects. Thus the difficulty of an organ, apparently the same, arising in several remotely allied species, disappears, leaving only the lesser yet still great difficulty: namely, by what graduated steps these organs have been developed in each separate group of fishes. The luminous organs which occur in a few insects, belonging to widely different families, and which are situated in different parts of the body, offer, under our present state of ignorance, a difficulty almost exactly parallel with that of the electric organs. Other similar cases could be given; for instance in plants, the very curious contrivance of a mass of pollen-grains, borne on a foot-stalk with an adhesive gland, is apparently the same in Orchis and Asclepias, genera almost as remote as is possible among flowering plants; but here again the parts are not homologous. In all cases of beings, far removed from each other in the scale of organisation, which are furnished with similar and peculiar organs, it will be found that although the general appearance and function of the organs may be the same, yet fundamental differences between them can always be detected. For instance, the eyes of Cephalopods or cuttle-fish and of vertebrate animals appear wonderfully alike; and in such widely sundered groups no part of this resemblance can be due to inheritance from a common progenitor. Mr. Mivart has advanced this case as one of special difficulty, but I am unable to see the force of his argument. An organ for vision must be formed of transparent tissue, and must include some sort of lens for throwing an image at the back of a darkened chamber. Beyond this superficial resemblance, there is hardly any real


similarity between the eyes of cuttle-fish and vertebrates, as may be seen by consulting Hensen's admirable memoir on these organs in the Cephalopoda. It is impossible for me here to enter on details, but I may specify a few of the points of difference. The crystalline lens in the higher cuttlefish consists of two parts, placed one behind the other like two lenses, both having a very different structure and disposition to what occurs in the vertebrata. The retina is wholly different, with an actual inversion of the elemental parts, and with a large nervous ganglion included within the membranes of the eye. The relations of the muscles are as different as it is possible to conceive, and so in other points. Hence it is not a little difficult to decide how far even the same terms ought to be employed in describing the eyes of the Cephalopoda and Vertebrata. It is, of course, open to any one to deny that the eye in either case could have been developed through the natural selection of successive slight variations; but if this be admitted in the one case it is clearly possible in the other; and fundamental differences of structure in the visual organs of two groups might have been anticipated, in accordance with this view of their manner of formation. As two men have sometimes independently hit on the same invention, so in the several foregoing cases it appears that natural selection, working for the good of each being, and taking advantage of all favourable variations, has produced similar organs, as far as function is concerned, in distinct organic beings, which owe none of their structure in common to inheritance from a common progenitor. Fritz Muller, in order to test the conclusions arrived at in this volume, has followed out with much care a nearly similar line of argument. Several families of crustaceans include a few species, possessing an airbreathing apparatus and fitted to live out of the water. In two of these families, which were more especially examined by Muller, and which are nearly related to each other, the species agree most closely in all important characters: namely in their sense organs, circulating systems, in the position of the tufts of hair within their complex stomachs, and lastly in the whole structure of the water-breathing branchiae, even to the microscopical hooks by which they are cleansed. Hence it might have been expected that in the few species belonging to both families which live on the land, the equally important air-breathing apparatus would have been the same; for why should this one apparatus, given for the same purpose, have been made to differ, while all the other important organs were closely similar, or rather, identical. Fritz Muller argues that this close similarity in so many points of structure must, in accordance with the views advanced by me, be accounted


from belonging to distinct families. on the supposition that species belonging to distinct families had slowly become adapted to live more and more out of water. belonging to distinct sub-families and families. it is a common rule throughout nature that the same end should be gained. has argued in the same manner. He shows that there are parasitic mites (Acaridae). as well as most other crustaceans. by the most diversified means. and to breathe the air. the two wings of a fly. For these species. the late Professor Claparede. would have differed to a certain extent. though not in development. On the other hand. even sometimes in the case of closely related beings. in beings not at all or only remotely allied. and the structures thus acquired would almost necessarily have differed. as in the position of the orifices. and he found it to differ in each in several important points. it is improbable in the highest degree that their common progenitor should have been adapted for breathing air. These organs must have been independently developed. of the maxillae or lips. by organs in appearance. viz. of the hind legs. Another distinguished zoologist. On the hypothesis of separate acts of creation the whole case remains unintelligible. we see the same end gained and the same function performed. and the two wings with the elytra of a beetle. in order to arrive at the same functional result. which are furnished with hair-claspers. Muller was thus led carefully to examine the apparatus in the air-breathing species. This line of argument seems to have had great weight in leading Fritz Muller to accept the views maintained by me in this volume. Now such differences are intelligible. In the foregoing cases. and in some accessory details. How differently constructed is the feathered wing of a bird and the membrane-covered wing of a bat. and of appendages on the under side of the hind part of the body. and still more so the four wings of a butterfly. their variability assuredly would not have been exactly the same. and in the several groups they are formed by the modification of the fore legs. and has arrived at the same result. are aquatic in their habits. in the manner in which they are opened and closed. as they could not have been inherited from a common progenitor.. but on what 190 . But as the vast majority of the species in the above two families. closely similar. Bivalve shells are made to open and shut.for by inheritance from a common progenitor. and in accordance with the principle that the nature of each variation depends on two factors. the nature of the organism and that of the surrounding conditions. and might even have been expected. Consequently natural selection would have had different materials or variations to work on.

though hermaphrodites. from the long row of neatly interlocking teeth in a Nucula to the simple ligament of a Mussel! Seeds are disseminated by their minuteness. sometimes forming trap-like contrivances. From such structures we may advance till we come to such a case of extraordinary adaptation as that lately described by Dr. but such a view of nature is incredible. Cruger saw crowds of large 191 . the pollen does not spontaneously fall on the stigma. Some authors maintain that organic beings have been formed in many ways for the sake of mere variety. formed of the most diverse parts. The basal part of the labellum stands over the bucket. though very different plan occurs in many plants in which a symmetrical flower secretes a few drops of nectar. as well as conspicuously coloured. and rendered nutritious. within this chamber there are curious fleshy ridges. With plants having separated sexes. some aid is necessary for their fertilisation. But Dr. I will give one other instance: for this subject of the same end being gained by the most diversified means well deserves attention. This orchid has part of its labellum or lower lip hollowed out into a great bucket. so as to attract and be devoured by birds. and is consequently visited by insects. could never have imagined what purpose all these parts serve. and sometimes capable of neatly adapted movements through irritability or elasticity. and these carry the pollen from the anthers to the stigma. which are light and incoherent. With several kinds this is effected by the pollen-grains. all for the same purpose and effected in essentially the same manner. by having hooks and grapnels of many kinds and serrated awns. and with those in which. but entailing changes in every part of the flower. into which drops of almost pure water continually fall from two secreting horns which stand above it. by their capsule being converted into a light balloon-like envelope. almost like toys in a shop. and by being furnished with wings and plumes. if he had not witnessed what takes place. Cruger in the Coryanthes. so as to be wafted by every breeze. The most ingenious man. the water overflows by a spout on one side. and this is the simplest plan which can well be conceived. by being embedded in pulp or flesh. and is itself hollowed out into a sort of chamber with two lateral entrances. as different in shape as they are elegant in structure. From this simple stage we may pass through an inexhaustible number of contrivances. and when the bucket is half-full. so as to adhere to the fur of quadrupeds. being blown by the wind through mere chance on to the stigma.a number of patterns is the hinge constructed. with the stamens and pistils modified in many ways. An almost equally simple. The nectar may be stored in variously shaped receptacles.

Cruger saw a "continual procession" of bees thus crawling out of their involuntary bath. like those of the Coryanthes. or to the same flower a second time. as I have called it. The answer no doubt is. The construction of the flower in another closely allied orchid. that when two forms vary. like an arrow. How. and the flower is fertilised. in doing this they inevitably touch a long. When the bee. in order to gnaw the labellum. and is roofed over by the column. Cruger sent me a flower in spirits of wine. the pollen-mass necessarily comes first into contact with the viscid stigma. and is equally curious. tapering. flies to another flower. which prevents the bees from flying away. in forcing its way out. with a pollen-mass still fastened to its back. the Catasetum. This antenna. when touched. thus provided. so that a bee. which is viscid enough to break certain elastic threads. is widely different. though serving the same end. in the foregoing and in innumerable other instances. and is pushed by its comrades into the bucket and then crawls out by the passage. and adheres to it. and forces them to crawl out through the spout. Bees visit these flowers. and rub against the properly placed viscid pollen-masses and the viscid stigma. which already differ from each other in some slight degree. The passage is narrow. where it is brought into contact with the stigma. Dr. Now at last we see the full use of every part of the flower.humble-bees visiting the gigantic flowers of this orchid. the variability will not be of the same 192 . but were compelled to crawl out through the passage formed by the spout or overflow. and their wings being thus wetted they could not fly away. can we understand the graduated scale of complexity and the multifarious means for gaining the same end. sensitive projection. this sets free a spring by which the pollen-mass is shot forth. but to gnaw off the ridges within the chamber above the bucket. transmits a sensation or vibration to a certain membrane which is instantly ruptured. the antenna. in the right direction. and are thus carried away. first rubs its back against the viscid stigma and then against the viscid glands of the pollenmasses. or. it may be asked. The pollen-mass of the male plant (for the sexes are separate in this orchid) is thus carried to the flower of the female plant. as already remarked. The pollen-masses are thus glued to the back of the bee which first happens to crawl out through the passage of a lately expanded flower. and adheres by its viscid extremity to the back of the bee. with a bee which he had killed before it had quite crawled out. in doing this they frequently pushed each other into the bucket. Dr. and retain the pollen. namely. thus effecting fertilisation. not in order to suck nectar. of the water-secreting horns of the bucket half-full of water.

though slow steps. so that each modification will not readily be quite lost. It is certainly true. and that each modified structure tends to be inherited. the structure of each part of each species. she can never take a great and sudden leap. on the theory of Creation." Why. for natural selection acts only by taking advantage of slight successive variations. then. as indeed is shown by that old. but must advance by the short and sure. "Nature is prodigal in variety. and consequently the results obtained through natural selection for the same general purpose will not be the same. but may be again and again further altered. through which the species has passed during its successive adaptations to changed habits and conditions of life. is the sum of many inherited changes. should there be so much variety and so little real novelty? Why should all the parts and organs of many independent beings. considering how small the proportion of living and known forms is to the extinct and unknown. each supposed to have been separately created for its own proper place in nature. We should also bear in mind that every highly developed organism has passed through many changes. canon in natural history of "Natura non facit saltum. Hence.exact nature. 193 . be so commonly linked together by graduated steps? Why should not Nature take a sudden leap from structure to structure? On the theory of natural selection. we can clearly understand why she should not. as Milne Edwards has well expressed it. or. yet. towards which no transitional grade is known to lead. but somewhat exaggerated. although in many cases it is most difficult even to conjecture by what transitions organs could have arrived at their present state. for whatever purpose it may serve. that new organs appearing as if created for some special purpose rarely or never appear in any being. but niggard in innovation. I have been astonished how rarely an organ can be named." We meet with this admission in the writings of almost every experienced naturalist. Finally.

It is not that the larger quadrupeds are actually destroyed (except in some rare cases) by flies. A well-developed tail having been formed in an aquatic animal. so that they are more subject to disease. In a former chapter I have given instances of very trifling characters. as in the case of the most perfect and complex organs. might assuredly be acted on by natural selection. after having been slowly perfected at a former period. and by the destruction of the less well-fitted individuals. may perhaps be thus accounted for. or not so well enabled in a coming dearth to search for food. would be able to range into new pastures and thus gain a great advantage. but any actually injurious deviations in their structure would of course have been checked by natural selection. and. or to escape from beasts of prey. yet we should pause before being too positive even in this case. have been transmitted to existing species in nearly the same state. it might subsequently come to be worked in for all sorts 194 . which in their lungs or modified swim-bladders betray their aquatic origin. I have sometimes felt great difficulty in understanding the origin or formation of parts of little importance. but they are incessantly harassed and their strength reduced. In the first place. As Affected By Natural Selection As natural selection acts by life and death. each better and better fitted. from being correlated with constitutional differences. its general presence and use for many purposes in so many land animals. almost as great.7. though of a very different kind. for we know that the distribution and existence of cattle and other animals in South America absolutely depend on their power of resisting the attacks of insects: so that individuals which could by any means defend themselves from these small enemies. for so trifling an object as to drive away flies. which. or from determining the attacks of insects. we are much too ignorant in regard to the whole economy of any one organic being to say what slight modifications would be of importance or not. although now of very slight use. Seeing how important an organ of locomotion the tail is in most aquatic animals. the colour of the skin and hair of quadrupeds. and it seems at first incredible that this could have been adapted for its present purpose by successive slight modifications. The tail of the giraffe looks like an artificially constructed fly-flapper. by the survival of the fittest. Organs Of Little Apparent Importance. such as the down on fruit and the colour of its flesh. Organs now of trifling importance have probably in some cases been of high importance to an early progenitor.

and no doubt they facilitate. is of the highest service to the plant. serve as a defence against browsing quadrupeds. when we see that the skin on the head of the clean-feeding male turkey is likewise naked. as in the case of the dog.bearing species in Africa and South America. no doubt. as it is. can double still more quickly. as it underwent further modification and became a climber. and had been acquired through natural selection. I dare say that we should have thought that the green colour was a beautiful adaptation to conceal this tree-frequenting bird from its enemies. under new conditions of life and newly acquired habits. of the complex laws of growth. In the second place.. etc. and we did not know that there were many black and pied kinds. as there is reason to believe from the distribution of the thorn. such as of correlation. and consequently that it was a character of importance. with hardly any tail. but we should be very cautious in drawing any such inference. and in believing that they have been developed through natural selection. which have only to 195 . but as we see nearly similar hooks on many trees which are not climbers. though of no use to the sex. or it may possibly be due to the direct action of putrid matter. of so-called spontaneous variations. of the tendency to reversion to long-lost characters. and subsequently have been improved and taken advantage of by the plant. although at first of no advantage to a species. of the pressure of one part on another. A trailing palm in the Malay Archipelago climbs the loftiest trees by the aid of exquisitely constructed hooks clustered around the ends of the branches. but as sutures occur in the skulls of young birds and reptiles. may subsequently have been taken advantage of by its modified descendants. we may easily err in attributing importance to characters. The sutures in the skulls of young mammals have been advanced as a beautiful adaptation for aiding parturition.of purposes. which seem to depend in a quite subordinate degree on the nature of the conditions. the colour is probably in chief part due to sexual selection. If green woodpeckers alone had existed. and this contrivance. The naked skin on the head of a vulture is generally considered as a direct adaptation for wallowing in putridity. But structures thus indirectly gained. by which characters of use to one sex are often gained and then transmitted more or less perfectly to the other sex. and finally of sexual selection. so the spikes on the palm may at first have been developed for this object. or may be indispensable for this act. comprehension. We must by no means overlook the effects of the definite action of changed conditions of life. an organ of prehension. and which. and so it may be. or as an aid in turning. though the aid in this latter respect must be slight. as a fly-flapper. for the hare.

as H. we ought not to lay too much stress on our ignorance of the precise cause of the slight analogous differences between true species. as is the liability to be poisoned by certain plants. Some observers are convinced that a damp climate affects the growth of the hair. more especially in the less civilized countries. also. if we are unable to account for the characteristic differences of our several domestic breeds. and then by the law of homologous variation. We are profoundly ignorant of the cause of each slight variation or individual difference. of the pelvis might affect by pressure the shape of certain parts of the young in the womb. With cattle susceptibility to the attacks of flies is correlated with colour. we may infer that this structure has arisen from the laws of growth. and we are immediately made conscious of this by reflecting on the differences between the breeds of our domesticated animals in different countries. is apparently one chief cause of the great modification which the breeds of swine have undergone. to increase the size of the chest. But we are far too ignorant to speculate on the relative importance of the several known and unknown causes of variation. and this. where there has been but little methodical selection. together with abundant food. Mountain breeds always differ from lowland breeds. The effects of lessened exercise. so that even colour would be thus subjected to the action of natural selection. and has been taken advantage of in the parturition of the higher animals. 196 . on the whole organisation is probably still more important. and again correlation would come into play. and are exposed to a certain extent to natural selection. von Nathusius has lately shown in his excellent Treatise.escape from a broken egg. which nevertheless are generally admitted to have arisen through ordinary generation from one or a few parent-stocks. The shape. and individuals with slightly different constitutions would succeed best under different climates. and that with the hair the horns are correlated. and a mountainous country would probably affect the hind limbs from exercising them more. and possibly even the form of the pelvis. the front limbs and the head would probably be affected. and I have made these remarks only to show that. as we have good reason to believe. The laborious breathing necessary in high regions tends. Animals kept by savages in different countries often have to struggle for their own subsistence.

We may safely attribute these structures to inheritance. a view already discussed. are of special use to these animals. were originally developed. or for the sake of mere variety. and we may further venture to believe that the several bones in the limbs of the monkey. But webbed feet no doubt were as useful to the progenitor of the upland goose and of the frigate-bird. if true. I fully admit that many structures are now of no direct use to their possessors. but with these important exceptions. and consequently. lately specified. and the complex laws of growth. No doubt the definite action of changed conditions. Utilitarian Doctrine. It is scarcely possible to decide how much allowance ought to be made for such causes of change. horse and bat. we cannot believe that the similar bones in the arm of the monkey.8.bird. or of the frigate. have all produced an effect. or was formerly. would be absolutely fatal to my theory. though each being assuredly is well fitted for its place in nature. probably a great effect. and the various causes of modifications. in the wing of the bat. They believe that many structures have been created for the sake of beauty. How Acquired The foregoing remarks lead me to say a few words on the protest lately made by some naturalists against the utilitarian doctrine that every detail of structure has been produced for the good of its possessor. and in the flipper of the seal. we can hardly believe that the webbed feet of the upland goose. so-called spontaneous variations. but this does not prove that they were formed solely for beauty or variety. as they now are to the most aquatic of living birds. but a foot with five toes fitted for walking or grasping. With respect to the belief that organic beings have been created beautiful for the delight of man—a belief which it has been pronounced is 197 . of some direct or indirect use to its possessor. on the principle of utility. we may conclude that the structure of every living creature either now is. independently of any advantage thus gained. as the definite action of external conditions. So we may believe that the progenitor of the seal did not possess a flipper. in the fore leg of the horse. But a still more important consideration is that the chief part of the organisation of every living creature is due to inheritance. Thus. Such doctrines. and may never have been of any use to their progenitors. many structures have now no very close and direct relation to present habits of life. How Far True: Beauty. are of special use to these birds. probably through the reduction of more numerous bones in the fin of some ancient fish-like progenitor of the whole class. to delight man or the Creator (but this latter point is beyond the scope of scientific discussion).

is not innate or unalterable. nut and ash trees. reptiles. destitute of nectar. but they have been rendered conspicuous in contrast with the green leaves. Hence. not coloured. but would have produced only such poor flowers as we see on our fir. I infer that this is the case from having as yet found no exception to the rule that seeds are always thus disseminated when embedded within a fruit of any kind (that is within a fleshy or pulpy envelope). and mammals.subversive of my whole theory—I may first remark that the sense of beauty obviously depends on the nature of the mind. created that man might ages afterwards admire them in his cabinet? Few objects are more beautiful than the minute siliceous cases of the diatomaceae: were these created that they might be examined and admired under the higher powers of the microscope? The beauty in this latter case. on grasses. if it be coloured of any brilliant tint. I willingly admit that a great number of male animals. A similar line of argument holds good with fruits. so that they may be easily observed by insects. and never visited by insects. oak. in order that the fruit may be devoured and the matured seeds disseminated. that a ripe strawberry or cherry is as pleasing to the eye as to the palate—that the gaily-coloured fruit of the spindle-wood tree and the scarlet berries of the holly are beautiful objects—will be admitted by everyone. if insects had not been developed on the face of the earth. is apparently wholly due to symmetry of growth. one kind open and coloured so as to attract insects. 198 . the other closed. and the gracefully sculptured ammonites of the Secondary period. Several plants habitually produce two kinds of flowers. Were the beautiful volute and cone shells of the Eocene epoch. our plants would not have been decked with beautiful flowers. and that the idea of what is beautiful. we may conclude that. which are all fertilised through the agency of the wind. spinach. On the other hand. But this beauty serves merely as a guide to birds and beasts. for instance. it ought to be shown that before man appeared there was less beauty on the face of the earth than since he came on the stage. in the men of different races admiring an entirely different standard of beauty in their women. and in consequence at the same time beautiful. and in many others. Flowers rank among the most beautiful productions of nature. irrespective of any real quality in the admired object. some fishes. as all our most gorgeous birds. If beautiful objects had been created solely for man's gratification. or rendered conspicuous by being white or black. docks and nettles. I have come to this conclusion from finding it an invariable rule that when a flower is fertilised by the wind it never has a gaily-coloured corolla. We see this.

Snakes act on the same principle which makes the hen ruffle her feathers and expand her wings when a dog 199 . have been rendered beautiful for beauty's sake. by the more beautiful males having been continually preferred by the females. instead of to the males alone. How the sense of beauty in its simplest form—that is. If it could be proved that any part of the structure of any one species had been formed for the exclusive good of another species. for such could not have been produced through natural selection. is a very obscure subject. When the female is as beautifully coloured as the male. Natural selection cannot possibly produce any modification in a species exclusively for the good of another species. forms and sounds—was first developed in the mind of man and of the lower animals. and not for the delight of man. as we see in the fang of the adder. But natural selection can and does often produce structures for the direct injury of other animals. though throughout nature one species incessantly takes advantage of. the cobra expands its frill and the puff-adder swells while hissing so loudly and harshly. It is admitted that the rattlesnake has a poison-fang for its own defence and for the destruction of its prey. Although many statements may be found in works on natural history to this effect. but some authors suppose that at the same time it is furnished with a rattle for its own injury. I would almost as soon believe that the cat curls the end of its tail when preparing to spring. but there must be some fundamental cause in the constitution of the nervous system in each species. it would annihilate my theory. in order to warn the doomed mouse. the reception of a peculiar kind of pleasure from certain colours. But this has been effected through sexual selection. I cannot find even one which seems to me of any weight.and a host of magnificently coloured butterflies. The same sort of difficulty is presented if we enquire how it is that certain flavours and odours give pleasure. the cause apparently lies in the colours acquired through sexual selection having been transmitted to both sexes. and profits by the structures of others. and others displeasure. It is a much more probable view that the rattlesnake uses its rattle. So it is with the music of birds. namely. and in the ovipositor of the ichneumon. which is not rarely the case with birds and butterflies. by which its eggs are deposited in the living bodies of other insects. to warn its prey. Habit in all these cases appears to have come to a certain extent into play. We may infer from all this that a nearly similar taste for beautiful colours and for musical sounds runs through a large part of the animal kingdom. that is. in order to alarm the many birds and beasts which are known to attack even the most venomous species.

Natural selection will not produce absolute perfection. the being will become extinct. nor do we always meet. with the poison originally adapted for 200 .approaches her chickens. Natural selection will never produce in a being any structure more injurious than beneficial to that being. for natural selection acts solely by and for the good of each. whose judgment no one will dispute. If a fair balance be struck between the good and evil caused by each part. this same reason tells us. with this high standard under nature." If our reason leads us to admire with enthusiasm a multitude of inimitable contrivances in nature. The endemic productions of New Zealand. under changing conditions of life. Can we consider the sting of the bee as perfect. as having existed in a remote progenitor. when used against many kinds of enemies. No organ will be formed. like that in so many members of the same great order. the human eye. and thus inevitably causes the death of the insect by tearing out its viscera? If we look at the sting of the bee. Natural selection tends only to make each organic being as perfect as. as far as we can judge. are perfect. The correction for the aberration of light is said by Muller not to be perfect even in that most perfect organ. as Paley has remarked. or if it be not so. or slightly more perfect than the other inhabitants of the same country with which it comes into competition. Helmholtz. as a boring and serrated instrument. as myriads have become extinct. if any part comes to be injurious. is as nothing in comparison with the incongruities which we have just come across in the domain of the sensations. for the purpose of causing pain or for doing an injury to its possessor. it will be modified. One might say that nature has taken delight in accumulating contradictions in order to remove all foundation from the theory of a pre-existing harmony between the external and internal worlds. though we may easily err on both sides. but they are now rapidly yielding before the advancing legions of plants and animals introduced from Europe. and that it has since been modified but not perfected for its present purpose. But I have not space here to enlarge on the many ways by which animals endeavour to frighten away their enemies. adds these remarkable words: "That which we have discovered in the way of inexactness and imperfection in the optical machine and in the image on the retina. one compared with another. cannot be withdrawn. And we see that this is the standard of perfection attained under nature. After the lapse of time. that some other contrivances are less perfect. which. each will be found on the whole advantageous. after describing in the strongest terms the wonderful powers of the human eye. owing to the backward serratures. for instance.

and maternal love or maternal hatred. but we ought to admire the savage instinctive hatred of the queen-bee. can we admire the production for this single purpose of thousands of drones. can we consider as equally perfect the elaboration of dense clouds of pollen by our fir-trees. and which are ultimately slaughtered by their industrious and sterile sisters? It may be difficult. we can perhaps understand how it is that the use of the sting should so often cause the insect's own death: for if on the whole the power of stinging be useful to the social community. her daughters. since intensified. so that a few granules may be wafted by chance on to the ovules? 201 . which urges her to destroy the young queens. though it may cause the death of some few members. it will fulfil all the requirements of natural selection. for undoubtedly this is for the good of the community. though the latter fortunately is most rare.some other object. which are utterly useless to the community for any other purpose. is all the same to the inexorable principles of natural selection. as soon as they are born. such as to produce galls. If we admire the truly wonderful power of scent by which the males of many insects find their females. or to perish herself in the combat. If we admire the several ingenious contrivances by which orchids and many other plants are fertilised through insect agency.

that a bat. from existing in greater numbers. We have seen in this chapter how cautious we should be in concluding that the most different habits of life could not graduate into each other. if we know of a long series of gradations in complexity. each good for its possessor. and at any one time acts only on a few forms. Summary: The Law Of Unity Of Type And Of The Conditions Of Existence Embraced By The Theory Of Natural Selection We have in this chapter discussed some of the difficulties and objections which may be urged against the theory. for instance. and partly because the very process of natural selection implies the continual supplanting and extinction of preceding and intermediate gradations. the intermediate variety will usually exist in lesser numbers than the two forms which it connects. but from reasons assigned. but I think that in the discussion light has been thrown on several facts. could not have been formed by natural selection from an animal which at first only glided through the air. during the course of further modification. which on the belief of independent acts of creation are utterly obscure. Closely allied species. is enough to stagger any one. and will thus generally succeed in supplanting and exterminating it. then under changing conditions of life. and petrels with the habits of auks. partly because the process of natural selection is always very slow. how it has arisen that there are upland geese with webbed feet. fitted for an intermediate zone. or it may have diversified habits. Many of them are serious. must often have been formed when the area was not continuous. with some very unlike those of its nearest congeners.9. there is no logical impossibility in the acquirement of any conceivable degree 202 . and are not linked together by a multitude of intermediate gradations. We have seen that species at any one period are not indefinitely variable. We have seen that a species under new conditions of life may change its habits. diving thrushes. When two varieties are formed in two districts of a continuous area. yet in the case of any organ. bearing in mind that each organic being is trying to live wherever it can live. and when the conditions of life did not insensibly graduate away from one part to another. Hence we can understand. ground woodpeckers. consequently the two latter. an intermediate variety will often be formed. Although the belief that an organ so perfect as the eye could have been formed by natural selection. now living on a continuous area. will have a great advantage over the less numerous intermediate variety.

but in all cases at the same time useful to the possessor. In many cases we are far too ignorant to be enabled to assert that a part or organ is so unimportant for the welfare of a species. generally the smaller one. But even such structures have often. On the other hand. In the cases in which we know of no intermediate or transitional states. Hence the inhabitants of one country. for the metamorphoses of many organs show what wonderful changes in function are at least possible. as we may feel assured. and excretions highly useful or even indispensable. a swim-bladder has apparently been converted into an air-breathing lung. and then having been in part or in whole specialised for one function. only in accordance with the standard of that particular country. The same organ having performed simultaneously very different functions. but when such organs are closely examined. in its present state. the common rule throughout nature is infinite diversity of structure for gaining the same end. we should be extremely cautious in concluding that none can have existed. the one having been perfected whilst aided by the other. believe that a part formerly of high importance has frequently been retained (as the tail of an aquatic animal by its terrestrial descendants). often yield to 203 . essential differences in their structure can almost always be detected. Natural selection can produce nothing in one species for the exclusive good or injury of another. have been acquired by means of natural selection. and two distinct organs having performed at the same time the same function. We have seen that in two beings widely remote from each other in the natural scale. that modifications in its structure could not have been slowly accumulated by means of natural selection. and this naturally follows from the principle of natural selection. modifications are probably the direct result of the laws of variation or of growth. organs. and still further modified. must often have largely facilitated transitions. for the good of species under new conditions of life. independently of any good having been thus gained. In many other cases. For instance. organs serving for the same purpose and in external appearance closely similar may have been separately and independently formed. In each well-stocked country natural selection acts through the competition of the inhabitants and consequently leads to success in the battle for life. We may. and this again naturally follows from the same great principle. been subsequently taken advantage of. also. though it has become of such small importance that it could not. or highly injurious to another species.of perfection through natural selection. though it may well produce parts.

and which is quite independent of their habits of life. 204 . being affected by the direct action of external conditions of life. so often insisted on by the illustrious Cuvier. For in the larger country there will have existed more individuals. in fact. Hence. By unity of type is meant that fundamental agreement in structure which we see in organic beings of the same class. It is generally acknowledged that all organic beings have been formed on two great laws—Unity of Type. is not strictly correct. On the theory of natural selection we can clearly understand the full meaning of that old canon in natural history. and more diversified forms. The expression of conditions of existence. and the Conditions of Existence.the inhabitants of another and generally the larger country. if we look to the present inhabitants alone of the world. or by having adapted them during past periods of time: the adaptations being aided in many cases by the increased use or disuse of parts. and subjected in all cases to the several laws of growth and variation. as far as we can judge by our limited faculties. the law of the Conditions of Existence is the higher law. can absolute perfection be everywhere predicated. through the inheritance of former variations and adaptations. but if we include all those of past times. For natural selection acts by either now adapting the varying parts of each being to its organic and inorganic conditions of life. "Natura non facit saltum. unity of type is explained by unity of descent. nor. and the competition will have been severer. it must on this theory be strictly true. as it includes. and thus the standard of perfection will have been rendered higher. On my theory." This canon. whether known or unknown. is fully embraced by the principle of natural selection. that of Unity of Type. Natural selection will not necessarily lead to absolute perfection.

Chapter 7 Miscellaneous Objections To The Theory Of Natural Selection 205 .

Ray Lankester has recently discussed this subject. even if they were at any one time perfectly adapted to their conditions of life. developed from one and the same source — Reasons for disbelieving in great and abrupt modifications. E. as some of the previous discussions may thus be made clearer. when their conditions changed. as well as the number and kinds of its inhabitants. as well as to the amount of expenditure in reproduction and in general activity. and no one will dispute that the physical conditions of each country. And these conditions have. survive from year to year by means of its seeds or ova? Mr. that all are not as perfect as they might have been in relation to their conditions. but it would be useless to discuss all of them. I will devote this chapter to the consideration of various miscellaneous objections which have been advanced against my views. and he concludes. with some parade of mathematical accuracy. been largely determined through natural selection. the most constant — Supposed incompetence of natural selection to account for the incipient stages of useful structures — Causes which interfere with the acquisition through natural selection of useful structures — Gradations of structure with changed functions — Widely different organs in members of the same class.Longevity — Modifications not necessarily simultaneous — Modifications apparently of no direct service — Progressive development — Characters of small functional importance. owing to advantages gained through natural selection. that longevity is a great advantage to all species. as many have been made by writers who have not taken the trouble to understand the subject. that I consider all organic beings as imperfect: what I have really said is. Nor can organic beings. and this is shown to be the case by so many native forms in many quarters of the world having yielded their places to intruding foreigners. A critic has lately insisted. that longevity is generally related to the standard of each species in the scale of organisation. Thus a distinguished German naturalist has asserted that the weakest part of my theory is. have remained so. as far as its extreme complexity allows him to form a judgment. have undergone many mutations. it is probable. 206 . and yet. so that he who believes in natural selection "must arrange his genealogical tree" in such a manner that all the descendants have longer lives than their progenitors! Cannot our critics conceive that a biennial plant or one of the lower animals might range into a cold climate and perish there every winter. unless they themselves likewise changed.

if slight. excellently adapted for some purpose. for these have been exposed to great changes of climate and have migrated over great distances.It has been argued that. they would appear to us as if 207 . might. The fact of little or no modification having been effected since the glacial period. so probably have none in any part of the world.H. have remained absolutely uniform. as none of the animals and plants of Egypt. The most striking modifications. The celebrated palaeontologist. of which we know anything. as Mr. in the case of animals which wander much about and cross freely. or embalmed. whereas. yet all naturalists admit that such races have been produced through the modification of their original types. on the principle of natural selection. etc. at the close of his German translation of this work. such as size. and if we lay on one side polymorphic species. are closely similar or even identical with those now living. as was formerly remarked. inhabiting distinct stations. and all mere temporary variations. Bronn also insists that distinct species never differ from each other in single characters. their varieties seem to be generally confined to distinct regions. they might live together. in which the variability seems to be of a peculiar nature. this line of argument proves too much. but is powerless against the doctrine of natural selection or the survival of the fittest. how it always comes that many parts of the organisation should have been modified at the same time through variation and natural selection? But there is no necessity for supposing that all the parts of any being have been simultaneously modified. but in many parts. first in one part and then in another. The many animals which have remained unchanged since the commencement of the glacial period. Bronn. as far as we know. be acquired by successive variations. such as high land or low land. But. albinism. would have been an incomparably stronger case. but this will be effected only under certain favourable circumstances. have changed during the last three or four thousand years. for the ancient domestic races figured on the Egyptian monuments. Lewes has remarked. the conditions of life. and he asks. G. would have been of some avail against those who believe in an innate and necessary law of development. asks how. in Egypt. the more permanent varieties are generally found. as far as I can discover. during the last several thousand years. can a variety live side by side with the parent species? If both have become fitted for slightly different habits of life or conditions. and as they would be transmitted all together. dry or moist districts. Moreover. which implies that when variations or individual differences of a beneficial nature happen to arise. these will be preserved..

Their whole frames. This may be attributed partly to the principle of correlated growth. an early developed part affecting one subsequently developed. so will be other parts. A much more serious objection has been urged by Bronn. we ought. and of the leaves on the axis. fruit. of use to each species. have been modified. but he insists that the families of plants differ chiefly from each other in morphological characters. through certain dimly seen causes. He admits that natural selection has effected much. but if we could trace each step in the history of their transformation—and the latter steps can be traced—we should not see great and simultaneous changes. this subject has been discussed by Nageli in an admirable essay. and therefore cannot have been influenced through natural selection. whether it be the flower. etc. the position of the ovules. and recently by Broca. as cases in which natural selection could not have acted. to be extremely cautious in pretending to decide what structures now are. that many characters appear to be of no service whatever to their possessors. chiefly through man's power of selection. Look at the race and dray-horse. or at the greyhound and mastiff. or have formerly been. or leaves. in the first place. Even when selection has been applied by man to some one character alone—of which our cultivated plants offer the best instances— it will invariably be found that although this one part. 208 . There is much force in the above objection. almost all the other parts have been slightly modified. for some special purpose. Nevertheless. when not of any use for dissemination. and even their mental characteristics. With respect to plants. and so forth —as well as through other causes which lead to the many mysterious cases of correlation. mutual pressure. The best answer. but first one part and then another slightly modified and improved. it should always be borne in mind that when one part is modified. and a multitude of analogous cases. He consequently believes in an innate tendency towards progressive and more perfect development. however. to the above objection is afforded by those domestic races which have been modified. He specifies the arrangement of the cells in the tissues. To these may be added the numerical divisions in the parts of the flower. Bronn adduces the length of the ears and tails in the different species of hares and mice—the complex folds of enamel in the teeth of many animals. which we do not in the least understand. such as an increased or diminished flow of nutriment to a part. In the second place. namely. the shape of the seed.they had been simultaneously developed. which appear to be quite unimportant for the welfare of the species. and partly to so-called spontaneous variation. has been greatly changed.

With respect to plants. of differences in structure which can be of no special use. though trifling ones. As Bronn gives the length of the ears and tail in the several species of mice as instances. it is almost certain that all the individuals of the species would be similarly modified. we have to allow for the direct and definite action of changed conditions of life. so that they no doubt serve as tactile organs. yet their use has not been. but even in these cases. ascertained. it will be admitted that the flowers of the orchids present a multitude of curious structures. to which on account of Nageli's essay I shall confine myself in the following remarks. I may mention that. or has only recently been. I can no more believe in this than that the well-adapted form of a racehorse or greyhound. Bud-variations. can thus be explained. the external ears of the common mouse are supplied in an extraordinary manner with nerves. We shall. hence the length of the ears can hardly be quite unimportant. which are so highly developed that no one doubts that they are of importance. But it is impossible to attribute to this cause the innumerable structures which are so well adapted to the habits of life of each species. With respect to the assumed inutility of various parts and organs. In the earlier editions of this work I underrated. and for so-called spontaneous variations. in which the nature of the conditions apparently plays a quite subordinate part. for the sake of brevity. it is hardly necessary to observe that even in the higher and best-known animals many structures exist. presently see that the tail is a highly useful prehensile organ to some of the species. offer good instances of spontaneous variations. which before the principle of selection by man was well understood. the frequency and importance of modifications due to spontaneous variability. we ought not to feel too sure that the above variations are not the effect of some local change in the nature of the sap. and its use would be much influence by its length. which a 209 . due to some change in the conditions. according to Dr. if we bear in mind the power of a minute drop of poison in producing complex galls. It may be worth while to illustrate some of the foregoing remarks. such as the appearance of a moss-rose on a common rose. under the expression of the laws of growth. or of a nectarine on a peach-tree. also. Schobl.These agencies may be all grouped together. In the third place. and if the unknown cause were to act persistently. as well as for more strongly marked variations which occasionally arise. as it now seems probable. excited so much surprise in the minds of the older naturalists. There must be some efficient cause for each slight individual difference.

as they yield with the utmost safety a large stock of seed. In Ononis columnae five of the alternate stamens are rudimentary. and in some species of Viola three stamens are in this state. but they are now known to be of the highest importance for the fertilisation of the species through the aid of insects. The petals in the imperfect flowers almost always consist of mere rudiments. could have been of any service.few years ago would have been considered as mere morphological differences without any special function. No one until lately would have imagined that in dimorphic and trimorphic plants the different lengths of the stamens and pistils. and have probably been gained through natural selection. and the pollen-grains are reduced in diameter. in structure. and this stamen is not present in the 210 . de Jussieu. Several plants belonging to distinct orders habitually produce flowers of two kinds—the one open. The ordinary and open flowers can be intercrossed. as just stated. with the expenditure of wonderfully little pollen. for the plants have never produced with me perfect flowers). and within the same ovarium of some few plants. would follow the selection of any slight deviations in position which favoured their fertilisation. and the benefits which certainly are derived from this process are thus secured. and in others the lower ones alone are fertilised. These two kinds of flowers sometimes differ wonderfully in structure. the sepals are reduced from the normal number of five to three. of the ordinary structure. even when one is erect and the other suspended within the same ovarium. and their arrangement. and the production of seed. yet may be seen to graduate into each other on the same plant. These positions seem at first purely morphological. the position of the ovules. In certain whole groups of plants the ovules stand erect. and in others they are suspended. the other closed and imperfect. according to A. but being of very small size. two retaining their proper function. are still further modified. for the five stamens which stand opposite to the sepals are all aborted. however. The two kinds of flowers often differ much. manifestly of high importance. and he suggests that this probably depends on the direction in which the pollen-tubes enter the ovarium. The closed and imperfect flowers are. In one section of the Malpighiaceae the closed flowers. one ovule holds the former and a second ovule the latter position. or of no physiological signification. a sixth stamen standing opposite to a petal being alone developed. In six out of thirty of the closed flowers in an Indian violet (name unknown. If so. but Dr. but now we know this to be the case. Hooker informs me that within the same ovarium the upper ovules alone in some cases.

ribbed. which are of service in making the flowers conspicuous to insects. In the Spanish chestnut.trees. as far as we can judge. the angles of divergence of the leaves differ. are orthospermous. but must have followed from the laws of growth. that I will give some additional cases of another kind. It is a more curious fact.ordinary flowers of this species. In certain Umbelliferae the exterior seeds. and has five sepals and petals. and it can hardly be doubted that if 211 . and in the upper part of the spike. one flower. yet hardly any of the above special modifications can have been thus determined. In the common rue and some other plants. have come into play. and in Hyoseris the same head yields achenes of three different forms. In many Compositae and Umbelliferae (and in some other plants) the circumferential flowers have their corollas much more developed than those of the centre. or only in a quite subordinate manner. natural selection cannot. while the surrounding flowers generally have three calyx-lobes with the other organs pentamerous. during the progress of the reduction of the pollen and the closure of the flowers. that the achenes or seeds of the circumference and centre sometimes differ greatly in form. and to reduce the amount of pollen. and five divisions to the ovarium. while all the other flowers on the plant are tetramerous. colour and other characters. and the central one coelospermous. usually the central or terminal one. one-seeded nutlets. In these several cases. in which the flowers in the lower part of the spike bear oval. two-valved and two-seeded siliques. Now although natural selection may well have had the power to prevent some of the flowers from expanding. All these modifications follow from the relative position and inter-action of the parts. and this is a character which was considered by De Candolle to be in other species of the highest systematic importance. Professor Braun mentions a Fumariaceous genus. according to Schacht. and this seems often connected with the abortion of the reproductive organs. In the British Adoxa the uppermost flower generally has two calyx-lobes with the other organs tetramerous. and the ovaria are reduced from three to two. including the functional inactivity of parts. and in certain fir. the style is aborted.florets. namely of differences in the same part or organ. according to Tausch. previously referred to. due to differences in relative position on the same plant. with the exception of that of the well-developed ray. in the nearly horizontal and in the upright branches. In Carthamus and some other Compositae the central achenes alone are furnished with a pappus. opens first. It is so necessary to appreciate the important effects of the laws of growth. when rendered by the closure of the flowers superfluous. lanceolate.

"Voila donc dans un meme individu des loges et un style qui se rattachent tantot a un axe verticale et tantot a un gynobase. The manner in which the petals are folded in the bud is in most groups a very constant morphological character. It is so common to observe on the same plant. such as relative position. mutabile. as in the last class of cases. to which latter tribe the genus belongs. and in H. But with respect to Nageli's doctrine of an innate tendency towards perfection or progressive development. Hilaire gives the following cases: the genus Zanthoxylon belongs to a division of the Rutaceae with a single ovary. which are considered by botanists to be generally of a highly important nature. the aestivation is almost as frequently that of the Rhinanthideae as of the Antirrhinideae. but he subsequently saw them growing on the same bush. the flowers of Papaver bracteatum offer either two sepals with four petals (which is the common type with poppies). As these variations seem of no special use to the plants. they cannot have been influenced by natural selection. but as numerical variations are comparatively rare when the parts are few. affecting only some of the flowers on the same plant. etc. independently of natural selection. or occurring on distinct plants. Hilaire found towards the southern extreme of the range of Gomphia oleaeformis two forms which he did not at first doubt were distinct species. with either one or two ovaries. In Helianthemum the capsule has been described as unilocular or tri-locular. In numerous other cases we find modifications of structure. "Une lame PLUS OU MOINS LARGE.. I may mention that. but in some species flowers may be found on the same plant. and he then adds. Masters has observed instances of both marginal and free central placentation. flowers indifferently tetramerous. or three sepals with six petals. Aug. which grow close together under the same conditions. can it be said in the case of these strongly pronounced variations. but Professor Asa Gray states that with some species of Mimulus. pentamerous. to any proximate agency. St. s'etend entre le pericarpe et le placenta. and even in the same panicle. we cannot even attribute them. that I need not give examples. Lastly." In the flowers of Saponaria officinalis Dr. that the plants have been caught in the act of progressing towards a higher state of 212 ." We thus see that with plants many morphological changes may be attributed to the laws of growth and the inter-action of parts. I will give only a few instances. St. according to De Candolle. all would have been modified in the same manner. as are the flowers and leaves in certain positions.all the flowers and leaves on the same plant had been subjected to the same external and internal condition. Of their cause we are quite ignorant.

whatever it may be. The acquisition of a useless part can hardly be said to raise an organism in the natural scale. which is common to many allied forms.. they may be. I should infer from the mere fact of the parts in question differing or varying greatly on the same plant. if any new principle has to be invoked. but not through natural selection. yet hair has been transmitted to almost all mammals. modifications have been induced which are unimportant for the welfare of the species. and scales to all true reptiles. descendants. when it ceases to be of service to a species. feathers or scales. We are ignorant of the exciting cause of the above specified modifications. any slight variations which occurred in them would not have been accumulated and augmented through natural selection. namely. which sooner or later became constant through the nature of the organism and of the surrounding conditions. birds. we may infer that the result would be almost uniform. for as these morphological characters do not affect the welfare of the species. feathers to all birds. but if the unknown cause were to act almost uniformly for a length of time. It cannot have been of much importance to the greater number of mammals. as we see with rudimentary organs. closed flowers. From the fact of the above characters being unimportant for the welfare of the species. which we consider as important—such as the arrangement of the leaves. of whatever importance they may generally be to us for our classifications. generally becomes variable. and in the case of the imperfect. the position of the ovules. morphological differences. and consequently is often assumed to be of high vital importance to the species. that such modifications were of extremely small importance to the plants themselves. above described. Thus. whether they were clothed with hair. is ranked by us as of high systematic importance. for it will no longer be regulated by this same power of selection. as I am inclined to believe. as well as through the intercrossing of distinct individuals. A structure which has been developed through long-continued selection. etc. But when. or reptiles. the divisions of the flower or of the ovarium. and in this case all the individuals of the species would be modified in the same manner. and so it must be with many parasitic and degraded animals. transmitted in nearly the same state to numerous. A structure. otherwise modified. from the nature of the organism and of the conditions. any slight deviations in them could not have been governed or accumulated through this latter agency. It is a strange result which we thus arrive at. first appeared in many cases as fluctuating variations. and apparently often have been. it must be one of retrogression rather than of progression.development? On the contrary. that characters of slight 213 .

Mivart's plan to give the various facts and considerations opposed to his conclusions. The one new point which appears to have struck many readers is. which I have always maintained to be highly important. has recently collected all the objections which have ever been advanced by myself and others against the theory of natural selection. to much partial error. and as it forms no part of Mr." This subject is intimately connected with that of the gradation of the characters. Mivart's book. for instance. this is by no means so paradoxical as it may at first appear. George Mivart. I will here consider in some detail several of the cases 214 . through the continued action of natural selection. or have been. Mr. Mivart passes over the effects of the increased use and disuse of parts. and natural selection tends towards this end. inasmuch as the parts are thus enabled to perform their functions more efficiently. as we shall hereafter see when we treat of the genetic principle of classification. but. A distinguished zoologist. He likewise often assumes that I attribute nothing to variation. who may wish to weigh the evidence on both sides. Mr. Mivart's objections will be. no slight effort of reason and memory is left to the reader. and has illustrated them with admirable art and force. as propounded by Mr. points which were discussed in the last chapter under two headings. yet this necessarily follows. often accompanied by a change of function. subject. Wallace and myself. St. Although we have no good evidence of the existence in organic beings of an innate tendency towards progressive development. When thus marshalled. are the most important to the systematist. For the best definition which has ever been given of a high standard of organisation. is the degree to which the parts have been specialised or differentiated. considered in the present volume. and have treated in my "Variation under Domestication" at greater length than. independently of natural selection. in so intricate a subject. My judgment may not be trustworthy. they make a formidable array.vital importance to the species. and comparing each section with what I have said on the same head. whereas in the work just referred to I have collected a greater number of well-established cases than can be found in any other work known to me. "That natural selection is incompetent to account for the incipient stages of useful structures. but after reading with care Mr. any other writer. as I believe. I never before felt so strongly convinced of the general truth of the conclusions here arrived at. the conversion of a swim-bladder into lungs. as I have attempted to show in the fourth chapter. All Mr. Nevertheless. of course. When discussing special cases.

would generally have survived. So under nature with the nascent giraffe. browse on the twigs of trees. will often have been preserved. Before coming to Mr. are not of the slightest use or importance to most species. considering its probable habits of life. That the individuals of the same species often differ slightly in the relative lengths of all their parts may be seen in many works of natural history. has its whole frame beautifully adapted for browsing on the higher branches of trees. allowing them freely to intercross. selecting those which are the most illustrative. either inheriting the same bodily peculiarities. while the individuals less favoured in the same respects will have been the most liable to perish. and this must be a great advantage to it during dearths.advanced by Mr. as want of space prevents me from considering all. or as with the game-cock. Mivart's objections. the individuals which were the highest browsers and were able during dearths to reach even an inch or two above the others. It can thus obtain food beyond the reach of the other Ungulata or hoofed animals inhabiting the same country. in which careful measurements are given. The giraffe. much elongated neck. and will destroy all the inferior individuals. By this process long-continued. due to the laws of growth and variation. for they will have roamed over the whole country in search of food. if not fed by their owners. when he methodically improves a breed: natural selection will preserve and thus separate all the superior individuals. These will have intercrossed and left offspring. by simply preserving and breeding from the fleetest individuals. as with the race-horse and greyhound. it may be well to explain once again how natural selection will act in all ordinary cases. to which food the common cattle and horses are then driven. a great difference in preserving an animal's life. as man does. during the often recurrent droughts. reeds. We here see that there is no need to separate single pairs.. Mivart. These cattle can browse as well as others on grass. or with a tendency to vary again in the same manner. Man has modified some of his animals. so that at these times the Niatas perish. The Niata cattle in South America show us how small a difference in structure may make. by breeding from the victorious birds. These slight proportional differences. by its lofty stature. fore legs. for those individuals which had some one part or several parts of their bodies rather more elongated than usual. without necessarily having attended to special points of structure. head and tongue. But it will have been otherwise with the nascent giraffe. but from the projection of the lower jaw they cannot. during such periods. which exactly corresponds with what I have called 215 . etc.

and. taller than an ox. and against this animal. and if high browsing be so great an advantage. but by the union of all. great and small. that increased bulk would act as a protection against almost all beasts of prey excepting the lion. if natural selection be so potent. would have been of some advantage to the nascent giraffe. and can best be given by an illustration. left untouched by the other hoofed quadrupeds of the country. in a most important manner with the inherited effects of the increased use of parts. Assuredly the being able to reach. as Mr. combined. why has not any member of the group acquired a long proboscis? With respect to South Africa. which was formerly inhabited by numerous herds of the giraffe. guanaco and macrauchenia? Or. in times of scarcity. to sheep. besides the giraffe." But as the giraffe does actually exist in large numbers in Africa. and it is almost equally certain that this one kind alone could have its neck elongated for this purpose. as far as size is concerned. To this conclusion Mr. Nor must we overlook the fact. why should we doubt that. subjected as now to severe dearths. and he considers it as "very problematical whether the disadvantages thence arising would not. and as some of the largest antelopes in the world. at each stage of increased size. The preservation of each species can rarely be determined by any one advantage. Chauncey Wright has remarked. why has not any other hoofed quadruped acquired a long neck and lofty stature. for instance.unconscious selection by man. we see the lower branches trimmed or planed to an exact level by the browsing of the horses or cattle. abound there. intermediate gradations could formerly have existed there. by violently swinging its head armed with stump-like horns. through natural selection and the effects of increased use. again. In every meadow in England. if kept there. Mivart brings forward two objections. This animal also uses its long neck as a means of offence or defence. the answer is not difficult. its tall neck—and the taller the better— would. in a lesser degree. more than counterbalance the advantages. It is from this cause. to acquire slightly longer necks? In every district some one kind of animal will almost certainly be able to browse higher than the others. in which trees grow. Mivart then asks (and this is his second objection). it seems to me almost certain that an ordinary hoofed quadruped might be converted into a giraffe. that no animal is more difficult to stalk than the giraffe. One is that the increased size of the body would obviously require an increased supply of food. serve as a watch-tower. to a supply of food. and what advantage would it be. the camel. Mr. Baker remarks. 216 . no doubt. as Sir S.

Although every part of the body varies slightly. natural selection is a slow process. however. etc. though it is so luxuriant. we can see that certain districts and times would have been much more favourable than others for the development of so large a quadruped as the giraffe. and we know that some areas support singularly few large quadrupeds. Why this should be so we do not know. With the different species of our domesticated animals we know that the parts vary in a different manner and degree. it does not follow that natural selection would be able to act on them and produce a structure which apparently would be beneficial to the species. and not with the other ungulate animals. while South Africa abounds with them to an unparalleled degree. in other quarters of the world. then natural selection will be able to do little. cannot be distinctly answered. it is almost indispensable that several other parts should be modified and coadapted. or will be greatly retarded. if the number of individuals existing in a country is determined chiefly through destruction by beasts of prey—by external or internal parasites. We are ignorant with respect to the conditions which determine the numbers and range of each species. Even if the fitting variations did arise.—as seems often to be the case. Except by assigning such 217 . Whatever the causes may have been. in modifying any particular structure for obtaining food. For instance. Lastly. for which hoofed animals are singularly ill-constructed) implies greatly increased bulk of body. it does not follow that the necessary parts should always vary in the right direction and to the right degree. see in a general manner that various causes might have interfered with the development of a long neck or proboscis. various animals belonging to this same order have not acquired either an elongated neck or a proboscis. Why. for instance South America. We can.In South Africa the competition for browsing on the higher branches of the acacias and other trees must be between giraffe and giraffe. In order that an animal should acquire some structure specially and largely developed. and that some species are much more variable than others. and we cannot even conjecture what changes of structure would be favourable to its increase in some new country. nor why the later tertiary periods should have been much more favourable for their existence than the present time. To reach the foliage at a considerable height (without climbing. and the same favourable conditions must long endure in order that any marked effect should thus be produced. but it is as unreasonable to expect a distinct answer to such a question as why some event in the history of mankind did not occur in one country while it did in another.

for the sake of escaping from their enemies. into the less efficient power of gliding through the air. Therefore Sir C. but in this case it would be necessary that they should first have acquired the power of running quickly on the ground. yet as some of these bats are peculiar species. for the bats groundinsects would serve as food. Oceanic islands are inhabited by bats and seals. These conjectural remarks have been made merely to show that a transition of structure. why has not the ostrich acquired the power of flight? But a moment's reflection will show what an enormous supply of food would be necessary to give to this bird of the desert force to move its huge body through the air. or for avoiding falls. but these would already be largely preyed on by the reptiles or birds. In each case various causes. indeed. probably acquired their wings by at first gliding through the air from tree to tree. we cannot explain why. and bats into terrestrial insectivorous animals. by occasionally hunting for food in shallow water. hoofed quadrupeds have not acquired much elongated necks or other means for browsing on the higher branches of trees. in many quarters of the world. Bats. Gradations of structure. might at last be converted into an animal so thoroughly aquatic as to brave the open ocean. might. have probably interfered with the acquisition through natural selection of structures. and for such a change a bat seems singularly ill-fitted. which it is thought would be beneficial to certain species. But seals would not find on oceanic islands the conditions favourable to their gradual reconversion into a terrestrial form. have had their wings greatly reduced in size. One writer asks. then in streams or lakes. with each step 218 . which first colonise and abound on most oceanic islands. Lyell asks. Bats. for the former there would be no prey. with each stage beneficial to a changing species. but by no terrestrial mammals. Objections of the same nature as the foregoing have been advanced by many writers. or completely lost. like the so-called flying squirrels. through disuse. like many birds. A strictly terrestrial animal. it would never be reconverted back. by the aid of their hind legs alone. at least for the above purposes. as formerly shown. so as to compete with birds or other ground animals. besides the general ones just indicated. why have not seals and bats given birth on such islands to forms fitted to live on the land? But seals would necessarily be first converted into terrestrial carnivorous animals of considerable size. they must have long inhabited their present homes. but when the power of true flight had once been acquired. will be favoured only under certain peculiar conditions.general and vague reasons. and assigns certain reasons in answer.

Mr. and living insects.beneficial. they must tend to neutralize each other. but to this latter point I shall hereafter recur. Nor is this at all improbable. "As. seeing that no one can solve the simpler problem. dead twigs. but as they are conjectural. and this chiefly in colour. Assuming that an insect originally happened to resemble in some degree a dead twig or a decayed leaf. bits of lichen. We will return to Mr. why. bamboo. The resemblance is often wonderfully close. offer an excellent instance of a resemblance of this kind. considering the almost infinite number of surrounding objects and the diversity in form and colour of the hosts of insects which exist. one has risen higher in the scale of civilisation than the other. Lastly. The caterpillars which project motionless like dead twigs from the bushes on which they feed. Darwin's theory. it would be useless to give them. spines. As some rude resemblance is necessary for the first start. and their relative probability cannot be weighed. and this apparently implies increased brain power. Mivart's other objections. and that there is nothing strange in a transition not having occurred in any particular case. and at first to form such unstable modifications that it is difficult. to see how such indefinite oscillations of infinitesimal beginnings can ever build up a sufficiently appreciable resemblance to a leaf. more than one writer has asked why have some animals had their mental powers more highly developed than others. as far as I know. but only the surface which commonly surrounds them. Mivart remarks. if not impossible. of one fish) resemble for the sake of protection special objects. Insects often resemble for the sake of protection various objects. and that it varied slightly in 219 . A definite answer to the latter question ought not to be expected. and even to the manner in which the insects hold themselves. according to Mr. The cases of the imitation of such objects as the excrement of birds. On this head. of two races of savages. and is not confined to colour. and as the minute incipient variations will be in ALL DIRECTIONS. or other object. there is a constant tendency to indefinite variation." But in all the foregoing cases the insects in their original state no doubt presented some rude and accidental resemblance to an object commonly found in the stations frequented by them. but extends to form. for natural selection to seize upon and perpetuate. is a highly complex affair. excrement of birds. such as green or decayed leaves. flowers. we can understand how it is that the larger and higher animals do not (with the exception. as such development would be advantageous to all? Why have not apes acquired the intellectual powers of man? Various causes could be assigned. are rare and exceptional.

in another three. that a native Dyak maintained that the foliaceous excrescences were really moss. independently of natural selection. would be preserved. The Greenland whale is one of the most wonderful animals in the world. Insects are preyed on by birds and other enemies whose sight is probably sharper than ours. but as the case stands there is none. through mere fluctuating variability. or whalebone. and every grade in resemblance which aided an insect to escape notice or detection. on each side of the upper jaw. Mivart's difficulty with respect to "the last touches of perfection in the mimicry. for in every group the characters which differ in the several species are the most apt to vary. which clothe the whole gigantic palate. the middle lamina being in one species. of about 300 plates or laminae. they would be eliminated. which stand close together transversely to the longer axis of the mouth. Mivart's objection. then its 220 . while other variations would be neglected and ultimately lost. then all the variations which rendered the insect at all more like any such object. while the generic characters. and thus to secure the minute prey on which these great animals subsist. are the most constant. if they rendered the insect at all less like the imitated object. which resembles "a stick grown over by a creeping moss or jungermannia. twelve. and thus favoured its escape. and in the Balaenoptera rostrata only about nine inches in length. according to Scoresby. would tend towards its preservation. but in the different species of Cetaceans there are gradations in length. Mr. four feet. The extremities and inner margins of all the plates are frayed into stiff bristles. and the baleen. in another eighteen inches. or those common to all the species. of a walking-stick insect (Ceroxylus laceratus). With respect to the baleen. or even fifteen feet in length.many ways." So close was this resemblance. There would indeed be force in Mr. Wallace. Mivart remarks that if it "had once attained such a size and development as to be at all useful. The quality of the whalebone also differs in the different species. The baleen consists of a row. Nor can I see any force in Mr. Considering the nature of the differences between the species in the group which includes the above Ceroxylus. and serve to strain or sift the water." as in the case given by Mr. and in these having become more or less green-coloured. The middle and longest lamina in the Greenland whale is ten. and the more perfect the resemblance so much the better for the insect. there is nothing improbable in this insect having varied in the irregularities on its surface. one of its greatest peculiarities. Within the main row there are some subsidiary rows. if we were to attempt to account for the above resemblances. or.

preservation and augmentation within serviceable limits would be promoted by natural selection alone. In the genus Prion. being about one-third of an inch in length. so that the beak of this bird resembles in this respect the mouth of a whale. the upper mandible alone is furnished with lamellae. and are attached by flexible membrane to the sides of the mandible. is about one-eighteenth of the length of the head of a moderately large Balaenoptera rostrata. obliquely bevelled so as to be pointed. or sifters. The entire head of the shoveller. In these several respects they resemble the plates of baleen in the mouth of a whale. the extremities of these lower lamellae are frayed into fine bristly points. it may be asked. each of service to its possessor. but finer. the lamellae would be six inches in length. that is. which is destitute of baleen. like whales. two-thirds of the length of the baleen in this species of whale. The upper mandible is furnished on each side (in the specimen examined by me) with a row or comb formed of 188 thin. and that the immense plates of baleen in the Greenland whale might have been developed from such lamellae by finely graduated steps. They arise from the palate. in which species the baleen is only nine inches long. instead of straight downward. 221 . subsist by sifting the mud and water. a member of the distinct family of the Petrels. But how to obtain the beginning of such useful development?" In answer. I wish only to show that this is not incredible. The lower mandible of the shoveller-duck is furnished with lamellae of equal length with these above. But towards the extremity of the beak they differ much. The beak of a shoveller-duck (Spatula clypeata) is a more beautiful and complex structure than the mouth of a whale. and they project fourteen onehundredths of an inch beneath the edge. I hope that I may not be misconstrued into saying that the progenitors of whales did actually possess mouths lamellated like the beak of a duck. On the other hand. though incomparably less bulky. so that if we were to make the head of the shoveller as long as that of the Balaenoptera. which are well developed and project beneath the margin. At their bases there is a short subsidiary row of obliquely transverse lamellae. and in being thus furnished it differs conspicuously from the lower jaw of a whale. and the family has sometimes been called Criblatores. so that they thus curiously resemble the plates of baleen. and placed transversely to the longer axis of the mouth. as they project inward. why should not the early progenitors of the whales with baleen have possessed a mouth constructed something like the lamellated beak of a duck? Ducks. Those standing towards the middle are the longest. elastic lamellae.

yet this bird. Turning to another group of the same family." Its chief food. nor so distinct from each other. as every one knows. coarser and sharper than in the duck. "uses its bill like a duck by throwing the water out at the corners. with a beak constructed like that of a common goose and adapted solely for grazing. for which purpose it is so well fitted that it can crop grass closer than almost any other animal. and do not project at all beneath the margin. constantly uses it for this purpose. as I hear from Mr. hardish tissue. 222 . The common goose does not sift the water. as I hear from Mr. There are other species of geese. yet this goose. provided with a beak almost exclusively adapted for sifting the water. they are only about fifty in number on each side. and are edged with translucent. without any great break.From the highly developed structure of the shoveller's beak we may proceed (as I have learned from information and specimens sent to me by Mr. Although the beak is thus very inferior as a sifter to that of a shoveller. for this bird could hardly use any part of its beak. about twentyseven in number on each side. almost confluent. In the Egyptian goose (Chenalopex) the beak closely resembles that of the common duck. and terminating upward in teeth-like knobs. The edges of the lower mandible are serrated with teeth much more prominent. E. but the lamellae are not so numerous. as I may add. in which the lamellae are less developed than in the common goose. We thus see that a member of the duck family. except the hooked tip. in which the lamellae are considerably less developed than in the common duck. which project very little. but uses its beak exclusively for tearing or cutting herbage. might be converted by small changes into a species like the Egyptian goose—this into one like the common duck—and. is grass. lastly. The beak of a goose. as if for crushing food. In this latter species the lamellae are much coarser than in the shoveller. Salvin). Bartlett. however. and are firmly attached to the sides of the mandible. for seizing or tearing solid food. Salvin. but I do not know whether they use their beaks for sifting the water. through the beak of the Merganetta armata. to the beak of the common duck. The edges of the lower mandible are crossed by numerous fine ridges. nor do they project so much inward. In this latter bird the lamellae of the upper mandible are much coarser than in the common duck. which it crops like the common goose. and in some respects through that of the Aix sponsa. into one like the shoveller. or even a member with a beak having less well-developed lamellae. as I am informed by Mr. as far as fitness for sifting is concerned. Bartlett. The palate is also covered with hard rounded knobs. They are square-topped. There are other species.

in which case they would have served exclusively as a sifting apparatus. and occasionally reversed adult specimens occur. it could not be 223 . From this stage. gradations. or resting-surface. The Pleuronectidae. in which the lamellae would be two-thirds of the length of the plates of baleen in the Balaenoptera rostrata. are remarkable for their asymmetrical bodies. it is of a white colour. Nor is there the least reason to doubt that each step in this scale might have been as serviceable to certain ancient Cetaceans. they stand opposite to each other. in which case they would have been used both for seizing objects and for sifting the water. until they became as well constructed as those of the shoveller. It is obvious that unless the lower eye did thus travel round. for they are both placed on the upper side of the head. but rather more regularly placed. The Hyperoodon bidens is destitute of true teeth in an efficient condition. and which. as are the gradations in the beaks of the different existing members of the duck-family. according to Lacepede. however. but its palate is roughened. nothing improbable in supposing that some early Cetacean form was provided with similar points of horn on the palate. recurved teeth. lead us onward to the enormous plates of baleen in the Greenland whale. and that the structure of every part of its frame must be well adapted to its conditions of life. Returning to the whales. or Flat-fish. less developed in many ways than the upper side. The lower. then into lamellae like those of the domestic duck. like the knobs on the beak of the goose. as was formerly thought to be the case. Soon the eye proper to the lower side begins to glide slowly round the head to the upper side. If so. but in some on the right side. which may be observed in still-existing Cetaceans. They rest on one side—in the greater number of species on the left.might also be converted by small changes into one provided with prominent. it will hardly be denied that the points might have been converted through variation and natural selection into lamellae as well-developed as those of the Egyptian goose. resembles at first sight the ventral surface of an ordinary fish. serving for the widely different purpose of securing live fish. We should bear in mind that each species of duck is subjected to a severe struggle for existence. with the functions of the parts slowly changing during the progress of development. but does not pass right through the skull. During early youth. aided it in seizing or tearing its food. like those of the Merganser (a member of the same family). and the whole body is then symmetrical. with the lateral fins often of smaller size. But the eyes offer the most remarkable peculiarity. There is. with small unequal. and so onward. therefore. with both sides equally coloured. hard points of horn.

if one ear flops forward and downward. is manifest from several species. and facility for feeding on the ground. which does not in any considerable degree alter the shape in which it leaves the ovum. while very young and still symmetrical. that the skull yields and is altered in shape. Malm states that the newly-hatched young of perches. which are entirely thrown to one side. He then adds: "If the transit was gradual. however. The lower eye would. That the Pleuronectidae are admirably adapted by their flattened and asymmetrical structure for their habits of life. as could be plainly seen. indeed. as Malm observed. and remarks that a sudden spontaneous transformation in the position of the eyes is hardly conceivable. being extremely common. and they do this so vigorously that the eye is pressed hard against the upper part of the orbit. The chief advantages thus gained seem to be protection from their enemies. The forehead between the eyes consequently becomes. flounders. with their eyes standing on opposite sides of the head. the lower eye upward. It seems. to the soles.. that such an incipient transformation must rather have been injurious. Mivart has taken up this case. of the family present. of which I have given a figure. far from clear. temporarily contracted in breadth. such as soles. etc." But he might have found an answer to this objection in the excellent observations published in 1867 by Malm. even. they fall to the bottom on one side. It is also known with the higher animals. its weight drags forward all the bones of the skull on the same side. have been liable to be abraded by the sandy bottom.used by the fish while lying in its habitual position on one side. the small size of their lateral fins. cannot long retain a vertical position. With long-eared rabbits. also. "a long series of forms exhibiting a gradual transition from Hippoglossus pinguis." Mr. The Pleuronectidae. and to their being destitute of a swim-bladder. owing to the excessive depth of their bodies. so that it readily yields to muscular action. then how such transit of one eye a minute fraction of the journey towards the other side of the head could benefit the individual is. The different members. salmon. in which I quite agree with him. and he has observed that they often then strain their lower 224 . On one occasion Malm saw a young fish raise and depress the lower eye through an angular distance of about seventy degrees. soon growing tired. While thus at rest they often twist. if the skin or muscles be permanently contracted through disease or some accident. to see above them. We should remember that the skull at this early age is cartilaginous and flexible. as Schiodte remarks. Hence. have the habit of occasionally resting on one side at the bottom. and several other symmetrical fishes. even after early youth.

we may reasonably suppose that the absence of colour in flatfish on the side. concludes his abstract of Malm's paper. of endeavouring to look upward with both eyes. Judging from analogy. habitually fall over and rest on the left side. Dr. by remarking that "the author gives a very simple explanation of the abnormal condition of the Pleuronectoids.most. are soon able to hold themselves in a vertical position. From the colourless state of the ventral surface of most fishes and of many other animals. as Dr. and no permanent effect is thus produced. But it cannot be supposed that the peculiar speckled appearance of the upper side of the sole. in confirmation of the above view. on the other hand. is due to the exclusion of light. Disuse. and on the position of the eyes. though Yarrel thinks that the reduced size of these fins is advantageous to the fish. of feeding with ease on the ground. for the sake. while young. the two sides of the head are said to be somewhat dissimilar. and swims diagonally through the water. that the Pleuronectidae are not quite symmetrical even in the embryo. and their skulls are thus rendered rather crooked." We thus see that the first stages of the transit of the eye from one side of the head to the other.eyes so as to look upward. These fishes. Mivart considers would be injurious. We may also attribute to the inherited effects of use the fact of the mouth in several kinds of flat-fish being bent towards the lower surface. and other species on the right side. and a permanent effect is thus produced on the form of the head. as "there is so much less room for their action than with the larger fins above. so like the sandy bed 225 . the eyeless side of the head. while resting on one side at the bottom. Malm adds. may be attributed to the habit. the tendency to distortion would no doubt be increased through the principle of inheritance. and in this fish. however. With the Pleuronectidae. to twenty-five to thirty in the lower halves. Schiodte believes. owing to the increasing flatness of their bodies. which Mr. Traquair supposes. than on the other. Our great authority on Fishes. which is under. will account for the less developed condition of the whole inferior half of the body. that the adult Trachypterus arcticus. we could understand how it is that certain species. the older they grow the more habitually they rest on one side. which is not a member of the Pleuronectidae. rests on its left side at the bottom. whether it be the right or left." Perhaps the lesser number of teeth in the proportion of four to seven in the upper halves of the two jaws of the plaice. in opposition to some other naturalists. and if this be so. no doubt beneficial to the individual and to the species. including the lateral fins. on the other hand. may likewise be accounted for by disuse. Gunther. with the jaw bones stronger and more effective on this.

Mivart in every detail.of the sea. as will those individuals which inherit in the highest degree the effects of the increased and beneficial use of any part." But there is no necessity for any such belief. are due to the action of the light. has not become thus provided. It is. How much to attribute in each particular case to the effects of use. would in all probability suffice for the work. it would be difficult to say. I have received an analogous account from Dr. therefore. Here natural selection has probably come into play. The mammary glands are common to the whole class of mammals. and thus aided themselves in climbing. as I have before insisted. who has seen a mouse thus suspend itself. as recently shown by Pouchet. or the presence of bony tubercles on the upper side of the turbot. Professor Henslow kept in confinement some harvest mice (Mus messorius) which do not possess a structurally prehensive tail. The extremity of the tail in some American monkeys has been converted into a wonderfully perfect prehensile organ. will be strengthened by natural selection. Why Cercopithecus. I may give another instance of a structure which apparently owes its origin exclusively to use or habit. of changing their colour in accordance with the surrounding surface. than as a prehensile organ. it seems impossible to decide. and perhaps of their disuse. or the power in some species. Gunther. as is the case with some members of the same order. and how much to natural selection. We should keep in mind. and serves as a fifth hand. possible that the long tail of this monkey may be of more service to it as a balancing organ in making its prodigious leaps. that the inherited effects of the increased use of parts. remarks on this structure: "It is impossible to believe that in any number of ages the first slight incipient tendency to grasp could preserve the lives of the individuals possessing it. have been 226 . Brehm saw the young of an African monkey (Cercopithecus) clinging to the under surface of their mother by their hands. however. or favour their chance of having and of rearing offspring. as well as in adapting the general shape of the body of these fishes. who agrees with Mr. but he frequently observed that they curled their tails round the branches of a bush placed in the cage. and at the same time they hooked their little tails round that of their mother. considering its habits while young. Habit. it would perhaps have had its tail rendered structurally prehensile. If the harvest mouse had been more strictly arboreal. and many other peculiarities. and this almost implies that some benefit great or small is thus derived. to their habits of life. For all spontaneous variations in the right direction will thus be preserved. they must. and are indispensable for their existence. A reviewer.

developed at an extremely remote period, and we can know nothing positively about their manner of development. Mr. Mivart asks: "Is it conceivable that the young of any animal was ever saved from destruction by accidentally sucking a drop of scarcely nutritious fluid from an accidentally hypertrophied cutaneous gland of its mother? And even if one was so, what chance was there of the perpetuation of such a variation?" But the case is not here put fairly. It is admitted by most evolutionists that mammals are descended from a marsupial form; and if so, the mammary glands will have been at first developed within the marsupial sack. In the case of the fish (Hippocampus) the eggs are hatched, and the young are reared for a time, within a sack of this nature; and an American naturalist, Mr. Lockwood, believes from what he has seen of the development of the young, that they are nourished by a secretion from the cutaneous glands of the sack. Now, with the early progenitors of mammals, almost before they deserved to be thus designated, is it not at least possible that the young might have been similarly nourished? And in this case, the individuals which secreted a fluid, in some degree or manner the most nutritious, so as to partake of the nature of milk, would in the long run have reared a larger number of well-nourished offspring, than would the individuals which secreted a poorer fluid; and thus the cutaneous glands, which are the homologues of the mammary glands, would have been improved or rendered more effective. It accords with the widely extended principle of specialisation, that the glands over a certain space of the sack should have become more highly developed than the remainder; and they would then have formed a breast, but at first without a nipple, as we see in the Ornithorhyncus, at the base of the mammalian series. Through what agency the glands over a certain space became more highly specialised than the others, I will not pretend to decide, whether in part through compensation of growth, the effects of use, or of natural selection. The development of the mammary glands would have been of no service, and could not have been affected through natural selection, unless the young at the same time were able to partake of the secretion. There is no greater difficulty in understanding how young mammals have instinctively learned to suck the breast, than in understanding how unhatched chickens have learned to break the egg-shell by tapping against it with their specially adapted beaks; or how a few hours after leaving the shell they have learned to pick up grains of food. In such cases the most probable solution seems to be, that the habit was at first acquired by practice at a more advanced age, and afterwards transmitted to the


offspring at an earlier age. But the young kangaroo is said not to suck, only to cling to the nipple of its mother, who has the power of injecting milk into the mouth of her helpless, half-formed offspring. On this head Mr. Mivart remarks: "Did no special provision exist, the young one must infallibly be choked by the intrusion of the milk into the wind-pipe. But there IS a special provision. The larynx is so elongated that it rises up into the posterior end of the nasal passage, and is thus enabled to give free entrance to the air for the lungs, while the milk passes harmlessly on each side of this elongated larynx, and so safely attains the gullet behind it." Mr. Mivart then asks how did natural selection remove in the adult kangaroo (and in most other mammals, on the assumption that they are descended from a marsupial form), "this at least perfectly innocent and harmless structure?" It may be suggested in answer that the voice, which is certainly of high importance to many animals, could hardly have been used with full force as long as the larynx entered the nasal passage; and Professor Flower has suggested to me that this structure would have greatly interfered with an animal swallowing solid food. We will now turn for a short space to the lower divisions of the animal kingdom. The Echinodermata (star-fishes, sea-urchins, etc.) are furnished with remarkable organs, called pedicellariae, which consist, when well developed, of a tridactyle forceps—that is, of one formed of three serrated arms, neatly fitting together and placed on the summit of a flexible stem, moved by muscles. These forceps can seize firmly hold of any object; and Alexander Agassiz has seen an Echinus or sea-urchin rapidly passing particles of excrement from forceps to forceps down certain lines of its body, in order that its shell should not be fouled. But there is no doubt that besides removing dirt of all kinds, they subserve other functions; and one of these apparently is defence. With respect to these organs, Mr. Mivart, as on so many previous occasions, asks: "What would be the utility of the FIRST RUDIMENTARY BEGINNINGS of such structures, and how could such insipient buddings have ever preserved the life of a single Echinus?" He adds, "not even the SUDDEN development of the snapping action would have been beneficial without the freely movable stalk, nor could the latter have been efficient without the snapping jaws, yet no minute, nearly indefinite variations could simultaneously evolve these complex co-ordinations of structure; to deny this seems to do no less than to affirm a startling paradox." Paradoxical as this may appear to Mr. Mivart, tridactyle forcepses, immovably fixed at the base, but capable of a snapping action, certainly exist on some star- fishes; and this is intelligible if they serve, at least in


part, as a means of defence. Mr. Agassiz, to whose great kindness I am indebted for much information on the subject, informs me that there are other star- fishes, in which one of the three arms of the forceps is reduced to a support for the other two; and again, other genera in which the third arm is completely lost. In Echinoneus, the shell is described by M. Perrier as bearing two kinds of pedicellariae, one resembling those of Echinus, and the other those of Spatangus; and such cases are always interesting as affording the means of apparently sudden transitions, through the abortion of one of the two states of an organ. With respect to the steps by which these curious organs have been evolved, Mr. Agassiz infers from his own researches and those of Mr. Muller, that both in star-fishes and sea-urchins the pedicellariae must undoubtedly be looked at as modified spines. This may be inferred from their manner of development in the individual, as well as from a long and perfect series of gradations in different species and genera, from simple granules to ordinary spines, to perfect tridactyle pedicellariae. The gradation extends even to the manner in which ordinary spines and the pedicellariae, with their supporting calcareous rods, are articulated to the shell. In certain genera of star-fishes, "the very combinations needed to show that the pedicellariae are only modified branching spines" may be found. Thus we have fixed spines, with three equi-distant, serrated, movable branches, articulated to near their bases; and higher up, on the same spine, three other movable branches. Now when the latter arise from the summit of a spine they form, in fact, a rude tridactyle pedicellariae, and such may be seen on the same spine together with the three lower branches. In this case the identity in nature between the arms of the pedicellariae and the movable branches of a spine, is unmistakable. It is generally admitted that the ordinary spines serve as a protection; and if so, there can be no reason to doubt that those furnished with serrated and movable branches likewise serve for the same purpose; and they would thus serve still more effectively as soon as by meeting together they acted as a prehensile or snapping apparatus. Thus every gradation, from an ordinary fixed spine to a fixed pedicellariae, would be of service. In certain genera of star-fishes these organs, instead of being fixed or borne on an immovable support, are placed on the summit of a flexible and muscular, though short, stem; and in this case they probably subserve some additional function besides defence. In the sea-urchins the steps can be followed by which a fixed spine becomes articulated to the shell, and is thus rendered movable. I wish I had space here to give a


fuller abstract of Mr. Agassiz's interesting observations on the development of the pedicellariae. All possible gradations, as he adds, may likewise be found between the pedicellariae of the star-fishes and the hooks of the Ophiurians, another group of the Echinodermata; and again between the pedicellariae of sea-urchins and the anchors of the Holothuriae, also belonging to the same great class. Certain compound animals, or zoophytes, as they have been termed, namely the Polyzoa, are provided with curious organs called avicularia. These differ much in structure in the different species. In their most perfect condition they curiously resemble the head and beak of a vulture in miniature, seated on a neck and capable of movement, as is likewise the lower jaw or mandible. In one species observed by me, all the avicularia on the same branch often moved simultaneously backwards and forwards, with the lower jaw widely open, through an angle of about 90 degrees, in the course of five seconds; and their movement caused the whole polyzoary to tremble. When the jaws are touched with a needle they seize it so firmly that the branch can thus be shaken. Mr. Mivart adduces this case, chiefly on account of the supposed difficulty of organs, namely the avicularia of the Polyzoa and the pedicellariae of the Echinodermata, which he considers as "essentially similar," having been developed through natural selection in widely distinct divisions of the animal kingdom. But, as far as structure is concerned, I can see no similarity between tridactyle pedicellariae and avicularia. The latter resembles somewhat more closely the chelae or pincers of Crustaceans; and Mr. Mivart might have adduced with equal appropriateness this resemblance as a special difficulty, or even their resemblance to the head and beak of a bird. The avicularia are believed by Mr. Busk, Dr. Smitt and Dr. Nitsche—naturalists who have carefully studied this group—to be homologous with the zooids and their cells which compose the zoophyte, the movable lip or lid of the cell corresponding with the lower and movable mandible of the avicularium. Mr. Busk, however, does not know of any gradations now existing between a zooid and an avicularium. It is therefore impossible to conjecture by what serviceable gradations the one could have been converted into the other, but it by no means follows from this that such gradations have not existed. As the chelae of Crustaceans resemble in some degree the avicularia of Polyzoa, both serving as pincers, it may be worth while to show that with the former a long series of serviceable gradations still exists. In the first and simplest stage, the terminal segment of a limb shuts down either on the square summit of the broad penultimate segment, or


against one whole side, and is thus enabled to catch hold of an object, but the limb still serves as an organ of locomotion. We next find one corner of the broad penultimate segment slightly prominent, sometimes furnished with irregular teeth, and against these the terminal segment shuts down. By an increase in the size of this projection, with its shape, as well as that of the terminal segment, slightly modified and improved, the pincers are rendered more and more perfect, until we have at last an instrument as efficient as the chelae of a lobster. And all these gradations can be actually traced. Besides the avicularia, the polyzoa possess curious organs called vibracula. These generally consist of long bristles, capable of movement and easily excited. In one species examined by me the vibracula were slightly curved and serrated along the outer margin, and all of them on the same polyzoary often moved simultaneously; so that, acting like long oars, they swept a branch rapidly across the object-glass of my microscope. When a branch was placed on its face, the vibracula became entangled, and they made violent efforts to free themselves. They are supposed to serve as a defence, and may be seen, as Mr. Busk remarks, "to sweep slowly and carefully over the surface of the polyzoary, removing what might be noxious to the delicate inhabitants of the cells when their tentacula are protruded." The avicularia, like the vibracula, probably serve for defence, but they also catch and kill small living animals, which, it is believed, are afterwards swept by the currents within reach of the tentacula of the zooids. Some species are provided with avicularia and vibracula, some with avicularia alone and a few with vibracula alone. It is not easy to imagine two objects more widely different in appearance than a bristle or vibraculum, and an avicularium like the head of a bird; yet they are almost certainly homologous and have been developed from the same common source, namely a zooid with its cell. Hence, we can understand how it is that these organs graduate in some cases, as I am informed by Mr. Busk, into each other. Thus, with the avicularia of several species of Lepralia, the movable mandible is so much produced and is so like a bristle that the presence of the upper or fixed beak alone serves to determine its avicularian nature. The vibracula may have been directly developed from the lips of the cells, without having passed through the avicularian stage; but it seems more probable that they have passed through this stage, as during the early stages of the transformation, the other parts of the cell, with the included zooid, could hardly have disappeared at once. In many cases the vibracula have a grooved


support at the base, which seems to represent the fixed beak; though this support in some species is quite absent. This view of the development of the vibracula, if trustworthy, is interesting; for supposing that all the species provided with avicularia had become extinct, no one with the most vivid imagination would ever have thought that the vibracula had originally existed as part of an organ, resembling a bird's head, or an irregular box or hood. It is interesting to see two such widely different organs developed from a common origin; and as the movable lip of the cell serves as a protection to the zooid, there is no difficulty in believing that all the gradations, by which the lip became converted first into the lower mandible of an avicularium, and then into an elongated bristle, likewise served as a protection in different ways and under different circumstances. In the vegetable kingdom Mr. Mivart only alludes to two cases, namely the structure of the flowers of orchids, and the movements of climbing plants. With respect to the former, he says: "The explanation of their ORIGIN is deemed thoroughly unsatisfactory—utterly insufficient to explain the incipient, infinitesimal beginnings of structures which are of utility only when they are considerably developed." As I have fully treated this subject in another work, I will here give only a few details on one alone of the most striking peculiarities of the flowers of orchids, namely, their pollinia. A pollinium, when highly developed, consists of a mass of pollen-grains, affixed to an elastic foot-stalk or caudicle, and this to a little mass of extremely viscid matter. The pollinia are by this means transported by insects from one flower to the stigma of another. In some orchids there is no caudicle to the pollen-masses, and the grains are merely tied together by fine threads; but as these are not confined to orchids, they need not here be considered; yet I may mention that at the base of the orchidaceous series, in Cypripedium, we can see how the threads were probably first developed. In other orchids the threads cohere at one end of the pollen-masses; and this forms the first or nascent trace of a caudicle. That this is the origin of the caudicle, even when of considerable length and highly developed, we have good evidence in the aborted pollen-grains which can sometimes be detected embedded within the central and solid parts. With respect to the second chief peculiarity, namely, the little mass of viscid matter attached to the end of the caudicle, a long series of gradations can be specified, each of plain service to the plant. In most flowers belonging to other orders the stigma secretes a little viscid matter. Now, in certain orchids similar viscid matter is secreted, but in much larger


quantities by one alone of the three stigmas; and this stigma, perhaps in consequence of the copious secretion, is rendered sterile. When an insect visits a flower of this kind, it rubs off some of the viscid matter, and thus at the same time drags away some of the pollen-grains. From this simple condition, which differs but little from that of a multitude of common flowers, there are endless gradations—to species in which the pollenmass terminates in a very short, free caudicle—to others in which the caudicle becomes firmly attached to the viscid matter, with the sterile stigma itself much modified. In this latter case we have a pollinium in its most highly developed and perfect condition. He who will carefully examine the flowers of orchids for himself will not deny the existence of the above series of gradations—from a mass of pollen-grains merely tied together by threads, with the stigma differing but little from that of the ordinary flowers, to a highly complex pollinium, admirably adapted for transportal by insects; nor will he deny that all the gradations in the several species are admirably adapted in relation to the general structure of each flower for its fertilisation by different insects. In this, and in almost every other case, the enquiry may be pushed further backwards; and it may be asked how did the stigma of an ordinary flower become viscid, but as we do not know the full history of any one group of beings, it is as useless to ask, as it is hopeless to attempt answering, such questions. We will now turn to climbing plants. These can be arranged in a long series, from those which simply twine round a support, to those which I have called leaf-climbers, and to those provided with tendrils. In these two latter classes the stems have generally, but not always, lost the power of twining, though they retain the power of revolving, which the tendrils likewise possess. The gradations from leaf-climbers to tendril bearers are wonderfully close, and certain plants may be differently placed in either class. But in ascending the series from simple twiners to leaf-climbers, an important quality is added, namely sensitiveness to a touch, by which means the foot-stalks of the leaves or flowers, or these modified and converted into tendrils, are excited to bend round and clasp the touching object. He who will read my memoir on these plants will, I think, admit that all the many gradations in function and structure between simple twiners and tendril-bearers are in each case beneficial in a high degree to the species. For instance, it is clearly a great advantage to a twining plant to become a leaf-climber; and it is probable that every twiner which possessed leaves with long foot-stalks would have been developed into a leaf-climber, if the foot-stalks had possessed in any slight degree the requisite sensitiveness to a touch.


As twining is the simplest means of ascending a support, and forms the basis of our series, it may naturally be asked how did plants acquire this power in an incipient degree, afterwards to be improved and increased through natural selection. The power of twining depends, firstly, on the stems while young being extremely flexible (but this is a character common to many plants which are not climbers); and, secondly, on their continually bending to all points of the compass, one after the other in succession, in the same order. By this movement the stems are inclined to all sides, and are made to move round and round. As soon as the lower part of a stem strikes against any object and is stopped, the upper part still goes on bending and revolving, and thus necessarily twines round and up the support. The revolving movement ceases after the early growth of each shoot. As in many widely separated families of plants, single species and single genera possess the power of revolving, and have thus become twiners, they must have independently acquired it, and cannot have inherited it from a common progenitor. Hence, I was led to predict that some slight tendency to a movement of this kind would be found to be far from uncommon with plants which did not climb; and that this had afforded the basis for natural selection to work on and improve. When I made this prediction, I knew of only one imperfect case, namely, of the young flower-peduncles of a Maurandia which revolved slightly and irregularly, like the stems of twining plants, but without making any use of this habit. Soon afterwards Fritz Muller discovered that the young stems of an Alisma and of a Linum— plants which do not climb and are widely separated in the natural system— revolved plainly, though irregularly, and he states that he has reason to suspect that this occurs with some other plants. These slight movements appear to be of no service to the plants in question; anyhow, they are not of the least use in the way of climbing, which is the point that concerns us. Nevertheless we can see that if the stems of these plants had been flexible, and if under the conditions to which they are exposed it had profited them to ascend to a height, then the habit of slightly and irregularly revolving might have been increased and utilised through natural selection, until they had become converted into well-developed twining species. With respect to the sensitiveness of the foot-stalks of the leaves and flowers, and of tendrils, nearly the same remarks are applicable as in the case of the revolving movements of twining plants. As a vast number of species, belonging to widely distinct groups, are endowed with this kind of sensitiveness, it ought to be found in a nascent condition in many


plants which have not become climbers. This is the case: I observed that the young flower-peduncles of the above Maurandia curved themselves a little towards the side which was touched. Morren found in several species of Oxalis that the leaves and their foot-stalks moved, especially after exposure to a hot sun, when they were gently and repeatedly touched, or when the plant was shaken. I repeated these observations on some other species of Oxalis with the same result; in some of them the movement was distinct, but was best seen in the young leaves; in others it was extremely slight. It is a more important fact that according to the high authority of Hofmeister, the young shoots and leaves of all plants move after being shaken; and with climbing plants it is, as we know, only during the early stages of growth that the foot-stalks and tendrils are sensitive. It is scarcely possible that the above slight movements, due to a touch or shake, in the young and growing organs of plants, can be of any functional importance to them. But plants possess, in obedience to various stimuli, powers of movement, which are of manifest importance to them; for instance, towards and more rarely from the light—in opposition to, and more rarely in the direction of, the attraction of gravity. When the nerves and muscles of an animal are excited by galvanism or by the absorption of strychnine, the consequent movements may be called an incidental result, for the nerves and muscles have not been rendered specially sensitive to these stimuli. So with plants it appears that, from having the power of movement in obedience to certain stimuli, they are excited in an incidental manner by a touch, or by being shaken. Hence there is no great difficulty in admitting that in the case of leaf-climbers and tendril-bearers, it is this tendency which has been taken advantage of and increased through natural selection. It is, however, probable, from reasons which I have assigned in my memoir, that this will have occurred only with plants which had already acquired the power of revolving, and had thus become twiners. I have already endeavoured to explain how plants became twiners, namely, by the increase of a tendency to slight and irregular revolving movements, which were at first of no use to them; this movement, as well as that due to a touch or shake, being the incidental result of the power of moving, gained for other and beneficial purposes. Whether, during the gradual development of climbing plants, natural selection has been aided by the inherited effects of use, I will not pretend to decide; but we know that certain periodical movements, for instance the socalled sleep of plants, are governed by habit.


I have now considered enough, perhaps more than enough, of the cases, selected with care by a skilful naturalist, to prove that natural selection is incompetent to account for the incipient stages of useful structures; and I have shown, as I hope, that there is no great difficulty on this head. A good opportunity has thus been afforded for enlarging a little on gradations of structure, often associated with strange functions—an important subject, which was not treated at sufficient length in the former editions of this work. I will now briefly recapitulate the foregoing cases. With the giraffe, the continued preservation of the individuals of some extinct high-reaching ruminant, which had the longest necks, legs, etc., and could browse a little above the average height, and the continued destruction of those which could not browse so high, would have sufficed for the production of this remarkable quadruped; but the prolonged use of all the parts, together with inheritance, will have aided in an important manner in their co-ordination. With the many insects which imitate various objects, there is no improbability in the belief that an accidental resemblance to some common object was in each case the foundation for the work of natural selection, since perfected through the occasional preservation of slight variations which made the resemblance at all closer; and this will have been carried on as long as the insect continued to vary, and as long as a more and more perfect resemblance led to its escape from sharp-sighted enemies. In certain species of whales there is a tendency to the formation of irregular little points of horn on the palate; and it seems to be quite within the scope of natural selection to preserve all favourable variations, until the points were converted, first into lamellated knobs or teeth, like those on the beak of a goose—then into short lamellae, like those of the domestic ducks—and then into lamellae, as perfect as those of the shoveller-duck—and finally into the gigantic plates of baleen, as in the mouth of the Greenland whale. In the family of the ducks, the lamellae are first used as teeth, then partly as teeth and partly as a sifting apparatus, and at last almost exclusively for this latter purpose. With such structures as the above lamellae of horn or whalebone, habit or use can have done little or nothing, as far as we can judge, towards their development. On the other hand, the transportal of the lower eye of a flat-fish to the upper side of the head, and the formation of a prehensile tail, may be attributed almost wholly to continued use, together with inheritance. With respect to the mammae of the higher animals, the most probable conjecture is that primordially the cutaneous glands over the whole surface of a marsupial sack secreted a nutritious fluid; and that


and of the conditions which at the present day determine its numbers and range. the threads which originally served to tie together the pollen-grains. and concentrated into a confined area. would have been beneficial to a species. considering our ignorance of the past history of each species. such as that secreted by the stigmas of ordinary flowers. There is no more difficulty in understanding how the branched spines of some ancient Echinoderm. Thus to adapt a species to new habits of life. often of a peculiar nature. can be traced cohering into caudicles. became developed through natural selection into tridactyle pedicellariae. which was at first used solely for locomotion. In most cases only general reasons. and the requisite conditions may seldom have concurred. In the avicularia and vibracula of the Polyzoa we have organs widely different in appearance developed from the same source. can be assigned. many co-ordinated modifications are almost indispensable. to which it would apparently have been advantageous? But it is unreasonable to expect a precise answer to such questions. and still subserving nearly but not quite the same purpose. The belief that any given structure. why has not this or that structure been gained by certain species. which we think.these glands were improved in function through natural selection. as the struggle for life did not depend on such structures. is opposed to what we can 237 . serviceable modifications in the ultimate and penultimate segments of a limb. and it may often have happened that the requisite parts did not vary in the right manner or to the right degree. than in understanding the development of the pincers of crustaceans. and the steps can likewise be followed by which viscid matter. they could not have been acquired through natural selection. in which case they would have formed a mamma. In this case. are necessary for the development of a structure. but in some few cases special reasons. often erroneously. if natural selection be so potent. In many cases complex and long-enduring conditions. would have been gained under all circumstances through natural selection. which served as a defence. and with the vibracula we can understand how the successive gradations might have been of service. which we imagine would have been gained through natural selection from appearing to us advantageous to the species. Many species must have been prevented from increasing in numbers through destructive agencies. It has often been asked. which stood in no relation to certain structures. With respect to climbing plants. I need not repeat what has been so lately said. With the pollinia of orchids. became attached to the free ends of the caudicles—all these gradations being of manifest benefit to the plants in question. through slight.

Mivart is further inclined to believe.understand of its manner of action. The final result will generally have been. Everyone who believes in slow and gradual evolution. That species have a capacity for change will be admitted by all evolutionists." and apparently he would extend the same view to the wings of bats and pterodactyles. he supposes that the differences between the extinct three-toed Hipparion and the horse arose suddenly. that some of the facts and arguments here used by me. and some naturalists agree with him. Mivart believes that species change through "an internal force or tendency. or even under domestication. I am bound to add. Mivart does not deny that natural selection has effected something. and to have little weight in comparison with those in favour of the power of natural selection." At the present day almost all naturalists admit evolution under some form. by man has given rise to many well-adapted domestic races. aided by the other agencies often specified. Mr. His chief arguments have now been considered. which through the aid of selection. it is probable. which implies great breaks or discontinuity in the series. as are known occasionally to arise under domestication. But as species are more variable when domesticated or cultivated than under their natural conditions. would equally well give rise by graduated steps to natural races or species. through the aid of natural selection. that new species manifest themselves "with suddenness and by modifications appearing at once. He thinks it difficult to believe that the wing of a bird "was developed in any other way than by a comparatively sudden modification of a marked and important kind. This conclusion. as it seems to me. but he considers it as "demonstrably insufficient" to account for the phenomena which I explain by its agency. They seem to me to partake little of the character of demonstration. will of course admit that specific changes may have been as abrupt and as great as any single variation which we meet with under nature. in many cases at first gained in a 238 . Mr. and the others will hereafter be considered." about which it is not pretended that anything is known. but there is no need. but in some few cases a retrogression. Mr. as already explained. it is not probable that such great and abrupt variations have often occurred under nature. and which. have been advanced for the same purpose in an able article lately published in the "Medico-Chirurgical Review. and the characters which thus reappear were. to invoke any internal force beyond the tendency to ordinary variability. appears to me improbable in the highest degree. an advance. Of these latter variations several may be attributed to reversion." For instance. in organisation.

etc. It is indeed manifest that multitudes of species are related in the closest manner to other species that still exist. in proceeding from north to south. Mivart. The species and even the genera of many large natural families are so closely allied together that it is difficult to distinguish not a few of them. I am compelled to allude to subjects hereafter to be discussed. through the preservation of a large number of individuals. and see how many of their inhabitants can be raised only to the rank of doubtful species. Hence. in order that a new species should suddenly appear in the manner supposed by Mr. and compare the species which have just passed away with those still living within the same areas. there can hardly be a doubt. Excluding such cases of abrupt variations. from lowland to upland. etc. as we likewise do on certain distinct continents. and it will hardly be 239 . in opposition to all analogy. closely related to their parental types. porcupine men.. to be lost by accidental causes of destruction and by subsequent intercrossing. and for entirely disbelieving that they have changed in the wonderful manner indicated by Mr. if found in a state of nature. as formerly explained. abrupt and strongly marked variations occur in our domesticated productions. Mivart. which varied more or less in any favourable direction. If such occurred under nature. the few which remain would at best constitute. and so it is known to be under domestication. According to our experience. or have lately existed. Ancon sheep.. and as they are widely different in character from natural species. it is almost necessary to believe. But in making these and the following remarks. as in the case of unconscious selection by man. singly and at rather long intervals of time. So it is if we look to past times. are as follows. unless abrupt variations of this kind are specially preserved and separated by the care of man. such as six-fingered men. On every continent. they throw very little light on our subject. Niata cattle. or if we compare the fossil species embedded in the sub-stages of the same geological formation. That many species have been evolved in an extremely gradual manner. This difficulty. they would be liable. we meet with a host of closely related or representative species. that several wonderfully changed individuals appeared simultaneously within the same district. which we have reason to believe were formerly connected. doubtful species. is avoided on the theory of gradual evolution.gradual manner. My reasons for doubting whether natural species have changed as abruptly as have occasionally domestic races. Look at the many outlying islands round a continent. A still greater number must be called monstrosities. and of the destruction of a large number which varied in an opposite manner.

Unless we admit transformations as prodigious as those advocated by Mr. connecting together widely different structures. and that they 240 . Such an admission. as was shown in our second chapter. Many large groups of facts are intelligible only on the principle that species have been evolved by very small steps. the sudden appearance of new and distinct forms of life in our geological formations supports at first sight the belief in abrupt development. But against the belief in such abrupt changes. however. all pointing in the same direction. ought not to be made without strong evidence being assigned. as they have been shown to be by Mr. or the falling of a facetted spheroid from one facet to another. in relation to periods remote in the history of the world. If the record is as fragmentary as many geologists strenuously assert. hardly any light is thrown by the belief in abrupt modifications on the deficiency of connecting links in our geological formations.maintained that such species have been developed in an abrupt or sudden manner. such as the sudden crystallisation of inorganic substances. It is notorious that the wings of birds and bats. yet it may be maintained that some have been developed in a different and abrupt manner. hardly deserve consideration. and they present other analogies with varieties. For instance. Many analogous facts. and how the parts which are developed in an extraordinary degree or manner are more variable than other parts of the same species. when we look to the special parts of allied species. or the sudden conversion of a Hipparion into a horse. The vague and in some respects false analogies. embryology enters a strong protest. however. are undistinguishable at an early embryonic period. and present a greater number of varieties than do the species in the smaller genera. Chauncey Wright. there is nothing strange in new forms appearing as if suddenly developed. such as the sudden development of the wings of birds or bats. The former are also grouped in little clusters. namely. One class of facts. the fact that the species included in the larger genera are more closely related to each other. which have been advanced in favour of this view. that numerous and wonderfully fine gradations can be traced. Mivart. and the legs of horses or other quadrupeds. Although very many species have almost certainly been produced by steps not greater than those separating fine varieties. like varieties round species. On this same principle we can understand how it is that specific characters are more variable than generic characters. instead of to distinct species. Nor should it be forgotten. But the value of this evidence depends entirely on the perfection of the geological record. could be added.

and yet should not bear even a trace in its embryonic condition of any sudden modification. Hence it is that existing species during the early stages of their development so often resemble ancient and extinct forms belonging to the same class. He will be forced to admit that these great and sudden transformations have left no trace of their action on the embryo. have been suddenly produced. he will not be able to assign a shadow of an explanation. He who believes that some ancient form was transformed suddenly through an internal force or tendency into. in opposition to all analogy. and indeed on any view. that many individuals varied simultaneously. every detail in its structure being developed by insensibly fine steps. at a corresponding age. as it seems to me. The embryo is thus left almost unaffected. and having transmitted their newly-acquired characters to their offspring.become differentiated by insensibly fine steps. as we shall hereafter see. 241 . He will further be compelled to believe that many structures beautifully adapted to all the other parts of the same creature and to the surrounding conditions. To admit all this is. one furnished with wings. and serves as a record of the past condition of the species. It cannot be denied that such abrupt and great changes of structure are widely different from those which most species apparently have undergone. it is incredible that an animal should have undergone such momentous and abrupt transformations as those above indicated. and of such complex and wonderful co-adaptations. to enter into the realms of miracle. for instance. Embryological resemblances of all kinds can be accounted for. and to leave those of science. On this view of the meaning of embryological resemblances. will be almost compelled to assume. by the progenitors of our existing species having varied after early youth.

242 . and parasitic bees — Slave-making ants — Hive-bee. their origin — Natural instincts of the cuckoo. but different in their origin — Instincts graduated — Aphides and ants — Instincts variable — Domestic instincts. molothrus. ostrich.Chapter Instinct 8 Instincts comparable with habits. its cell-making instinct — Changes of instinct and structure not necessarily simultaneous — Difficulties of the theory of the Natural Selection of instincts — Neuter or sterile insects — Summary.

Habits easily become associated with other habits. without experience. without their knowing for what purpose it is performed. but every one understands what is meant. and sixth stages of construction. so that much of its 243 . Many instincts are so wonderful that their development will probably appear to the reader a difficulty sufficient to overthrow my whole theory. with certain periods of time and states of the body. An action. and were put into one finished up to the sixth stage. fifth. so in instincts. when it is said that instinct impels the cuckoo to migrate and to lay her eggs in other birds' nests. but not necessarily of its origin. This comparison gives. I will not attempt any definition of instinct. an accurate notion of the frame of mind under which an instinctive action is performed. How unconsciously many habitual actions are performed. and put it into a hammock completed up only to the third stage. he is generally forced to go back to recover the habitual train of thought: so P. If. or in repeating anything by rote. to the third stage. the caterpillar simply re-performed the fourth. more especially by a very young one. for instance. We are concerned only with the diversities of instinct and of the other mental faculties in animals of the same class. one action follows another by a sort of rhythm. a caterpillar were taken out of a hammock made up. indeed not rarely in direct opposition to our conscious will! yet they may be modified by the will or reason. is usually said to be instinctive. they often remain constant throughout life. for if he took a caterpillar which had completed its hammock up to.1. I think. often comes into play. which makes a very complicated hammock. that I have nothing to do with the origin of the mental powers. as Pierre Huber expresses it. and when performed by many individuals in the same way. when performed by an animal. Huber found it was with a caterpillar. As in repeating a well-known song. A little dose of judgment or reason. any more than I have with that of life itself. even with animals low in the scale of nature. say. I may here premise. Frederick Cuvier and several of the older metaphysicians have compared instinct with habit. which we ourselves require experience to enable us to perform. however. if a person be interrupted in a song. Several other points of resemblance between instincts and habits could be pointed out. It would be easy to show that several distinct mental actions are commonly embraced by this term. But I could show that none of these characters are universal. the sixth stage of construction. When once acquired.

It can be clearly shown that the most wonderful instincts with which we are acquainted. as I believe. we ought to find in nature. If Mozart. But it would be a serious error to suppose that the greater number of instincts have been acquired by habit in one generation. so I do not doubt it has been with instincts.work was already done for it. and are increased by. instead of playing the pianoforte at three years old with wonderfully little practice. and if it can be shown that instincts do vary ever so little. seemed forced to start from the third stage. variations. could not possibly have been acquired by habit. then I can see no difficulty in natural selection preserving and continually accumulating variations of instinct to any extent that was profitable. I have been surprised to find. in order to complete its hammock. It is thus. Under changed conditions of life. as in the case of corporeal structures. far from deriving any benefit from this.—that is of variations produced by the same unknown causes which produce slight deviations of bodily structure. As modifications of corporeal structure arise from. use or habit. and then transmitted by inheritance to succeeding generations. it is at least possible that slight modifications of instinct might be profitable to a species. not the actual transitional gradations by which each complex instinct has been acquired—for these could be found only in the lineal ancestors of each species—but we ought to find in the collateral lines of descent some evidence of such gradations. it was much embarrassed. If we suppose any habitual action to become inherited—and it can be shown that this does sometimes happen—then the resemblance between what originally was a habit and an instinct becomes so close as not to be distinguished. slight. No complex instinct can possibly be produced through natural selection. yet profitable. and are diminished or lost by disuse. be might truly be said to have done so instinctively. those of the hive-bee and of many ants. It will be universally admitted that instincts are as important as corporeal structures for the welfare of each species. or we ought at least to be able to show that gradations of some kind are possible. where it had left off. had played a tune with no practice at all. except by the slow and gradual accumulation of numerous. making 244 . namely. But I believe that the effects of habit are in many cases of subordinate importance to the effects of the natural selection of what may be called spontaneous variations of instincts. and thus tried to complete the already finished work. that all the most complex and wonderful instincts have originated. Hence. and. and this we certainly can do. under its present conditions of life.

I felt sure that the aphides would want to excrete. can be discovered. their sweet excretion to ants: that they do so voluntarily. Again.allowance for the instincts of animals having been but little observed. as far as we can judge. etc. which was eagerly devoured by the ant. in which case either the one or the other instinct might be preserved by natural selection. but not one excreted. with which I am acquainted. I watched them for some time through a lens. One of the strongest instances of an animal apparently performing an action for the sole good of another. how very generally gradations. therefore probably they do not excrete solely for the good of the ants. as was first observed by Huber.. the instinct of each species is good for itself. Although there is no evidence that any animal performs an action for the exclusive good of another species. and it immediately seemed. But as the excretion is extremely viscid. I removed all the ants from a group of about a dozen aphides on a dockplant. but has never. And such instances of diversity of instinct in the same species can be shown to occur in nature. that the aphides show no dislike to the ants: if the latter be not present they are at last compelled to eject their excretion. but not one excreted. the following facts show. and conformably to my theory. After this interval. as each takes advantage of the weaker bodily structure of other species. and not the result of experience. and prevented their attendance during several hours. or at different seasons of the year. showing that the action was instinctive. by its eager way of running about to be well aware what a rich flock it had discovered. and each. as the ants do with their antennae. as soon as it felt the antennae. immediately lifted up its abdomen and excreted a limpid drop of sweet juice. Changes of instinct may sometimes be facilitated by the same species having different instincts at different periods of life. or when placed under different circumstances. and for no instinct being known among extinct species. except in Europe and North America. yet each tries to take advantage of the instincts of others. as in the case of corporeal structure. as well as I could. is that of aphides voluntarily yielding. Afterwards. I allowed an ant to visit them. from the observations of Huber. it then began to play with its antennae on the abdomen first of one aphis and then of another. it is no doubt a convenience to the aphides to have it removed. It is certain. So again certain instincts cannot be considered as 245 . been produced for the exclusive good of others. I then tickled and stroked them with a hair in the same manner. Even the quite young aphides behaved in this manner. leading to the most complex instincts.

Several cases could also be adduced of occasional and strange habits in wild animals. as I have seen. with which he had covered decorticated trees. Andrew Knight observed that his bees. and we see an instance of this. could be shown by many facts. 246 . But I am well aware that these general statements. but as details on this and other such points are not indispensable. if instinct be variable. I can only repeat my assurance. for the large birds have been most persecuted by man. vary much. for in uninhabited islands large birds are not more fearful than small. with wax hardened with vermilion or softened with lard. as is the hooded crow in Egypt. without the facts in detail. both in extent and direction. are indispensable for the action of natural selection. We may safely attribute the greater wildness of our large birds to this cause. which vary partly in dependence on the situations chosen. It has lately been shown that bees. through natural selection. and the inheritance of such variations. in the greater wildness of all our large birds in comparison with our small birds. Audubon has given several remarkable cases of differences in the nests of the same species in the northern and southern United States. and by the sight of fear of the same enemy in other animals. though it is strengthened by experience. even in England. as many instances as possible ought to be given. I can only assert that instincts certainly do vary—for instance. so wary in England. is tame in Norway. if advantageous to the species. to new instincts. oatmeal. they may be here passed over. but want of space prevents me. that I do not speak without good evidence. So it is with the nests of birds. namely. can produce but a feeble effect on the reader's mind. Why. and in its total loss. but often from causes wholly unknown to us. it has been asked. might have given rise. used a cement of wax and turpentine. the migratory instinct. by the various animals which inhabit desert islands. instead of searching for pollen. The fear of man is slowly acquired. instead of laboriously collecting propolis. and on the nature and temperature of the country inhabited. born in a state of nature. As some degree of variation in instincts under a state of nature. as I have elsewhere shown. and the magpie. as may be seen in nestling birds. has it not granted to the bee "the ability to use some other material when wax was deficient?" But what other natural material could bees use? They will work.absolutely perfect. Fear of any particular enemy is certainly an instinctive quality. That the mental qualities of animals of the same kind. which. will gladly use a very different substance.

and without the end being known—for the young pointer can no more know that he points to aid his master. a flock of sheep. John. but they have been acted on by far less rigorous selection. and driving them to a distant point.2. than the white butterfly knows why she lays her eggs on the leaf of the cabbage—I cannot see that these actions differ essentially from true instincts. we should assuredly call these actions instinctive. A number of curious and authentic instances could be given of various shades of disposition and taste. another hares or rabbits. is well shown when different breeds of dogs are crossed. of inherited variations of instinct in a state of nature will be strengthened by briefly considering a few cases under domestication. one naturally takes to catching rats. and another kind of wolf rushing round. a herd of deer. associated with certain frames of mind or periods of time. With cats. according to Mr. and dispositions are inherited. Domestic instincts. and another hunted on marshy ground and almost nightly caught woodcocks or snipes. and likewise of the oddest tricks. and have been transmitted for an incomparably shorter period. under less fixed conditions of life. Thus it is known that a cross with a bull-dog has affected for many generations the courage and obstinacy of 247 . If we were to behold one kind of wolf. One cat. and another mice. and how curiously they become mingled. performed without experience by the young. or even probability. stand motionless like a statue. as they may be called. performed with eager delight by each breed. instead of at. instead of at. How strongly these domestic instincts. I cannot see that these actions. St. It is notorious how much domestic animals vary in their mental qualities. and then slowly crawl forward with a peculiar gait. always brought home game birds. are certainly far less fixed than natural instincts. when young and without any training. We shall thus be enabled to see the part which habit and the selection of so-called spontaneous variations have played in modifying the mental qualities of our domestic animals. Inherited Changes Of Habit Or Instinct In Domesticated Animals The possibility. and in nearly the same manner by each individual. But let us look to the familiar case of the breeds of dogs: it cannot be doubted that young pointers (I have myself seen striking instances) will sometimes point and even back other dogs the very first time that they are taken out. by shepherd-dogs. habits. and a tendency to run round. as soon as it scented its prey. retrieving is certainly in some degree inherited by retrievers. and these tendencies are known to be inherited. for instance.

as I once saw. dogs which stand and hunt best. Brent. Le Roy describes a dog. Familiarity alone prevents our seeing how largely and how permanently the minds of our domestic animals have been modified.greyhounds. which in a like manner become curiously blended together. scarcely any animal is tamer than the young of the tame rabbit. as many have thought. but I can hardly suppose that domestic rabbits have often been selected for tameness alone. when called. No one would ever have thought of teaching. It may be doubted whether any one would have thought of training a dog to point. and for a long period exhibit traces of the instincts of either parent: for example. whose great-grandfather was a wolf. which cannot fly eighteen inches high without going head over heels. Natural instincts are lost under domestication: a remarkable instance of this is seen in those breeds of fowls which very rarely or never become "broody. and a cross with a greyhound has given to a whole family of shepherd-dogs a tendency to hunt hares. habit alone in some cases has sufficed. as I have witnessed. resemble natural instincts. without intending to improve the breed. hardly any animal is more difficult to tame than the young of the wild rabbit. that have never seen a pigeon tumble. but this is not true. so that we must attribute at least the greater part of the inherited change from extreme wildness to extreme tameness. as each man tries to procure. or probably could have taught. It is scarcely possible to doubt that 248 . and near Glasgow there are house-tumblers. never wish to sit on their eggs. to habit and long-continued close confinement. as I hear from Mr. when thus tested by crossing. We may believe that some one pigeon showed a slight tendency to this strange habit. in a pure terrier: the act of pointing is probably. and this is known occasionally to happen. methodical selection and the inherited effects of compulsory training in each successive generation would soon complete the work. On the other hand. had not some one dog naturally shown a tendency in this line. the tumbler-pigeon to tumble—an action which. by not coming in a straight line to his master. and that the long-continued selection of the best individuals in successive generations made tumblers what they now are. and unconscious selection is still in progress. These domestic instincts. is performed by young birds. When the first tendency to point was once displayed. Domestic instincts are sometimes spoken of as actions which have become inherited solely from long-continued and compulsory habit. only the exaggerated pause of an animal preparing to spring on its prey." that is. and this dog showed a trace of its wild parentage only in one way.

but in most cases habit and selection have probably concurred. but fear only of dogs and cats. for if the hen gives the danger chuckle they will run (more especially young turkeys) from under her and conceal themselves in the surrounding grass or thickets. when reared in India under a hen. when kept tame. 249 . the Gallus bankiva. sheep and pigs. for I am informed by Captain Hutton that the young chickens of the parent stock. are most eager to attack poultry. and this is evidently done for the instinctive purpose of allowing. we may conclude that under domestication instincts have been acquired and natural instincts have been lost. for the mother-hen has almost lost by disuse the power of flight. sheep. do our civilised dogs. that fear of the dog and cat which no doubt was originally instinctive in them. on the other hand. in other cases compulsory habit has done nothing. require to be taught not to attack poultry. peculiar mental habits and actions. All wolves. and if not cured. and are then beaten. It is not that chickens have lost all fear. partly by habit and partly by man selecting and accumulating. during successive generations. and this tendency has been found incurable in dogs which have been brought home as puppies from countries such as Tierra del Fuego and Australia. foxes. where the savages do not keep these domestic animals. Hence. even when quite young. But this instinct retained by our chickens has become useless under domestication. So it is with young pheasants reared in England under a hen. and all has been the result of selection. In some cases compulsory habit alone has sufficed to produce inherited mental changes. How rarely. jackals and species of the cat genus.the love of man has become instinctive in the dog. they are destroyed. which at first appeared from what we must in our ignorance call an accident. On the other hand. their mother to fly away. and pigs! No doubt they occasionally do make an attack. as we see in wild ground-birds. young chickens have lost wholly by habit. are at first excessively wild. pursued both methodically and unconsciously. so that habit and some degree of selection have probably concurred in civilising by inheritance our dogs.

best understand how instincts in a state of nature have become modified by selection by considering a few cases. I will select only three. perhaps.3. namely. 250 . and the cell-making power of the hive-bee: these two latter instincts have generally and justly been ranked by naturalists as the most wonderful of all known instincts. Special Instincts We shall. the instinct which leads the cuckoo to lay her eggs in other birds' nests. the slave-making instinct of certain ants.

but at intervals of two or three days. not daily. speculation on an instinct 251 . which are spoken of as necessarily co-ordinated. but I have lately heard from Dr. By a continued process of this nature. those first laid would have to be left for some time unincubated or there would be eggs and young birds of different ages in the same nest. It has. I believe that the strange instinct of our cuckoo has been generated. and the first hatched young would probably have to be fed by the male alone. If this were the case the process of laying and hatching might be inconveniently long. all at the same time. and as both were nearly full feathered. that the cuckoo occasionally lays her eggs on the bare ground. Instincts Of The Cuckoo It is supposed by some naturalists that the more immediate cause of the instinct of the cuckoo is that she lays her eggs. But in all cases. that he once found in Illinois a young cuckoo. and that she occasionally laid an egg in another bird's nest. or if the young were made more vigorous by advantage being taken of the mistaken instinct of another species than when reared by their own mother. more especially as she migrates at a very early period. then the old birds or the fostered young would gain an advantage. there could be no mistake in their identification. so that. sits on them and feeds her young. Merrill. I could also give several instances of various birds which have been known occasionally to lay their eggs in other birds' nests. If the old bird profited by this occasional habit through being enabled to emigrate earlier or through any other cause. And analogy would lead us to believe that the young thus reared would be apt to follow by inheritance the occasional and aberrant habit of their mother. It has been both asserted and denied that the American cuckoo occasionally lays her eggs in other birds' nests. This rare event is probably a case of reversion to the long-lost.4. aboriginal instinct of nidification. also recently been ascertained on sufficient evidence. by Adolf Muller. of Iowa. for she makes her own nest and has eggs and young successively hatched. encumbered as she could hardly fail to be by having eggs and young of different ages at the same time. Now let us suppose that the ancient progenitor of our European cuckoo had the habits of the American cuckoo. together with a young jay in the nest of a blue jay (Garrulus cristatus). But the American cuckoo is in this predicament. It has been objected that I have not noticed other related instincts and adaptations of structure in the cuckoo. and thus be more successful in rearing their young. if she were to make her own nest and sit on her own eggs. and in their turn would be apt to lay their eggs in other birds' nests.

when they lay their eggs in an open nest. In the bronze cuckoo the eggs vary greatly in size. Had our cuckoo invariably displayed the above instinct. or. This has been boldly called a beneficent arrangement. then there is no difficulty in believing that a race or species might have been formed which would have laid smaller and smaller eggs. to an extraordinary degree in colour. in order that the young cuckoo may get sufficient food. Secondly. manifest a decided preference for nests containing eggs similar in colour to their own. for we have hitherto had no facts to guide us. that the common cuckoo. now. we have learned something about three Australian species. The eggs of the Australian bronze cuckoo vary. The chief points to be referred to are three: first. Thirdly. as well as in size. for these would have been more safely hatched and reared. Mr. Now. so that the large and voracious young bird receives ample food. as is shown by her laying her dull and pale-coloured eggs in the nest of the hedgewarbler with bright greenish-blue eggs. The European species apparently manifests some tendency towards a similar instinct. which then perish from cold and hunger. that the young cuckoo. Ramsay. natural selection might have secured and fixed any advantageous variation.brothers. it is not rare to find two and even three eggs in the same nest. if it had been of an advantage to this species to have laid eggs even smaller than those now laid. the strength and a properly shaped back for ejecting its foster. Until recently the instincts of the European and of the non. has the instinct. that the eggs are remarkably small. according to Mr. is useless. it would assuredly have been added to those which it is assumed must all have been acquired together.parasitic American cuckoo alone were known. from eight to ten lines in length. but not rarely departs from it. 252 . and that its foster-brothers may perish before they had acquired much feeling! Turning now to the Australian species: though these birds generally lay only one egg in a nest. That the small size of the egg is a real case of adaptation we may infer from the fact of the mon-parasitic American cuckoo laying full-sized eggs. to have been hatched within a shorter period (for it is asserted that there is a relation between the size of eggs and the period of their incubation). not exceeding those of the skylark—a bird about one-fourth as large as the cuckoo. owing to Mr.known to us only in a single species. Ramsay remarks that two of the Australian cuckoos. so as to have deceived certain foster-parents. with rare exceptions. as is more probable. Ramsay's observations. so that in this respect. lays only one egg in a nest. which lay their eggs in other birds' nests. soon after birth.

In the case of the European cuckoo. have parasitic habits like those of the cuckoo. The first step towards the acquisition of the proper instinct might have been mere unintentional restlessness on the part of the young bird. With respect to the means by which this strange and odious instinct was acquired. in the act of ejecting its foster-brothers. and transmitted to an earlier age. allied to our starlings. or than in young snakes acquiring in their upper jaws. and both cases must stand or fall together with the whole theory of natural selection. or oddly enough build one for themselves on the top of it. occasionally throwing out the nestlings of the stranger. sometimes to live promiscuously together in flocks. during successive generations. Some species of Molothrus. and as the latter at this age is in a most helpless condition. the strength. For if each part is liable to individual variations at all ages. I can see no more difficulty in this than in the unhatched young of other birds acquiring the instinct to break through their own shells. a widely distinct genus of American birds. But he has now received a trustworthy account of a young cuckoo which was actually seen. I can see no special difficulty in its having gradually acquired. and the species present an interesting gradation in the perfection of their instincts. Hudson says it is probable that they are occasionally parasitic. a transitory sharp tooth for cutting through the tough egg-shell. The sexes of Molothrus badius are stated by an excellent observer. Mr. They either lay their eggs in the nest thus appropriated. One of these was replaced in the nest by the observer. if it were of great importance for the young cuckoo. to receive as much food as possible soon after birth. Hudson. for he has seen the young of 253 . Gould was formerly inclined to believe that the act of ejection was performed by the foster-parents themselves. for those cuckoos which had such habits and structure best developed would be the most securely reared. as Owen has remarked. but Mr. and sometimes to pair. the blind desire. and the variations tend to be inherited at a corresponding or earlier age—propositions which cannot be disputed—then the instincts and structure of the young could be slowly modified as surely as those of the adult. Mr. the offspring of the foster-parents are commonly ejected from the nest within three days after the cuckoo is hatched. while still blind and not able even to hold up its own head. the habit having been afterwards improved. and was again thrown out. when somewhat advanced in age and strength. They either build a nest of their own or seize on one belonging to some other bird. and structure necessary for the work of ejection. as is probably the case. They usually sit on their own eggs and rear their own young.

but. namely. and regularly lay their eggs in the nests of other kinds of bees. the extraordinary habit of pecking holes in the eggs. which are thus wasted. but it is remarkable that several together sometimes commence to build an irregular untidy nest of their own. and these are hatched by the males. pecoris of North America. for a surprising number of eggs lie strewed over the plains. but are still far from perfect. but he appears to have been so much struck by the imperfect instincts of the Molothrus bonariensis that he quotes my words. whether of their own species or of their foster parents. Some species of Sphegidae (wasp-like insects) are likewise parasitic. which they find in the appropriated nests. the M. Mr. as far as it is known. the M. for they do not possess the pollen-collecting apparatus which would have been indispensable if they had stored up food for their own young. as in the case of the Molothrus bonariensis. for these bees have not only had their instincts but their structure modified in accordance with their parasitic habits. "Must we consider these habits. so that the young bird is securely reared. In this family several hen birds unite and lay first a few eggs in one nest and then in another. Hudson is a strong disbeliever in evolution. The parasitic habits of another species of Molothrus. has acquired instincts as perfect as those of the cuckoo. complete a nest for themselves. This habit is not very uncommon with the Gallinaceae. This bird. for it never lays more than one egg in a foster-nest. however. although the Tachytes nigra generally 254 . A third species. at intervals of two or three days. as far as Mr. They drop also many eggs on the bare ground. and asks. and throws some light on the singular instinct of the ostrich. and M. of the American ostrich. bonariensis. placed in singular ill-adapted situations. as with the cuckoo. They never. They often lay so many eggs—from fifteen to twenty—in the same foster-nest. Hudson has ascertained. as on the leaves of a large thistle. are much more highly developed than those of the last. They have. so that in one day's hunting I picked up no less than twenty lost and wasted eggs. as has already been remarked. Many bees are parasitic. occasionally lay their eggs in the nests of other birds. but as small consequences of one general law. transition?" Various birds. however. The instinct. invariably lays its eggs in the nests of strangers. not as especially endowed or created instincts. This case is more remarkable than that of the cuckoo.this species following old birds of a distinct kind and clamouring to be fed by them. This instinct may probably be accounted for by the fact of the hens laying a large number of eggs. that few or none can possibly be hatched. moreover. Fabre has lately shown good reason for believing that. has not as yet been perfected.

yet that. be not thus exterminated. it takes advantage of the prize. as with that of the Molothrus or cuckoo. if of advantage to the species. and becomes for the occasion parasitic. when this insect finds a burrow already made and stored by another sphex. 255 .makes its own burrow and stores it with paralysed prey for its own larvae. and if the insect whose nest and stored food are feloniously appropriated. I can see no difficulty in natural selection making an occasional habit permanent. In this case.

made some cells and tended the larvae. do no other work. they did nothing. Although fully trusting to the statements of Huber and Mr. During the months of June and 256 . So utterly helpless are the masters. the species would certainly become extinct in a single year. was likewise first discovered by P. The males and fertile females do no work of any kind. or of feeding their own larvae. Hence. Males and fertile females of the slave-species (F. fusca). Slave-Making Instinct This remarkable instinct was first discovered in the Formica (Polyerges) rufescens by Pierre Huber. I will give the observations which I made in some little detail. though most energetic and courageous in capturing slaves. What can be more extraordinary than these well-ascertained facts? If we had not known of any other slave-making ant. Formica sanguinea. so that the contrast in their appearance is great. the slaves occasionally come out. The slaves are black and not above half the size of their red masters. as any one may well be excused for doubting the existence of so extraordinary an instinct as that of making slaves. and like their masters are much agitated and defend the nest: when the nest is much disturbed. I tried to approach the subject in a sceptical frame of mind. but with plenty of the food which they like best. that when Huber shut up thirty of them without a slave. Huber then introduced a single slave (F. When the old nest is found inconvenient. and the workers or sterile females. Smith. and have never been observed in the nests of F. a better observer even than his celebrated father. fed and saved the survivors. sanguinea. it is the slaves which determine the migration. I opened fourteen nests of F. Huber to be a slave-making ant. This ant is absolutely dependent on its slaves. and its habits have been attended to by Mr. without their aid. and many perished of hunger. and they have to migrate. of the British Museum. When the nest is slightly disturbed. the slaves work energetically together with their masters in carrying them away to a place of safety. and the larvae and pupae are exposed. it is clear that the slaves feel quite at home. Hence. sanguinea. Another species. They are incapable of making their own nests. they could not even feed themselves. Smith. and with their larvae and pupae to stimulate them to work. and actually carry their masters in their jaws. it would have been hopeless to speculate how so wonderful an instinct could have been perfected. and found a few slaves in all. to whom I am much indebted for information on this and other subjects. This species is found in the southern parts of England. F. and she instantly set to work. fusca) are found only in their own proper communities. and put all to rights.5.

on three successive years. sometimes as many as three of these ants clinging to the legs of the slave-making F. on the other hand. flava. the slaves in Switzerland habitually work with their masters in making the nest. though present in large numbers in August. probably depends merely on the slaves being captured in greater numbers in Switzerland than in England. after all. rufescens. sanguinea from one nest to another. as Huber expressly states. and put them down on a bare spot near the place of combat. As. he considers them as strictly household slaves. and food of all kinds. sanguinea. During the year 1860. and I observed a few slaves mingled with their masters leaving the nest. but Mr. as in the case of F. both in Surrey and Hampshire. who perhaps fancied that. and evidently not in search of food. According to Huber. F. One day I fortunately witnessed a migration of F. and they alone open and close the doors in the morning and evening. they had been victorious in their late combat. The masters. who had ample opportunities for observation. I came across a community with an unusually large stock of slaves. during these months. with a few of these little yellow ants still clinging to the fragments of their nest. they were eagerly seized and carried off by the tyrants. but they were prevented from getting any pupae to rear as slaves. and it was a most interesting spectacle to behold the masters carefully carrying their slaves in their jaws instead of being carried by them. the slaves are very few in number. though 257 . which they ascended together. This species is sometimes. in the month of July. however. I watched for many hours several nests in Surrey and Sussex. fusca from another nest. twenty-five yards distant. probably in search of aphides or cocci. and marching along the same road to a tall Scotch-fir tree. Another day my attention was struck by about a score of the slave-makers haunting the same spot. and never saw a slave either leave or enter a nest. June and August. they approached and were vigorously repulsed by an independent community of the slave species (F. The latter ruthlessly killed their small opponents and carried their dead bodies as food to their nest.July. Smith informs me that he has watched the nests at various hours during May. I then dug up a small parcel of the pupae of F. fusca). may be constantly seen bringing in materials for the nest. their principal office is to search for aphides. Hence. and. twenty-nine yards distant. I thought that they might behave differently when more numerous. either leave or enter the nest. This difference in the usual habits of the masters and slaves in the two countries. At the same time I laid on the same place a small parcel of the pupae of another species. and has never seen the slaves.

sanguinea could distinguish the pupae of F. flava under a stone beneath a nest of the slave-making F. as has been described by Mr. for two or three individuals of F.rarely. tend and milk as it may be called. to a very thick clump of heath. and quickly ran away. Smith. and found a number of these ants returning home and entering their nests. I traced a long file of ants burdened with booty. for about forty yards back. whereas they were much terrified when they came across the pupae. and when they migrate. and the masters alone go on slave-making expeditions. however. their 258 . and in the early part of the summer extremely few. does not determine its own migrations. sanguinea. fusca. which they habitually make into slaves. made into slaves. but I was not able to find the desolated nest in the thick heath. which they rarely capture. making and bringing materials for the nest: both. an image of despair over its ravaged home. Although so small a species. flava. for we have seen that they eagerly and instantly seized the pupae of F. In one instance I found to my surprise an independent community of F. Both in Switzerland and England the slaves seem to have the exclusive care of the larvae. but in about a quarter of an hour. Let it be observed what a contrast the instinctive habits of F. though they did not need confirmation by me. The latter does not build its own nest. from those of the little and furious F. The masters determine when and where a new nest shall be formed. of F. One evening I visited another community of F. carrying a pupa. fusca. and I have seen it ferociously attack other ants. carrying the dead bodies of F. and one was perched motionless with its own pupa in its mouth on the top of a spray of heath. but chiefly the slaves. whence I saw the last individual of F. rufescens. flava. fusca (showing that it was not a migration) and numerous pupae. Such are the facts. possesses much fewer slaves. The nest. and cannot even feed itself: it is absolutely dependent on its numerous slaves. does not collect food for itself or its young. it is very courageous. the masters carry the slaves. they took heart and carried off the pupae. and when I had accidentally disturbed both nests. on the other hand. Formica sanguinea. sanguinea present with those of the continental F. must have been close at hand. fusca were rushing about in the greatest agitation. or even the earth from the nest. sanguinea. Now I was curious to ascertain whether F. shortly after all the little yellow ants had crawled away. In Switzerland the slaves and masters work together. in regard to the wonderful instinct of making slaves. and it was evident that they did at once distinguish them. sanguinea emerge. the little ants attacked their big neighbours with surprising courage.

natural selection might increase and modify the instinct—always supposing each modification to be of use to the species—until an ant was formed as abjectly dependent on its slaves as is the Formica rufescens. will. sanguinea originated I will not pretend to conjecture. if carried out to a much less extent even than in our British F. and the foreign ants thus unintentionally reared would then follow their proper instincts. In England the masters alone usually leave the nest to collect building materials and food for themselves. to capture workers than to procreate them—the habit of collecting pupae. 259 . as I have seen. it is possible that such pupae originally stored as food might become developed. their slaves and larvae. carry off pupae of other species. originally for food. if scattered near their nests. as we have seen. So that the masters in this country receive much less service from their slaves than they do in Switzerland. When the instinct was once acquired. By what steps the instinct of F. and do what work they could. which. is less aided by its slaves than the same species in Switzerland. and thus both collect food for the community. If their presence proved useful to the species which had seized them—if it were more advantageous to this species. But as ants which are not slave-makers.aphides. might by natural selection be strengthened and rendered permanent for the very different purpose of raising slaves. sanguinea.

But the difficulty is not nearly so great as at first appears: all this beautiful work can be shown. 260 . He must be a dull man who can examine the exquisite structure of a comb. be considered only as a modification of his theory. At one end of a short series we have humble-bees. which use their old cocoons to hold honey. and the following view may. and have made their cells of the proper shape to hold the greatest possible amount of honey. Let us look to the great principle of gradation. would find it very difficult to make cells of wax of the true form. without enthusiastic admiration. is an hexagonal prism. These rhombs have certain angles. with the basal edges of its six sides bevelled so as to join an inverted pyramid. so beautifully adapted to its end. though this is effected by a crowd of bees working in a dark hive. In the series between the extreme perfection of the cells of the hivebee and the simplicity of those of the humble-bee. The Melipona itself is intermediate in structure between the hive and humble bee. it seems at first quite inconceivable how they can make all the necessary angles and planes. of three rhombs. enter into the composition of the bases of three adjoining cells on the opposite side. At the other end of the series we have the cells of the hive-bee. or even perceive when they are correctly made. but more nearly related to the latter: it forms a nearly regular waxen comb of cylindrical cells. and see whether Nature does not reveal to us her method of work. and. It has been remarked that a skilful workman. as is well known. with fitting tools and measures. with the least possible consumption of precious wax in their construction. in which the young are hatched. we have the cells of the Mexican Melipona domestica. perhaps. who has shown that the form of the cell stands in close relation to the presence of adjoining cells. sometimes adding to them short tubes of wax. carefully described and figured by Pierre Huber. in addition. These latter cells are nearly spherical and of nearly equal sizes. We hear from mathematicians that bees have practically solved a recondite problem.6. placed in a double layer: each cell. and likewise making separate and very irregular rounded cells of wax. Waterhouse. I was led to investigate this subject by Mr. but will merely give an outline of the conclusions at which I have arrived. But the important point to notice is. Granting whatever instincts you please. and are aggregated into an irregular mass. Cell-Making Instinct Of The Hive-Bee I will not here enter on minute details on this subject. some large cells of wax for holding honey. to follow from a few simple instincts. and the three which form the pyramidal base of a single cell on one side of the comb. I think.

and this pyramid. But I hear from Professor Wyman. with the centre of each sphere at the distance of radius x sqrt(2) or radius x 1. of Cambridge. is manifestly a gross imitation of the three-sided pyramidal base of the cell of the hive-bee. but this is never permitted. the bees building perfectly flat walls of wax between the spheres which thus tend to intersect. and this geometer has kindly read over the following statement. who has made numerous careful measurements. so much so. it occurred to me that if the Melipona had made its spheres at some given distance from each other. the resulting structure would have been as perfect as the comb of the hive-bee. As in the cells of the hive-bee. as Huber has remarked. if we could slightly modify the instincts already possessed by the Melipona. and tells me that it is strictly correct:If a number of equal spheres be described with their centres placed in two parallel layers. realised. three or more other cells. from the spheres being nearly of the same size. for the flat walls between the adjoining cells are not double. each cell consists of an outer spherical portion. it is rarely. When one cell rests on three other cells. which. and in themselves not very 261 . and of two. there will result a double layer of hexagonal prisms united together by pyramidal bases formed of three rhombs. is very frequently and necessarily the case. and yet each flat portion forms a part of two cells.41421 (or at some lesser distance). It is obvious that the Melipona saves wax. drawn up from his information. if ever. but are of the same thickness as the outer spherical portions. then. the three plane surfaces in any one cell necessarily enter into the construction of three adjoining cells. and what is more important. and at the same distance from the centres of the adjoining spheres in the other and parallel layer. Accordingly I wrote to Professor Miller. so here. Hence. and the rhombs and the sides of the hexagonal prisms will have every angle identically the same with the best measurements which have been made of the cells of the hive-bee. or more flat surfaces. three. the three flat surfaces are united into a pyramid. and had made them of equal sizes and had arranged them symmetrically in a double layer. if planes of intersection between the several spheres in both layers be formed. that the accuracy of the workmanship of the bee has been greatly exaggerated. according as the cell adjoins two.that these cells are always made at that degree of nearness to each other that they would have intersected or broken into each other if the spheres had been completed. labour. that whatever the typical form of the cell may be. Reflecting on this case. Hence we may safely conclude that. from the centres of the six surrounding spheres in the same layer. by this manner of building.

rectangular piece of wax. knife-edged ridge. We must suppose the Melipona to arrange her cells in level layers. in the same way as before. and began to build up flat walls of wax on the lines of intersection between the basins. that she always describes her spheres so as to intersect to a certain extent.e. and as they deepened these little pits. and were in depth about one sixth of the diameter of the sphere of which they formed a part. coloured with vermilion. thick. instead of a thick. and put between them a long. Tegetmeier. and of about the diameter of a cell. so that each hexagonal prism was built upon the scalloped edge of a smooth basin. wherever several bees had begun to excavate these basins near together.wonderful. the bees ceased to excavate. We must suppose the Melipona to have the power of forming her cells truly spherical. and of equal sizes. apparently by turning round on a fixed point. and then she unites the points of intersection by perfectly flat surfaces. this bee would make a structure as wonderfully perfect as that of the hive-bee. By such modifications of instincts which in themselves are not very wonderful—hardly more wonderful than those which guide a bird to make its nest—I believe that the hive-bee has acquired. Following the example of Mr. and this is the greatest difficulty. would have broken into each other from the opposite 262 . and this would not be very surprising. her inimitable architectural powers. The bees instantly began on both sides to excavate little basins near to each other. and seeing what perfectly cylindrical burrows many insects make in wood. but the ridge of wax was so thin. through natural selection. that the bottoms of the basins. It was most interesting to observe that. seeing that she already does so to a certain extent. and we must further suppose. they made them wider and wider until they were converted into shallow basins. but she is already so far enabled to judge of distance. as she already does her cylindrical cells. about the width of an ordinary cell). rectangular strip of wax: the bees instantly began to excavate minute circular pits in it. that she can somehow judge accurately at what distance to stand from her fellow-labourers when several are making their spheres. they had begun their work at such a distance from each other that by the time the basins had acquired the above stated width (i. But this theory can be tested by experiment. a thin and narrow. appearing to the eye perfectly true or parts of a sphere. instead of on the straight edges of a three-sided pyramid as in the case of ordinary cells. I separated two combs. I then put into the hive. the rims of the basins intersected or broke into each other. if they had been excavated to the same depth as in the former experiment. As soon as this occurred.

I do not see that there is any difficulty in the bees. that they could have effected this by gnawing away the convex side. perceiving when they have gnawed the wax away to the proper thinness. I put the comb back into the hive. where I suppose that the bees had excavated too quickly. and convex on the opposed side where the bees had worked less quickly. and again examined the cell. but the work. In some parts. large portions of a rhombic plate were thus left between the opposed basins. by excavating at the same rate. From the experiment of the ridge of vermilion wax we can see that. if the bees were to build for themselves a thin wall of wax. and then stopping their work. however. which were slightly concave on one side. and they stopped their excavations in due time. in other parts. and by endeavouring to make equal spherical hollows. In one wellmarked instance. exactly along the planes of imaginary intersection between the basins on the opposite side of the ridge of wax. In ordinary combs it has appeared to me that the bees do not always succeed in working at exactly the same rate from the opposite sides. Considering how flexible thin wax is. always working circularly as they deepen each cell. They do not make the 263 . as may be clearly seen by examining the edge of a growing comb. but never allowing the spheres to break into each other. so that the basins. for I have noticed half-completed rhombs at the base of a just-commenced cell.sides. circumferential wall or rim all round the comb. and had become PERFECTLY FLAT: it was absolutely impossible. from the unnatural state of things. and these flat bases. were situated. as soon as they had been a little deepened. as far as the eye could judge. whilst at work on the two sides of a strip of wax. had not been neatly performed. from the extreme thinness of the little plate. The bees must have worked at very nearly the same rate in circularly gnawing away and deepening the basins on both sides of the ridge of vermilion wax. and thus flatten it. in order to have thus succeeded in leaving flat plates between the basins. and they gnaw this away from the opposite sides. and allowed the bees to go on working for a short time. by standing at the proper distance from each other. they could make their cells of the proper shape. and I found that the rhombic plate had been completed. The bees. did not suffer this to happen. came to have flat bases. and I suspect that the bees in such cases stand in the opposed cells and push and bend the ductile and warm wax (which as I have tried is easily done) into its proper intermediate plane. only small portions. Now bees. do make a rough. by stopping work at the planes of intersection. formed by thin little plates of the vermilion wax left ungnawed.

they always make the first rough wall from ten to twenty times thicker than the excessively thin finished wall of the cell. as Professor Miller has kindly ascertained for me. along the plane of intersection between two adjoining spheres. by supposing masons first to pile up a broad ridge of cement. I could show that they are conformable with my theory. by being largely gnawed away on both sides. strength is continually given to the comb. but I will not here enter on details. strictly correct. very thin wall is left in the middle.whole three-sided pyramidal base of any one cell at the same time. that a multitude of bees all work together. one bee after 264 . From all the cells. By the above singular manner of building. We shall thus have a thin wall steadily growing upward but always crowned by a gigantic coping. that the very first cell is excavated out of a little parallel-sided wall of wax. and then to begin cutting it away equally on both sides near the ground. the masons always piling up the cut-away cement. flexures may sometimes be observed. the bees can cluster and crawl over the comb without injuring the delicate hexagonal walls. which will ultimately be left. but it would be a great error to suppose that the bees cannot build up a rough wall of wax in the proper position—that is. and adding fresh cement on the summit of the ridge. from twenty-one measurements. is not. But the rough wall of wax has in every case to be finished off. both those just commenced and those completed. having a mean thickness. with the utmost ultimate economy of wax. but only that one rhombic plate which stands on the extreme growing margin. The manner in which the bees build is curious. I have several specimens showing clearly that they can do this. Some of these statements differ from those made by the justly celebrated elder Huber. as the case may be. vary greatly in thickness. It seems at first to add to the difficulty of understanding how the cells are made. the first commencement having always been a little hood of wax. corresponding in position to the planes of the rhombic basal plates of future cells. and if I had space. We see how important a part excavation plays in the construction of the cells. whereas the basal rhomboidal plates are thicker. 1/352 of an inch in thickness. as far as I have seen. or the two plates. of 1/229 of an inch. We shall understand how they work. till a smooth. and they never complete the upper edges of the rhombic plates. until the hexagonal walls are commenced. on an average of twelve measurements made near the border of the comb. Even in the rude circumferential rim or wall of wax round a growing comb. These walls. being thus crowned by a strong coping of wax. nearly in the proportion of three to two. but I am convinced of their accuracy. Huber's statement. being.

they never gnaw away and finish off the angles of a cell till a large part both of that cell and of the adjoining cells has been built. a score of individuals work even at the commencement of the first cell. as it bears on a fact. the planes of intersection between these spheres. sweeping spheres or cylinders. It suffices that the bees should be enabled to stand at their proper relative distances from each other and from the walls of the last completed cells. in its strictly proper place. and building up intermediate planes. on a slip of wood. that the cells on the extreme margin of wasp-combs are sometimes strictly hexagonal. and I invariably found that the colour was most delicately diffused by the bees—as delicately as a painter could have done it with his brush—by atoms of the coloured wax having been taken from the spot on which it had been placed. or the extreme margin of the circumferential rim of a growing comb. I was able practically to show this fact. When bees have a place on which they can stand in their proper positions for working—for instance. It was really curious to note in cases of difficulty. 265 . by covering the edges of the hexagonal walls of a single cell. with an extremely thin layer of melted vermilion wax. which seems at first subversive of the foregoing theory. The work of construction seems to be a sort of balance struck between many bees. but I have not space here to enter on this subject. This capacity in bees of laying down under certain circumstances a rough wall in its proper place between two justcommenced cells. all instinctively standing at the same relative distance from each other. as Huber has stated. and then building up. as when two pieces of comb met at an angle. and then. is important. namely. or leaving ungnawed. by striking imaginary spheres.working a short time at one cell going to another. but. so that the comb has to be built over one face of the slip—in this case the bees can lay the foundations of one wall of a new hexagon. placed directly under the middle of a comb growing downwards. they can build up a wall intermediate between two adjoining spheres. all trying to sweep equal spheres. Nor does there seem to me any great difficulty in a single insect (as in the case of a queen-wasp) making hexagonal cells. as far as I have seen. always standing at the proper relative distance from the parts of the cells just begun. so that. and worked into the growing edges of the cells all round. projecting beyond the other completed cells. if she were to work alternately on the inside and outside of two or three cells commenced at the same time. how often the bees would pull down and rebuild in different ways the same cell. sometimes recurring to a shape which they had at first rejected.

whether a bee allied to our humble-bees could exist in large numbers in any country. and the time consumed in collecting the honey. so as to intersect a little. each profitable to the individual under its conditions of life. if she were to make her cells closer together. or parasites. from the same cause. it would continually be more and more advantageous to our humble-bees. it is known that bees are often hard pressed to get sufficient nectar. With respect to the formation of wax. and I am informed by Mr. as we have seen. for in this case a large part of the bounding surface of each cell would serve to bound the adjoining cells. and the security of the hive is known mainly to depend on a large number of bees being supported. as it probably often has determined. many bees have to remain idle for many days during the process of secretion.As natural selection acts only by the accumulation of slight modifications of structure or instinct. so that a prodigious quantity of fluid nectar must be collected and consumed by the bees in a hive for the secretion of the wax necessary for the construction of their combs. and save much in labour and space. must be an important element of success any family of bees. and let us further suppose that the community lived through the winter. Of course the success of the species may be dependent on the number of its enemies. the 266 . all tending towards the present perfect plan of construction. like the cells of the Melipona. and consequently required a store of honey: there can in this case be no doubt that it would be an advantage to our imaginary humble-bee if a slight modification of her instincts led her to make her waxen cells near together. it may reasonably be asked. it would be advantageous to the Melipona. if they were to make their cells more and more regular. Moreover. and aggregated into a mass. could have profited the progenitors of the hive-bee? I think the answer is not difficult: cells constructed like those of the bee or the wasp gain in strength. Hence. and in the materials of which they are constructed. for then. and much labour and wax would be saved. and so be altogether independent of the quantity of honey which the bees can collect. or on quite distinct causes. Tegetmeier that it has been experimentally proved that from twelve to fifteen pounds of dry sugar are consumed by a hive of bees for the secretion of a pound of wax. for a wall in common even to two adjoining cells would save some little labour and wax. Again. But let us suppose that this latter circumstance determined. A large store of honey is indispensable to support a large stock of bees during the winter. and more regular in every way than at present. Hence the saving of wax by largely saving honey. nearer together. how a long and graduated succession of modified architectural instincts.

Beyond this stage of perfection in architecture. no more knowing that they swept their spheres at one particular distance from each other. successive. than they know what are the several angles of the hexagonal prisms and of the basal rhombic plates. the most wonderful of all known instincts. more and more perfectly led the bees to sweep equal spheres at a given distance from each other in a double layer. and least waste of honey in the secretion of wax. natural selection could not lead. can be explained by natural selection having taken advantage of numerous. the motive power of the process of natural selection having been the construction of cells of due strength and of the proper size and shape for the larvae. as I believe. this being effected with the greatest possible economy of labour and wax. and having transmitted their newly-acquired economical instincts to new swarms. natural selection having. by slow degrees. 267 . that of the hive-bee. is absolutely perfect in economising labour and wax. and to build up and excavate the wax along the planes of intersection. Thus. slight modifications of simpler instincts. having succeeded best.spherical surfaces would wholly disappear and be replaced by plane surfaces. for the comb of the hive-bee. as far as we can see. which in their turn will have had the best chance of succeeding in the struggle for existence. The bees. and the Melipona would make a comb as perfect as that of the hive-bee. that individual swarm which thus made the best cells with least labour. of course.

or compulsion. until a beak was formed. but in accordance with. cases of instincts of such trifling 268 . cases." The force of this objection rests entirely on the assumption that the changes in the instincts and structure are abrupt. in which we cannot see how an instinct could have originated. as a modification in the one without an immediate corresponding change in the other would have been fatal. and hammers with its beak till it gets at the kernel. or from any other unknown cause. Now what special difficulty would there be in natural selection preserving all the slight individual variations in the shape of the beak. and it is not improbable that such larger feet would lead the bird to climb more and more until it acquired the remarkable climbing instinct and power of the nuthatch. this bird often holds the seeds of the yew between its feet on a branch. should at last produce a species with instincts leading it to neglect other materials and to make its nest exclusively of inspissated saliva? And so in other cases. at the same time that habit. Objections To The Theory Of Natural Selection As Applied To Instincts: Neuter And Sterile Insects It has been objected to the foregoing view of the origin of instincts that "the variations of structure and of instinct must have been simultaneous and accurately adjusted to each other. led the bird to become more and more of a seed-eater? In this case the beak is supposed to be slowly modified by natural selection. however. It must. which secreted more and more saliva. believed to be moistened with saliva. and even with flakes of this substance. slowly changing habits or taste. Is it then very improbable that the natural selection of individual swifts. or spontaneous variations of taste. In this case a gradual change of structure is supposed to lead to changed instinctive habits. in which no intermediate gradations are known to exist. No doubt many instincts of very difficult explanation could be opposed to the theory of natural selection—cases. subsequently to. To take one more case: few instincts are more remarkable than that which leads the swift of the Eastern Islands to make its nest wholly of inspissated saliva. but let the feet of the titmouse vary and grow larger from correlation with the beak. Some birds build their nests of mud. as well constructed for this purpose as that of the nuthatch. be admitted that in many instances we cannot conjecture whether it was instinct or structure which first varied.7. and one of the swifts of North America makes its nest (as I have seen) of sticks agglutinated with saliva. (Parus major) alluded to in a previous chapter. To take as an illustration the case of the larger titmouse. which were better and better adapted to break open the seeds.

I can see no especial difficulty in this having been effected through natural selection. and in instinct. they cannot propagate their kind. As far as instinct alone is concerned. but will confine myself to one special difficulty. and in being destitute of wings and sometimes of eyes. the wonderful difference in this respect between the workers and the perfect females would have been better exemplified by the hivebee. by individuals having been born with slight profitable modifications. I allude to the neuters or sterile females in insect communities: for these neuters often differ widely in instinct and in structure from both the males and fertile females. as in the shape of the thorax. and actually fatal to the whole theory. The great difficulty lies in the working ants differing widely from both the males and the fertile females in structure. and that these again varied and again were selected. and consequently must believe that they were independently acquired through natural selection. I should have unhesitatingly assumed that all its characters had been slowly acquired through natural selection. But with the working ant we have an insect differing greatly from its parents. How the workers have been rendered sterile is a difficulty. for it can be shown that some insects and other articulate animals in a state of nature occasionally become sterile. and if such insects had been social. I will not here enter on these several cases.importance. both in our domestic productions and in those in a state of nature. If a working ant or other neuter insect had been an ordinary animal. but not much greater than that of any other striking modification of structure. cases of instincts almost identically the same in animals so remote in the scale of nature that we cannot account for their similarity by inheritance from a common progenitor. and it had been profitable to the community that a number should have been annually born capable of work. that of working or sterile ants. of all sorts of differences of inherited structure which are correlated with certain ages and with either sex. yet absolutely sterile. but I will here take only a single case. namely. and yet. from being sterile. which at first appeared to me insuperable. but incapable of procreation. so that it could never have transmitted successively acquired modifications of structure or instinct to its progeny. let it be remembered that we have innumerable instances. which were inherited by the offspring. and so onwards. It may well be asked how it is possible to reconcile this case with the theory of natural selection? First. that they could hardly have been acted on by natural selection. The subject well deserves to be discussed at great length. But I must pass over this preliminary difficulty. We have differences correlated not only with one 269 .

produced oxen with the longest horns. or. This difficulty. and in the hooked jaws of the male salmon. and may thus gain the desired end. but they likewise yield some single and fertile plants. it is probable. but with that short period when the reproductive system is active. As with the varieties of the stock. be formed by carefully watching which individual bulls and cows. so with social insects. Verlot. as well as to the individual. by which alone the variety can be propagated. We have even slight differences in the horns of different breeds of cattle in relation to an artificially imperfect state of the male sex. These latter. correlated with the sterile condition of certain members of the community. 270 . This process must have been repeated many times. have proved advantageous. when it is remembered that selection may be applied to the family. I can see no great difficulty in any character becoming correlated with the sterile condition of certain members of insect communities. until that prodigious amount of difference between the fertile and sterile females of the same species has been produced which we see in many social insects. is lessened. Hence. for the sake of gaining a serviceable end. as I believe. we may conclude that slight modifications of structure or of instinct. for oxen of certain breeds have longer horns than the oxen of other breeds. from having been long and carefully selected to the right degree. as in the nuptial plumage of many birds. always yielding oxen with extraordinarily long horns. Hence. selection has been applied to the family. and the double sterile plants with the neuters of the same community. relatively to the length of the horns in both the bulls and cows of these same breeds.sex. but the breeder has gone with confidence to the same stock and has succeeded. always produce a large proportion of seedlings bearing double and quite sterile flowers. consequently the fertile males and females have flourished. and not to the individual. and transmitted to their fertile offspring a tendency to produce sterile members with the same modifications. disappears. Such faith may be placed in the power of selection that a breed of cattle. may be compared with the fertile male and female ants. though appearing insuperable. some varieties of the double annual stock. when matched. and yet no one ox would ever have propagated its kind. could. the difficulty lies in understanding how such correlated modifications of structure could have been slowly accumulated by natural selection. Here is a better and real illustration: According to M. An animal thus characterized has been slaughtered. Breeders of cattle wish the flesh and fat to be well marbled together.

F. with some few of intermediate size. which our European ants guard and imprison. the workers of one caste alone carry a wonderful sort of shield on their heads. the fact that the neuters of several ants differ. the workers of one caste never leave the nest. all the neuters ultimately came to be thus characterized. namely. Smith has shown that the neuters of several British ants differ surprisingly from each other in size and sometimes in colour. and this we do find. the larger workers have simple eyes (ocelli). which. It will indeed be thought that I have an overweening confidence in the principle of natural selection. they are fed by the workers of another caste. or rather as any two genera of the same family. The castes. considering how few neuter-insects out of Europe have been carefully examined. though small. being as distinct from each other as are any two species of the same genus. F. and. the use of which is quite unknown: in the Mexican Myrmecocystus. can be plainly distinguished.But we have not as yet touched on the acme of the difficulty. when I do not admit that such wonderful and well-established facts at once annihilate the theory. Thus. Mr. and that the extreme forms can be linked together by individuals taken out of the same nest: I have myself compared perfect gradations of this kind. in this species. which. and they have an enormously developed abdomen which secretes a sort of honey. According to this view we ought occasionally to find in the same nest neuter-insects. but from each other. or the domestic cattle as they may be called. In the simpler case of neuter insects all of one caste. but are perfectly well defined. sometimes to an almost incredible degree. do not generally graduate into each other. with jaws and instincts extraordinarily different: in Cryptocerus. and are thus divided into two or even three castes. we may conclude from the analogy of ordinary variations. but in some few alone. whereas the smaller workers have 271 . while those of an intermediate size are scanty in numbers. and that by the survival of the communities with females which produced most neuters having the advantageous modification. there are working and soldier neuters. not only from the fertile females and males. profitable modifications did not first arise in all the neuters in the same nest. Smith has observed. or that both large and small are numerous. as Mr. have been rendered different from the fertile males and females through natural selection. as I believe. presenting gradations of structure. moreover. even not rarely. slight. Formica flava has larger and smaller workers. that the successive. in Eciton. It sometimes happens that the larger or the smaller sized workers are the most numerous. supplying the place of that excreted by the aphides.

or lastly. I may digress by adding. though the male and female ants of this genus have well-developed ocelli. differing not only in size. yet connected by some few members in an intermediate condition. by acting on the fertile ants or parents. could form a species which should regularly produce neuters. though the workers can be grouped into castes of different sizes. as does the widely-different structure of their jaws. Having carefully dissected several specimens of these workers. 272 . F. and I fully believe. we should then have had a species of ant with neuters in nearly the same condition as those of Myrmica. with the camera lucida. Bates. that the workers of intermediate size have their ocelli in an exactly intermediate condition. but we must in addition suppose that the larger workmen had heads four instead of three times as big as those of the smaller men. of the jaws which I dissected from the workers of the several sizes. and jaws nearly five times as big. as Sir J. I speak confidently on this latter point. all of large size with one form of jaw. but in their organs of vision. So that here we have two bodies of sterile workers in the same nest." has described analogous cases. I may give one other case: so confidently did I expect occasionally to find gradations of important structures between the different castes of neuters in the same species. in his interesting "Naturalist on the Amazons. The jaws. yet they graduate insensibly into each other. which produced more and more of the smaller workers. not the actual measurements. I can affirm that the eyes are far more rudimentary in the smaller workers than can be accounted for merely by their proportionately lesser size. Smith's offer of numerous specimens from the same nest of the driver ant (Anomma) of West Africa. of the working ants of the several sizes differed wonderfully in shape. I believe that natural selection. of whom many were five feet four inches high. though I dare not assert so positively. that if the smaller workers had been the most useful to the community.their ocelli rudimentary. but a strictly accurate illustration: the difference was the same as if we were to see a set of workmen building a house. moreover. For the workers of Myrmica have not even rudiments of ocelli. that I gladly availed myself of Mr. until all the workers were in this condition. But the important fact for us is that. With these facts before me. and in the form and number of the teeth. Mr. and many sixteen feet high. and this is the greatest difficulty. or all of small size with widely different jaws. and those males and females had been continually selected. The reader will perhaps best appreciate the amount of difference in these workers by my giving. Lubbock made drawings for me.

as in the case of the driver ant. But this subject need not here be discussed. Wallace. For peculiar habits. An analogous explanation has been given by Mr. discussed this case. has originated. which alone leave descendants. Ants. I am surprised that no one has advanced this demonstrative case of neuter insects. I believe. I should never have anticipated that this principle could have been efficient in so high a degree. work by inherited instincts and by inherited organs or tools. had not the case of these neuter insects led me to this conclusion. through the survival of the parents which generated them. any amount of modification may be effected by the accumulation of numerous. The case. however long they might be followed. as with plants. against the well-known doctrine of inherited habit. and then the extreme forms having been produced in greater and greater numbers. could not possibly affect the males and fertile females. until none with an intermediate structure were produced. at some little but wholly insufficient length. slight. spontaneous variations. is very interesting. also. of certain Malayan butterflies regularly appearing under two or even three distinct female forms. We can see how useful their production may have been to a social community of ants. however. on the same principle that the division of labour is useful to civilised man. while man works by acquired knowledge and manufactured instruments. both widely different from each other and from their parents. without exercise or habit having been brought into play. as it proves that with animals. that. the wonderful fact of two distinctly defined castes of sterile workers existing in the same nest. of the equally complex case. I have now explained how. and simultaneously another set of workers of a different size and structure. as advanced by Lamarck. and likewise because this is by far the most serious special difficulty which my theory has encountered. 273 . which are in any way profitable. and by Fritz Muller. in order to show the power of natural selection. with all my faith in natural selection. of certain Brazilian crustaceans likewise appearing under two widely distinct male forms. I have. But I must confess. confined to the workers of sterile females. therefore.one set of workers of one size and structure. a graduated series having first been formed.

how it is that the thrush of tropical South America lines its nest with mud. not as specially endowed or created instincts. yet often retaining nearly the same instincts. but as small consequences of one general law leading to the advancement of all organic beings—namely. there is no real difficulty. under changing conditions of life. it may not be a logical deduction. I do not pretend that the facts given in this chapter strengthen in any great degree my theory. vary. In many cases habit or use and disuse have probably come into play. in the same peculiar manner as does our British thrush. 274 . like the males of our Kittywrens. but none of the cases of difficulty. ants making slaves. with only a small hole left in the plaster through which the males feed them and their young when hatched. and that the variations are inherited. but distinct. the fact that instincts are not always absolutely perfect and are liable to mistakes. the larvae of ichneumonidae feeding within the live bodies of caterpillars. of "Natura non facit saltum. On the other hand. to the best of my judgment. multiply. on the principle of inheritance. Finally. species. how it is that the Hornbills of Africa and India have the same extraordinary instinct of plastering up and imprisoning the females in a hole in a tree. we can understand. as by that common case of closely allied.8. but is otherwise inexplicable—all tend to corroborate the theory of natural selection. Therefore. build "cock-nests. Summary I have endeavoured in this chapter briefly to show that the mental qualities of our domestic animals vary. and is plainly explicable on the foregoing views. This theory is also strengthened by some few other facts in regard to instincts. in natural selection accumulating to any extent slight modifications of instinct which are in any way useful. but to my imagination it is far more satisfactory to look at such instincts as the young cuckoo ejecting its fosterbrothers. that no instinct can be shown to have been produced for the good of other animals. when inhabiting distant parts of the world and living under considerably different conditions of life. that the canon in natural history. No one will dispute that instincts are of the highest importance to each animal. Still more briefly I have attempted to show that instincts vary slightly in a state of nature. annihilate it. though animals take advantage of the instincts of others.—a habit wholly unlike that of any other known bird." is applicable to instincts as well as to corporeal structure. how it is that the male wrens (Troglodytes) of North America. let the strongest live and the weakest die. For instance." to roost in.

but incidental on other differences.Chapter 9 Hybridism Distinction between the sterility of first crosses and of hybrids — Sterility various in degree. removed by domestication — Laws governing the sterility of hybrids — Sterility not a special endowment. not universal. affected by close interbreeding. 275 . not accumulated by natural selection — Causes of the sterility of first crosses and of hybrids — Parallelism between the effects of changed conditions of life and of crossing — Dimorphism and trimorphism — Fertility of varieties when crossed and of their mongrel offspring not universal — Hybrids and mongrels compared independently of their fertility — Summary.

as I shall show. when crossed. The fertility of varieties. yet when intercrossed they produce either few or no offspring. and the sterility of the hybrids produced from them. owing to the sterility in both cases being looked on as a special endowment. though the formative organs themselves are perfect in structure. has to be considered. and that of their hybrid offspring. 276 . In treating this subject. This view certainly seems at first highly probable. cannot have been acquired. the sterility of species when first crossed. The subject is in many ways important for us. two classes of facts. by the preservation of successive profitable degrees of sterility. of equal importance with the sterility of species. more especially as the sterility of species when first crossed. for species living together could hardly have been kept distinct had they been capable of freely crossing. or are imperfectly developed. that is of the forms known or believed to be descended from common parents. Hybrids. namely. and likewise the fertility of their mongrel offspring. with reference to my theory. in order to prevent their confusion. The view commonly entertained by naturalists is that species. on the other hand. have their reproductive organs functionally impotent. The distinction probably has been slurred over. have been specially endowed with sterility. in the second case they are either not at all developed.1. have generally been confounded. Pure species have of course their organs of reproduction in a perfect condition. when intercrossed. This distinction is important. beyond the province of our reasoning powers. In the first case the two sexual elements which go to form the embryo are perfect. when the cause of the sterility. as may be clearly seen in the state of the male element in both plants and animals. It is an incidental result of differences in the reproductive systems of the parentspecies. to a large extent fundamentally different. is. as far as the microscope reveals. which is common to the two cases. for it seems to make a broad and clear distinction between varieties and species.

for Gartner gives in his table about a score of cases of plants which he castrated. who almost devoted their lives to this subject. in which there is an acknowledged difficulty in the manipulation) half of these twenty plants had their fertility in some degree impaired. for the sterility of species when crossed and of their hybrid offspring. considered by most authors as distinct species. he unhesitatingly ranks them as varieties. arrived at diametrically opposite conclusions in regard to some of the very same 277 . must be secluded in order to prevent pollen being brought to it by insects from other plants. also. Kolreuter and Gartner. on the one hand. that for all practical purposes it is most difficult to say where perfect fertility ends and sterility begins. as he believed. what is often more important. and (excluding all cases such as the Leguminosae. Moreover. It is certain. It is impossible to study the several memoirs and works of those two conscientious and admirable observers. that the sterility of various species when crossed is so different in degree and graduates away so insensibly. that the fertility of pure species is so easily affected by various circumstances. in order to show that there is any degree of sterility. and found them absolutely sterile.2. Gartner. Nearly all the plants experimented on by Gartner were potted. as Gartner repeatedly crossed some forms. Degrees Of Sterility First. must be castrated. and. But causes of serious error here intervene: a plant. That these processes are often injurious to the fertility of a plant cannot be doubted. and were kept in a chamber in his house. to be hybridised. we may doubt whether many species are really so sterile. Kolreuter makes the rule universal. and he disputes the entire fertility of Kolreuter's ten cases. but then he cuts the knot. which the best botanists rank as varieties. namely Kolreuter and Gartner. He always compares the maximum number of seeds produced by two species when first crossed. such as the common red and blue pimpernels (Anagallis arvensis and coerulea). But in these and in many other cases. with the average number produced by both pure parent-species in a state of nature. on the other hand. for in ten cases in which he found two forms. Gartner is obliged carefully to count the seeds. without being deeply impressed with the high generality of some degree of sterility. and. makes the rule equally universal. and the maximum produced by their hybrid offspring. I think no better evidence of this can be required than that the two most experienced observers who have ever lived. when intercrossed. quite fertile together. and artificially fertilised with their own pollen.

and goes on increasing. Now. But I believe that their fertility has been diminished in nearly all these cases by an independent cause. namely. in the process of artificial fertilisation. showing on the one hand that an occasional cross with a distinct individual or variety increases the vigour and fertility of the offspring. though Gartner was enabled to rear some hybrids. yet he asserts positively that their fertility never increases. as from the anthers of the flower itself which is to be fertilised. it may first be noticed that when any deviation in structure or constitution is common to both parents. pollen is as often taken by chance (as I know from my own experience) from the anthers of another flower. It can thus be shown that neither sterility nor fertility affords any certain distinction between species and varieties. The evidence from this source graduates away. would be thus effected. I have made so many experiments and collected so many facts. the visits of insects must be carefully prevented during the flowering season: hence hybrids. and is doubtful in the same degree as is the evidence derived from other constitutional and structural differences. It is also most instructive to compare—but I have not space here to enter on details—the evidence advanced by our best botanists on the question whether certain doubtful forms should be ranked as species or varieties. namely. generally grow in the same garden. already lessened by their hybrid origin. if left to themselves. will generally be fertilised during each generation by pollen from the same flower. With respect to this decrease. Hybrids are seldom raised by experimentalists in great numbers. with the evidence from fertility adduced by different hybridisers. or by the same observer from experiments made during different years.forms. and in one case for ten generations. sometimes decidedly increases. and on the other hand that very close interbreeding lessens their vigour and fertility. by too close interbreeding. and this would probably be injurious to their fertility. Moreover. In regard to the sterility of hybrids in successive generations. that if even the less fertile hybrids be artificially fertilised with hybrid pollen of the same kind. their fertility. notwithstanding the frequent ill effects from manipulation. but generally decreases greatly and suddenly. and both sexual elements in hybrid plants are already affected in some degree. and as the parent-species. whenever complicated 278 . this is often transmitted in an augmented degree to the offspring. or other allied hybrids. so that a cross between two flowers. for six or seven. though probably often on the same plant. carefully guarding them from a cross with either pure parent. that I cannot doubt the correctness of this conclusion. I am strengthened in this conviction by a remarkable statement repeatedly made by Gartner.

as I believe. revolutum produced a plant. The difference in their results may. that "every ovule in a pod of Crinum capense fertilised by C. certain abnormal individuals. that individual plants of certain species of Lobelia. and Rev. namely. and by his having hot-houses at his command.experiments are in progress. in various orchids as shown by Mr. I think. And thus. be accounted for by too close interbreeding having been avoided. three were fertilised by Herbert with their own pollen. may. so careful an observer as Gartner would have castrated his hybrids. be in part accounted for by Herbert's great horticultural skill. and this would have insured in each generation a cross with pollen from a distinct flower. the strange fact of an increase of fertility in the successive generations of ARTIFICIALLY FERTILISED hybrids. and the fourth was subsequently fertilised by the pollen of a compound hybrid descended from three distinct species: the result was that "the ovaries of the three first flowers soon ceased to grow. Herbert tried similar 279 . which I never saw to occur in a case of its natural fecundation. W. can easily be fertilised by the pollen from a distinct species. but not by pollen from the same plant. namely. He experimented on some of the very same species as did Gartner. the Hon. a bulb of Hippeastrum aulicum produced four flowers. in a first cross between two distinct species. and bore good seed. all the individuals are in this peculiar condition. Now let us turn to the results arrived at by a third most experienced hybridiser. in contrast with those spontaneously self. or even more than commonly perfect fertility.fertilised. namely. which vegetated freely. Of his many important statements I will here give only a single one as an example. So that with some species. whereas the pod impregnated by the pollen of the hybrid made vigorous growth and rapid progress to maturity." Mr. and after a few days perished entirely. Verbascum and Passiflora. either from the same plant or from another plant of the same hybrid nature. and in other species all the individuals. In the genus Hippeastrum. though this pollen can be proved to be perfectly sound by fertilising other plants or species. can actually be hybridised much more readily than they can be fertilised by pollen from the same individual plant! To give one instance. Scott and Fritz Muller. Herbert. in Corydalis as shown by Professor Hildebrand. This case of the Crinum leads me to refer to a singular fact. He is as emphatic in his conclusion that some hybrids are perfectly fertile—as fertile as the pure parent-species—as are Kolreuter and Gartner that some degree of sterility between distinct species is a universal law of nature." So that here we have perfect.

yet many of these hybrids seed freely. owing to few animals breeding freely under confinement. deserve some notice." Had hybrids. C. Fuchsia. It is notorious in how complicated a manner the species of Pelargonium. informs me that he raises stocks for grafting from a hybrid between Rhod. the canary-bird has been crossed with nine distinct species of finches. and the injurious influence of close interbreeding is thus prevented. Horticulturists raise large beds of the same hybrid. Calceolaria. If our systematic arrangements can be trusted. I hardly know of an instance in which two families of the same hybrid have been raised at the same time from different parents. however. as Gartner believed to be the case. the fact would have been notorious to nurserymen. It should. These cases serve to show on what slight and mysterious causes the lesser or greater fertility of a species sometimes depends. species most widely dissimilar in general habit. when fairly treated. and I am assured that many of them are perfectly fertile. if the genera of animals are as distinct from each other as are the genera of plants. for instance. as not one of these breeds freely in confinement. we have no right to expect that the first crosses between them and the canary. then we may infer that animals more widely distinct in the scale of nature can be crossed more easily than in the case of plants. be borne in mind that. much fewer experiments have been carefully tried than with plants. Mr.. few experiments have been fairly tried: for instance. In regard to animals. that is. should be perfectly fertile.experiments during many years. ponticum and catawbiense. and that this hybrid "seeds as freely as it is possible to imagine. Herbert asserts that a hybrid from Calceolaria integrifolia and plantaginea. more sterile. For instance. though not made with scientific precision. "reproduces itself as perfectly as if it had been a natural species from the mountains of Chile. for he will find on their stigmas plenty of pollen brought from other flowers. Any one may readily convince himself of the efficiency of insect agency by examining the flowers of the more sterile kinds of hybrid Rhododendrons. which produce no pollen. Rhododendron. for by insect agency the several individuals are allowed to cross freely with each other. but the hybrids themselves are. so as to avoid the ill effects of close 280 . Noble. always gone on decreasing in fertility in each successive generation. I think. etc. or that their hybrids. and always with the same result. Again. with respect to the fertility in successive generations of the more fertile hybrid animals. Petunia. and such alone are fairly treated. have been crossed. but. The practical experiments of horticulturists." I have taken some pains to ascertain the degree of fertility of some of the complex crosses of Rhododendrons.

From this fact we must conclude either that the aboriginal parent-species at first produced perfectly fertile hybrids. for I am assured by two eminently capable judges. Quatrefages states that the hybrids from two moths (Bombyx cynthia and arrindia) were proved in Paris to be fertile inter se for eight generations. and from Phasianus colchicus with P. the various races when crossed together are quite fertile. and as they are kept for profit. in opposition to the constantly repeated admonition of every breeder. with perhaps the exception of certain indigenous domestic dogs of South America. who raised two hybrids from the same parents. whether the several aboriginal species would at first have freely bred together and have produced quite fertile hybrids. they must certainly be highly or perfectly fertile. and from these two birds he raised no less than eight hybrids (grandchildren of the pure geese) from one nest. Blyth and Captain Hutton. and can. This latter alternative.interbreeding. are perfectly fertile. M. it is not at all surprising that the inherent sterility in the hybrids should have gone on increasing. Although I know of hardly any thoroughly well-authenticated cases of perfectly fertile hybrid animals. these cross-bred geese must be far more fertile. indeed. and in one single instance they have bred inter se. It has lately been asserted that two such distinct species as the hare and rabbit. I have reason to believe that the hybrids from Cervulus vaginalis and Reevesii. namely Mr. brothers and sisters have usually been crossed in each successive generation. Eyton. yet in many cases they are descended from two or more wild species. which was first propounded by Pallas. cygnoides). when they can be got to breed together. yet. have often bred in this country with either pure parent. but from different hatches. seems by far the most probable. produce offspring. hardly be doubted. almost certain that our dogs are descended from several wild stocks. which are highly fertile when crossed with one of the parent-species. all are quite fertile together. In India. torquatus. This was effected by Mr. species which are so different that they are generally ranked in distinct genera. On the contrary. however. And in this case. or that the hybrids subsequently reared under domestication became quite fertile. for instance. It is. where neither pure parent-species exists. that whole flocks of these crossed geese are kept in various parts of the country. So again I have lately acquired decisive evidence that the crossed offspring from the Indian humped and common cattle are inter se perfectly 281 . With our domesticated animals. but analogy makes me greatly doubt. The hybrids from the common and Chinese geese (A.

these two forms must be regarded as good and distinct species. etc. but as one capable of being removed by domestication. not as an indelible characteristic. is an extremely general result. and from the observations by Rutimeyer on their important osteological differences.fertile. or we must look at this sterility in animals. be considered as absolutely universal. under our present state of knowledge. both in first crosses and in hybrids. Finally. either give up the belief of the universal sterility of species when crossed. Blyth on their differences in habits. it may be concluded that some degree of sterility. constitution. as well as from those by Mr. The same remarks may be extended to the two chief races of the pig. but that it cannot. We must. considering all the ascertained facts on the intercrossing of plants and animals.. 282 . voice. therefore.

From this extreme degree of sterility we have self-fertilised hybrids producing a greater and greater number of seeds up to perfect fertility. So in hybrids themselves. that the degree of fertility. it exerts no more influence than so much inorganic dust. and. I have taken much pains to ascertain how far they apply to animals. there are some which never have produced. and which rarely produce any offspring. On the other hand. but only the barest outline of the facts can here be given. considering how scanty our knowledge is in regard to hybrid animals. From this absolute zero of fertility. there are 283 . and the early withering of the flower is well known to be a sign of incipient fertilisation. When pollen from a plant of one family is placed on the stigma of a plant of a distinct family. in which two pure species. a single fertile seed: but in some of these cases a first trace of fertility may be detected. in certain abnormal cases. and the sterility of the hybrids thus produced—two classes of facts which are generally confounded together—is by no means strict. as in the genus Verbascum. beyond that which the plant's own pollen produces. It is surprising in how many curious ways this gradation can be shown. even to an excess of fertility. It has been already remarked. and produce numerous hybrid offspring. I have been surprised to find how generally the same rules apply to both kingdoms. yet these hybrids are remarkably sterile. are generally very sterile. and probably never would produce. as we have seen. the pollen of different species applied to the stigma of some one species of the same genus. both of first crosses and of hybrids. even with the pollen of the pure parents. in order to prevent their crossing and blending together in utter confusion. Laws Governing The Sterility Of First Crosses And Of Hybrids We will now consider a little more in detail the laws governing the sterility of first crosses and of hybrids. yields a perfect gradation in the number of seeds produced. Our chief object will be to see whether or not these laws indicate that species have been specially endowed with this quality. can be united with unusual facility. up to nearly complete or even quite complete fertility. The following conclusions are drawn up chiefly from Gartner's admirable work on the hybridisation of plants. by the pollen of one of the pure parent-species causing the flower of the hybrid to wither earlier than it otherwise would have done. but the parallelism between the difficulty of making a first cross.3. and. The hybrids raised from two species which are very difficult to cross. graduates from zero to perfect fertility. There are many cases.

and on the other hand. deciduous and evergreen 284 . for their degree of fertility is often found to differ greatly in the several individuals raised from seed out of the same capsule and exposed to the same conditions.species which can be crossed very rarely. but Gartner found that N. but the hybrids. and on the other hand of very distinct species which unite with the utmost facility. the many species of Nicotiana have been more largely crossed than the species of almost any other genus. So it is with hybrids. these two opposite cases occur. in any recognisable character. which is not a particularly distinct species. Even within the limits of the same genus. and having strongly marked differences in every part of the flower. for it is not always the same in degree when the same two species are crossed under the same circumstances. can be crossed. in which very many species can most readily be crossed. for instance in Dianthus. as Dianthus. is largely governed by their systematic affinity. is sufficient to prevent two species crossing. By the term systematic affinity is meant. or to be fertilised. is more easily affected by unfavourable conditions. even in the pollen. But the correspondence between systematic affinity and the facility of crossing is by no means strict. both of first crosses and of hybrids. Annual and perennial plants. It can be shown that plants most widely different in habit and general appearance. obstinately failed to fertilise. in the fruit. This is clearly shown by hybrids never having been raised between species ranked by systematists in distinct families. when at last produced. Even within the limits of the same genus. Many analogous facts could be given. and another genus. we meet with this same difference. Now the fertility of first crosses. A multitude of cases could be given of very closely allied species which will not unite. But the fertility of first crosses is likewise innately variable. are very fertile. as Silene. acuminata. No one has been able to point out what kind or what amount of difference. and in the cotyledons. by no less than eight other species of Nicotiana. in which the most persevering efforts have failed to produce between extremely close species a single hybrid. the general resemblance between species in structure and constitution. The fertility. In the same family there may be a genus. or only with extreme difficulty. than is that of pure species. for instance. it depends in part upon the constitution of the individuals which happen to have been chosen for the experiment. or with extreme difficulty. and of the hybrids produced from them. by very closely allied species generally uniting with facility.

instead of having. and these hybrids are almost always utterly sterile. There is often the widest possible difference in the facility of making reciprocal crosses. Gartner. Several other singular rules could be given from Gartner: for instance. and occasionally in a high degree.trees. It is also a remarkable fact that hybrids raised from reciprocal crosses. By a reciprocal cross between two species. jalapa. to fertilise reciprocally M. some species have a remarkable power of crossing with other species. though of course compounded of the very same two species. longiflora with the pollen of M. of a female-ass being first crossed by a stallion. though externally so like one of their pure parent-species. plants inhabiting different stations and fitted for extremely different climates. and utterly failed. always closely resemble one of them. I mean the case. even when the other hybrids raised from seed from the same capsule have a considerable 285 . for instance. as is usual. longiflora. found that this difference of facility in making reciprocal crosses is extremely common in a lesser degree. and then a mare by a male-ass: these two species may then be said to have been reciprocally crossed. There are certain hybrids which. can often be crossed with ease. excepting in their reproductive systems. The diversity of the result in reciprocal crosses between the same two species was long ago observed by Kolreuter. Thuret has observed the same fact with certain sea-weeds or Fuci. but Kolreuter tried more than two hundred times. and the hybrids thus produced are sufficiently fertile. an intermediate character between their two parents. To give an instance: Mirabilis jalapa can easily be fertilised by the pollen of M. exceptional and abnormal individuals sometimes are born. for they prove that the capacity in any two species to cross is often completely independent of their systematic affinity. yet generally differ in fertility in a small. which closely resemble one of their pure parents. though they rarely differ in external characters. Several other equally striking cases could be given. and such hybrids. So again among hybrids which are usually intermediate in structure between their parents. moreover. that is of any difference in their structure or constitution. He has observed it even between closely related forms (as Matthiola annua and glabra) which many botanists rank only as varieties. are with rare exceptions extremely sterile. Such cases are highly important. the one species having first been used as the father and then as the mother. but these two powers do not at all necessarily go together. during eight following years. other species of the same genus have a remarkable power of impressing their likeness on their hybrid offspring.

are united. both of first crosses and of hybrids. or even to fertility under certain conditions in excess. according as the one species or the other is used as the father or the mother. is simply incidental or dependent on unknown differences in their reproductive systems. that their fertility. seems a strange arrangement. and yet produce fairly fertile hybrids? Why should there often be so great a difference in the result of a reciprocal cross between the same two species? Why. the male sexual 286 . in reciprocal crosses between the same two species. and then to stop their further propagation by different degrees of sterility. there is generally some difference. it may even be asked. This latter statement is clearly proved by the difference in the result of reciprocal crosses between the same two species. that the fertility of hybrids is not related to the degree in which they resemble in external appearance either parent. The hybrids. that it is by no means always the same in degree in the first cross and in the hybrids produced from this cross. the differences being of so peculiar and limited a nature. Now do these complex and singular rules indicate that species have been endowed with sterility simply to prevent their becoming confounded in nature? I think not. has the production of hybrids been permitted? To grant to species the special power of producing hybrids. not strictly related to the facility of the first union between their parents. appear to me clearly to indicate that the sterility. Considering the several rules now given. and occasionally the widest possible difference. for.degree of fertility. when various species are crossed. their fertility graduates from zero to perfect fertility. all of which we must suppose it would be equally important to keep from blending together? Why should the degree of sterility be innately variable in the individuals of the same species? Why should some species cross with facility and yet produce very sterile hybrids. besides being eminently susceptible to favourable and unfavourable conditions. For why should the sterility be so extremely different in degree. The foregoing rules and facts. moreover. which must be considered as good and distinct species. that. and other species cross with extreme difficulty. and lastly. produced from reciprocal crosses often differ in fertility. These facts show how completely the fertility of a hybrid may be independent of its external resemblance to either pure parent. in the facility of effecting an union. on the other hand. which govern the fertility of first crosses and of hybrids. is innately variable. we see that when forms. that the facility of making a first cross between any two species is not always governed by their systematic affinity or degree of resemblance to each other.

but in a multitude of cases we can assign no reason whatever. on the gooseberry. as in hybridisation.element of the one will often freely act on the female sexual element of the other. does not always prevent the two grafting together. one being woody and the other herbaceous. but will admit that it is incidental on differences in the laws of growth of the two plants. in other cases species of the same genus will not take on each other. the facility of effecting an union is often very far from equal. The common gooseberry. for no one has been able to graft together trees belonging to quite distinct families. than on the apple. is by no means absolutely governed by systematic affinity. but not invariably. Something analogous occurs in grafting. I presume that no one will suppose that this capacity is a SPECIALLY endowed quality. We have seen that the sterility of hybrids which have their reproductive organs in an imperfect condition. closely allied species and varieties of the same species. and adaptation to widely different climates. yet these two distinct classes of cases run to a large extent parallel. though with difficulty. on the other hand. be grafted with ease. which is ranked as a distinct genus. As in reciprocal crosses. can usually. in the hardness of their wood. and. so it sometimes is in grafting. is a different case from the difficulty of uniting two pure species.. But this capacity. but not in a reversed direction. As in hybridisation. so with grafting. As the capacity of one plant to be grafted or budded on another is unimportant for their welfare in a state of nature. for instance. cannot be grafted on the currant. It will be advisable to explain a little more fully. whereas the currant will take. the capacity is limited by systematic affinity. which is a member of the same genus. Even different varieties of the pear take with different degrees of facility on the quince. etc. one being evergreen and the other deciduous. so Sagaret believes this to be the case with different individuals of the same two species in being grafted together. As Gartner found that there was sometimes an innate difference in different INDIVIDUALS of the same two species in crossing. for Thouin found that three 287 . so do different varieties of the apricot and peach on certain varieties of the plum. Great diversity in the size of two plants. and not a specially endowed quality. We can sometimes see the reason why one tree will not take on another from differences in their rate of growth. The pear can be grafted far more readily on the quince. what I mean by sterility being incidental on other differences. Although many distinct genera within the same family have been grafted together. which have their reproductive organs perfect. in the period of the flow or nature of their sap. by an example.

These differences in both cases follow.. to a certain extent. The facts by no means seem to indicate that the greater or lesser difficulty of either grafting or crossing various species has been a special endowment. which seed much more freely when fertilised with the pollen of a distinct species than when fertilised with pollen from the same plant. and which could be grafted with no great difficulty on a fourth species. systematic affinity.species of Robinia. although in the case of crossing. Passiflora. certain species of Sorbus. 288 . On the other hand. which seeded freely on their own roots. the difficulty is as important for the endurance and stability of specific forms as in the case of grafting it is unimportant for their welfare. when thus grafted were rendered barren. We are reminded by this latter fact of the extraordinary cases of Hippeastrum. yielded twice as much fruit as when on their own roots. although there is a clear and great difference between the mere adhesion of grafted stocks and the union of the male and female elements in the act of reproduction. by which term every kind of resemblance and dissimilarity between organic beings is attempted to be expressed. We thus see that. And as we must look at the curious and complex laws governing the facility with which trees can be grafted on each other as incidental on unknown differences in their vegetative systems. so I believe that the still more complex laws governing the facility of first crosses are incidental on unknown differences in their reproductive systems. as might have been expected. yet that there is a rude degree of parallelism in the results of grafting and of crossing distinct species. etc. when grafted on other species.

it seems to me that this could not have been effected through natural selection. but it may perhaps be argued. It may be admitted that it would profit an incipient species. now. when crossed. In the second place. that the sterility of first crosses and of hybrids might have been slowly acquired through the natural selection of slightly lessened degrees of fertility. it is almost as much opposed to the theory of natural selection as to that of special creation. as it has to others. for this peculiar state of the reproductive system could hardly have been advantageous to either species. what is there which could favour the 289 . In considering the probability of natural selection having come into action. After mature reflection. which. it may be remarked that species inhabiting distinct regions are often sterile when crossed. that in reciprocal crosses the male element of one form should have been rendered utterly impotent on a second form. spontaneously appeared in certain individuals of one variety when crossed with those of another variety. now it could clearly have been of no advantage to such separated species to have been rendered mutually sterile. like any other variation. will find the subject extraordinarily complex. on the same principle that. when man is selecting at the same time two varieties. in rendering species mutually sterile. for thus fewer bastardised and deteriorated offspring would be produced to commingle their blood with the new species in process of formation. sterility with other species would follow as a necessary contingency.4. it is necessary that he should keep them separate. while at the same time the male element of this second form is enabled freely to fertilise the first form. Origin And Causes Of The Sterility Of First Crosses And Of Hybrids At one time it appeared to me probable. from slightly lessened fertility to absolute sterility. if it were rendered in some slight degree sterile when crossed with its parent form or with some other variety. But he who will take the trouble to reflect on the steps by which this first degree of sterility could be increased through natural selection to that high degree which is common with so many species. In the first place. produced few and sterile offspring. if a species was rendered sterile with some one compatriot. and consequently this could not have been effected through natural selection. that. Take the case of any two species which. the greatest difficulty will be found to lie in the existence of many graduated steps. and which is universal with species which have been differentiated to a generic or family rank. For it would clearly be advantageous to two varieties or incipient species if they could be kept from blending.

for a multitude are mutually quite barren. must have incessantly occurred with many species. when the germen alone is effected. but yet are affected by the pollen of certain other species. from an advantage having been thus indirectly given to the community to which they belonged over other communities of the same species. and from the laws governing the various grades of sterility being so uniform throughout the animal and vegetable kingdoms.survival of those individuals which happened to be endowed in a slightly higher degree with mutual infertility. We will now look a little closer at the probable nature of the differences between species which induce sterility in first crosses and in hybrids. if the theory of natural selection be brought to bear. Again. It has also been observed that when the pollen of one species is placed on the stigma of a distantly allied species. as seems to have been the case with some of Thuret's 290 . and which thus approached by one small step towards absolute sterility? Yet an advance of this kind. if rendered slightly sterile when crossed with some other variety. whatever it may be. which have already ceased to yield seeds. It is here manifestly impossible to select the more sterile individuals. the greater or less difficulty in effecting a union and in obtaining offspring apparently depends on several distinct causes. for the germen swells. But it would be superfluous to discuss this question in detail: for with plants we have conclusive evidence that the sterility of crossed species must be due to some principle. to species which never produce a single seed. In the case of first crosses. the male element may reach the female element. though the pollen-tubes protrude. Both Gartner and Kolreuter have proved that in genera including numerous species. but be incapable of causing an embryo to be developed. cannot have been gained through selection. a series can be formed from species which when crossed yield fewer and fewer seeds. but an individual animal not belonging to a social community. they do not penetrate the stigmatic surface. With sterile neuter insects we have reason to believe that modifications in their structure and fertility have been slowly accumulated by natural selection. There must sometimes be a physical impossibility in the male element reaching the ovule. is the same or nearly the same in all cases. as would be the case with a plant having a pistil too long for the pollen-tubes to reach the ovarium. would not thus itself gain any advantage or indirectly give any advantage to the other individuals of the same variety. quite independent of natural selection. we may infer that the cause. so that this acme of sterility. thus leading to their preservation.

It may be here worth noticing that in some cases of parthenogenesis. it may therefore. before birth. and consequently be liable to perish at an early period. as we see in the case of the common mule. But a hybrid partakes of only half of the nature and constitution of its mother. Hewitt. No explanation can be given of these facts. the embryos within the eggs of silk moths which had not been fertilised. hybridized embryos probably often perish in a like manner. and perish at an early age. and in the majority of the fertilised eggs. they are generally placed under suitable conditions of life. Of the chickens which were born. an embryo may be developed. "without any obvious cause. causing the embryo to be imperfectly developed. be exposed to conditions in some degree unsuitable. for hybrids. rather than in the conditions to which it is subsequently exposed. however. or at latest weeks. from observations communicated to me by Mr. apparently from mere inability to live. but I believe. the cause more probably lies in some imperfection in the original act of impregnation. With plants. or within the egg or seed produced by the mother. when once born. who has had great experience in hybridising pheasants and fowls. are generally healthy and long-lived. Lastly. more than four-fifths died within the first few days. Until becoming acquainted with these facts." so that from the 500 eggs only twelve chickens were reared. at least it is known that hybrids raised from very distinct species are sometimes weak and dwarfed. pass through their early stages of development and then perish like the embryos produced by a cross between distinct species. 291 . Mr. more especially as all very young beings are eminently sensitive to injurious or unnatural conditions of life. but the young chickens had been unable to break through the shell. the embryos had either been partially developed and had then perished. or had become nearly mature. This latter alternative has not been sufficiently attended to. the majority of these eggs had been fertilised. Hybrids. any more than why certain trees cannot be grafted on others. But after all. are differently circumstanced before and after birth: when born and living in a country where their two parents live.experiments on Fuci. and then perish at an early period. as long as it is nourished within its mother's womb. Salter has recently given the results of an examination of about 500 eggs produced from various crosses between three species of Gallus and their hybrids. of which fact Max Wichura has recently given some striking cases with hybrid willows. that the early death of the embryo is a very frequent cause of sterility in first crosses. I was unwilling to believe in the frequent early death of hybrid embryos.

On the other hand. there are many points of similarity. For it is scarcely possible that two organisations should be compounded into one. when animals and plants are removed from their natural conditions. when organic beings are placed during several generations under conditions not natural to them. This. or periodical action. the case is somewhat different. the external conditions have remained the same. Between the sterility thus superinduced and that of hybrids. In both. the male element is the most liable to be affected. So it is with hybrids. Thus we see that when organic beings are placed under new and unnatural conditions. In both cases the sterility is independent of general health. or mutual relations of the different parts and organs one to another or to the conditions of life. is the great bar to the domestication of animals. and is often accompanied by excess of size or great luxuriance. without some disturbance occurring in the development. one species in a group will sometimes resist great changes of conditions with unimpaired fertility. they are extremely liable to vary. I have more than once alluded to a large body of facts showing that. and when hybrids are produced by the unnatural crossing of two species. In both cases the sterility occurs in various degrees. Lastly. they transmit to their offspring from generation to generation the same 292 . though often in so slight a degree as to be inappreciable by us. the tendency goes to a certain extent with systematic affinity. is affected in a very similar manner. for their offspring in successive generations are eminently liable to vary. or that of hybrids. in the other case. in both. independently of the general state of health. they are extremely liable to have their reproductive systems seriously affected. though in a lesser degree than when sterility ensues. but the organisation has been disturbed by two distinct structures and constitutions. nor can he tell till he tries. in which the sexual elements are imperfectly developed. When hybrids are able to breed inter se. as every experimentalist has observed. In the one case. No one can tell till he tries. and whole groups of species tend to produce sterile hybrids. whether any two species of a genus will produce more or less sterile hybrids. for whole groups of animals and plants are rendered impotent by the same unnatural conditions. the reproductive system. but sometimes the female more than the male. whether any particular animal will breed under confinement.In regard to the sterility of hybrids. which seems to be partly due to their reproductive systems having been specially affected. and certain species in a group will produce unusually fertile hybrids. including of course the reproductive systems. the conditions of life have been disturbed. having been blended into one. in fact. or any exotic plant seed freely under culture.

tubers. Nor do I pretend that the foregoing remarks go to the root of the matter: no explanation is offered why an organism. almost always leads to decreased size. that slight changes in the conditions of life are beneficial to all living things. and back again. The above view of the sterility of hybrids being caused by two constitutions being compounded into one has been strongly maintained by Max Wichura. does not diminish. slight changes in the conditions of life benefit all organic beings. Again. there is the clearest evidence that a cross between individuals of the same species. give vigour and fertility to the offspring. organic beings long habituated to certain uniform conditions under a state of nature. be owned that we cannot understand. and hence we need not be surprised that their sterility. weakness. to a considerable change in their conditions. A similar parallelism holds good with an allied yet very different class of facts. It must. and that close interbreeding continued during several generations between the nearest relations.compounded organisation. founded on a considerable body of evidence. if these be kept under the same conditions of life. in the other case from the organisation having been disturbed by two organisations being compounded into one. or the increased sterility in those hybrids which occasionally and exceptionally resemble closely either pure parent. Hence it seems that. gives vigour and fertility to the offspring. All that I have attempted to show is. on the one hand. that in two cases. on the above or any other view. though in some degree variable. very frequently are rendered more 293 . or sterility. both with plants and animals. crosses between the males and females of the same species. is rendered sterile. several facts with respect to the sterility of hybrids. During the convalescence of animals. and on the other hand. when subjected. or which have slightly varied. of too close interbreeding. from one soil or climate to another. in some respects allied. as before explained. great benefit is derived from almost any change in their habits of life. It is an old and almost universal belief. as under confinement. which I have elsewhere given. etc.. that is. the unequal fertility of hybrids produced from reciprocal crosses. which have been subjected to slightly different conditions. it is even apt to increase. however. But. when placed under unnatural conditions. which differ to a certain extent. We see this acted on by farmers and gardeners in their frequent exchanges of seed. for instance. sterility is the common result—in the one case from the conditions of life having been disturbed. that slight crosses. this being generally the result. as we have seen.

are quite fertile together. 294 . being that life depends on. will be able to explain the primary cause of hybrids being so generally sterile. which. and when this tendency is slightly disturbed by any change. He who is able to explain why the elephant. as throughout nature. which is essentially related to the principle of life. the vital forces gain in power. although they are descended from distinct species. and a multitude of other animals. according to Mr.or less sterile. the incessant action and reaction of various forces. produce hybrids which are almost always in some degree sterile. which have often been subjected to new and not uniform conditions. which would probably have been sterile if aboriginally crossed. or consists in. The above two parallel series of facts seem to be connected together by some common but unknown bond. this principle. Herbert Spencer. He will at the same time be able to explain how it is that the races of some of our domesticated animals. and we know that a cross between two forms that have become widely or specifically different. I am fully persuaded that this double parallelism is by no means an accident or an illusion. are incapable of breeding when kept under only partial confinement in their native country. are always tending towards an equilibrium.

and all the seedlings were similarly coloured. and its own pollen be afterwards. The infertility which may be observed in various dimorphic and trimorphic plants. and as in each of the three forms there are two sets of stamens. Reciprocal Dimorphism And Trimorphism This subject may be here briefly discussed. first illegitimately. the two having differently sized pollen-grains. I ascertained this by fertilising several flowers. in the size and colour of the pollen-grains. differs much in degree. which may be called legitimate. which may be called illegitimate. with pollen taken from a peculiarly coloured variety. one form having a long pistil with short stamens. though applied twenty-four hours subsequently. that is by pollen taken from stamens not corresponding in height with the pistil. and twelve are illegitimate. the other a short pistil with long stamens. Several plants belonging to distinct orders present two forms. So that with dimorphic species two unions. As the degree of sterility in the latter case depends in an eminent degree on the conditions of life being more or less favourable. for legitimate pollen is strongly prepotent over illegitimate pollen. and twenty-four hours afterwards legitimately. placed on the same stigma. just in the same manner as occurs in crossing distinct species. up to absolute and utter sterility. had wholly destroyed 295 . its action is so strongly prepotent that it generally annihilates the effect of the foreign pollen. and in some other respects. and will be found to throw some light on hybridism. With trimorphic species six unions are legitimate. that in order to obtain full fertility with these plants. this shows that the legitimate pollen. and two. or more or less infertile. even after a considerable interval of time. which exist in about equal numbers and which differ in no respect except in their reproductive organs. These organs are so proportioned in length to each other that half the stamens in two of the forms stand on a level with the stigma of the third form. when both are placed on the same stigma. the three forms possess altogether six sets of stamens and three kinds of pistils. are fully fertile. and the result has been confirmed by other observers. so it is with the pollen of the several forms of the same species. It is well known that if pollen of a distinct species be placed on the stigma of a flower. it is necessary that the stigma of the one form should be fertilised by pollen taken from the stamens of corresponding height in another form. With trimorphic plants there are three forms likewise differing in the lengths of their pistils and stamens.5. Now I have shown. or fully fertile. are more or less infertile. when they are illegitimately fertilised. so I have found it with illegitimate unions.

produced within the limits of the same species by the improper union of certain forms. when illegitimately united. while other and more sterile hybrids produce few flowers. Lastly.or prevented the action of the previously applied illegitimate pollen. but the latter form did not yield a single seed when fertilised by the longer stamens of the mid-styled form. so it is in a marked manner with illegitimate plants. the sterility is usually much lessened: and so it is when an illegitimate plant is fertilised by a legitimate plant. They are all infertile. on the other hand. when united with each other in a legitimate manner. In all these respects. If. may be strictly compared with that of hybrids when crossed inter se. When this is done. the forms of the same undoubted species. the mid-styled form of Lythrum salicaria was illegitimately fertilised with the greatest ease by pollen from the longer stamens of the short-styled form. This led me carefully to observe during four years many seedlings. It is possible to raise from dimorphic species. so the same thing occurs with trimorphic plants. so that sterility of certain illegitimate plants was unusually great. The chief result is that these illegitimate plants. But such is not the case. and from trimorphic plants all three illegitimate forms. With hybrids raised from the same seed. and in others which might be added. and are weak. while 296 . while the sterility of the union from which they were derived was by no means great. there is occasionally a great difference in the result. raised from several illegitimate unions. are not fully fertile. behave in exactly the same manner as do two distinct species when crossed. a hybrid is crossed with either pure parent-species.capsule the degree of sterility is innately variable. there is no apparent reason why they should not yield as many seeds as did their parents when legitimately fertilised. some being so utterly and incurably sterile that they did not yield during four seasons a single seed or even seed-capsule. both long-styled and short-styled illegitimate plants. It is hardly an exaggeration to maintain that illegitimate plants are hybrids. miserable dwarfs. in various degrees. The sterility of these illegitimate plants. for instance. as they may be called. In the same manner as the sterility of hybrids does not always run parallel with the difficulty of making the first cross between the two parentspecies. Again. as in making reciprocal crosses between the same two species. and yielded many seeds. Altogether there is the closest identity in character and behaviour between illegitimate plants and hybrids. These can then be properly united in a legitimate manner. exactly similar cases occur with the illegitimate offspring of various dimorphic and trimorphic plants. many hybrids are profuse and persistent flowerers.

but I will not enlarge on this obscure subject. and that they behaved in all the other above specified respects as if they had been two distinct species. We have also already seen that there is the closest similarity in all respects between first illegitimate unions and first crosses between distinct species. in the ordinary unions of the individuals of the same species and with crosses between distinct species. first. because we may conclude that there is some unknown bond which connects the infertility of illegitimate unions with that of their illegitimate offspring. He might then maintain that he had actually proved. which results in sterility. and not on any difference in their structure or general constitution. For we must remember that it is the union of the sexual elements of individuals of the same form.styled forms. while it is the union of the sexual elements proper to two distinct forms which is fertile. is no safe criterion of specific distinction. We may. and he would find that the seedlings were miserably dwarfed and utterly sterile. relatively to external conditions.ordinary hybrids are produced from an improper union between socalled distinct species. doubtful whether this is really so. but he would be completely mistaken. of two long. both in first crosses and in hybrids. secondly. for instance. he would raise plants from his supposed hybridised seed. This will perhaps be made more fully apparent by an illustration. Hence the case appears at first sight exactly the reverse of what occurs. that the sterility of distinct species when crossed and of their hybrid progeny. It is. and we are led to extend the same view to first crosses and hybrids. But to make the case sure. that two or three forms of the same species may exist and may differ in no respect whatever. however. and this seems to me of especial importance. that his two varieties were as good and as distinct species as any in the world. in accordance with the common view. we may suppose that a botanist found two well-marked varieties (and such occur) of the long-styled form of the trimorphic Lythrum salicaria. depends exclusively on the nature of their sexual elements. thirdly. however. The facts now given on dimorphic and trimorphic plants are important. that the physiological test of lessened fertility. and yet be sterile when united in certain ways. because we find. We are also led to this same conclusion by 297 . infer as probable from the consideration of dimorphic and trimorphic plants. and that he determined to try by crossing whether they were specifically distinct. and that they behaved in all other respects like ordinary hybrids. because they show us. He would find that they yielded only about one-fifth of the proper number of seed. either in structure or in constitution.

considering reciprocal crosses. in which the male of one species cannot be united. with the female of a second species. That excellent observer. 298 . or can be united with great difficulty. likewise concluded that species when crossed are sterile owing to differences confined to their reproductive systems. Gartner. while the converse cross can be effected with perfect facility.

It is certain that with species the cause lies exclusively in differences in their sexual constitution. presently to be given. they are at once ranked by most naturalists as species. however much they may differ from each other in external appearance. that certain South American indigenous domestic dogs do not readily unite with European dogs. For when it is stated. Fertility Of Varieties When Crossed. produced. for instance. In the first place. so far is 299 . I fully admit that this is the rule. For instance. and yield perfectly fertile offspring. are said by Gartner to be quite sterile when crossed. the blue and red pimpernel. With plants.6. render the fertility of domestic varieties less remarkable. for. If we turn to varieties. are utterly sterile when intercrossed. But the subject is surrounded by difficulties. which are considered by most botanists as varieties. though resembling each other most closely. is a remarkable fact. cross with perfect facility. so that the domesticated descendants of species. under domestication. those of the pigeon. Not Universal It may be urged as an overwhelming argument that there must be some essential distinction between species and varieties inasmuch as the latter. and probably the true one. which. it may be observed that the amount of external difference between two species is no sure guide to their degree of mutual sterility. we are still involved in some doubt. the explanation which will occur to everyone. Several considerations. become perfectly fertile together. or of the cabbage. the fertility of all varieties produced under nature will assuredly have to be granted. With some exceptions. for instance. differing widely from each other in appearance. have had so little tendency towards modifying the reproductive system in a manner leading to mutual sterility. namely. which in their natural state probably would have been in some degree sterile when crossed. however. If we thus argue in a circle. and he consequently ranks them as undoubted species. looking to varieties produced under nature. Now the varying conditions to which domesticated animals and cultivated plants have been subjected. And Of Their Mongrel Offspring. more especially when we reflect how many species there are. if two forms hitherto reputed to be varieties be found in any degree sterile together. Nevertheless the perfect fertility of so many domestic races. or supposed to have been produced. that such conditions generally eliminate this tendency. so that similar differences in the case of varieties would be no sure guide. is that they are descended from aboriginally distinct species. that we have good grounds for admitting the directly opposite doctrine of Pallas.

it becomes in the highest degree improbable that similar conditions long. other species. than have domestic varieties. though in certain cases. varieties have not been produced which are mutually sterile. If the Pallasian doctrine of the elimination of sterility through long-continued domestication be admitted. The real difficulty in our present subject is not. and being fertilised by. and why with plants only a few such cases. we can understand why. which. and it can hardly be rejected. have been observed. why domestic varieties have not become mutually infertile when crossed. on the other hand. We are far from precisely knowing the cause. while still retaining the capacity of fertilising. are rendered sterile.cultivation from giving a tendency towards sterility between distinct species. But we can see that species. were not originally highly sensitive to changes in their conditions of life. will have been exposed during long periods of time to more uniform conditions. The evidence is at least as good as that from which we believe in the sterility of a multitude of species. I have as yet spoken as if the varieties of the same species were invariably fertile when intercrossed. Domesticated productions.continued should likewise induce this tendency. immediately to be given. sterility might occasionally be thus caused. For we know how commonly wild animals and plants.authenticated cases already alluded to. which I will briefly abstract. nor is this surprising. as it appears to me. as soon as they have been permanently modified in a sufficient degree to take rank as species. for they have become self-impotent. certain plants have been affected in an opposite manner. owing to their struggle for existence with numerous competitors. which would be little liable to have their reproductive powers injuriously affected by the act of crossing with other varieties which had originated in a like manner. The evidence 300 . and which can now generally resist with undiminished fertility repeated changes of conditions. and this may well make a wide difference in the result. but why this has so generally occurred with natural varieties. as I believe. that in several well. with species having a peculiar constitution. with domesticated animals. Thus. seeing how profoundly ignorant we are in regard to the normal and abnormal action of the reproductive system. as shown by the mere fact of their domestication. when taken from their natural conditions and subjected to captivity. and the reproductive functions of organic beings which have always lived under natural conditions would probably in like manner be eminently sensitive to the influence of an unnatural cross. But it is impossible to resist the evidence of the existence of a certain amount of sterility in the few following cases. might be expected to produce varieties.

Mr. and this one head produced only five grains. who mainly founds his classification by the test of infertility. Scott also has experimented on the species and varieties of Verbascum. Gartner kept. except in the colour of their flowers. than the similarly coloured varieties. in the proportion of eighty-six to 100. whose accuracy has been confirmed by every subsequent observer. and he asserts that their mutual fertilisation is by so much the less easy as their differences are greater. when yellow and white varieties of one species are crossed with yellow and white varieties of a DISTINCT species. as the plants have separated sexes. and which he tested by the 301 . which like the maize has separated sexes. when crossed with a widely distinct species. and Naudin has come to the same conclusion. by so good an observer and so hostile a witness as Gartner: namely.is also derived from hostile witnesses. than between those which are differently coloured. He then fertilised thirteen flowers of the one kind with pollen of the other. I believe. and a tall variety with red seeds growing near each other in his garden. Moreover. but the forms experimented on are ranked by Sagaret. they never naturally crossed. The following case is far more remarkable. who in all other cases consider fertility and sterility as safe criterions of specific distinction. No one. Kolreuter. Yet these varieties differ in no respect. but it is the result of an astonishing number of experiments made during many years on nine species of Verbascum. he finds that the dissimilarly coloured varieties of the same species yield fewer seeds. has suspected that these varieties of maize are distinct species. so that even Gartner did not venture to consider the two varieties as specifically distinct. has proved the remarkable fact that one particular variety of the common tobacco was more fertile than the other varieties. How far these experiments may be trusted. as varieties. but only a single head produced any seed. and although these plants have separated sexes. a dwarf kind of maize with yellow seeds. and although unable to confirm Gartner's results on the crossing of the distinct species. during several years. Girou de Buzareingues crossed three varieties of gourd. more seed is produced by the crosses between the similarly coloured flowers. He experimented on five forms which are commonly reputed to be varieties. and one variety can sometimes be raised from the seed of another. and seems at first incredible. Manipulation in this case could not have been injurious. he asserts that. I know not. that the yellow and white varieties when crossed produce less seed than the similarly coloured varieties of the same species. and it is important to notice that the hybrid plants thus raised were themselves PERFECTLY fertile.

Hence the reproductive system of this one variety must have been in some manner and in some degree modified. From the great difficulty of ascertaining the infertility of varieties in a state of nature. But one of these five varieties. The general sterility of crossed species may safely be looked at. always yielded hybrids not so sterile as those which were produced from the four other varieties when crossed with N. glutinosa.severest trial. not as a special acquirement or endowment. from man attending only to external characters in his domestic varieties. and he found their mongrel offspring perfectly fertile. when used either as the father or mother. if proved to be infertile in any degree. and crossed with the Nicotiana glutinosa. and from such varieties not having been exposed for very long periods to uniform conditions of life. from these several considerations we may conclude that fertility does not constitute a fundamental distinction between varieties and species when crossed. for a supposed variety. would almost universally be ranked as a species. 302 . but as incidental on changes of an unknown nature in their sexual elements. namely. From these facts it can no longer be maintained that varieties when crossed are invariably quite fertile. by reciprocal crosses.

When mongrels and the more fertile hybrids are propagated for several generations. Independently Of Their Fertility Independently of the question of fertility. Hybrids And Mongrels Compared. in contrast with that in the succeeding generations. 303 . namely. For the parents of mongrels are varieties. which would often continue and would augment that arising from the act of crossing. the offspring of species and of varieties when crossed may be compared in several other respects. however. and mostly domestic varieties (very few experiments having been tried on natural varieties). from being eminently sensitive to changed conditions of life. and their descendants are highly variable. quite unimportant differences between the so-called hybrid offspring of species. Gartner further admits that hybrids between very closely allied species are more variable than those from very distinct species. as it seems to me. fails under these circumstances to perform its proper function of producing offspring closely similar in all respects to the parent-form. and I have myself seen striking instances of this fact. hybrids in the first generation are descended from species (excluding those long cultivated) which have not had their reproductive systems in any way affected. but some few instances of both hybrids and mongrels long retaining a uniform character could be given.7. and this implies that there has been recent variability. and. perhaps. This greater variability in mongrels than in hybrids does not seem at all surprising. and the socalled mongrel offspring of varieties. is a curious fact and deserves attention. could find very few. For it bears on the view which I have taken of one of the causes of ordinary variability. but Gartner admits that hybrids from species which have long been cultivated are often variable in the first generation. The slight variability of hybrids in the first generation. in the successive generations of mongrels is. The variability. but hybrids themselves have their reproductive systems seriously affected. The most important distinction is. and they are not variable. Gartner. that the reproductive system. and this shows that the difference in the degree of variability graduates away. And. Now. on the other hand. an extreme amount of variability in the offspring in both cases is notorious. greater than in hybrids. they agree most closely in many important respects. that in the first generation mongrels are more variable than hybrids. I shall here discuss this subject with extreme brevity. whose strong wish it was to draw a distinct line between species and varieties.

Such alone are the unimportant differences which Gartner is able to point out between hybrid and mongrel plants. I think those authors are right who maintain that the ass has a prepotent power over the horse. one variety certainly often has this prepotent power over another variety. Hybrid plants produced from a reciprocal cross generally resemble each other closely. When two species are crossed. Gartner further states that when any two species. insists in the strongest terms on the almost universal tendency to reversion in hybrids. For instance. and this probably explains the singular difference in the results arrived at by different observers. whereas if two very distinct varieties of one species are crossed with another species. So I believe it to be with varieties of plants. Thus Max Wichura doubts whether hybrids ever revert to their parent forms. according to Gartner the same laws. by repeated crosses in successive generations with either parent. while Naudin. both when one species is crossed with another and when one variety is crossed with another variety. although most closely allied to each other. Both hybrids and mongrels can be reduced to either pure parent form. but this. so that both the mule and the hinny resemble more closely the ass than the horse. and so it is with mongrel plants from a reciprocal cross. is certainly only a difference in degree. but that the prepotency runs more strongly in the male than in the 304 . the degrees and kinds of resemblance in mongrels and in hybrids to their respective parents. the hybrids do not differ much. and he experimented chiefly on cultivated plants. But this conclusion. the hybrids are widely different from each other. and seems directly opposed to the results of several experiments made by Kolreuter. follow. on the other hand. On the other hand. if it be true. These several remarks are apparently applicable to animals. are crossed with a third species. and with animals. Gartner expressly states that the hybrids from long cultivated plants are more subject to reversion than hybrids from species in their natural state. as far as I can make out. Moreover.But to return to our comparison of mongrels and hybrids: Gartner states that mongrels are more liable than hybrids to revert to either parent form. but more especially owing to prepotency in transmitting likeness running more strongly in one sex than in the other. and he experimented on uncultivated species of willows. more especially in hybrids produced from nearly related species. but the subject is here much complicated. is founded on a single experiment. one has sometimes a prepotent power of impressing its likeness on the hybrid. partly owing to the existence of secondary sexual characters.

the resemblances seem chiefly confined to characters almost monstrous in their nature. whether the two parents differ little or much from each other. but this does sometimes occur with hybrids. in the union of individuals of the same variety. or of different varieties. I entirely agree with Dr. is more like an ass than is the hinny. and do not relate to characters which have been slowly acquired through selection. 305 . be much more likely to occur with mongrels. or of distinct species. than with hybrids. so that the mule. Independently of the question of fertility and sterility. Looking to the cases which I have collected of cross-bred animals closely resembling one parent. which is the offspring of the female-ass and stallion. and of crossed varieties. A tendency to sudden reversions to the perfect character of either parent would. which are descended from varieties often suddenly produced and semi-monstrous in character. melanism. deficiency of tail or horns. namely. after arranging an enormous body of facts with respect to animals. which are descended from species slowly and naturally produced. which is an offspring of the male ass and mare. or additional fingers and toes. yet I grant much less frequently than with mongrels. But it harmonises perfectly with the view that there is no essential distinction between species and varieties. Much stress has been laid by some authors on the supposed fact.female ass. and at varieties as having been produced by secondary laws. Prosper Lucas. who. in all other respects there seems to be a general and close similarity in the offspring of crossed species. and which have suddenly appeared—such as albinism. that it is only with mongrels that the offspring are not intermediate in character. On the whole. also. but closely resemble one of their parents. this similarity would be an astonishing fact. comes to the conclusion that the laws of resemblance of the child to its parents are the same. If we look at species as having been specially created.

There is no more reason to think that species have been specially endowed with various degrees of sterility to prevent their crossing and blending in nature. or which have varied. It is generally different. but not universally. Summary Of Chapter First crosses between forms. sterile. In the case of first crosses it seems to depend on several circumstances. the greater or less facility of one species to unite with another is incidental on unknown differences in their reproductive systems. the capacity in one species or variety to take on another. The sterility is of all degrees. sufficiently distinct to be ranked as species. The sterility is innately variable in individuals of the same species. In the case of hybrids. in their vegetative systems. generally of an unknown nature. and is often so slight that the most careful experimentalists have arrived at diametrically opposite conclusions in ranking forms by this test. and secondly. than to think that trees have been specially endowed with various and somewhat analogous degrees of difficulty in being grafted together in order to prevent their inarching in our forests. The facts given on the sterility of the illegitimate unions of dimorphic and trimorphic plants and of their illegitimate progeny. and is eminently susceptible to action of favourable and unfavourable conditions.8. In the same manner as in grafting trees. This view is strongly supported by a parallelism of another kind: namely. vigour and fertility of their offspring. it apparently depends on their whole organisation having been disturbed by being compounded from two distinct forms. favours the size. perhaps render it probable that some unknown bond in all cases connects the degree of fertility of first unions with that 306 . which have been exposed to slightly different conditions of life. when exposed to new and unnatural conditions of life. is incidental on differences. but is governed by several curious and complex laws. It is not always equal in degree in a first cross and in the hybrids produced from this cross. slight changes in the conditions of life add to the vigour and fertility of all organic beings. and their hybrids. firstly. that. in some instances in chief part on the early death of the embryo. The sterility of first crosses and of their hybrid progeny has not been acquired through natural selection. and sometimes widely different in reciprocal crosses between the same two species. the sterility being closely allied to that which so frequently affects pure species. are very generally. The degree of sterility does not strictly follow systematic affinity. that the crossing of forms. He who will explain these latter cases will be able to explain the sterility of hybrids. so in crossing.

and that they have not been long exposed to uniform conditions of life. Nor is this almost universal and perfect fertility surprising. when it is remembered how liable we are to argue in a circle with respect to varieties in a state of nature. Nor is it surprising that the facility of effecting a first cross. then. should in most cases correspond. or sufficiently alike to be considered as varieties.of their offspring. in all other respects there is the closest general resemblance between hybrids and mongrels. and their mongrel offspring. The consideration of these facts on dimorphism. and is therefore little likely to induce this same quality. are very generally. yet the facts given in this chapter do not seem to me opposed to the belief that species aboriginally existed as varieties. in their power of absorbing each other by repeated crosses. even if due to distinct causes: for both depend on the amount of difference between the species which are crossed. It should also be especially kept in mind. the sexual elements should so generally have become more or less modified. and in their inheritance of characters from both parent-forms. and the fertility of the hybrids thus produced. as is so often stated. but it seems to stand in some close relation to species having been exposed for long periods of time to nearly uniform conditions of life. but not. Independently of the question of fertility. First crosses between forms known to be varieties. and the capacity of being grafted together—though this latter capacity evidently depends on widely different circumstances—should all run. But why. in the case of distinct species. invariably fertile. to a certain extent. for systematic affinity includes resemblances of all kinds. and the sterility of their hybrid offspring. It is not surprising that the difficulty in crossing any two species. although we are as ignorant of the precise cause of the sterility of first crosses and of hybrids as we are why animals and plants removed from their natural conditions become sterile. and when we remember that the greater number of varieties have been produced under domestication by the selection of mere external differences. that longcontinued domestication tends to eliminate sterility. clearly leads to the conclusion that the primary cause of the sterility of crossed species is confined to differences in their sexual elements. as well as of the results of reciprocal crosses. leading to their mutual infertility. parallel with the systematic affinity of the forms subjected to experiment. in their variability. 307 . Finally. we do not know.

308 .Chapter 10 On The Imperfection Of The Geological Record On the absence of intermediate varieties at the present day — On the nature of extinct intermediate varieties. as inferred from the rate of denudation and of deposition number — On the lapse of time as estimated by years — On the poorness of our palaeontological collections — On the intermittence of geological formations — On the denudation of granitic areas — On the absence of intermediate varieties in any one formation — On the sudden appearance of groups of species — On their sudden appearance in the lowest known fossiliferous strata — Antiquity of the habitable earth. on their number — On the lapse of time.

also. which have formerly existed. namely. but we should have no varieties directly intermediate between the fantail and pouter. perhaps. that the life of each species depends in a more important manner on the presence of other already defined organic forms. One. to show that intermediate varieties. it should always be borne in mind what sort of intermediate forms must. and this.1. and the progenitor will generally have differed in some respects from all its modified descendants. on an extensive and continuous area with graduated physical conditions. for 309 . will generally be beaten out and exterminated during the course of further modification and improvement. and. namely. is a very obvious difficulty. than on climate. The explanation lies. In the first place. on the theory. I endeavoured to show. In the sixth chapter I enumerated the chief objections which might be justly urged against the views maintained in this volume. Most of them have now been discussed. I assigned reasons why such links do not commonly occur at the present day under the circumstances apparently most favourable for their presence. through which new varieties continually take the places of and supplant their parent-forms. however. from existing in lesser numbers than the forms which they connect. none. in the extreme imperfection of the geological record. the distinctness of specific forms and their not being blended together by innumerable transitional links. on the very process of natural selection. when looking at any two species. therefore. to avoid picturing to myself forms DIRECTLY intermediate between them. is the most obvious and serious objection which can be urged against my theory. as I believe. But just in proportion as this process of extermination has acted on an enormous scale. we should always look for forms intermediate between each species and a common but unknown progenitor. be truly enormous. we should have an extremely close series between both and the rock-pigeon. that the really governing conditions of life do not graduate away quite insensibly like heat or moisture. Why then is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely graduated organic chain. have formerly existed. so must the number of intermediate varieties. To give a simple illustration: the fantail and pouter pigeons are both descended from the rock-pigeon. The main cause. of innumerable intermediate links not now occurring everywhere throughout nature depends. But this is a wholly false view. I have found it difficult. I endeavoured. if we possessed all the intermediate varieties which have ever existed.

now generally extinct. but between each and an unknown common parent. between child and parent. such as C. whilst its descendants had undergone a vast amount of change. combining a tail somewhat expanded with a crop somewhat enlarged. But such a case would imply that one form had remained for a very long period unaltered. By the theory of natural selection all living species have been connected with the parent-species of each genus. 310 . in all such cases. such have lived upon the earth. even if we closely compared the structure of the parent with that of its modified descendants. by the theory. So that the number of intermediate and transitional links. by differences not greater than we see between the natural and domestic varieties of the same species at the present day. even perhaps more than they differ from each other. and so on backwards. between all living and extinct species. we have no reason to suppose that links directly intermediate between them ever existed. and the principle of competition between organism and organism. will render this a very rare event. unless at the same time we had a nearly perfect chain of the intermediate links. oenas. always converging to the common ancestor of each great class. a horse from a tapir. Hence. These two breeds. and these parent-species. livia. whether they had descended from this species or from some other allied species. have in their turn been similarly connected with more ancient forms. the characteristic features of these two breeds. must have been inconceivably great. moreover. we should be unable to recognise the parent-form of any two or more species. C. but in some points of structure may have differed considerably from both. it would not have been possible to have determined from a mere comparison of their structure with that of the rock-pigeon. for instance to the horse and tapir. if we look to forms very distinct. if this theory be true. have become so much modified. But assuredly. The common parent will have had in its whole organisation much general resemblance to the tapir and to the horse. So with natural species. for instance. that one of two living forms might have descended from the other. for in all cases the new and improved forms of life tend to supplant the old and unimproved forms.instance. and in this case DIRECT intermediate links will have existed between them. It is just possible. if we had no historical or indirect evidence regarding their origin. that.

As Inferred From The Rate Of Deposition And Extent Of Denudation Independently of our not finding fossil remains of such infinitely numerous connecting links. along a short length or round a promontory. when formed of moderately hard rocks. and how much sediment has been deposited. all changes having been effected slowly. It is good to wander along the coast. He who can read Sir Charles Lyell's grand work on the Principles of Geology. At last the base of the cliff is undermined. all thickly clothed by marine productions. and yet does not admit how vast have been the past periods of time. and mark the process of degradation. and the waves eat into them only when they are charged with sand or pebbles. On The Lapse Of Time. It is hardly possible for me to recall to the reader who is not a practical geologist. that the cliffs are at the present time suffering. Therefore a man should examine for himself the great piles of superimposed strata. the monuments of which we see all around us. Not that it suffices to study the Principles of Geology. for there is good evidence that pure water effects nothing in wearing away rock. showing how little they are abraded and how seldom they are rolled about! Moreover. As Lyell has well remarked. sand. which is undergoing degradation. and learning how deeply the surface of the land has been denuded.2. in order to comprehend something about the duration of past time. The appearance of the surface and 311 . We can best gain some idea of past time by knowing the agencies at work. or mud. But how often do we see along the bases of retreating cliffs rounded boulders. if we follow for a few miles any line of rocky cliff. it may be objected that time cannot have sufficed for so great an amount of organic change. or even of each stratum. The tides in most cases reach the cliffs only for a short time twice a day. and watch the rivulets bringing down mud. until after being reduced in size they can be rolled about by the waves. we find that it is only here and there. have to be worn away atom by atom. and to mark how each author attempts to give an inadequate idea of the duration of each formation. the extent and thickness of our sedimentary formations are the result and the measure of the denudation which the earth's crust has elsewhere undergone. and the waves wearing away the sea-cliffs. or to read special treatises by different observers on separate formations. huge fragments fall down. may at once close this volume. and then they are more quickly ground into pebbles. the facts leading the mind feebly to comprehend the lapse of time. and these remaining fixed. which the future historian will recognise as having produced a revolution in natural science.

and which seem to work so slowly. this surface consequently has been gradually lowered. Geikie. This being the case. in the van of many excellent observers—of Jukes. The whole surface of the land is exposed to the chemical action of the air and of the rainwater. and to a greater extent than might be supposed. for each line is composed of one and the same formation. and on the other hand the thickness of our sedimentary formations. which apparently have so little power. have produced great results. or the power of the waves. when rapid deepen their channels. Messrs. I remember having been much struck when viewing volcanic islands. or thrown down on the 312 . the disintegrated matter is carried down even gentle slopes during heavy rain. which. on the one hand. the masses of rock which have been removed over many extensive areas. We have. according to our ideas of time. recently learned from the observations of Ramsay. rocky beds had once extended into the open ocean. cannot have been thus formed. The same story is told still more plainly by faults—those great cracks along which the strata have been upheaved on one side. for the gentle slope of the lavastreams. showed at a glance how far the hard. with the lines of harder rock left projecting. by the wind. more forcibly than the conviction thus gained that subaerial agencies. and the observation is a most striking one. it is good. that the great lines of escarpment in the Wealden district and those ranging across England. especially in arid districts. and in colder countries to frost. which have been worn by the waves and pared all round into perpendicular cliffs of one or two thousand feet in height. Ramsay and Whitaker have shown. On a rainy day. it is then transported by the streams and rivers. and triturate the fragments. due to their formerly liquid state. that subaerial degradation is a much more important agency than coast-action. Nothing impresses the mind with the vast duration of time. we see the effects of subaerial degradation in the muddy rills which flow down every slope. which formerly were looked at as ancient seacoasts.the vegetation show that elsewhere years have elapsed since the waters washed their base. When thus impressed with the slow rate at which the land is worn away through subaerial and littoral action. to consider. we are compelled to admit that the escarpments owe their origin in chief part to the rocks of which they are composed. in order to appreciate the past duration of time. however. while our sea-cliffs are everywhere formed by the intersection of various formations. having resisted subaerial denudation better than the surrounding surface. with its dissolved carbonic acid. Croll and others. even in a gently undulating country.

remarks that we do not err "in forming too great a conception of the length of geological periods.2. very nearly thirteen and threequarters British miles. from actual measurement in most cases. Mr. extends for upward of thirty miles. yet from being formed of worn and rounded pebbles. and it makes no great difference whether the upheaval was sudden. Nevertheless this impression is partly false. The consideration of these various facts impresses the mind almost in the same manner as does the vain endeavour to grapple with the idea of eternity. In regard to subaerial denudation. of the successive formations in DIFFERENT parts of Great Britain. In the Cordillera. and along this line the vertical displacement of the strata varies from 600 to 3. by calculating the 313 .13. in an interesting paper.57. for since the crust cracked. When geologists look at large and complicated phenomena. Professor Ramsay has published an account of a downthrow in Anglesea of 2. was slow and effected by many starts. to the height or depth of thousands of feet. Professor Ramsay has given me the maximum thickness. Moreover. between each successive formation we have. and although conglomerates have probably been accumulated at a quicker rate than finer sediments. the pile of rocks on either side of the crack having been smoothly swept away. the surface of the land has been so completely planed down that no trace of these vast dislocations is externally visible. the two produce a totally different effect on the mind. So that the lofty pile of sedimentary rocks in Britain gives but an inadequate idea of the time which has elapsed during their accumulation. and this is the result: Feet Palaeozoic strata (not including igneous beds). for instance. On the other hand. Mr.300 feet.000 feet. and he informs me that he fully believes that there is one in Merionethshire of 12.190 Tertiary strata… … … … … … … … … … … . yet in these cases there is nothing on the surface of the land to show such prodigious movements. they are good to show how slowly the mass must have been heaped together.584 feet. I estimated one mass of conglomerate at ten thousand feet. that is.240 —making altogether 72. as most geologists now believe. in the opinion of most geologists. blank periods of enormous length.. and the figures are at once pronounced too small. which are represented in England by thin beds." but in estimating them by years. Some of these formations.000 feet. or.154 Secondary strata… … … … … … … … … … . each of which bears the stamp of time.other.. Croll. are thousands of feet in thickness on the Continent. The Craven fault. and then at the figures representing several million years. Croll shows. in all parts of the world the piles of sedimentary strata are of wonderful thickness.

Moreover. in relation to the subject of this work. But let it be borne in mind. This tenth of an inch will represent one hundred years. so that a hundred years represents the work of two breeders in succession. The comparison would be in every way fairer with the effects which follow from unconscious selection. due to the occurrence of physical changes of some kind. Unfortunately we have no means of determining. that they have formed what well deserves to be called a new sub-breed. the preservation of the most useful or beautiful animals. Several eminent breeders. know what a million really means: Mr. with no intention of modifying the breed. It is not to be supposed that species in a state of nature ever change so quickly as domestic animals under the guidance of methodical selection. and stretch it along the wall of a large hall. then mark off at one end the tenth of an inch. This slowness follows from all the inhabitants of the same country being already so well adapted to each other. but if halved or quartered it is still very surprising.known amount of sediment annually brought down by certain rivers. what a hundred years implies. represented as it is by a measure utterly insignificant in a hall of the above dimensions. eighty-three feet four inches in length. relatively to their areas of drainage. during a single lifetime. Few men have attended with due care to any one strain for more than half a century. according to the standard of years. but to the subject of time we must return. however. variations or individual differences of the right nature. by which some of the inhabitants might be better fitted to their new places under the altered circumstance. would thus be removed from the mean level of the whole area in the course of six million years. probably change much more slowly. various breeds have been sensibly changed in the course of two or three centuries. but by this process of unconscious selection. as it became gradually disintegrated. This seems an astonishing result. and the entire strip a million years. that new places in the polity of nature do not occur until after long intervals. or through the immigration of new forms. Species. Croll gives the following illustration: Take a narrow strip of paper. 314 . would not always occur at once.000 feet of solid rock. that 1. which propagate their kind much more slowly than most of the lower animals. Few of us. have so largely modified some of the higher animals. how long a period it takes to modify a species. however. and within the same country only a few change at the same time. that is. and some considerations lead to the suspicion that it may be too large.

except a few vegetable remains. will. that very many fossil species are known and named from single and often broken specimens. For instance. Only a small portion of the surface of the earth has been geologically explored. where sediment is not accumulating. without the underlying bed having suffered in the interval any wear and tear. On The Poorness Of Palaeontological Collections Now let us turn to our richest museums. The remains which do become embedded. the bright blue tint of the water bespeaks its purity. No organism wholly soft can be preserved. no fossils. The many cases on record of a formation conformably covered. after an immense interval of time. are entirely destitute of organic remains. as the important discoveries made every year in Europe prove. Throughout an enormously large proportion of the ocean. 315 . We probably take a quite erroneous view. which consists of shale and sandstone. the several species of the Chthamalinae (a sub-family of sessile cirripedes) coat the rocks all over the world in infinite numbers: they are all strictly littoral. Shells and bones decay and disappear when left on the bottom of the sea. The remark of that admirable palaeontologist. and what a paltry display we behold! That our collections are imperfect is admitted by every one. by another and later formation. requiring a vast length of time for their accumulation. have been found. generally be dissolved by the percolation of rain water charged with carbonic acid. at a rate sufficiently quick to embed and preserve fossil remains. and no part with sufficient care. if in sand or gravel. whereas not one other species has hitherto been found in any tertiary formation: yet it is known that the genus Chthamalus existed during the Chalk period. Some of the many kinds of animals which live on the beach between high and low water mark seem to be rarely preserved.3. when we assume that sediment is being deposited over nearly the whole bed of the sea. or from a few specimens collected on some one spot. namely. Edward Forbes. which inhabits deep water and this has been found fossil in Sicily. Lastly. seem explicable only on the view of the bottom of the sea not rarely lying for ages in an unaltered condition. and extending for at least 300 miles from Vienna to Switzerland. occasionally even six thousand feet in thickness. with the exception of a single Mediterranean species. without our being able to assign any reason: one of the most striking instances is that of the Flysch formation. many great deposits. several thousand. and although this great mass has been most carefully searched. when the beds are upraised. should never be forgotten.

charged with new and peculiar forms of life. In regard to mammiferous remains. with the exception of one species discovered by Sir C. When we see the formations tabulated in written works. Lyell and Dr. and in many other parts of the world. The most skilful geologist. like E. but now land-shells have been found in the lias. Scarcely any fact struck me more when examining many hundred miles of the South American coasts. it is difficult to avoid believing that they are closely consecutive. great piles of sediment. Dawson in the carboniferous strata of North America. how accidental and rare is their preservation. have not followed each other in close sequence. see why the geological formations of each region are almost invariably intermittent. so it is in North America. This doctrine has been emphatically admitted by many geologists and palaeontologists. that is. or when we follow them in nature. until recently not a land-shell was known belonging to either of these vast periods. from Sir R. And if. had elsewhere been accumulated. Nor is their rarity surprising. and that not a cave or true lacustrine bed is known belonging to the age of our secondary or palaeozoic formations. we may infer that this could nowhere be ascertained. I think. namely. when we remember how large a proportion of the bones of tertiary mammals have been discovered either in caves or in lacustrine deposits. a glance at the historical table published in Lyell's Manual. We can. whence the sediment was derived. who. For instance. from the several formations being separated from each other by wide intervals of time. for instance. But the imperfection in the geological record largely results from another and more important cause than any of the foregoing. it is superfluous to state that our evidence is fragmentary in an extreme degree.With respect to the terrestrial productions which lived during the Secondary and Palaeozoic periods. will bring home the truth. which have been upraised 316 . accord with the belief of vast intervals of time having elapsed between each formation. Forbes. in every separate territory. But we know. would never have suspected that during the periods which were blank and barren in his own country. Murchison's great work on Russia. far better than pages of detail. if his attention had been confined exclusively to these large territories. entirely disbelieve in the change of species. hardly any idea can be formed of the length of time which has elapsed between the consecutive formations. what wide gaps there are in that country between the superimposed formations. The frequent and great changes in the mineralogical composition of consecutive formations. generally implying great changes in the geography of the surrounding lands.

is that the littoral and sub-littoral deposits are continually worn away. solid. and thus a rich fossiliferous formation. may be formed. as soon as they are brought up by the slow and gradual rising of the land within the grinding action of the coast-waves. as well as the subsequent subaerial degradation. when upraised. tertiary beds are so poorly developed that no record of several successive and peculiar marine faunas will probably be preserved to a distant age. no doubt. in order to withstand the incessant action of the waves. conclude that sediment must be accumulated in extremely thick. either in profound depths of the sea. that the only ancient tertiary formation on the west coast of South America. though the supply of sediment must for ages have been great. I am convinced that nearly all our ancient formations. We may. as long as the rate of subsidence and supply of sediment nearly balance each other. than the absence of any recent deposits sufficiently extensive to last for even a short geological period. I may add. Such thick and extensive accumulations of sediment may be formed in two ways. no extensive formations with recent or tertiary remains can anywhere be found. which are throughout the greater part of their thickness RICH IN FOSSILS. the sea will remain shallow and favourable for many and varied forms. which is inhabited by a peculiar marine fauna. but which will hardly last to a 317 . when first upraised and during subsequent oscillations of level. Since publishing my views on this subject in 1845. I have watched the progress of geology.several hundred feet within the recent period. The explanation. I think. has come to the conclusion that it was accumulated during subsidence. and have been surprised to note how author after author. from the enormous degradation of the coast rocks and from the muddy streams entering the sea. to resist a large amount of denudation. and the mass when upraised will give an imperfect record of the organisms which existed in the neighbourhood during the period of its accumulation. which has been bulky enough to resist such degradation as it has as yet suffered. A little reflection will explain why. Along the whole west coast. in treating of this or that great formation. In this latter case. along the rising coast of the western side of South America. in which case the bottom will not be inhabited by so many and such varied forms of life as the more shallow seas. have thus been formed during subsidence. Or sediment may be deposited to any thickness and extent over a shallow bottom. thick enough. or extensive masses. if it continue slowly to subside.

for owing to the elevatory movement it would be less than the depth in which it was formed. Hopkins also expresses his belief that sedimentary beds of considerable horizontal extent have rarely been completely destroyed. the former protecting mantle of rock may not have been very thick. These remarks apply chiefly to littoral and sublittoral deposits. so that it would run a good chance of being worn away by atmospheric degradation and by the action of the sea during subsequent oscillations of level. On the other hand. a widely extended formation might be formed during a period of elevation. and thus be preserved for a long period. In the case of an extensive and shallow sea. Admitting then that gneiss. such as that within a large part of the Malay Archipelago. but only where the supply of sediment was sufficient to keep the sea shallow and to embed and preserve the remains before they had time to decay. the deposit formed during the rising movement. THICK deposits cannot have been accumulated in the shallow parts. that if one part of the area. might afterwards become protected by fresh accumulations. granite. will have been formed over wide spaces during periods of subsidence. the beds which were then accumulated will generally have been destroyed by being upraised and brought within the limits of the coast-action. Mr. But all geologists. as long as the bed of the sea remained stationary. formations rich in fossils and sufficiently thick and extensive to resist subsequent degradation. after rising and before being denuded. but the thickness of the formation could not be great. subsided. For it is scarcely possible that such rocks could have been solidified and crystallised while uncovered. and yet not suffer excessively from denudation during its slow upheaval. Hopkins. and thus gained considerable thickness. and apparently these oscillations have affected wide spaces. etc. or. which are the most favourable to life. mica-schist. will admit that these latter rocks have been stripped of their covering to an enormous extent. excepting the few who believe that our present metamorphic schists and plutonic rocks once formed the primordial nucleus of the globe. Consequently.distant geological age. where the depth varies from thirty or forty to sixty fathoms. but if the metamorphic action occurred at profound depths of the ocean. to speak more accurately. All geological facts tell us plainly that each area has undergone numerous slow oscillations of level. It has. diorite. were once 318 . been suggested by Mr. however.. was deposited during a downward oscillation of level. nor be capped by overlying formations. nor would the deposit be much consolidated. Still less can this have happened during the alternate periods of elevation. though not thick.

namely. were examined by me. and saw nothing but granitic rocks. the whole of the newer Palaeozoic formations. and I travelled for 150 miles in another direction. France. Italy. During periods of elevation the area of the land and of the adjoining shoal parts of the sea will be increased and new stations will often be formed—all circumstances favourable.necessarily covered up. from near Rio de Janeiro to the mouth of the Plata. to the United States and Canada. Turning to a wellknown region. but during such periods there will generally be a blank in the geological record. as shown in Professor H. and the British Islands. This region has not been carefully explored. as previously explained. along the whole northern bank of the Plata.100 geographical miles. In many regions the metamorphic and granite rocks would be found much more widely extended than they appear to be. collected along the whole coast. and which could not have formed part of the original mantle under which they were crystallised. and consequently during subsidence. it is probable that in some parts of the world whole formations have been completely denuded. and I find that the metamorphic (excluding the "semi-metamorphic") and granite rocks exceed. Inland. all conjoined. South of the Amazon. Numerous specimens.D. part of Germany. and it is during these very 319 . which alone could have formed a part of the original capping of the granitic series. Rogers' beautiful map. except on the belief that they have subsequently been completely denuded of all overlying strata? That such extensive areas do exist cannot be doubted: the granitic region of Parime is described by Humboldt as being at least nineteen times as large as Switzerland. Boue colours an area composed of rocks of this nature as equal to that of Spain. I saw. for the formation of new varieties and species. Hence. the granitic area is very large: thus Von Eschwege gives a detailed section of these rocks. how can we account for the naked and extensive areas of such rocks in many parts of the world.5. One remark is here worth a passing notice. though there will be much extinction. On the other hand. if all the sedimentary beds were removed which rest unconformably on them. the inhabited area and number of inhabitants will decrease (excepting on the shores of a continent when first broken up into an archipelago). during subsidence. only one small patch of slightly metamorphosed rock. with not a wreck left behind. few new varieties or species will be formed. a distance of 1. in the proportion of 19 to 12. and they all belonged to this class. besides modern tertiary beds. I have estimated the areas by cutting out and weighing the paper. but from the concurrent testimony of travellers. stretching from Rio de Janeiro for 260 geographical miles inland in a straight line.

periods of subsidence that the deposits which are richest in fossils have been accumulated. 320 .

whose opinions are worthy of much deference. and Hilgendorf has described a most curious case of ten graduated forms of Planorbis multiformis in the successive beds of a fresh-water formation in Switzerland. but if we confine our attention to any one formation. Although each formation has indisputably required a vast number of years for its deposition. have concluded that the average duration of each formation is twice or thrice as long as the average duration of specific forms. several reasons can be given why each should not commonly include a graduated series of links between the species which lived at its commencement and close. We forget how small the area of Europe is compared with the rest of the world. Although each formation may mark a very long lapse of years. each probably is short compared with the period requisite to change one species into another. the probability is that it only then first immigrated into that area. it would be rash in the extreme to infer that it had not elsewhere previously existed. it becomes much more difficult to understand why we do not therein find closely graduated varieties between the allied species which lived at its commencement and at its close. So again. for instance. that several species appear somewhat earlier in the palaeozoic beds of North America than in those of Europe. time having apparently been required for their migration from the American to the European 321 . We may safely infer that with marine animals of all kinds there has been a large amount of migration due to climatal and other changes. nor have the several stages of the same formation throughout Europe been correlated with perfect accuracy. When we see a species first appearing in the middle of any formation. viewed as a whole. as it seems to me. But insuperable difficulties. but I cannot assign due proportional weight to the following considerations. and when we see a species first appearing in any formation.4. Thus Trautschold gives a number of instances with Ammonites. namely Bronn and Woodward. prevent us from coming to any just conclusion on this head. On The Absence Of Numerous Intermediate Varieties In Any Single Formation From these several considerations it cannot be doubted that the geological record. when we find a species disappearing before the last layers have been deposited. I am aware that two palaeontologists. It is well known. is extremely imperfect. it would be equally rash to suppose that it then became extinct. Several cases are on record of the same species presenting varieties in the upper and lower parts of the same formation.

the deposit must have gone on continuously accumulating during a long period.seas. fossiliferous throughout its entire thickness. this nearly exact balancing between the supply of sediment and the amount of subsidence is probably a rare contingency. in any quarter of the world. It is not. but have become extinct in the immediately surrounding sea. for instance. that some are now abundant in the neighbouring sea. and likewise to reflect on the changes of level. would be tempted to conclude that the average duration of life of the embedded fossils had been less than that of the glacial period. or. for it has been observed by more 322 . probable that sediment was deposited during the whole of the glacial period near the mouth of the Mississippi. In examining the latest deposits. a geologist. it has everywhere been noted. can accumulate only during a period of subsidence. and the species undergoing change must have lived in the same district throughout the whole time. hence. within that limit of depth at which marine animals can best flourish: for we know that great geographical changes occurred in other parts of America during this space of time. all included within this same glacial period. In fact. the deposit must be a very thick one. instead of having been really far greater. that some few still existing species are common in the deposit. the supply of sediment must nearly counterbalance the amount of subsidence. which is necessary that the same marine species may live on the same space. and on the great lapse of time. whilst the downward movement continues. have gone on accumulating within the same area during the whole of this period. owing to the migrations of species and to geographical changes. INCLUDING FOSSIL REMAINS. And in the distant future. organic remains will probably first appear and disappear at different levels. in various quarters of the world. extending from before the glacial epoch to the present day. examining these beds. When such beds as were deposited in shallow water near the mouth of the Mississippi during some part of the glacial period shall have been upraised. sedimentary deposits. Yet it may be doubted whether. conversely. but are rare or absent in this particular deposit. In order to get a perfect gradation between two forms in the upper and lower parts of the same formation. and to keep the depth approximately the same. which forms only a part of one whole geological period. sufficient for the slow process of modification. It is an excellent lesson to reflect on the ascertained amount of migration of the inhabitants of Europe during the glacial epoch. But this same movement of subsidence will tend to submerge the area whence the sediment is derived. that is. and thus diminish the supply. But we have seen that a thick formation. on the extreme change of climate.

they rank both as species. Consequently if it were to undergo a considerable amount of modification during the deposition of any one geological formation. even if 323 . showing what wide. yet no one ignorant of this fact would have even suspected the vast lapse of time represented by the thinner formation. Nor will the closest inspection of a formation give us any idea of the length of time which its deposition may have consumed. Supposing B and C to be two species. at no less than sixty-eight different levels. the probability is that it has not lived on the same spot during the whole period of deposition. intervals have occurred in its accumulation. Many instances could be given of beds. to be found in an older and underlying bed. had not the trees been preserved: thus Sir C. when the same species occurs at the bottom. we may reasonably suspect that the process of deposition has been more or less interrupted. and this. except near their upper or lower limits.400 feet thick in Nova Scotia. but abrupt. When we see. It would seem that each separate formation. Dawson found carboniferous beds 1. but when they meet with a somewhat greater amount of difference between any two forms. from the reasons just assigned. changes of form. as is so often the case. with ancient root-bearing strata. which would not have been suspected. middle. still standing upright as they grew.than one palaeontologist that very thick deposits are usually barren of organic remains. Hence. has generally been intermittent in its accumulation. and top of a formation. perhaps many times. but has disappeared and reappeared. In other cases we have the plainest evidence in great fossilised trees. It is all-important to remember that naturalists have no golden rule by which to distinguish species and varieties. denuded. only a few feet in thickness. a formation composed of beds of widely different mineralogical composition. they grant some little variability to each species. Many cases could be given of the lower beds of a formation having been upraised. during the same geological period. and then re-covered by the upper beds of the same formation—facts. a section would not include all the fine intermediate gradations which must on our theory have existed. of many long intervals of time and changes of level during the process of deposition. like the whole pile of formations in any country. one above the other. representing formations which are elsewhere thousands of feet in thickness. A. Lyell and Dr. yet easily overlooked. we can seldom hope to effect in any one geological section. submerged. and a third. unless they are enabled to connect them together by the closest intermediate gradations. and which must have required an enormous period for their accumulation. though perhaps slight.

to distinct but consecutive stages of the same great formation. so that here again we have undoubted evidence of change in the direction required by the theory. or unless we admit.A were strictly intermediate between B and C. as we have formerly seen. we should not recognise their blood-relationship. If we look to rather wider intervals of time. maintain that all these tertiary species are specifically distinct. unless at the same time it could be closely connected by intermediate varieties with either one or both forms. and that such local varieties do not spread widely and supplant their parent-form until they have been modified and perfected in some considerable degree. and on this view we do find the kind of evidence of change which on the theory we ought to find. and yet would not necessarily be strictly intermediate between them in all respects. yet are far more closely related to each other than are the species found in more widely separated formations. but to this latter subject I shall return in the following chapter. Some experienced conchologists are now sinking many of the very fine species of D'Orbigny and others into the rank of varieties. as Agassiz and Pictet. which include many shells believed by the majority of naturalists to be identical with existing species. so that here. and should consequently rank them as distinct species. that these tertiary species are all truly distinct from the recent. the chance of discovering in a formation in any one country all the early 324 . It is notorious on what excessively slight differences many palaeontologists have founded their species. and that these late tertiary species really present no difference whatever from their living representatives. So that we might obtain the parentspecies and its several modified descendants from the lower and upper beds of the same formation. and unless we obtained numerous transitional gradations. and they do this the more readily if the specimens come from different sub-stages of the same formation. it would simply be ranked as a third and distinct species. as before explained. that A might be the actual progenitor of B and C. According to this view. in opposition to the judgment of most naturalists. Nor should it be forgotten. we find that the embedded fossils. that their varieties are generally at first local. though the distinction is admitted to be very slight. unless we believe that these eminent naturalists have been misled by their imaginations. Look again at the later tertiary deposits. namely. With animals and plants that propagate rapidly and do not wander much. we have evidence of the frequent occurrence of slight modifications of the kind required. but some excellent naturalists. there is reason to suspect. though universally ranked as specifically different.

that oftenest present varieties. This could be effected by the future geologist only by his discovering in a fossil state numerous intermediate gradations. If the extreme forms in the genus happen to have been thus destroyed. fossil links. was probably short in comparison with that during which it remained without undergoing any change. for the successive changes are supposed to have been local or confined to some one spot. and such success is improbable in the highest degree. that the period during which each species underwent modification. as lately insisted on by Dr. that geology yields no linking forms. so that. or." If we take a genus having a score of species. have oftenest given rise. fine. it is probable that those which had the widest range. It has been asserted over and over again. This assertion. Most marine animals have a wide range. and with fossil species this can rarely be done.stages of transition between any two forms. or are. We shall. perhaps. and dogs are descended from a single stock or from several aboriginal stocks. geologists at some future period will be able to prove that our different breeds of cattle. Lubbock has remarked. which are ranked by some conchologists as distinct species from their European representatives. as it is called. far exceeding the limits of the known geological formations in Europe. horses. until many specimens are collected from many places. by writers who believe in the immutability of species. with shells and other marine animals. sheep. though long as measured by years. first to local varieties and ultimately to new species. is small. As Sir J. again. and by other conchologists as only varieties. by asking ourselves whether. best perceive the improbability of our being enabled to connect species by numerous. It is a more important consideration. "Every species is a link between other allied forms. Falconer. and this again would greatly lessen the chance of our being able to trace the stages of transition in any one geological formation. with perfect specimens for examination. intermediate. as we shall see in the next chapter. leading to the same result. recent and extinct. and we have seen that with plants it is those which have the widest range. It should not be forgotten. whether certain sea-shells inhabiting the shores of North America. and thus proved to be the same species. namely. for instance. and destroy four-fifths of them. are really varieties. no one doubts that the remainder will stand much more distinct from each other. specifically distinct. is certainly erroneous. the genus itself will stand more distinct from other allied genera. that at the present day. two forms can seldom be connected by intermediate varieties. What geological research has not 325 .

Godwin. so as to have a good chance of enduring to a very distant future. the fossiliferous formations on the steeper shores would be destroyed. by the incessant coast-action.revealed. Formations rich in fossils of many kinds. These periods of subsidence would be separated from each other by immense intervals of time. would be embedded. no remains could be preserved. But this ought not to be expected. yet if all the species were to be collected which have ever lived there. almost as soon as accumulated. while most of our formations were accumulating. with its numerous large islands separated by wide and shallow seas. or of those which lived on naked submarine rocks. there would probably 326 . or become capped and protected by subsequent deposits. as we now see on the shores of South America. connecting together nearly all existing and extinct species. sedimentary beds could hardly be accumulated of great thickness during the periods of elevation. and from Britain to Russia. how imperfectly would they represent the natural history of the world! But we have every reason to believe that the terrestrial productions of the archipelago would be preserved in an extremely imperfect manner in the formations which we suppose to be there accumulating. is the former existence of infinitely numerous gradations. excepting those of the United States of America. as fine as existing varieties. It may be worth while to sum up the foregoing remarks on the causes of the imperfection of the geological record under an imaginary illustration. yet this has been repeatedly advanced as a most serious objection against my views. during which the area would be either stationary or rising. whilst rising. Wherever sediment did not accumulate on the bed of the sea. The Malay Archipelago is one of the richest regions in organic beings. Not many of the strictly littoral animals. I fully agree with Mr.Austen. would generally be formed in the archipelago only during periods of subsidence. and those embedded in gravel or sand would not endure to a distant epoch. and therefore equals all the geological formations which have been examined with any accuracy. probably represents the former state of Europe. Even throughout the extensive and shallow seas within the archipelago. The Malay Archipelago is about the size of Europe from the North Cape to the Mediterranean. and of thickness sufficient to last to an age as distant in futurity as the secondary formations lie in the past. During the periods of subsidence. or where it did not accumulate at a sufficient rate to protect organic bodies from decay. that the present condition of the Malay Archipelago.

It may be doubted whether the duration of any one great period of subsidence over the whole or part of the archipelago. We ought only to look for a few links.be much extinction of life. related to each other. and these contingencies are indispensable for the preservation of all the transitional gradations between any two or more species. and in these cases the inhabitants of the archipelago would migrate. in our geological formations. But I do not pretend that I should ever have suspected how poor was the record in the best preserved geological sections. or when further modified and improved. but the geological record would then be less perfect. but if possessed of any decided advantage. and such assuredly we do find—some more distantly. have connected all the past and present species of the same group into one long and branching chain of life. which would oftenest produce new varieties. during the periods of elevation. we have no right to expect to find. transitional varieties would merely appear as so many new. When such varieties returned to their ancient homes. they would slowly spread and supplant their parent-forms. and as they would be found embedded in slightly different substages of the same formation. there would be much variation. on our theory. If then there be some degree of truth in these remarks. some more closely. as they would differ from their former state in a nearly uniform. and the varieties would at first be local or confined to one place. though only some of them. according to the principles followed by many palaeontologists. if found in different stages of the same formation. together with a contemporaneous accumulation of sediment. 327 . and analogy plainly leads to the belief that it would be chiefly these far-ranging species. had not the absence of innumerable transitional links between the species which lived at the commencement and close of each formation. and these links. It is also probable that each great period of subsidence would be interrupted by oscillations of level. they would. Very many of the marine inhabitants of the archipelago now range thousands of miles beyond its confines. an infinite number of those fine transitional forms. though perhaps extremely slight degree. pressed so hardly on my theory. which. would EXCEED the average duration of the same specific forms. be ranked as distinct species. let them be ever so close. be ranked as new and distinct species. and no closely consecutive record of their modifications could be preserved in any one formation. by many palaeontologists. If such gradations were not all fully preserved. would. though closely allied species. and that slight climatical changes would intervene during such lengthy periods.

and consequently that the transitional forms would often long remain confined to some one region. the fact would be fatal to the theory of evolution through natural selection. compared with the area over which our geological formations have been carefully examined. namely. have really started into life at once. by Agassiz. before they invaded the ancient archipelagoes of Europe and the United States. that it might require a long succession of ages to adapt an organism to some new and peculiar line of life. and the progenitors must have lived long before their modified descendants. because certain genera or families have not been found beneath a certain stage. and falsely infer. when this adaptation had once been effected. I may here recall a remark formerly made. which would spread rapidly and widely throughout the world. that they did not exist before that stage. has been urged by several palaeontologists—for instance. In all cases positive palaeontological evidence may be implicitly trusted. all of which are descended from some one progenitor. as a fatal objection to the belief in the transmutation of species. and have slowly multiplied. must have been an extremely slow process. such groups or species will appear as if suddenly created. to fly through the air. belonging to the same genera or families. We continually forget how large the world is. Pictet. cannot see how the successive modifications of the anterior limbs of a supposed prototype could possibly have been of any advantage. On The Sudden Appearance Of Whole Groups Of Allied Species The abrupt manner in which whole groups of species suddenly appear in certain formations. But we continually overrate the perfection of the geological record. For the development by this means of a group of forms. longer perhaps in many cases than the time required for the accumulation of each formation. But look at the 328 . in his excellent Review of this work. Professor Pictet. and taking birds as an illustration. we forget that groups of species may elsewhere have long existed. and a few species had thus acquired a great advantage over other organisms. a comparatively short time would be necessary to produce many divergent forms. We do not make due allowance for the enormous intervals of time which have elapsed between our consecutive formations. negative evidence is worthless. in commenting on early transitional forms. for instance. but that. If numerous species. These intervals will have given time for the multiplication of species from some one parent-form: and in the succeeding formation. as experience has so often shown.5. and Sedgwick.

I 329 . Hardly any recent discovery shows more forcibly than this how little we as yet know of the former inhabitants of the world. and with its wings furnished with two free claws. but what special difficulty is there in believing that it might profit the modified descendants of the penguin. and a third edition would require still further changes. and true mammals have been discovered in the new red sandstone at nearly the commencement of this great series. but now extinct species have been discovered in India. have not these birds their front limbs in this precise intermediate state of "neither true arms nor true wings?" Yet these birds hold their place victoriously in the battle for life. the conclusions on the first appearance and disappearance of several groups of animals have been considerably modified. And now one of the richest known accumulations of fossil mammals belongs to the middle of the secondary series. and ultimately to rise from its surface and glide through the air? I will now give a few examples to illustrate the foregoing remarks. for they exist in infinite numbers and of many kinds. on the authority of Professor Owen. that strange bird. some of gigantic size.penguins of the Southern Ocean. which. mammals were always spoken of as having abruptly come in at the commencement of the tertiary series. the Archeopteryx. Even in so short an interval as that between the first and second editions of Pictet's great work on Palaeontology. and still more recently. bearing a pair of feathers on each joint. published in 1844-46 and in 1853-57. published not many years ago. Cuvier used to urge that no monkey occurred in any tertiary stratum. palaeontologists maintained that the whole class of birds came suddenly into existence during the eocene period. as far back as the miocene stage. has been discovered in the oolitic slates of Solenhofen. from having passed under my own eyes has much struck me. I may give another instance. I do not suppose that we here see the real transitional grades through which the wings of birds have passed. Had it not been for the rare accident of the preservation of footsteps in the new red sandstone of the United States. existed during that period? Not a fragment of bone has been discovered in these beds. and to show how liable we are to error in supposing that whole groups of species have suddenly been produced. with a long lizard-like tail. In a memoir on Fossil Sessile Cirripedes. I may recall the well-known fact that in geological treatises. first to become enabled to flap along the surface of the sea like the logger-headed duck. who would have ventured to suppose that no less than at least thirty different bird-like animals. South America and in Europe. Not long ago. that a bird certainly lived during the deposition of the upper greensand. but now we know.

of which not one species has as yet been found even in any tertiary stratum. from the extraordinary abundance of the individuals of many species all over the world. is that of the teleostean fishes. If the teleosteans had really appeared suddenly in the northern hemisphere at the commencement of the chalk formation. had sessile cirripedes existed during the secondary periods. adding. It is almost superfluous to remark that hardly any fossil-fish are known from south of the equator. M. sent me a drawing of a perfect specimen of an unmistakable sessile cirripede. This group includes the large majority of existing species. And. and by running through Pictet's Palaeontology it will be seen that very few species are known from several formations in Europe. unless it could likewise have been shown that at the same period the species were suddenly and simultaneously developed in other quarters of the world. from the perfect manner in which specimens are preserved in the oldest tertiary beds. they would certainly have been preserved and discovered. a member of a distinct subfamily of sessile cirripedes. The case most frequently insisted on by palaeontologists of the apparently sudden appearance of a whole group of species. and after having been largely developed in 330 . from the upper tidal limits to fifty fathoms. which he had himself extracted from the chalk of Belgium. This was a sore trouble to me. But certain Jurassic and Triassic forms are now commonly admitted to be teleostean. Still more recently. in the Chalk period. But my work had hardly been published. Some few families of fish now have a confined range. the teleostean fishes might formerly have had a similarly confined range. so that we now have abundant evidence of the existence of this group of animals during the secondary period. the fact would have been highly remarkable.stated that. large. when a skilful palaeontologist. Woodward in the upper chalk. and ubiquitous genus. from all these circumstances. from the ease with which even a fragment of a valve can be recognised. and as not one species had then been discovered in beds of this age. has been discovered by Mr. and even some palaeozoic forms have thus been classed by one high authority. I inferred that. from the Arctic regions to the equator. low down. but it would not have formed an insuperable difficulty. as I then thought. a Pyrgoma. Bosquet. from the large number of existing and extinct tertiary species. according to Agassiz. a very common. one more instance of the abrupt appearance of a great group of species. inhabiting various zones of depths. I concluded that this great group had been suddenly developed at the commencement of the tertiary series. as if to make the case as striking as possible. this cirripede was a Chthamalus.

Even at this day. until some of the species became adapted to a cooler climate. and were enabled to double the southern capes of Africa or Australia. Nor have we any right to suppose that the seas of the world have always been so freely open from south to north as they are at present. the tropical parts of the Indian Ocean would form a large and perfectly enclosed basin. it seems to me to be about as rash to dogmatize on the succession of organic forms throughout the world.some one sea. and from the revolution in our palaeontological knowledge effected by the discoveries of the last dozen years. as it would be for a naturalist to land for five minutes on a barren point in Australia. and then to discuss the number and range of its productions. in which any great group of marine animals might be multiplied. From these considerations. from our ignorance of the geology of other countries beyond the confines of Europe and the United States. have spread widely. if the Malay Archipelago were converted into land. 331 . and thus reach other and distant seas. and here they would remain confined.

Sir W. or probably far longer than. These very wide limits show how doubtful the data are. and other elements may have hereafter to be introduced into the problem. has lasted long enough. apply with equal force to the earliest known species. On The Sudden Appearance Of Groups Of Allied Species In The Lowest Known Fossiliferous Strata There is another and allied difficulty. Croll estimates that about sixty million years have elapsed since the Cambrian period. that these old species were the progenitors of all the species belonging to the same groups which have subsequently appeared. and which probably differed greatly from any known animal. etc. but probably not less than ninety-eight or more than two hundred million years. and the previous one hundred and forty million years can hardly be considered as sufficient for the development of the varied forms of life which already existed during the Cambrian period. probable. but this. Thompson concludes that the consolidation of the crust can hardly have occurred less than twenty or more than four hundred million years ago. which must have lived long before the Cambrian age. it is indisputable that before the lowest Cambrian stratum was deposited long periods elapsed. and such 332 . Some of the most ancient animals.6. the whole interval from the Cambrian age to the present day. Consequently. appears a very short time for the many and great mutations of life. Here we encounter a formidable objection. as Sir William Thompson insists. Lingula. for they are not in any degree intermediate in character. I allude to the manner in which species belonging to several of the main divisions of the animal kingdom suddenly appear in the lowest known fossiliferous rocks.. which have certainly occurred since the Cambrian formation. if the theory be true. Most of the arguments which have convinced me that all the existing species of the same group are descended from a single progenitor. Mr. and it cannot on our theory be supposed. and that during these vast periods the world swarmed with living creatures. as long as. which is much more serious. in a fit state for the habitation of living creatures. that the world at a very early period was subjected to more rapid and violent changes in its physical conditions than those now occurring. For instance. however. as the Nautilus. It is. for it seems doubtful whether the earth. do not differ much from living species. it cannot be doubted that all the Cambrian and Silurian trilobites are descended from some one crustacean. judging from the small amount of organic change since the commencement of the Glacial epoch.

about the existence of living beings long before the Cambrian period. abounding with new and peculiar species. To the question why we do not find rich fossiliferous deposits belonging to these assumed earliest periods prior to the Cambrian system. Dawson has remarked. Sir W. that the appearance of the so-called primordial fauna (of Barrande) may by some be considered as a comparatively modern event. Murchison at their head. We are thus carried back to a period so remote. for if this had been the case we should have found only small remnants of the formations next succeeding them in age. Mr Hicks has found South Wales beds rich in trilobites. Not very long ago M. I can give no satisfactory answer. But the descriptions which we possess of the Silurian deposits over immense territories in Russia and in North 333 . with Sir R. We should not forget that only a small portion of the world is known with accuracy. but is highly organised for its class. it existed in countless numbers. which I wrote in 1859. from the base of the palaeozoic series to the present time. and.changes would have tended to induce changes at a corresponding rate in the organisms which then existed. and the existence of the Eozoon in the Laurentian formation of Canada is generally admitted. Thus the words. as Lyell and E. Several eminent geologists. Logan states that their "united thickness may possibly far surpass that of all the succeeding rocks. in the lowest of which the Eozoon is found. Nevertheless. beneath the then known Silurian system. Other highly competent judges. probably indicates life at these periods." The Eozoon belongs to the most lowly organised of all classes of animals. Logan. and which are almost the same with those since used by Sir W. Forbes. have disputed this conclusion. which must have lived in great numbers. the difficulty of assigning any good reason for the absence of vast piles of strata rich in fossils beneath the Cambrian system is very great. certainly preyed on other minute organic beings. have proved true. and these would always have existed in a partially metamorphosed condition. as Dr. There are three great series of strata beneath the Silurian system in Canada. Barrande added another and lower stage. The presence of phosphatic nodules and bituminous matter. even in some of the lowest azotic rocks. It does not seem probable that the most ancient beds have been quite worn away by denudation. still lower down in the Lower Cambrian formation. were until recently convinced that we beheld in the organic remains of the lowest Silurian stratum the first dawn of life. and now. and containing various molluscs and annelids. or that their fossils have been wholly obliterated by metamorphic action.

oceans have extended from the remotest period of which we have any record. or as the bed of an open and unfathomable sea. which must have intervened during these enormously long periods. we may infer that. where our oceans now extend. if this can be called a truly oceanic island) is as yet known to afford even a remnant of any palaeozoic or secondary formation.America. and may be truly urged as a valid argument against the views here entertained. since the Cambrian period. I will give the following hypothesis. But may not the areas of preponderant movement have changed in 334 . then. and the continents areas of elevation. From the nature of the organic remains which do not appear to have inhabited profound depths. Hence. whether Europe and the United States during these intervals existed as dry land. Our continents seem to have been formed by a preponderance. The case at present must remain inexplicable. we may infer anything from these facts. led me to conclude that the great oceans are still mainly areas of subsidence. the great archipelagoes still areas of oscillations of level. that where continents now exist. Looking to the existing oceans. that during the palaeozoic and secondary periods. during many oscillations of level. for had they existed. to great oscillations of level. but hardly one truly oceanic island (with the exception of New Zealand. or as a submarine surface near land. large tracts of land have existed. But we do not know what was the state of things in the intervals between the several successive formations. we may perhaps infer. and would have been at least partially upheaved by the oscillations of level. we may infer that from first to last large islands or tracts of land. This same view has since been maintained by Agassiz and others. miles in thickness. of which the formations are composed. of the force of elevation. occurred in the neighbourhood of the now existing continents of Europe and North America. and from the amount of sediment. which are thrice as extensive as the land. in the several formations of Europe and of the United States. whence the sediment was derived. neither continents nor continental islands existed where our oceans now extend. The coloured map appended to my volume on Coral Reefs. no doubt. and on the other hand. on which sediment was not deposited. But we have no reason to assume that things have thus remained from the beginning of the world. palaeozoic and secondary formations would in all probability have been accumulated from sediment derived from their wear and tear. subjected. If. do not support the view that the older a formation is the more invariably it has suffered extreme denudation and metamorphism. we see them studded with many islands. To show that it may hereafter receive some explanation.

But Sir Charles Lyell now gives the support of his high authority to the opposite side. Agassiz. which must have been heated under great pressure. namely. etc. The immense areas in some parts of the world. as at present known.the lapse of ages? At a period long antecedent to the Cambrian epoch. and most geologists and palaeontologists are much shaken in their former belief. Forbes. Cuvier. E. and which had been pressed on by an enormous weight of superincumbent water. of naked metamorphic rocks. are all undoubtedly of the most serious nature. we do not find infinitely numerous fine transitional forms closely joining them all together. and of each page. following out Lyell's metaphor. Those who believe that the geological record is in any degree perfect. have unanimously. for it might well happen that strata which had subsided some miles nearer to the centre of the earth. namely. Murchison. Of this volume. etc. For my part. more or less different in the successive chapters. and all our greatest geologists. and we may perhaps believe that we see in these large areas the many formations long anterior to the Cambrian epoch in a completely metamorphosed and denuded condition. may represent the forms of life. Falconer. for instance in South America. that. only here and there a few lines. Nor should we be justified in assuming that if. have always seemed to me to require some special explanation. which are entombed in our consecutive formations. only here and there a short chapter has been preserved. Barrande. continents may have existed where oceans are now spread out.. might have undergone far more metamorphic action than strata which have always remained nearer to the surface. older than the Cambrian strata. in recognisable condition. supposing such to have been formerly deposited. Each word of the slowly-changing language.. though we find in our geological formations many links between the species which now exist and which formerly existed. for instance. We see this in the fact that the most eminent palaeontologists. Sedgwick. the almost entire absence. and clear and open oceans may have existed where our continents now stand. often vehemently. The several difficulties here discussed. I look at the geological record as a history of the world imperfectly kept and written in a changing dialect. will undoubtedly at once reject my theory. The sudden manner in which several groups of species first appear in our European formations. Of this history we possess the last volume alone. the bed of the Pacific Ocean were now converted into a continent we should there find sedimentary formations. relating only to two or three countries. of formations rich in fossils beneath the Cambrian strata. and which falsely appear to have been 335 . Pictet. maintained the immutability of species. as Lyell.

abruptly introduced. On this view the difficulties above discussed are greatly diminished or even disappear. 336 .



On The Geological Succession Of Organic Beings
On the slow and successive appearance of new species — On their different rates of change — Species once lost do not reappear — Groups of species follow the same general rules in their appearance and disappearance as do single species — On extinction — On simultaneous changes in the forms of life throughout the world — On the affinities of extinct species to each other and to living species — On the state of development of ancient forms — On the succession of the same types within the same areas — Summary of preceding and present chapters.


Let us now see whether the several facts and laws relating to the geological succession of organic beings accord best with the common view of the immutability of species, or with that of their slow and gradual modification, through variation and natural selection. New species have appeared very slowly, one after another, both on the land and in the waters. Lyell has shown that it is hardly possible to resist the evidence on this head in the case of the several tertiary stages; and every year tends to fill up the blanks between the stages, and to make the proportion between the lost and existing forms more gradual. In some of the most recent beds, though undoubtedly of high antiquity if measured by years, only one or two species are extinct, and only one or two are new, having appeared there for the first time, either locally, or, as far as we know, on the face of the earth. The secondary formations are more broken; but, as Bronn has remarked, neither the appearance nor disappearance of the many species embedded in each formation has been simultaneous. Species belonging to different genera and classes have not changed at the same rate, or in the same degree. In the older tertiary beds a few living shells may still be found in the midst of a multitude of extinct forms. Falconer has given a striking instance of a similar fact, for an existing crocodile is associated with many lost mammals and reptiles in the subHimalayan deposits. The Silurian Lingula differs but little from the living species of this genus; whereas most of the other Silurian Molluscs and all the Crustaceans have changed greatly. The productions of the land seem to have changed at a quicker rate than those of the sea, of which a striking instance has been observed in Switzerland. There is some reason to believe that organisms high in the scale, change more quickly than those that are low: though there are exceptions to this rule. The amount of organic change, as Pictet has remarked, is not the same in each successive so-called formation. Yet if we compare any but the most closely related formations, all the species will be found to have undergone some change. When a species has once disappeared from the face of the earth, we have no reason to believe that the same identical form ever reappears. The strongest apparent exception to this latter rule is that of the so-called "colonies" of M. Barrande, which intrude for a period in the midst of an older formation, and then allow the pre-existing fauna to reappear; but Lyell's explanation, namely, that it is a case of temporary migration from a distinct geographical province, seems satisfactory.


These several facts accord well with our theory, which includes no fixed law of development, causing all the inhabitants of an area to change abruptly, or simultaneously, or to an equal degree. The process of modification must be slow, and will generally affect only a few species at the same time; for the variability of each species is independent of that of all others. Whether such variations or individual differences as may arise will be accumulated through natural selection in a greater or less degree, thus causing a greater or less amount of permanent modification, will depend on many complex contingencies—on the variations being of a beneficial nature, on the freedom of intercrossing, on the slowly changing physical conditions of the country, on the immigration of new colonists, and on the nature of the other inhabitants with which the varying species come into competition. Hence it is by no means surprising that one species should retain the same identical form much longer than others; or, if changing, should change in a less degree. We find similar relations between the existing inhabitants of distinct countries; for instance, the land-shells and coleopterous insects of Madeira have come to differ considerably from their nearest allies on the continent of Europe, whereas the marine shells and birds have remained unaltered. We can perhaps understand the apparently quicker rate of change in terrestrial and in more highly organised productions compared with marine and lower productions, by the more complex relations of the higher beings to their organic and inorganic conditions of life, as explained in a former chapter. When many of the inhabitants of any area have become modified and improved, we can understand, on the principle of competition, and from the all-important relations of organism to organism in the struggle for life, that any form which did not become in some degree modified and improved, would be liable to extermination. Hence, we see why all the species in the same region do at last, if we look to long enough intervals of time, become modified; for otherwise they would become extinct. In members of the same class the average amount of change, during long and equal periods of time, may, perhaps, be nearly the same; but as the accumulation of enduring formations, rich in fossils, depends on great masses of sediment being deposited on subsiding areas, our formations have been almost necessarily accumulated at wide and irregularly intermittent intervals of time; consequently the amount of organic change exhibited by the fossils embedded in consecutive formations is not equal. Each formation, on this view, does not mark a new and complete act of creation, but only an occasional scene, taken almost at hazard, in an ever slowly changing drama.


We can clearly understand why a species when once lost should never reappear, even if the very same conditions of life, organic and inorganic, should recur. For though the offspring of one species might be adapted (and no doubt this has occurred in innumerable instances) to fill the place of another species in the economy of nature, and thus supplant it; yet the two forms—the old and the new—would not be identically the same; for both would almost certainly inherit different characters from their distinct progenitors; and organisms already differing would vary in a different manner. For instance, it is possible, if all our fantail-pigeons were destroyed, that fanciers might make a new breed hardly distinguishable from the present breed; but if the parent rock-pigeon were likewise destroyed, and under nature we have every reason to believe that parent forms are generally supplanted and exterminated by their improved offspring, it is incredible that a fantail, identical with the existing breed, could be raised from any other species of pigeon, or even from any other well established race of the domestic pigeon, for the successive variations would almost certainly be in some degree different, and the newly-formed variety would probably inherit from its progenitor some characteristic differences. Groups of species, that is, genera and families, follow the same general rules in their appearance and disappearance as do single species, changing more or less quickly, and in a greater or lesser degree. A group, when it has once disappeared, never reappears; that is, its existence, as long as it lasts, is continuous. I am aware that there are some apparent exceptions to this rule, but the exceptions are surprisingly few, so few that E. Forbes, Pictet, and Woodward (though all strongly opposed to such views as I maintain) admit its truth; and the rule strictly accords with the theory. For all the species of the same group, however long it may have lasted, are the modified descendants one from the other, and all from a common progenitor. In the genus Lingula, for instance, the species which have successively appeared at all ages must have been connected by an unbroken series of generations, from the lowest Silurian stratum to the present day. We have seen in the last chapter that whole groups of species sometimes falsely appear to have been abruptly developed; and I have attempted to give an explanation of this fact, which if true would be fatal to my views. But such cases are certainly exceptional; the general rule being a gradual increase in number, until the group reaches its maximum, and then, sooner or later, a gradual decrease. If the number of the species included within a genus, or the number of the genera within a family, be


represented by a vertical line of varying thickness, ascending through the successive geological formations, in which the species are found, the line will sometimes falsely appear to begin at its lower end, not in a sharp point, but abruptly; it then gradually thickens upwards, often keeping of equal thickness for a space, and ultimately thins out in the upper beds, marking the decrease and final extinction of the species. This gradual increase in number of the species of a group is strictly conformable with the theory; for the species of the same genus, and the genera of the same family, can increase only slowly and progressively; the process of modification and the production of a number of allied forms necessarily being a slow and gradual process, one species first giving rise to two or three varieties, these being slowly converted into species, which in their turn produce by equally slow steps other varieties and species, and so on, like the branching of a great tree from a single stem, till the group becomes large.


2. On Extinction
We have as yet only spokesn incidentally of the disappearance of species and of groups of species. On the theory of natural selection, the extinction of old forms and the production of new and improved forms are intimately connected together. The old notion of all the inhabitants of the earth having been swept away by catastrophes at successive periods is very generally given up, even by those geologists, as Elie de Beaumont, Murchison, Barrande, etc., whose general views would naturally lead them to this conclusion. On the contrary, we have every reason to believe, from the study of the tertiary formations, that species and groups of species gradually disappear, one after another, first from one spot, then from another, and finally from the world. In some few cases, however, as by the breaking of an isthmus and the consequent irruption of a multitude of new inhabitants into an adjoining sea, or by the final subsidence of an island, the process of extinction may have been rapid. Both single species and whole groups of species last for very unequal periods; some groups, as we have seen, have endured from the earliest known dawn of life to the present day; some have disappeared before the close of the palaeozoic period. No fixed law seems to determine the length of time during which any single species or any single genus endures. There is reason to believe that the extinction of a whole group of species is generally a slower process than their production: if their appearance and disappearance be represented, as before, by a vertical line of varying thickness the line is found to taper more gradually at its upper end, which marks the progress of extermination, than at its lower end, which marks the first appearance and the early increase in number of the species. In some cases, however, the extermination of whole groups, as of ammonites, towards the close of the secondary period, has been wonderfully sudden. The extinction of species has been involved in the most gratuitous mystery. Some authors have even supposed that, as the individual has a definite length of life, so have species a definite duration. No one can have marvelled more than I have done at the extinction of species. When I found in La Plata the tooth of a horse embedded with the remains of Mastodon, Megatherium, Toxodon and other extinct monsters, which all co-existed with still living shells at a very late geological period, I was filled with astonishment; for, seeing that the horse, since its introduction by the Spaniards into South America, has run wild over the whole country and has increased in numbers at an unparalleled rate, I asked myself


what could so recently have exterminated the former horse under conditions of life apparently so favourable. But my astonishment was groundless. Professor Owen soon perceived that the tooth, though so like that of the existing horse, belonged to an extinct species. Had this horse been still living, but in some degree rare, no naturalist would have felt the least surprise at its rarity; for rarity is the attribute of a vast number of species of all classes, in all countries. If we ask ourselves why this or that species is rare, we answer that something is unfavourable in its conditions of life; but what that something is, we can hardly ever tell. On the supposition of the fossil horse still existing as a rare species, we might have felt certain, from the analogy of all other mammals, even of the slow-breeding elephant, and from the history of the naturalisation of the domestic horse in South America, that under more favourable conditions it would in a very few years have stocked the whole continent. But we could not have told what the unfavourable conditions were which checked its increase, whether some one or several contingencies, and at what period of the horse's life, and in what degree they severally acted. If the conditions had gone on, however slowly, becoming less and less favourable, we assuredly should not have perceived the fact, yet the fossil horse would certainly have become rarer and rarer, and finally extinct—its place being seized on by some more successful competitor. It is most difficult always to remember that the increase of every living creature is constantly being checked by unperceived hostile agencies; and that these same unperceived agencies are amply sufficient to cause rarity, and finally extinction. So little is this subject understood, that I have heard surprise repeatedly expressed at such great monsters as the Mastodon and the more ancient Dinosaurians having become extinct; as if mere bodily strength gave victory in the battle of life. Mere size, on the contrary, would in some cases determine, as has been remarked by Owen, quicker extermination, from the greater amount of requisite food. Before man inhabited India or Africa, some cause must have checked the continued increase of the existing elephant. A highly capable judge, Dr. Falconer, believes that it is chiefly insects which, from incessantly harassing and weakening the elephant in India, check its increase; and this was Bruce's conclusion with respect to the African elephant in Abyssinia. It is certain that insects and blood-sucking bats determine the existence of the larger naturalised quadrupeds in several parts of South America. We see in many cases in the more recent tertiary formations that rarity precedes extinction; and we know that this has been the progress of events with those animals which have been exterminated, either locally


or wholly, through man's agency. I may repeat what I published in 1845, namely, that to admit that species generally become rare before they become extinct—to feel no surprise at the rarity of a species, and yet to marvel greatly when the species ceases to exist, is much the same as to admit that sickness in the individual is the forerunner of death—to feel no surprise at sickness, but, when the sick man dies, to wonder and to suspect that he died by some deed of violence. The theory of natural selection is grounded on the belief that each new variety and ultimately each new species, is produced and maintained by having some advantage over those with which it comes into competition; and the consequent extinction of less-favoured forms almost inevitably follows. It is the same with our domestic productions: when a new and slightly improved variety has been raised, it at first supplants the less improved varieties in the same neighbourhood; when much improved it is transported far and near, like our short-horn cattle, and takes the place of other breeds in other countries. Thus the appearance of new forms and the disappearance of old forms, both those naturally and artificially produced, are bound together. In flourishing groups, the number of new specific forms which have been produced within a given time has at some periods probably been greater than the number of the old specific forms which have been exterminated; but we know that species have not gone on indefinitely increasing, at least during the later geological epochs, so that, looking to later times, we may believe that the production of new forms has caused the extinction of about the same number of old forms. The competition will generally be most severe, as formerly explained and illustrated by examples, between the forms which are most like each other in all respects. Hence the improved and modified descendants of a species will generally cause the extermination of the parent-species; and if many new forms have been developed from any one species, the nearest allies of that species, i.e. the species of the same genus, will be the most liable to extermination. Thus, as I believe, a number of new species descended from one species, that is a new genus, comes to supplant an old genus, belonging to the same family. But it must often have happened that a new species belonging to some one group has seized on the place occupied by a species belonging to a distinct group, and thus have caused its extermination. If many allied forms be developed from the successful intruder, many will have to yield their places; and it will generally be the allied forms, which will suffer from some inherited inferiority in common. But whether it be species belonging to the same or


to a distinct class, which have yielded their places to other modified and improved species, a few of the sufferers may often be preserved for a long time, from being fitted to some peculiar line of life, or from inhabiting some distant and isolated station, where they will have escaped severe competition. For instance, some species of Trigonia, a great genus of shells in the secondary formations, survive in the Australian seas; and a few members of the great and almost extinct group of Ganoid fishes still inhabit our fresh waters. Therefore, the utter extinction of a group is generally, as we have seen, a slower process than its production. With respect to the apparently sudden extermination of whole families or orders, as of Trilobites at the close of the palaeozoic period, and of Ammonites at the close of the secondary period, we must remember what has been already said on the probable wide intervals of time between our consecutive formations; and in these intervals there may have been much slow extermination. Moreover, when, by sudden immigration or by unusually rapid development, many species of a new group have taken possession of an area, many of the older species will have been exterminated in a correspondingly rapid manner; and the forms which thus yield their places will commonly be allied, for they will partake of the same inferiority in common. Thus, as it seems to me, the manner in which single species and whole groups of species become extinct accords well with the theory of natural selection. We need not marvel at extinction; if we must marvel, let it be at our presumption in imagining for a moment that we understand the many complex contingencies on which the existence of each species depends. If we forget for an instant that each species tends to increase inordinately, and that some check is always in action, yet seldom perceived by us, the whole economy of nature will be utterly obscured. Whenever we can precisely say why this species is more abundant in individuals than that; why this species and not another can be naturalised in a given country; then, and not until then, we may justly feel surprise why we cannot account for the extinction of any particular species or group of species.


3. On The Forms Of Life Changing Almost Simultaneously Throughout The World
Scarcely any palaeontological discovery is more striking than the fact that the forms of life change almost simultaneously throughout the world. Thus our European Chalk formation can be recognised in many distant regions, under the most different climates, where not a fragment of the mineral chalk itself can be found; namely, in North America, in equatorial South America, in Tierra del Fuego, at the Cape of Good Hope, and in the peninsula of India. For at these distant points, the organic remains in certain beds present an unmistakable resemblance to those of the Chalk. It is not that the same species are met with; for in some cases not one species is identically the same, but they belong to the same families, genera, and sections of genera, and sometimes are similarly characterised in such trifling points as mere superficial sculpture. Moreover, other forms, which are not found in the Chalk of Europe, but which occur in the formations either above or below, occur in the same order at these distant points of the world. In the several successive palaeozoic formations of Russia, Western Europe and North America, a similar parallelism in the forms of life has been observed by several authors; so it is, according to Lyell, with the European and North American tertiary deposits. Even if the few fossil species which are common to the Old and New Worlds were kept wholly out of view, the general parallelism in the successive forms of life, in the palaeozoic and tertiary stages, would still be manifest, and the several formations could be easily correlated. These observations, however, relate to the marine inhabitants of the world: we have not sufficient data to judge whether the productions of the land and of fresh water at distant points change in the same parallel manner. We may doubt whether they have thus changed: if the Megatherium, Mylodon, Macrauchenia, and Toxodon had been brought to Europe from La Plata, without any information in regard to their geological position, no one would have suspected that they had co-existed with sea-shells all still living; but as these anomalous monsters co-existed with the Mastodon and Horse, it might at least have been inferred that they had lived during one of the later tertiary stages. When the marine forms of life are spoken of as having changed simultaneously throughout the world, it must not be supposed that this expression relates to the same year, or even to the same century, or even that it has a very strict geological sense; for if all the marine animals now


It is. We shall see this more clearly when we treat of the present distribution of organic beings. we turn our attention to North America. quite futile to look to changes of currents.living in Europe. as Barrande has remarked. again. than to the present inhabitants of Europe. which are already dominant. cannot be owing to mere changes in marine currents or other causes more or less local and temporary. the most skilful naturalist would hardly be able to say whether the present or the pleistocene inhabitants of Europe resembled most closely those of the southern hemisphere. or have some advantage over the other 347 . indeed. climate. it is evident that fossiliferous beds now deposited on the shores of North America would hereafter be liable to be classed with somewhat older European beds. the upper pliocene. namely. de Verneuil and d'Archiac. under the most different climates. look to some special law. looking to a remotely future epoch. Barrande has made forcible remarks to precisely the same effect. So. and find how slight is the relation between the physical conditions of various countries and the nature of their inhabitants. it will appear certain that all these modifications of species. has greatly struck those admirable observers. at distant parts of the world. would be correctly ranked as simultaneous in a geological sense. they add. and from not including those forms which are found only in the older underlying deposits. We must. or other physical conditions. and if this be so. "If struck by this strange sequence. North and South America. including the whole glacial epoch) were compared with those now existing in South America or in Australia. After referring to the parallelism of the palaeozoic forms of life in various parts of Europe. from containing fossil remains in some degree allied. and the forms. New species are formed by having some advantage over older forms. and there discover a series of analogous phenomena. their extinction. MM." M. The fact of the forms of life changing simultaneously in the above large sense. is explicable on the theory of natural selection. and Australia. but depend on general laws which govern the whole animal kingdom. as the cause of these great mutations in the forms of life throughout the world. This great fact of the parallel succession of the forms of life throughout the world. there can be little doubt that all the more modern MARINE formations. and all those that lived in Europe during the pleistocene period (a very remote period as measured by years. the pleistocene and strictly modern beds of Europe. several highly competent observers maintain that the existing productions of the United States are more closely related to those which lived in Europe during certain late tertiary stages. and the introduction of new ones. Nevertheless.

but in the course of time the dominant forms would generally succeed in spreading and would ultimately prevail. and again spreading. the territories of other species. and producing new forms. and that there was 348 . owing to their having had some advantage over their already dominant parents. on strange accidents. be slower with the terrestrial inhabitants of distinct continents than with the marine inhabitants of the continuous sea. in the plants which are dominant. varying and far-spreading species. the parallel. We might therefore expect to find. The diffusion would. and of giving rise in new countries to other new varieties and species. and the succession of forms everywhere tends to correspond both in their first appearance and final disappearance. that is. It is also natural that the dominant. as it seems to me. old groups disappear from the world. rich in fossils. the new species thus produced being themselves dominant. will generally be allied in groups. depending on climatal and geographical changes. as well as over other species. which are commonest and most widely diffused. to a certain extent. occurred during the periods when the bed of the sea was either stationary or rising. as new and improved groups spread throughout the world. should be those which would have the best chance of spreading still further. I have given my reasons for believing that most of our great formations. There is one other remark connected with this subject worth making. The old forms which are beaten and which yield their places to the new and victorious forms.forms in their own country. were deposited during periods of subsidence. therefore. and. and. Thus. succession of the same forms of life throughout the world. and likewise when sediment was not thrown down quickly enough to embed and preserve organic remains. as we do find. producing the greatest number of new varieties. varying. a less strict degree of parallelism in the succession of the productions of the land than with those of the sea. and that blank intervals of vast duration. accords well with the principle of new species having been formed by dominant species spreading widely and varying. During these long and blank intervals I suppose that the inhabitants of each region underwent a considerable amount of modification and extinction. The process of diffusion would often be very slow. We have distinct evidence on this head. give birth to the greatest number of new varieties or incipient species. it is probable. as far as fossils are concerned. and on the gradual acclimatization of new species to the various climates through which they might have to pass. simultaneous. taken in a large sense. from inheriting some inferiority in common. which have already invaded.

we should find in both. and immigration. shows that there is a striking general parallelism in the successive Silurian deposits of Bohemia and Scandinavia. extinction. for there will have been a little more time in the one region than in the other for modification. in his admirable Memoirs on the eocene deposits of England and France. it is probable that strictly contemporaneous formations have often been accumulated over very wide spaces in the same quarter of the world. Lyell has made similar observations on some of the later tertiary formations. although he finds in both a curious accordance in the numbers of the species belonging to the same genera.much migration from other parts of the world. it be assumed that an isthmus separated two seas inhabited by distinct. yet the species themselves differ in a manner very difficult to account for considering the proximity of the two areas. the same general succession in the forms of life. When two formations have been deposited in two regions during nearly. but contemporaneous faunas. nevertheless he finds a surprising amount of difference in the species. unless. but when he compares certain stages in England with those in France. in accordance with the general succession of the forms of life. the same period. but not exactly. I suspect that cases of this nature occur in Europe. 349 . As we have reason to believe that large areas are affected by the same movement. Barrande. but we are very far from having any right to conclude that this has invariably been the case. also. and the order would falsely appear to be strictly parallel. is able to draw a close general parallelism between the successive stages in the two countries. from the causes explained in the foregoing paragraphs. indeed. and that large areas have invariably been affected by the same movements. nevertheless the species would not all be the same in the apparently corresponding stages in the two regions. Prestwich. If the several formations in these regions have not been deposited during the same exact periods—a formation in one region often corresponding with a blank interval in the other—and if in both regions the species have gone on slowly changing during the accumulation of the several formations and during the long intervals of time between them. in this case the several formations in the two regions could be arranged in the same order. but the species would not exactly correspond. Mr.

and to give some instances. No one will deny that the Hipparion is intermediate between the existing horse and certain other ungulate forms. and has placed certain Pachyderms in the same sub-order with ruminants. in fact. has shown in the most striking manner that many of the fossil mammals discovered by him in Attica serve to break down the intervals between existing genera. without even a rudiment being left.4. an ossified thigh-bone "articulated to a well-defined acetabulum in the pelvis. All fall into a few grand classes. M. intermediate or connecting links. and one of the most remarkable peculiarities in existing dugong and lamentin is the entire absence of hind limbs. but the extinct Halitherium had. and orders. and this fact is at once explained on the principle of descent. The Sirenia form a very distinct group of the mammals. In the writings of Professor Owen we continually meet with the expression of generalised forms. the series is far less perfect than if we combine both into one general system. Another distinguished palaeontologist. it differs from living forms. and which cannot be placed in any existing order. Gaudry. according to Professor Flower. and these terms imply that such forms are. What a wonderful connecting link in the chain of mammals is the Typotherium from South America. or between them. as Buckland long ago remarked. of prophetic or synthetic types. but so many fossil links have been disentombed that Owen has had to alter the whole classification. The more ancient any form is. is certainly true. families. as a general rule. it may be well to make some remarks on this subject. as the name given to it by Professor Gervais expresses. but as this statement has often been ignored or even denied. and in the writings of Agassiz. And To Living Forms Let us now look to the mutual affinities of extinct and living species. he dissolves by gradations the apparently wide interval between the pig and the camel. extinct species can all be classed either in still existing groups. to which the Sirenia are in other respects allied. But. The 350 . but the Macrauchenia of South America connects to a certain extent these two grand divisions. Cuvier ranked the Ruminants and Pachyderms as two of the most distinct orders of mammals." and it thus makes some approach to ordinary hoofed quadrupeds. On The Affinities Of Extinct Species To Each Other. the more. That the extinct forms of life help to fill up the intervals between existing genera. If we confine our attention either to the living or to the extinct species of the same class. The Ungulata or hoofed quadrupeds are now divided into the even-toed or odd-toed divisions. for example. as applied to extinct animals.

a higher authority could not be named. seems to be that. so that the two groups formerly made a somewhat nearer approach to each other than they now do. by the ostrich and extinct Archeopteryx. and on the other hand by the Compsognathus. and it would be difficult to prove the truth of the proposition. for every now and then even a living animal. Some writers have objected to any extinct species. especially with respect to very distinct groups. the older Cephalopods. although palaeozoic animals can certainly be classed under existing groups. 351 . and the eocene Mammals. supposing them to be distinguished at the present day by a score of characters. by so much the more it tends to connect by some of its characters groups now widely separated from each other. or group of species. such as fish and reptiles. Barrande asserts. If by this term it is meant that an extinct form is directly intermediate in all its characters between two living forms or groups. that he is every day taught that. the objection is probably valid. Yet if we compare the older Reptiles and Batrachians. one of the Dinosaurians—that group which includes the most gigantic of all terrestrial reptiles. Turning to the Invertebrata. even between genera belonging to distinct families. which have been placed by some naturalists in an order by themselves. on the one hand. But in a natural classification many fossil species certainly stand between living species. the older Fish. "and to constitute connecting links with the aquatic carnivora. we must admit that there is truth in the remark. yet that at this ancient period the groups were not so distinctly separated from each other as they now are. or groups of species. being considered as intermediate between any two living species. is discovered having affinities directed towards very distinct groups.cetaceans or whales are widely different from all other mammals. but the tertiary Zeuglodon and Squalodon. This remark no doubt must be restricted to those groups which have undergone much change in the course of geological ages. and some extinct genera between living genera. the ancient members are separated by a somewhat lesser number of characters. as the Lepidosiren. are considered by Professor Huxley to be undoubtedly cetaceans. The most common case." Even the wide interval between birds and reptiles has been shown by the naturalist just quoted to be partially bridged over in the most unexpected manner. with the recent members of the same classes. It is a common belief that the more ancient a form is.

in nearly the same manner as has occurred with ruminants and certain pachyderms. I must request the reader to turn to the diagram in the fourth chapter. from the continued effects of extinction and divergence of character. which was formerly illustrated by this diagram. as we have seen in the case of some Silurian forms. we can understand the rule that the most ancient fossils differ most from existing forms. All the many forms. assume that divergence of character is a necessary contingency. We must not. for instance. and o14. has become divided into several sub-families and families. some of which are supposed to have perished at different periods. however. a third family.Let us see how far these several facts and inferences accord with the theory of descent with modification. b14 and f14. as before remarked. were discovered at several points low down in the series. The three existing genera. The diagram is much too simple. m3. make. m6. Therefore it is quite possible. descended from (A). a5. and the dotted lines diverging from them the species in each genus. it depends solely on the descendants from a species being thus enabled to seize on many and different places in the economy of nature. for all will have inherited something in common from their ancient progenitor. The horizontal lines may represent successive geological formations. too few genera and too few species being given. m14. and some to have endured to the present day. but this is unimportant for us. Hence. a14. This is represented in the diagram by the letter F14. the genera a1. i14. these three families would be so closely linked together that they probably would have to be united into one great family. q14. a closely allied family or subfamily. m9. will form a small family. If. As the subject is somewhat complex. and this order. the more recent any form is the more it will generally differ from its ancient progenitor. and yet retain throughout a vast period the same general characteristics. We may suppose that the numbered letters in italics represent genera. These three families. which thus link 352 . and all the forms beneath the uppermost line may be considered as extinct. were disinterred. the three existing families on the uppermost line would be rendered less distinct from each other. Yet he who objected to consider as intermediate the extinct genera. f8. extinct and recent. On the principle of the continued tendency to divergence of character. By looking at the diagram we can see that if many of the extinct forms supposed to be embedded in the successive formations. together with the many extinct genera on the several lines of descent diverging from the parent form (A) will form an order. a10. p14. one order. that a species might go on being slightly modified in relation to its slightly altered conditions of life.

for they would at this early stage of descent have diverged in a less degree from their common progenitor. and this by the concurrent evidence of our best palaeontologists is frequently the case. And they are wholly inexplicable on any other view. except in rare cases. but only by a long and circuitous course through many widely different forms. for they are intermediate. On this same theory. it is evident that the fauna during any one great period in the earth's history will be intermediate in general character between that which preceded and that which succeeded it. or between their collateral relations. they will have endured for extremely unequal lengths of time.—but none from beneath this line. and b14. we have no right to expect. then only two of the families (those on the left hand a14. are explained in a satisfactory manner. So again. so that the older members should differ less from each other in some of their characters than do the existing members of the same groups. 353 . the main facts with respect to the mutual affinities of the extinct forms of life to each other and to living forms. be supposed to differ from each other by half-a-dozen important characters. and that in a very broken condition. within known geological periods. VI. etc. All that we have a right to expect is. and will have been modified in various degrees. for the groups will have been more numerous. and are the parents of those which became still more modified at the seventh stage. should in the older formations make some slight approach to each other. that those groups which have. if the three families formed of eight genera (a14 to m14). Under nature the process will be far more complicated than is represented in the diagram. If many extinct forms were to be discovered above one of the middle horizontal lines or geological formations—for instance. and thus to unite distinct families or orders. not directly. etc. on the theory of descent with modification. would be partly justified.) would have to be united into one. above No. Thus the species which lived at the sixth great stage of descent in the diagram are the modified offspring of those which lived at the fifth stage.. to fill up the wide intervals in the natural system.together the living genera of three families. and there would remain two families which would be less distinct from each other than they were before the discovery of the fossils. Thus it comes that ancient and extinct genera are often in a greater or less degree intermediate in character between their modified descendants. then the families which existed at a period marked VI would certainly have differed from each other by a less number of characters. undergone much modification. As we possess only the last volume of the geological record. Thus. on the uppermost line.

allow for the entire extinction of some preceding forms. when arranged by Dr. 354 . between the preceding and succeeding faunas. For instance. The species extreme in character are not the oldest or the most recent. that certain genera offer exceptions to the rule. and carriers which are extreme in the important character of length of beak originated earlier than short-beaked tumblers. intermediate in age. in this and other such cases. if the principal living and extinct races of the domestic pigeon were arranged in serial affinity. especially in the case of terrestrial productions inhabiting separated districts. I need give only one instance. however. this arrangement would not closely accord with the order in time of their production. Falconer in two series—in the first place according to their mutual affinities.hence they could hardly fail to be nearly intermediate in character between the forms of life above and below. the manner in which the fossils of the Devonian system. We must. namely. nor are those which are intermediate in character. were at once recognised by palaeontologists as intermediate in character between those of the overlying carboniferous and underlying Silurian systems. Subject to these allowances. It is no real objection to the truth of the statement that the fauna of each period as a whole is nearly intermediate in character between the preceding and succeeding faunas. But supposing for an instant. which are at the opposite end of the series in this respect. But each fauna is not necessarily exactly intermediate. To compare small things with great. and in the second place according to their periods of existence—do not accord in arrangement. which is far from the case. and even less with the order of their disappearance. and in any one region for the immigration of new forms from other regions. the species of mastodons and elephants. as unequal intervals of time have elapsed between consecutive formations. that the record of the first appearance and disappearance of the species was complete. we have no reason to believe that forms successively produced necessarily endure for corresponding lengths of time. that the organic remains from an intermediate formation are in some degree intermediate in character. Closely connected with the statement. the fauna of each geological period undoubtedly is intermediate in character. when this system was first discovered. and for a large amount of modification during the long and blank intervals between the successive formations. for the parent rock-pigeon still lives. A very ancient form may occasionally have lasted much longer than a form elsewhere subsequently produced. and many varieties between the rock-pigeon and the carrier have become extinct.

all the intermediate varieties between the species which appeared at the commencement and close of these periods: but we ought to find after intervals. such evidence of the slow and scarcely sensible mutations of specific forms. in short. We find. being closely related. as I attempted to show in the last chapter. than are the fossils from two remote formations. as we have the right to expect. as they have been called by some authors. that fossils from two consecutive formations are far more closely related to each other. On the theory of descent. from its generality. and note how little the specific forms of the inhabitants of the sea have been affected. seems to have shaken Professor Pictet in his belief in the immutability of species. or.is the fact. we ought not to expect to find. though ranked as distinct species. closely allied forms. is obvious. As the accumulation of each formation has often been interrupted. and as long blank intervals have intervened between successive formations. This fact alone. at least those inhabiting the sea. have changed almost simultaneously throughout the world. Pictet gives as a well-known instance. which includes the whole glacial epoch. Let it be remembered that the forms of life. insisted on by all palaeontologists. the general resemblance of the organic remains from the several stages of the Chalk formation. and therefore under the most different climates and conditions. in any one or in any two formations. by the physical conditions of the ancient areas having remained nearly the same. He who is acquainted with the distribution of existing species over the globe. though the species are distinct in each stage. Consider the prodigious vicissitudes of climate during the pleistocene period. the full meaning of the fossil remains from closely consecutive formations. will not attempt to account for the close resemblance of distinct species in closely consecutive formations. 355 . representative species. but only moderately long as measured geologically. and these assuredly we do find. very long as measured by years.

new species become superior to their predecessors. and that certain land and fresh-water shells have remained nearly the same. as insisted on by Dr. and the palaeozoic by the secondary forms. with which they come into close competition. It is no valid objection to this conclusion. as the specialisation of parts is an advantage to each being. and what could be better fitted for this end than these lowly organised Protozoa? Such objections as the above would be fatal to my view. if the above Foraminifera. It is not an insuperable difficulty that Foraminifera have not. and in some cases will even degrade or simplify the organisation. or the above Brachiopods during the Cambrian formation. if it included advance in organisation as a necessary contingent. as well as by the standard of the specialisation of organs. We have also seen that. and it seems that this answer must be admitted as true. is the best standard. of their degree of perfection or highness. They would likewise be fatal. when arrived at maturity. could be proved to have first come into existence during the Laurentian epoch. Carpenter. progressed in organisation since even the Laurentian epoch. for they have to beat in the struggle for life all the older forms. for some organisms would have to remain fitted for simple conditions of life. On The State Of Development Of Ancient Compared With Living Forms We have seen in the fourth chapter that the degree of differentiation and specialisation of the parts in organic beings. So that by this fundamental test of victory in the battle for life. for instance. from the time when.5. on the theory of natural selection. that certain Brachiopods have been but slightly modified from an extremely remote geological epoch. not but that it may leave many creatures with simple and unimproved structures fitted for simple conditions of life. for in this case. they first appeared. Is this the case? A large majority of palaeontologists would answer in the affirmative. yet leaving such degraded beings better fitted for their new walks of life. as would the secondary by the eocene. In another and more general manner. We may therefore conclude that if under a nearly similar climate the eocene inhabitants of the world could be put into competition with the existing inhabitants. though difficult of proof. modern forms ought. so natural selection will tend to render the organisation of each being more specialised and perfect. to stand higher than ancient forms. as yet suggested. there would not have been time sufficient for the development 356 . the former would be beaten and exterminated by the latter. and in this sense higher. as far as is known.

swarmed in numbers. Beside these inherent difficulties in deciding which forms are the most advanced in organisation. some look at the selaceans or sharks. at all times imperfect. does not extend far enough back to show with unmistakable clearness that within the known history of the world organisation has largely advanced. The ganoids stand intermediate between the selaceans and teleosteans. namely. When advanced up to any given point. but a stronger case can 357 . according to the standard of highness chosen. there is no necessity. cephalopods and brachiopods. though not highly developed. naturalists are not unanimous which forms ought to be ranked as highest: thus. as the highest fish. not very high in their own class. the latter at the present day are largely preponderant in number. consequently some naturalists maintain that molluscs were formerly more highly developed than at present. have to be slightly modified. Even at the present day. and such crustaceans. at two periods. The geological record. but formerly selaceans and ganoids alone existed. the highest molluscs. and in this case. have largely increased. At an ancient epoch the highest and lowest molluscoidal animals. intermediate in organisation. The foregoing objections hinge on the question whether we really know how old the world is. high and low.of these organisms up to the standard which they had then reached. who will decide whether a cuttle-fish be higher than a bee—that insect which the great Von Baer believed to be "in fact more highly organised than a fish. and this may well be disputed. on the theory of natural selection. looking to members of the same class. at the present time both groups are greatly reduced. The problem whether organisation on the whole has advanced is in many ways excessively intricate. so will it be said that fishes have advanced or retrograded in organisation. from their approach in some important points of structure to reptiles. although upon another type?" In the complex struggle for life it is quite credible that crustaceans. while others. for their further continued process. though they will. and at what period the various forms of life first appeared. might beat cephalopods. we ought not solely to compare the highest members of a class at any two periods—though undoubtedly this is one and perhaps the most important element in striking a balance—but we ought to compare all the members. if judged by the most decisive of all trials—the law of battle. during each successive age. so as to hold their places in relation to slight changes in their conditions. To attempt to compare members of distinct types in the scale of highness seems hopeless. would stand very high in the scale of invertebrate animals. others look at the teleosteans as the highest.

more and more difference to the adult. we ought to look at this increase in number in the highest class. Yet the most skilful naturalist. as a decided advance in the organisation of the world. We thus see how hopelessly difficult it is to compare with perfect fairness. in the course of successive generations. Thus the embryo comes to be left as a sort of picture. of the former 358 . any considerable number would be enabled to seize on places now occupied by our native plants and animals. and would exterminate many of the natives. and that the geological succession of extinct forms is nearly parallel with the embryological development of existing forms. preserved by nature. continually adds. could not have foreseen this result. which implies a great displacement of lower forms.be made out on the opposite side. we must believe. by considering the vast reduction of brachiopods. from the fact that hardly a single inhabitant of the southern hemisphere has become wild in any part of Europe. We shall appreciate this difficulty more clearly by looking to certain existing faunas and floras. for instance. from an examination of the species of the two countries. whilst it leaves the embryo almost unaltered. at any two periods. the productions of Great Britain stand much higher in the scale than those of New Zealand. the standard of organisation of the imperfectly-known faunas of successive periods. Agassiz and several other highly competent judges insist that ancient animals resemble to a certain extent the embryos of recent animals belonging to the same classes. In a future chapter I shall attempt to show that the adult differs from its embryo. of the high and low classes throughout the world: if. at the present day fifty thousand kinds of vertebrate animals exist. that if all the animals and plants of Great Britain were set free in New Zealand. we may well doubt whether. are more highly organised than their ancient representatives. and having been inherited at a corresponding age. and if we knew that at some former period only ten thousand kinds existed. if all the productions of New Zealand were set free in Great Britain. From the extraordinary manner in which European productions have recently spread over New Zealand. We ought also to compare the relative proportional numbers. This process. Under this point of view. and have seized on places which must have been previously occupied by the indigenes. owing to variations having supervened at a not early age. under such extremely complex relations. and the fact that our existing cephalopods. a multitude of British forms would in the course of time become thoroughly naturalized there. This view accords admirably well with our theory. On the other hand. though few in number.

and fishes strictly belong to their proper classes. Seeing. that the oldest known mammals. until beds rich in fossils are discovered far beneath the lowest Cambrian strata—a discovery of which the chance is small. 359 . and yet may never be capable of proof. This view may be true. though some of these old forms are in a slight degree less distinct from each other than are the typical members of the same groups at the present day. for instance. it would be vain to look for animals having the common embryological character of the Vertebrata.and less modified condition of the species. reptiles.

Clift many years ago showed that the fossil mammals from the Australian caves were closely allied to the living marsupials of that continent. In South America. are related to South American types. in 1839 and 1845. on the other hand through similarity of conditions. On The Succession Of The Same Types Within The Same Areas. I was so much impressed with these facts that I strongly insisted. it is not well displayed by them. and I have shown in the publications above alluded to. buried there in such numbers. Mr. even to an uneducated eye. from the wide distribution of most molluscs. North America formerly partook strongly of the present character of the southern half of the continent. but. This relationship is even more clearly seen in the wonderful collection of fossil bones made by MM."—on "this wonderful relationship in the same continent between the dead and the living. or that Edentata and other American types should have been solely produced in South America. During The Later Tertiary Periods Mr. and between the extinct and living brackish water-shells of the Aralo-Caspian Sea. as the relation between the extinct and living land-shells of Madeira. what does this remarkable law of the succession of the same types within the same areas mean? He would be a bold man who. on the one hand through dissimilar physical conditions. We see the same law in this author's restorations of the extinct and gigantic birds of New Zealand. Nor can it be pretended that it is an immutable law that marsupials should have been chiefly or solely produced in Australia. We see it also in the birds of the caves of Brazil." Professor Owen has subsequently extended the same generalisation to the mammals of the Old World. a similar relationship is manifest. and. and Professor Owen has shown in the most striking manner that most of the fossil mammals. that in America the law of distribution of terrestrial mammals was formerly different from what it now is. for the uniformity of the same types in each continent during the later tertiary periods. Lund and Clausen in the caves of Brazil. after comparing the present climate of Australia and of parts of South America. and the southern half was formerly more 360 . Woodward has shown that the same law holds good with sea-shells. For we know that Europe in ancient times was peopled by numerous marsupials. in the gigantic pieces of armour. under the same latitude. like those of the armadillo.6. would attempt to account. found in several parts of La Plata. on this "law of the succession of types. Other cases could be added. for the dissimilarity of the inhabitants of these two continents. Now.

all the species of the same genus are the descendants of some one species. These huge animals have become wholly extinct. so will their modified descendants still differ in nearly the same manner and degree. each with the same number of species. during the next succeeding period of time. each having eight species. still fewer genera and species will leave modified blood-descendants. It must not be forgotten that. and in a succeeding formation there be six other allied or representative genera. In failing orders. is at once explained. the great law of the long enduring. and anteater. Or. than it is at present. the feebler will yield to the more dominant forms. for the inhabitants of each quarter of the world will obviously tend to leave in that quarter. armadillo. permitting much intermigration. On the theory of descent with modification.closely allied. on our theory. which constitute the new genera containing the several species. so that. closely allied though in some degree modified descendants. and have left no progeny. succession of the same types within the same areas. to the northern half. be found in one geological formation. But after very long intervals of time. Analogous facts could be given in relation to the distribution of marine animals. that Northern India was formerly more closely related in its mammals to Africa than it is at the present time. the other seven species of each old genus having died out and left no progeny. if six genera. If the inhabitants of one continent formerly differed greatly from those of another continent. 361 . as their degenerate descendants. This cannot for an instant be admitted. and this will be a far commoner case. but not immutable. In a similar manner we know. which formerly lived in South America. and some of these fossils may have been the actual progenitors of the living species. two or three species in two or three alone of the six older genera will be the parents of the new genera: the other species and the other old genera having become utterly extinct. But in the caves of Brazil there are many extinct species which are closely allied in size and in all other characters to the species still living in South America. It may be asked in ridicule whether I suppose that the megatherium and other allied huge monsters. with the genera and species decreasing in numbers as is the case with the Edentata of South America. from Falconer and Cautley's discoveries. then we may conclude that generally only one species of each of the older genera has left modified descendants. and there will be nothing immutable in the distribution of organic beings. have left behind them the sloth. and after great geographical changes.

which might be found. unless the whole chain could be perfectly restored. that migration has played an important part in the first appearance of new forms in any one area and formation. that. is absolutely as nothing compared with the number of generations which must have passed away even during a single formation. It should also be constantly borne in mind that any linking variety between two forms. that there has probably been more extinction during the periods of subsidence. that the duration of each formation is probably short compared with the average duration of specific forms. would be ranked. as a new and distinct species. and during the latter the record will have been least perfectly kept. although each species must have passed through numerous transitional stages. preserved in our museums. For he may ask in vain where are the numberless transitional links which must formerly have connected the closely allied or representative species. found in the successive stages of the same great formation? He may disbelieve in the immense intervals of time which must have elapsed between our consecutive formations. during which each underwent modification. it is probable that the periods. taken conjointly. that each single formation has not been continuously deposited. will to a large extent explain why—though we do find many links—we do not find interminable varieties. have been short in comparison with the periods during which each remained in an unchanged condition. owing to subsidence being almost necessary for the accumulation of deposits rich in fossil species of many kinds. and have oftenest given rise to new species. he may overlook how important a part migration has played. These causes. will rightly reject the whole theory. that only certain classes of organic beings have been largely preserved in a fossil state. great intervals of time must have elapsed between most of our successive formations. for it is not pretended that we have any sure criterion by which species and varieties can be discriminated. when the 362 . and more variation during the periods of elevation. that widely ranging species are those which have varied most frequently. Summary Of The Preceding And Present Chapters I have attempted to show that the geological record is extremely imperfect. that varieties have at first been local. and lastly. He who rejects this view of the imperfection of the geological record.7. that only a small portion of the globe has been geologically explored with care. and thick enough to outlast future degradation. that the number both of specimens and of species. though many and long as measured by years. connecting together all extinct and existing forms by the finest graduated steps.

We can understand how it is that dominant forms which spread widely and yield the greatest number of varieties tend to people the world with allied. When a group has once wholly disappeared. descendants.formations of any one great region. But the utter extinction of a whole group of species has sometimes been a slow process. it never reappears. the productions of the world appear to have changed simultaneously. the other great leading facts in palaeontology agree admirably with the theory of descent with modification through variation and natural selection. from their inferiority inherited from a common progenitor. for the process of modification is necessarily slow. for the link of generation has been broken. when a species has once disappeared. long before that epoch. and depends on many complex contingencies. it does not reappear. tend to become extinct together. as those of Europe. sudden coming in of whole groups of species. are considered. and endure for unequal periods of time. but that. and to leave no modified offspring on the face of the earth. The dominant species belonging to large and dominant groups tend to leave many modified descendants. We can thus understand how it is that new species come in slowly and successively. but I can answer this last question only by supposing that where our oceans now extend they have extended for an enormous period. or in the same degree. the world presented a widely different aspect. and where our oscillating continents now stand they have stood since the commencement of the Cambrian system. As these are formed. or lie still buried under the ocean. Groups of species increase in numbers slowly. Hence. exist now only as remnants in a metamorphosed condition. but modified. and these will generally succeed in displacing the groups which are their inferiors in the struggle for existence. which form new sub-groups and groups. from the survival of a few descendants. or at the same rate. and that the older continents. but often falsely apparent. he may urge the apparent. 363 . lingering in protected and isolated situations. We can understand why. The extinction of old forms is the almost inevitable consequence of the production of new forms. how species of different classes do not necessarily change together. He may ask where are the remains of those infinitely numerous organisms which must have existed long before the Cambrian system was deposited? We now know that at least one animal did then exist. yet in the long run that all undergo modification to some extent. after long intervals of time. formed of formations older than any known to us. Passing from these difficulties. the species of the less vigorous groups.

the products of variation and the survival of the fittest. but more commonly bringing them only a little closer together. make together a few grand classes. and are. that organisation on the whole has progressed. the common progenitor of groups. and it may at least be asserted that the record cannot be proved to be much more perfect. as it seems to me. higher in the scale. The inhabitants of the world at each successive period in its history have beaten their predecessors in the race for life. Extinct and ancient animals resemble to a certain extent the embryos of the more recent animals belonging to the same classes. On the other hand. Extinct forms are seldom directly intermediate between existing forms. in so far. and this wonderful fact receives a simple explanation according to our views. from the continued tendency to divergence of character. the more often it stands in some degree intermediate between groups now distinct. for they are closely linked together by generation. that species have been produced by ordinary generation: old forms having been supplanted by new and improved forms of life. and their structure has generally become more specialised. the main objections to the theory of natural selection are greatly diminished or disappear. for the more ancient a form is. ancient and recent. If.We can understand how it is that all the forms of life. and this may account for the common belief held by so many palaeontologists. all the chief laws of palaeontology plainly proclaim. and consequently resemble. the more it generally differs from those now living. previously classed as distinct into one. The succession of the same types of structure within the same areas during the later geological periods ceases to be mysterious. since become widely divergent. Why ancient and extinct forms often tend to fill up gaps between existing forms. then. The more ancient a form is. We can clearly see why the organic remains of closely consecutive formations are closely allied. why the more ancient a form is. 364 . We can clearly see why the remains of an intermediate formation are intermediate in character. the more nearly it will be related to. We can understand. sometimes blending two groups. but are intermediate only by a long and circuitous course through other extinct and different forms. and is intelligible on the principle of inheritance. the geological record be as imperfect as many believe.

and by occasional means — Dispersal during the Glacial period — Alternate Glacial periods in the North and South. 365 .Chapter 12 Geographical Distribution Present distribution cannot be accounted for by differences in physical conditions — Importance of barriers — Affinity of the productions of the same continent — Centres of creation — Means of dispersal by changes of climate and of the level of the land.

In considering the distribution of organic beings over the face of the globe. we shall find parts extremely similar in all their conditions. arid deserts. 366 . and western South America. how widely different are their living productions! In the southern hemisphere. but these are not inhabited by a fauna different from that of the surrounding districts. There is hardly a climate or condition in the Old World which cannot be paralleled in the New—at least so closely as the same species generally require. humid districts. Notwithstanding this general parallelism in the conditions of Old and New Worlds. from the central parts of the United States to its extreme southern point.1. which consequently are separated by a space of ten degrees of latitude. for it is rare to find a group of organisms confined to a small area. Or. the first great fact which strikes us is. lakes and great rivers. under almost every temperature. lofty mountains. between latitudes 25 and 35 degrees. The case of America alone would almost suffice to prove its truth. again. we meet with the most diversified conditions. yet they are incomparably more closely related to each other than they are to the productions of Australia or Africa under nearly the same climate. A second great fact which strikes us in our general review is. grassy plains. We see this in the great difference in nearly all the terrestrial productions of the New and Old Worlds. South Africa. yet it would not be possible to point out three faunas and floras more utterly dissimilar. marshes. Analogous facts could be given with respect to the inhabitants of the sea. are related in a close and important manner to the differences between the productions of various regions. almost every author who has studied the subject has come to this conclusion. forests. of which the conditions are peculiar in only a slight degree. that neither the similarity nor the dissimilarity of the inhabitants of various regions can be wholly accounted for by climatal and other physical conditions. Of late. excepting in the northern parts. yet if we travel over the vast American continent. if we compare large tracts of land in Australia. we may compare the productions of South America south of latitude 35 degrees with those north of 25 degrees. No doubt small areas can be pointed out in the Old World hotter than any in the New World. for if we exclude the arctic and northern temperate parts. all authors agree that one of the most fundamental divisions in geographical distribution is that between the New and Old Worlds. or obstacles to free migration. that barriers of any kind. and are exposed to considerably different conditions.

We see the same fact in the great difference between the inhabitants of Australia. they are almost wholly distinct. here we have a barrier of another kind. Westward of the shores of America. as the oceans separating continents. and every continent offers innumerable 367 . proceeding still further westward from the eastern islands of the tropical parts of the Pacific.where the land almost joins. and many shells are common to the eastern islands of the Pacific and the eastern shores of Africa on almost exactly opposite meridians of longitude. but from being separated from each other by impassable barriers. also. crustacea. and as soon as this is passed we meet in the eastern islands of the Pacific with another and totally distinct fauna. we find the same law. and South America under the same latitude. A third great fact. and we have innumerable islands as halting-places. until. we encounter no impassable barriers. under corresponding climate. or echinodermata in common. but Dr. partly included in the foregoing statement.. a wide space of open ocean extends. etc. for these countries are almost as much isolated from each other as is possible. there might have been free migration for the northern temperate forms. and of great deserts and even of large rivers. we find different productions. we see the same fact. the differences are very inferior in degree to those characteristic of distinct continents. with extremely few shells. and over this vast space we meet with no well-defined and distinct marine faunas. or continuous coasts. The marine inhabitants of the eastern and western shores of South America are very distinct. either of land or open sea. are not as impassable. though as mountain chains. though the species themselves are distinct at different points and stations. Gunther has recently shown that about thirty per cent of the fishes are the same on the opposite sides of the isthmus of Panama. as there now is for the strictly arctic productions. and this fact has led naturalists to believe that the isthmus was formerly open. Africa. under a slightly different climate. and where. On each continent. or likely to have endured so long. is the affinity of the productions of the same continent or of the same sea. On the other hand. Although so few marine animals are common to the above-named three approximate faunas of Eastern and Western America and the eastern Pacific islands. deserts. we come to the shores of Africa. yet many fishes range from the Pacific into the Indian Ocean. So that three marine faunas range northward and southward in parallel lines not far from each other. after travelling over a hemisphere. for on the opposite sides of lofty and continuous mountain-ranges. with not an island as a halting-place for emigrants. Turning to the sea. It is a law of the widest generality.

replace each other. and we find an alpine species of bizcacha. Innumerable other instances could be given. and belonging to the same order of Rodents. but not quite alike. The dissimilarity of the inhabitants of different regions may be attributed to modification through variation and natural selection. yet distinct kinds of birds. or. as I have already often remarked. but they plainly display an American type of structure. and not by a true ostrich or emu. We ascend the lofty peaks of the Cordillera. with eggs coloured in nearly the same manner. for instance. from north to south. and northward the plains of La Plata by another species of the same genus. though nearly related. as shown in the last chapter. animals having nearly the same habits as our hares and rabbits. the relation of organism to organism in the struggle for life being. as we see in the case of varieties. specifically distinct. but the coypu and capybara. the naturalist. The degrees of dissimilarity will depend on the migration of the more dominant forms of life from one region into another having been more or less effectually prevented. and sees their nests similarly constructed. though they may be all peculiar species. Nevertheless.instances. The naturalist must be dull who is not led to inquire what this bond is. notes nearly similar. over the same areas of land and water. at periods more or less remote—on the nature and number of the former immigrants—and on the action of the inhabitants on each other in leading to the preservation of different modifications. the inhabitants are essentially American. On these same plains of La Plata we see the agouti and bizcacha. however much they may differ in geological structure. independently of physical conditions. never fails to be struck by the manner in which successive groups of beings. throughout space and time. If we look to the islands off the American shore. He hears from closely allied. We see in these facts some deep organic bond. we look to the waters. We may look back to past ages. in travelling. as far as we positively know. that cause which alone. The bond is simply inheritance. Widely-ranging 368 . like those inhabiting Africa and Australia under the same latitude. and probably in a subordinate degree to the definite influence of different physical conditions. rodents of the South American type. and we find American types then prevailing on the American continent and in the American seas. the most important of all relations. The plains near the Straits of Magellan are inhabited by one species of Rhea (American ostrich). and we do not find the beaver or muskrat. Thus the high importance of barriers comes into play by checking migration. as does time for the slow process of modification through natural selection. produces organisms quite like each other. nearly alike.

only so far as it profits each individual in its complex struggle for life. There is no evidence. almost any amount of migration is possible. little modification. and thus they will become still further victorious. and will frequently undergo further modification and improvement. as has been explained. must have proceeded from one spot. where their parents were first produced: for. though now inhabiting distant and isolated regions. though inhabiting the most distant quarters of the world. as they are descended from the same progenitor. must originally have proceeded from the same source. after having long competed with each other in their old home. so certain species have migrated over vast spaces. On this principle of inheritance with modification we can understand how it is that sections of genera. they would be little liable to modification. In their new homes they will be exposed to new conditions. It is also obvious that the individuals of the same species.species. As the variability of each species is an independent property. and even families. will have the best chance of seizing on new places. and have not become greatly or at all modified. According to these views. and will be taken advantage of by natural selection. for neither migration nor isolation in themselves effect anything. abounding in individuals. were to migrate in a body into a new and afterwards isolated country. These principles come into play only by bringing organisms into new relations with each other and in a lesser degree with the surrounding physical conditions. during whole geological periods. In the case of those species which have undergone. If a number of species. it is obvious that the several species of the same genus. But in many other cases. which have already triumphed over many competitors in their own widely-extended homes. as is so commonly and notoriously the case. of the existence of any law of necessary development. in which we have reason to believe that the species of a genus have been produced within comparatively recent times. as was remarked in the last chapter. for during the vast geographical and climatical changes which have supervened since ancient times. and will produce groups of modified descendants. when they spread out into new countries. whole genera. there is great difficulty on this head. As we have seen in the last chapter that some forms have retained nearly the same character from an enormously remote geological period. there is not much difficulty in believing that they have migrated from the same region. are confined to the same areas. it is incredible that 369 . so the amount of modification in different species will be no uniform quantity.

370 .individuals identically the same should have been produced from parents specifically distinct.

and it has been observed by several naturalists that the most natural genera. or with an interval of such a nature. and have not been able to migrate to the opposite side. He who rejects it. accordingly. rejects the vera causa of ordinary generation with subsequent migration. and some of the aboriginal plants are identically the same at these distant points of the northern and southern hemispheres? The answer. a still greater number of sections of genera. whereas some plants. or those genera in which the species are most closely related to each other. is intelligible only on the view that the great majority of species have been produced on one side. The great and striking influence of barriers of all kinds. Single Centres Of Supposed Creation We are thus brought to the question which has been largely discussed by naturalists. are generally confined to the same country. so that a multitude of European animals and plants have become naturalised in America and Australia. that in most cases the area inhabited by a species is continuous. Nevertheless the simplicity of the view that each species was first produced within a single region captivates the mind. whether species have been created at one or more points of the earth's surface. very many genera. why do we not find a single mammal common to Europe and Australia or South America? The conditions of life are nearly the same. But if the same species can be produced at two separate points.2. are confined to a single region. where now found. namely. that the space could not have been easily passed over by migration. What a strange anomaly it would be if a directly opposite rule were to prevail when we go down one step lower in the 371 . as I believe. that mammals have not been able to migrate. for they were no doubt once united. It is universally admitted. or if they have a wide range that their range is continuous. and that when a plant or animal inhabits two points so distant from each other. The incapacity of migrating across a wide sea is more clear in the case of terrestrial mammals than perhaps with any other organic beings. Some few families. No geologist feels any difficulty in Great Britain possessing the same quadrupeds with the rest of Europe. is. we find no inexplicable instances of the same mammals inhabiting distant points of the world. have migrated across the wide and broken interspaces. from their varied means of dispersal. and calls in the agency of a miracle. the fact is given as something remarkable and exceptional. Undoubtedly there are many cases of extreme difficulty in understanding how the same species could possibly have migrated from some one point to the several distant and isolated points. and. many subfamilies.

the wide distribution of fresh water productions. considering our ignorance with respect to former climatical and geographical changes. and of so grave a nature. our general view will be much strengthened. and having subsequently migrated from that area as far as its powers of migration and subsistence under past and present conditions permitted.series. and at distant points in the Arctic and Antarctic regions. namely. the belief that a single birthplace is the law seems to me incomparably the safest. then. that the view of each species having been produced in one area alone. So that we are reduced to consider whether the exceptions to continuity of range are so numerous. nor do I for a moment pretend that any explanation could be offered of many instances. is the most probable. namely to the individuals of the same species. after some preliminary remarks. It would be hopelessly tedious to discuss all the exceptional cases of the same species. whether the several species of a genus which must on our theory all be descended from a common progenitor. I will discuss a few of the most striking classes of facts. when most of the species inhabiting one region are different from those of another region. In discussing this subject we shall be enabled at the same time to consider a point equally important for us. But the geographical and climatical changes which have certainly occurred within recent geological times. the occurrence of the same terrestrial species on islands and on the nearest mainland. and has migrated thence as far as it could. at least at first. that we ought to give up the belief. and to the various occasional means of transport. namely. Undoubtedly many cases occur in which we cannot explain how the same species could have passed from one point to the other. for the explanation is obvious on the 372 . But. though separated by hundreds of miles of open sea. and thirdly. it seems to me. rendered probable by general considerations. now living at distant and separated points. If. and these had not been. though closely allied to them. and secondly (in the following chapter). as it has to many other naturalists. the existence of the same species on the summits of distant mountain ranges. can have migrated. confined to some one region! Hence. that each species has been produced within one area. must have rendered discontinuous the formerly continuous range of many species. undergoing modification during their migration from some one area. If the existence of the same species at distant and isolated points of the earth's surface can in many instances be explained on the view of each species having migrated from a single birthplace. it can be shown that migration from the one region to the other has probably occurred at some former period.

at each successive stage of modification." And it is now well known that he attributes this coincidence to descent with modification. To illustrate what I mean: our English race-horses differ from the horses of every other breed. each species. so that many individuals will go on simultaneously changing. which I have selected as presenting the greatest amount of difficulty on the theory of "single centres of creation. whether all the individuals of the same species are descended from a single pair. the individuals of the same species inhabiting the same area will be kept nearly uniform by intercrossing. A volcanic island. or whether. would probably receive from it in the course of time a few colonists. inexplicable on the theory of independent creation." I must say a few words on the means of dispersal.principle of descent with modification. from many individuals simultaneously created. and their descendants. and the whole amount of modification at each stage will not be due to descent from a single parent. namely. that have supplanted each other. or single hermaphrodite. if such exist. would still be related by inheritance to the inhabitants of that continent. and are. With organic beings which never intercross. upheaved and formed at the distance of a few hundreds of miles from a continent. But in the great majority of cases. The question of single or multiple centres of creation differs from another though allied question. for instance. as some authors suppose. This view of the relation of the species of one region to those of another. 373 . but have never blended with other individuals or varieties of the same species. Cases of this nature are common. must be descended from a succession of modified varieties. who concludes that "every species has come into existence coincident both in space and time with a pre-existing closely allied species. Before discussing the three classes of facts. namely. or which occasionally intercross. Wallace. but they do not owe their difference and superiority to descent from any single pair. with all organisms which habitually unite for each birth. but to continued care in the selecting and training of many individuals during each generation. as we shall hereafter see. though modified. does not differ much from that advanced by Mr. so that. all the individuals of the same form will be descended from a single parent.

If. however. as to have united them within the recent period to each other and to the several intervening oceanic islands. Changes of level in the land must also have been highly influential: a narrow isthmus now separates two marine faunas. and when in the course of time we know something definite about the means of distribution. Whenever it is fully admitted. that each species has proceeded from a single birthplace. have been 374 . as it will some day be. A region now impassable to certain organisms from the nature of its climate. or may formerly have blended. I can give here only the briefest abstract of the more important facts. and removes many a difficulty. indeed. It seems to me that we have abundant evidence of great oscillations in the level of the land or sea. I shall. and thus have allowed terrestrial productions to pass from one to the other. the arguments used by Forbes are to be trusted. Change of climate must have had a powerful influence on migration. Lyell and other authors have ably treated this subject. when the climate was different. But I do not believe that it will ever be proved that within the recent period most of our continents which now stand quite separate. but to the best of my judgment we are not authorized in admitting such enormous geographical changes within the period of existing species. which may have served as halting places for plants and for many animals during their migration. Edward Forbes insisted that all the islands in the Atlantic must have been recently connected with Europe or Africa. might have been a high road for migration. now buried beneath the sea. In the coral-producing oceans such sunken islands are now marked by rings of coral or atolls standing over them. Other authors have thus hypothetically bridged over every ocean. I freely admit the former existence of many islands. This view cuts the Gordian knot of the dispersal of the same species to the most distant points. Means Of Dispersal Sir C. submerge it. and the two faunas will now blend together. or let it formerly have been submerged. we shall be enabled to speculate with security on the former extension of the land.3. it must be admitted that scarcely a single island exists which has not recently been united to some continent. No geologist disputes that great mutations of level have occurred within the period of existing organisms. land may at a former period have connected islands or possibly even continents together. and Europe likewise with America. Where the sea now extends. and united almost every island with some mainland. presently have to discuss this branch of the subject in some detail. but not of such vast changes in the position and extension of our continents.

Several facts in distribution—such as the great difference in the marine faunas on the opposite sides of almost every continent—the close relation of the tertiary inhabitants of several lands and even seas to their present inhabitants—the degree of affinity between the mammals inhabiting islands with those of the nearest continent. To my surprise I found that out of eighty-seven kinds. some at least of the islands would have been formed. Berkeley's aid.. instead of consisting of mere piles of volcanic matter. but which more properly should be called occasional means of distribution. it was not even known how far seeds could resist the injurious action of sea-water. Until I tried. and it occurred to me that floods would often wash into the sea dried plants or branches with seed-capsules or fruit attached to them. For convenience sake I chiefly tried small seeds without the capsules or fruit. It deserves notice that certain orders were far more injured than others: nine Leguminosae were tried. and some of these floated for a long time. with Mr. with one exception. Hydrophyllaceae and Polemoniaceae. Nor does the almost universally volcanic composition of such islands favour the admission that they are the wrecks of sunken continents. It is well known what a difference there is in the buoyancy of green and seasoned timber. they could not have been floated across wide spaces of the sea. sixtyfour germinated after an immersion of twenty-eight days. metamorphic schists. if they had originally existed as continental mountain ranges. whether or not they were injured by salt water. or almost continuously united with each other. Hence I was led to dry the stems and branches of ninety-four plants with ripe 375 . this or that plant is often stated to be ill adapted for wide dissemination.continuously. they resisted the salt-water badly. Afterwards I tried some larger fruits. being in part determined (as we shall hereafter see) by the depth of the intervening ocean—these and other such facts are opposed to the admission of such prodigious geographical revolutions within the recent period. I shall here confine myself to plants. old fossiliferous and other rocks. capsules. and with the many existing oceanic islands. I must now say a few words on what are called accidental means. like other mountain summits. but the greater or less facilities for transport across the sea may be said to be almost wholly unknown. a few experiments. as are necessary on the view advanced by Forbes and admitted by his followers. In botanical works. seven species of the allied orders. and a few survived an immersion of 137 days. and as all of these sank in a few days. of granite. and. were all killed by a month's immersion. The nature and relative proportions of the inhabitants of oceanic islands are likewise opposed to the belief of their former continuity of continents. etc.

Subsequently to my experiments. and would retain their power of germination. would have caused some of them to have floated much longer. when dried it floated for eighty-five days. it would perhaps be safer to assume that the seeds of about 10/100 plants of a flora. is 376 . could be floated across a space of sea 900 miles in width. mostly different from mine. The majority sank quickly. and when stranded. and the seeds afterwards germinated: the ripe seeds of Helosciadium sank in two days. when dried floated much longer. if blown by an inland gale to a favourable spot. but some which. and would then germinate. that the seeds of 14/ 100 kinds of plants of any country might be floated by sea-currents during twenty-eight days. when dried they floated for above ninety days. for instance. an asparagus plant with ripe berries floated for twenty-three days. but in a much better manner. after having been dried. for above twenty-eight days. On the other hand. but when dried they floated for ninety days. In Johnston's Physical Atlas. after being dried. The fact of the larger fruits often floating longer than the small. Therefore. eighteen floated for above twenty-eight days. he did not previously dry the plants or branches with the fruit. on this average. for he placed the seeds in a box in the actual sea. He tried ninety-eight seeds. M. the average rate of the several Atlantic currents is thirty-three miles per diem (some currents running at the rate of sixty miles per diem). and to place them on sea-water. but he chose many large fruits. Martens tried similar ones. and afterwards germinated. The result was that 18/98 of his seeds of different kinds floated for forty-two days. and were then capable of germination. the seeds of 14/100 plants belonging to one country might be floated across 924 miles of sea to another country. and likewise seeds. and some of the eighteen floated for a very much longer period. we may conclude. Altogether. But I do not doubt that plants exposed to the waves would float for a less time than those protected from violent movement as in our experiments. So that as 64/87 kinds of seeds germinated after an immersion of twenty-eight days. as we have seen. and afterwards when planted germinated. as far as anything can be inferred from these scanty facts. would germinate. out of the ninety-four dried plants. ripe hazel-nuts sank immediately. so that they were alternately wet and exposed to the air like really floating plants.fruit. from plants which live near the sea. whilst green. and as 18/94 distinct species with ripe fruit (but not all the same species as in the foregoing experiment) floated. and this. floated for a very short time. and this would have favoured both the average length of their flotation and their resistance to the injurious action of the salt-water.

interesting. and do not. and the contents of their torn crops might thus readily get scattered. But the following fact is more important: the crops of birds do not secrete gastric juice. which had floated on artificial sea-water for thirty days. for instance. and hawks are known to look out for tired birds. and many kinds of seeds in the crops of floating birds long retain their vitality: peas and vetches. sometimes escape being immediately devoured. even on those in the midst of the widest oceans. germinated. which. to my surprise nearly all germinated. Drift timber is thrown up on most islands. so perfectly that not a particle could be washed away during the longest transport: out of one small portion of earth thus COMPLETELY enclosed by the roots of an oak about fifty years old. de Candolle has shown. now. after a bird has found and devoured a large supply of food. I could give many facts showing how frequently birds of many kinds are blown by gales to vast distances across the ocean. and after an interval of from twelve to twenty hours. I have never seen an instance of nutritious seeds passing through the intestines of a bird. these stones being a valuable royal tax. I find that when irregularly shaped stones are embedded in the roots of trees. In the course of two months. I picked up in my garden twelve kinds of seeds. small parcels of earth are very frequently enclosed in their interstices and behind them. We may safely assume that under such circumstances their rate of flight would often be thirty-five miles an hour. it is positively asserted that all the grains do not pass into the gizzard for twelve or even eighteen hours. disgorge pellets. are killed by even a few days' immersion in sea-water. as Alph. could hardly be transported by any other means. and some of them. as I know by trial. as plants with large seeds or fruit which. generally have restricted ranges. solely from the roots of drifted trees. but some taken out of the crop of a pigeon. out of the excrement of small birds. but hard seeds of fruit pass uninjured through even the digestive organs of a turkey. and the natives of the coral islands in the Pacific procure stones for their tools. injure in the least the germination of seeds. as I know from experiments made 377 . A bird in this interval might easily be blown to the distance of five hundred miles. when floating on the sea. Seeds may be occasionally transported in another manner. Some hawks and owls bolt their prey whole. which were tried. I can show that the carcasses of birds. Living birds can hardly fail to be highly effective agents in the transportation of seeds. three dicotyledonous plants germinated: I am certain of the accuracy of this observation. and some authors have given a far higher estimate. Again. and these seemed perfect.

in the Zoological Gardens. and thus the seeds might be transported from place to place. clover. In consequence of this belief Mr. and at night alighted on the taller trees. 378 . earth sometimes adheres to them: in one case I removed sixty-one grains. millet. R. Weale sent me in a letter a small packet of the dried pellets. During two or three days they slowly careered round and round in an immense ellipse. were always killed by this process. Lyell that in November. after an interval of many hours. Here is a better case: the leg of a woodcock was sent to me by a friend. might readily be the means of introducing several kinds of plants into an island lying far from the mainland. Some seeds of the oat. and extended upward as far as could be seen with a telescope. storks. as thick as the flakes of snow in the heaviest snowstorm. 1844. and pelicans. Hence a swarm of locusts. and in another case twenty-two grains of dry argillaceous earth from the foot of a partridge. with a little cake of dry earth attached to the shank. and have not since visited the island. and beet germinated after having been from twelve to twenty-one hours in the stomachs of different birds of prey. Certain seeds. that injurious seeds are introduced into their grass-land in the dung left by the great flights of locusts which often visit that country. these birds. Locusts are sometimes blown to great distances from the land. I find. The Rev. wheat. Fresh-water fish. I forced many kinds of seeds into the stomachs of dead fish. fish are frequently devoured by birds. Mr. and this contained a seed of the toad-rush (Juncus bufonius) which germinated and flowered. and in the earth there was a pebble as large as the seed of a vetch. Lowe informed Sir C. canary. They then disappeared over the sea. eat seeds of many land and water plants. Although the beaks and feet of birds are generally clean. as suddenly as they had appeared. Swaysland. out of which I extracted under the microscope several seeds. They were in countless numbers. of two genera. at least five or six miles in diameter. though on insufficient evidence.T. Now. in parts of Natal it is believed by some farmers. either rejected the seeds in pellets or passed them in their excrement. and two seeds of beet grew after having been thus retained for two days and fourteen hours. which were completely coated with them. include seeds capable of germination. and then gave their bodies to fishing-eagles. and several of these seeds retained the power of germination. hemp. and have heard of others caught at greater distances. weighing only nine grains. swarms of locusts visited the island of Madeira. belonging to two species. however. such as that which visited Madeira. I myself caught one 370 miles from the coast of Africa. and raised from them seven grass plants. of Brighton.

and which annually migrate—for instance. I think. the millions of quails across the Mediterranean—must occasionally transport a few seeds embedded in dirt adhering to their feet or beaks? But I shall have to recur to this subject. can we doubt that the many birds which are annually blown by gales across great spaces of ocean. With such facts before us. In the Azores. Considering that these several means of transport. as suggested by Lyell. I suspected that these islands had been partly stocked by ice-borne seeds during the Glacial epoch. As icebergs are known to be sometimes loaded with earth and stones. watered and placed under a bell glass. from the large number of plants common to Europe. Hartung to inquire whether he had observed erratic boulders on these islands. H. and it is at least possible that they may have brought thither the seeds of northern plants. which stand nearer to the mainland. and he answered that he had found large fragments of granite and other rocks.C. which consisted. no less than eighty-two plants sprung from it: these consisted of twelve monocotyledons. have transported seeds from one part to another of the arctic and antarctic regions. For instance. Professor Newton sent me the leg of a red-legged partridge (Caccabis rufa) which had been wounded and could not fly. and of seventy dicotyledons. and he has several times noticed little cakes of earth attached to their feet. judging from the young leaves. it can hardly be doubted that they must occasionally. informs me that he has often shot wagtails (Motacillae). and (as remarked by Mr. bones. The earth had been kept for three years. and that other means. which do not occur in the archipelago. in comparison with the species on the other islands of the Atlantic. in comparison with the latitude. with a ball of hard earth adhering to it. and weighing six and a half ounces. which without doubt remain to be discovered. Hence we may safely infer that icebergs formerly landed their rocky burdens on the shores of these mid-ocean islands. At my request Sir C. and during the Glacial period from one part of the now temperate regions to another. and whinchats (Saxicolae). Lyell wrote to M. have been in action year after year for tens of thousands of years. but when broken. of at least three distinct species. and have even carried brushwood. on their first arrival on our shores.who during the last forty years has paid close attention to our migratory birds. be a 379 . including the common oat. before they had alighted. Many facts could be given showing how generally soil is charged with seeds. it would. wheatears. and at least one kind of grass. and the nest of a land-bird. Watson) from their somewhat northern character.

with few or no destructive insects or birds living there.marvellous fact if many plants had not thus become widely transported. how small would be the chance of a seed falling on favourable soil. received within the last few centuries. from North America to the western shores of Ireland and England. but not from one distant continent to another. or from a continent to a neighbouring island. through occasional means of transport. and before it had become fully stocked with inhabitants. whilst the island was being upheaved. Out of a hundred kinds of seeds or animals transported to an island. has not. would germinate and survive. Almost every year. and coming to maturity! But it would be a great error to argue that because a well-stocked island. for seeds do not retain their vitality when exposed for a great length of time to the action of sea water. where. but this is not strictly correct: the currents of the sea are not accidental. The floras of distant continents would not by such means become mingled. But this is no valid argument against what would be effected by occasional means of transport. nor is the direction of prevalent gales of wind. one or two land-birds are blown across the whole Atlantic Ocean. like Great Britain. nearly every seed which chanced to arrive. that a poorlystocked island. These means. but would remain as distinct as they now are. though standing more remote from the mainland. from their course. It should be observed that scarcely any means of transport would carry seeds for very great distances. or from island to island. nor could they be long carried in the crops or intestines of birds. Even in this case. though they might and do bring seeds from the West Indies to our western shores. even if far less well-stocked than Britain. if fitted for the climate. These means of transport are sometimes called accidental. 380 . immigrants from Europe or any other continent. The currents. would suffice for occasional transport across tracts of sea some hundred miles in breadth. if not killed by their very long immersion in salt water. during the long lapse of geological time. as far as is known (and it would be very difficult to prove this). would never bring seeds from North America to Britain. but seeds could be transported by these rare wanderers only by one means. perhaps not more than one would be so well fitted to its new home. namely. as to become naturalised. would not receive colonists by similar means. they could not endure our climate. by dirt adhering to their feet or beaks. On almost bare land. however. which is in itself a rare accident.

central Europe and North America suffered under an Arctic climate. in which case they would perish. But we shall follow the changes more readily. organic and inorganic. had not Agassiz and others called vivid attention to the Glacial period. erratic boulders and scored rocks plainly reveal a former cold period. as we shall immediately see. As the cold came on. covering the central 381 . where Alpine species could not possibly exist. these would take the places of the former inhabitants of the temperate regions. and perched boulders. is one of the most striking cases known of the same species living at distant points. as explained by Edward Forbes. with those on the loftiest mountains of Europe.4. Even as long ago as 1747. affords a simple explanation of these facts. are now clothed by the vine and maize. that the plants on the White Mountains. We have evidence of almost every conceivable kind. as we hear from Asa Gray. with their scored flanks. in the United States of America. Dispersal During The Glacial Period The identity of many plants and animals. It is indeed a remarkable fact to see so many plants of the same species living on the snowy regions of the Alps or Pyrenees. that in Northern Italy. By the time that the cold had reached its maximum. So greatly has the climate of Europe changed. of the icy streams with which their valleys were lately filled. we should have an arctic fauna and flora. that. and nearly all the same. as formerly occurred. polished surfaces. The latter. which. but it is far more remarkable. such facts led Gmelin to conclude that the same species must have been independently created at many distinct points. on mountain-summits. are all the same with those of Labrador. separated from each other by hundreds of miles of lowlands. and in the extreme northern parts of Europe. at the same time would travel further and further southward. The mountains would become covered with snow and ice. is substantially as follows. gigantic moraines. The former influence of the glacial climate on the distribution of the inhabitants of Europe. unless they were stopped by barriers. Throughout a large part of the United States. and as each more southern zone became fitted for the inhabitants of the north. and then pass away. The ruins of a house burnt by fire do not tell their tale more plainly than do the mountains of Scotland and Wales. by supposing a new glacial period slowly to come on. and their former Alpine inhabitants would descend to the plains. within a very recent geological period. without the apparent possibility of their having migrated from one point to the other. and we might have remained in this same belief. left by old glaciers.

The Alpine plants. Hence. for example. Thus we can understand the identity of many plants at points so immensely remote as the mountains of the United States and those of Europe. These views. as far south as the Alps and Pyrenees. as remarked by Ramond. grounded as they are on the perfectly well-ascertained occurrence of a former Glacial period. would again be found in the arctic regions of the Old and New Worlds. Watson. the same species. that a colder climate formerly permitted their migration across the intervening lowlands. closely followed up in their retreat by the productions of the more temperate regions. and on many isolated mountain-summits far distant from each other. would generally have been due south and north. of Scotland.C. those of the mountains of Siberia to the arctic regions of that country. for the present circumpolar inhabitants. seem to me to explain in so satisfactory a manner the present distribution of the Alpine and Arctic productions of Europe and America. higher and higher. the arctic forms would seize on the cleared and thawed ground. are more especially allied to the plants of northern Scandinavia. as remarked by Mr.parts of Europe. We can thus also understand the fact that the Alpine plants of each mountain-range are more especially related to the arctic forms living due north or nearly due north of them: for the first migration when the cold came on. when the warmth had fully returned. and those of the Pyrenees. are remarkably uniform round the world. and the re-migration on the returning warmth. the arctic forms would retreat northward. As the arctic forms moved first southward and afterwards backward to the north. their mutual relations 382 . they will not have been exposed during their long migrations to any great diversity of temperature. And as the snow melted from the bases of the mountains. and even stretching into Spain. those of the United States to Labrador. in unison with the changing climate. and as they all migrated in a body together. now become too warm for their existence. without other evidence. always ascending. The now temperate regions of the United States would likewise be covered by arctic plants and animals and these would be nearly the same with those of Europe. we may almost conclude. As the warmth returned. as the warmth increased and the snow still further disappeared. which we suppose to have everywhere travelled southward. that when in other regions we find the same species on distant mountain-summits. H. whilst their brethren were pursuing their northern journey. which had lately lived together on the European and North American lowlands.

these forms will not have been liable to much modification. the arctic productions were as uniform round the polar regions as they are at the present day. some as doubtful forms or sub-species and some as distinct yet closely allied species representing each other on the several ranges. in all probability. left isolated from the moment of the returning warmth. have been subsequently exposed to somewhat different climatical influences. At the present day. During the Glacial period. In the foregoing illustration. also. the case will have been somewhat different. lies in the nature of the climate before the commencement of the Glacial period. and which during the coldest period will have been temporarily driven down to the plains. Their mutual relations will thus have been in some degree disturbed. for some of the species which now exist on the lower mountain slopes and on the plains of North America and Europe are the same. The explanation. they will. Hence. for if we compare the present Alpine plants and animals of the several great European mountain ranges. so that it may well be asked how the same species could then or previously have entered the two continents. the majority of the inhabitants of the world were specifically the same as now. At this.will not have been much disturbed. some exist as varieties. and they have been modified. one with another. and it may be asked how I account for this degree of uniformity of the sub-arctic and temperate forms round the world. though many of the species remain identically the same. consequently they will have been liable to modification. at the commencement of the real Glacial period. the sub-arctic and northern temperate productions of the Old and New Worlds are separated from each other by the whole Atlantic Ocean and by the northern part of the Pacific. I have assumed that at the commencement of our imaginary Glacial period. But it is also necessary to assume that many sub-arctic and some few temperate forms were the same round the world. in accordance with the principles inculcated in this volume. the newer Pliocene period. which must have existed on the mountains before the commencement of the Glacial epoch. have become mingled with ancient Alpine species. when the inhabitants of the Old and New Worlds lived further southwards than they do at present. they must have been still more completely separated from each other by wider spaces of ocean. first at the bases and ultimately on the summits of the mountains. and we have good reason to believe that the climate was 383 . they will also. But with the Alpine productions. and have survived there ever since. for it is not likely that all the same arctic species will have been left on mountain ranges far distant from each other. I believe.

such as the older Pliocene period. for the intermigration of their inhabitants. for during these warmer periods the northern parts of the Old and New Worlds will have been almost continuously united by land. their descendants.warmer than at the present day. they will have been completely cut off from each other. migrated south of the Polar Circle. and their separation by the whole Atlantic Ocean. we may suppose that the organisms which now live under latitude 60 degrees. though subjected to great oscillations of level. and in the other great region. serving as a bridge. from reasons before alluded to. as I believe. lived during the Pliocene period further north. as soon as the species in common. to eastern America. both in the Old and New Worlds. mostly in a modified condition. we see under the Polar Circle that there is almost continuous land from western Europe through Siberia. considering the distance of the two areas. This separation. and to infer that during some earlier and still warmer period. with the consequent freedom under a more favourable climate for intermigration. will account for the supposed uniformity of the sub-arctic and temperate productions of the Old and New Worlds. in latitude 66-67 degrees. in the central parts of Europe and the United States. if we look at a terrestrial globe. they will have become mingled in the one great region with the native American productions. with those of 384 . We now see. at a period anterior to the Glacial epoch. began slowly to migrate southwards as the climate became less warm. We can further understand the singular fact remarked on by several observers that the productions of Europe and America during the later tertiary stages were more closely related to each other than they are at the present time. I am strongly inclined to extend the above view. which inhabited the New and Old Worlds. a large number of the same plants and animals inhabited the almost continuous circumpolar land. must have taken place long ages ago. On this view we can understand the relationship with very little identity. as far as the more temperate productions are concerned. that our continents have long remained in nearly the same relative position. and that the present arctic productions then lived on the broken land still nearer to the pole. and that these plants and animals. Hence. During the slowly decreasing warmth of the Pliocene period. long before the commencement of the Glacial period. Now. under the Polar Circle. Believing. And this continuity of the circumpolar land. and would have had to compete with them. between the productions of North America and Europe—a relationship which is highly remarkable. As the plants and animals migrated southward. since rendered impassable by cold.

with their inhabitants utterly dissimilar. which. but we find in every great class many forms. As on the land. These cases of close relationship in species either now or formerly inhabiting the seas on the eastern and western shores of North America. left isolated. Thus.the Old World. We cannot maintain that such species have been created alike. are inexplicable on the theory of creation. on the several mountain ranges and on the arctic lands of Europe and North America. and others as distinct species. in correspondence with the nearly similar physical conditions of the areas. so in the waters of the sea. on the theory of modification. 385 . which some naturalists rank as geographical races. will account. inhabiting the Mediterranean and the seas of Japan—these two areas being now completely separated by the breadth of a whole continent and by wide spaces of ocean. and the temperate lands of North America and Europe. a slow southern migration of a marine fauna. it has come. during the Pliocene or even a somewhat earlier period. that when we compare the now living productions of the temperate regions of the New and Old Worlds. and a host of closely allied or representative forms which are ranked by all naturalists as specifically distinct. was nearly uniform along the continuous shores of the Polar Circle. for if we compare. some fish and other marine animals. still existing and extinct tertiary forms. Hence. I think. certain parts of South America with parts of South Africa or Australia. we can understand the presence of some closely allied. on the eastern and western shores of temperate North America. Consequently we have here everything favourable for much modification—for far more modification than with the Alpine productions. we find very few identical species (though Asa Gray has lately shown that more plants are identical than was formerly supposed). we see countries closely similar in all their physical conditions. for instance. the Mediterranean and Japan. and the still more striking fact of many closely allied crustaceans (as described in Dana's admirable work). within a much more recent period. for many closely allied forms now living in marine areas completely sundered.

and fed glaciers which rolled 4. Haast and Dr. found by Dr. 386 . nearly under the equator. D. I am convinced that Forbes's view may be largely extended. Hooker saw maize growing on ancient and gigantic moraines. Southward of the Asiatic continent. and likewise great masses of detritus. from the excellent researches of Dr. and southward to the Pyrenees. We may infer from the frozen mammals and nature of the mountain vegetation. Hooker. J. and on the shores of the Pacific. from latitude 41 degrees to the southernmost extremity.000 feet down the valleys. at about the height of 12. perpetual snow formerly covered the central axis. Alternate Glacial Periods In The North And South But we must return to our more immediate subject. Clarke. as far south as latitude 36 and 37 degrees. Forbes informs me that he found in various parts of the Cordillera. In the Lebanon. according to Dr. that Siberia was similarly affected. glaciers once extended far below their present level. and the same plants. Further south. and Mr. including grooved pebbles. at points 900 miles apart. also. deeply-furrowed rocks. From facts communicated to me by the Rev. been noticed on the Rocky Mountains. we have the clearest evidence of former glacial action. Looking to America: in the northern half. that in New Zealand immense glaciers formerly descended to a low level.B. as far south as latitude 46 degrees. in numerous immense boulders transported far from their parent source. from the western shores of Britain to the Ural range. there can hardly be a doubt. which. The same observer has recently found great moraines at a low level on the Atlas range in North Africa. Along this whole space of the Cordillera true glaciers do not now exist even at much more considerable heights. we know. crossing the Portillo valley.eastern corner of Australia. on both sides of the continent. once formed a huge moraine. Along the Himalaya.000 feet. where the climate is now so different. it appears also that there are traces of former glacial action on the mountains of the south. In the Cordillera of South America. resembling those with which he was familiar in Norway. on the opposite side of the equator. ice-borne fragments of rock have been observed on the eastern side of the continent. from latitude 13 to 30 degrees south.5. Hector. Dr. Erratic boulders have. glaciers have left the marks of their former low descent. In central Chile I examined a vast mound of detritus with great boulders. and in Sikkim. W. Hooker on widely separated mountains in this island tell the same story of a former cold period. In Europe we meet with the plainest evidence of the Glacial period.

But the most important result for us. enormously remote as these areas in opposite hemispheres are from each other. Mr. On the lofty mountains of equatorial America a host of peculiar species belonging to European genera occur.000 years ago. not to mention still more ancient formations. But now. are common to North America and Europe. between forty and fifty of the flowering plants of Tierra del Fuego.From these several facts. as may be inferred from the amount of work effected—and lastly. So conversely it will be with the northern hemisphere. On the Organ Mountains of Brazil some few temperate European. Croll. namely. Mr. from glaciers having recently descended to a low level along the whole line of the Cordillera. Croll.000 years. Hooker has shown that besides many closely allied species. brought into operation by an increase in the eccentricity of the earth's orbit. some Antarctic and some Andean genera were found by Gardner which do not exist in the low intervening hot countries. is that whenever the northern hemisphere passes through a cold period the temperature of the southern hemisphere is actually raised. with slight alterations of climate. and these at long intervals are extremely severe. while the southern passes through a glacial period. On the Silla of Caraccas 387 . it at one time appeared to me that we could not avoid the conclusion that the temperature of the whole world had been simultaneously lowered during the Glacial period. Dr. According to Mr. that such occurred during the miocene and eocene formations. Croll believes that the last great glacial period occurred about 240. with the winters rendered much milder. forming no inconsiderable part of its scanty flora. but I will first give the facts which demand an explanation. has attempted to show that a glacial condition of climate is the result of various physical causes. in a series of admirable memoirs. and endured. from the glacial action having extended all round the northern and southern hemispheres—from the period having been in a geological sense recent in both hemispheres—from its having lasted in both during a great length of time. With respect to more ancient glacial periods. Lyell has shown. owing to certain contingencies. as Sir C. for about 160. All these causes tend towards the same end. arrived at by Mr. is the relative position of the land and water. several geologists are convinced. but the most powerful appears to be the indirect influence of the eccentricity of the orbit upon oceanic currents. In South America. chiefly through changes in the direction of the ocean currents. This conclusion throws so much light on geographical distribution that I am strongly inclined to trust in it. cold periods regularly recur every ten or fifteen thousand years. from direct evidence. of which the most important. Croll.

Still more striking is the fact that peculiar Australian forms are represented by certain plants growing on the summits of the mountains of Borneo. not introduced by man. Hooker. In the admirable "Introduction to the Flora of New Zealand. is one of the most astonishing facts ever recorded in the distribution of plants. It now also appears. as I am informed by Dr. At the Cape of Good Hope a very few European species. on the heights of Ceylon. occur on the lowlands. and on the isolated mountain ranges of the peninsula of India. Some of these Australian forms. found in Australia. as I hear from Dr. Hooker. as I hear from Dr. On the Himalaya. Lowe on the mountains of the Cape Verde Islands. are closely related to those on the mountains of Abyssinia. almost under the equator. extend along the heights of the peninsula of Malacca. and on the volcanic cones of Java. Dr. other species. It should. are either the same species or varieties of the same species. Dr. Hence. raises a picture of a collection made on a hillock in Europe. In Africa. of European genera. and on the mountains several representative European forms are found which have not been discovered in the intertropical parts of Africa. and a long list can be given. and on the neighbouring Cameroon Mountains." by Dr.T. and at the same time representing plants of Europe not found in the intervening hot lowlands. A list of the genera of plants collected on the loftier peaks of Java. occur on the mountains of Abyssinia. analogous and striking facts are given in regard to the plants of that large island. F. believed not to have been introduced by man. and on the temperate plains of the north and south. several forms characteristic of Europe. and on the other hand as far north as Japan. and are thinly scattered on the one hand over India. in the Gulf of Guinea. many plants occur either identically the same or representing each other. that some of these same temperate plants have been discovered by the Rev. Hooker has also lately shown that several of the plants living on the upper parts of the lofty island of Fernando Po. and some few representatives of the flora of the Cape of Good Hope. and likewise to those of temperate Europe. R. On the southern mountains of Australia. Muller has discovered several European species. but not in the intermediate torrid regions. however. across the whole continent of Africa and to the mountains of the Cape Verde archipelago. we see that certain plants growing on the more lofty mountains of the tropics in all parts of the world. This extension of the same temperate forms. be observed that 388 . Hooker. Hooker.the illustrious Humboldt long ago found species belonging to genera characteristic of the Cordillera.

speaks of the reappearance on the shores of New Zealand. Mann found temperate European forms beginning to appear at the height of about five thousand feet. namely. but have not been found in the intermediate tropical seas. but with perhaps a still greater preponderance of temperate forms. I may quote a statement by the highest authority. These brief remarks apply to plants alone." Besides these identical and closely allied forms. the lowlands of these great continents were everywhere tenanted under the equator by a considerable number of temperate forms. the presence of temperate forms on the highlands across the whole of equatorial Africa. Tasmania. Dr. At this period the equatorial climate at the level of the sea was probably about the same with that now experienced at the height of from five to six thousand feet under the same latitude. Seemann found the vegetation like that of Mexico. it appears almost certain that at some former period. Dana. like that described by Hooker as growing luxuriantly at the height of from four to five thousand feet on the lower slopes of the Himalaya.. or perhaps even rather cooler. In marine productions. the Alpine or mountain flora really become less and less Arctic. etc. "with forms of the torrid zone harmoniously blended with those of the temperate. as an example. its antipode. Mr. On the mountains of Panama. and along the Peninsula of India." Sir J. Dr.C. Prof." Now let us see whether Mr. From the foregoing facts. no doubt during the most severe part of a Glacial period. to Ceylon and the Malay Archipelago. of northern forms of fish. many species inhabiting the same widely sundered areas.these plants are not strictly arctic forms. During this. Hooker informs me that twenty-five species of Algae are common to New Zealand and to Europe. and in a less wellmarked manner across the wide expanse of tropical South America. So again in the mountainous island of Fernando Po. at the height of only two thousand feet. the coldest period. throws any clear light on 389 . the southern hemisphere was actually warmer. that "it is certainly a wonderful fact that New Zealand should have a closer resemblance in its crustacea to Great Britain. Watson has remarked. as Mr. in the Gulf of Guinea. the lowlands under the equator must have been clothed with a mingled tropical and temperate vegetation. than to any other part of the world. but some few analogous facts could be given in regard to terrestrial animals. also. for. Richardson. Croll's conclusion that when the northern hemisphere suffered from the extreme cold of the great Glacial period. belong to genera not now found in the intermediate tropical lowlands. similar cases likewise occur. H. "in receding from polar toward equatorial latitudes.

As the cold became more and more intense. and from the facts just given. dominant and widest-spreading temperate forms invaded the equatorial lowlands.the present apparently inexplicable distribution of various organisms in the temperate parts of both hemispheres. however. as both hemispheres gradually recovered their former temperature. They might have survived. would return to their former homes. as measured by years. These latter. or in opposite hemispheres. for the change of temperature must have been very slow. if sufficiently lofty. the northern temperate forms living on the lowlands under the equator. leaving some few species on the mountains. On the decline of the Glacial period. they would have long survived like the Arctic forms on the mountains of Europe. when the warmth returned. and would generally 390 . The northern forms which had before been left on the mountains would now descend and mingle with the southern forms. there can hardly be a doubt that some of the more vigorous. and carrying southward with them some of the northern temperate forms which had descended from their mountain fastnesses. we know that Arctic forms invaded the temperate regions. this period will have been ample for any amount of migration. Thus. and when we remember over what vast spaces some naturalised plants and animals have spread within a few centuries. would have been driven to their former homes or have been destroyed. for the southern hemisphere was at this period warmer. and then the southern temperate forms would invade the equatorial lowlands. and plants undoubtedly possess a certain capacity for acclimatisation. must have been very long. and on the mountains of the tropics. But the species left during a long time on these mountains. we should have some few species identically the same in the northern and southern temperate zones and on the mountains of the intermediate tropical regions. Some. where. as shown by their transmitting to their offspring different constitutional powers of resisting heat and cold. even if the climate was not perfectly fitted for them. In the regular course of events the southern hemisphere would in its turn be subjected to a severe Glacial period. they would be eminently liable to modification. hence. The inhabitants of these hot lowlands would at the same time have migrated to the tropical and subtropical regions of the south. of the northern temperate forms would almost certainly have ascended any adjoining high land. with the northern hemisphere rendered warmer. would have to compete with many new forms and would be exposed to somewhat different physical conditions. The Glacial period. being replaced by the equatorial forms returning from the south.

by those which have become naturalised. and to a lesser degree in Australia. Before the last great Glacial period. than the southern forms. Mountains are islands on the land. and other objects likely to carry seeds have been largely imported into Europe during the last two or three centuries from La Plata and during the last forty or fifty years from Australia. Hooker. I suspect that this preponderant migration from the north to the south is due to the greater extent of land in the north. and by Alph. than in a reversed direction. offer a partial exception. also. de Candolle in regard to Australia. and having consequently been advanced through natural selection and competition to a higher stage of perfection. Australian forms are rapidly sowing themselves and becoming naturalised. whereas extremely few southern forms have become naturalised in any part of the northern hemisphere. and afterwards migrate southward with the southern forms. for these will account. The Neilgherrie Mountains in India. for here. We see.now exist as varieties or as representative species. It is a remarkable fact. but these have almost everywhere yielded to the more dominant forms generated in the larger areas and more efficient workshops of the north. and this is the case. We must. the northern forms were the more powerful and were able to hold their places on the mountains. just in the same way as the inhabitants of real islands have everywhere 391 . strongly insisted on by Hooker in regard to America. a few southern forms on the mountains of Borneo and Abyssinia. we see that very many European productions cover the ground in La Plata. as I hear from Dr. no doubt the intertropical mountains were stocked with endemic Alpine forms. New Zealand. when the two sets became commingled in the equatorial regions. during the alternations of the Glacial periods. bear in mind the occurrence in both hemispheres of former Glacial periods. in accordance with the same principles. and their inhabitants have yielded to those produced within the larger areas of the north. And thus. though hides. however. and belonging to genera not now found in the intermediate torrid zones. and to the northern forms having existed in their own homes in greater numbers. for the many quite distinct species inhabiting the same widely separated areas. that many more identical or slightly modified species have migrated from the north to the south. In the same manner. but not so the southern in regard to the northern forms. and have beaten the natives. and this is the first stage towards their extinction. or dominating power. however. wool. at the present day. or even outnumbered. In many islands the native productions are nearly equalled.

of the same plants at points so enormously remote as Kerguelen Land. in the northern and southern temperate zones. We cannot hope to explain such facts. though distinct. are removed on the views above given. New Zealand. as shown by Dr. The same principles apply to the distribution of terrestrial animals and of marine productions. the ocean-currents were widely different to what they now are. The exact lines of migration cannot be indicated. Various special difficulties also remain to be solved. of these a few would perhaps at once be able to migrate southwards. is a more remarkable case. and on the intertropical mountains. Some of these species are so distinct. The facts seem to indicate that distinct species belonging to the same genera have migrated in radiating lines from a common centre. and sometimes on the intermediate mountain ranges. as suggested by Lyell. while others have remained unaltered.yielded and are still yielding to continental forms naturalised through man's agency. why certain species have been modified and have given rise to new forms. isolated spaces inhabited by Arctic productions exist to the present day in the deeper parts of the northern temperate seas. to a former and warmer period. for instance. during the height of the Glacial period. as another species within their own homes. and I am inclined to look in the southern. that we cannot suppose that there has been time since the commencement of the last Glacial period for their migration and subsequent modification to the necessary degree. until we can say why one species and not another becomes naturalised by man's agency in a foreign land. now covered with ice. as in the northern hemisphere. when the Antarctic lands. When. by keeping to the cooler currents. and is twice or thrice as common. but icebergs. supported a highly peculiar and isolated 392 . according to Forbes. The existence at these and other distant points of the southern hemisphere. which now live so widely separated in the north and south. in nearly the same manner as. some of the inhabitants of the temperate seas might have reached the equator. Hooker. may have been concerned in their dispersal. why one species ranges twice or thrice as far. before the commencement of the last Glacial period. the occurrence. and Fuegia. I am far from supposing that all the difficulties in regard to the distribution and affinities of the identical and allied species. which. while others might remain and survive in the colder depths until the southern hemisphere was in its turn subjected to a glacial climate and permitted their further progress. of species. We cannot say why certain species and not others have migrated. belong to genera exclusively confined to the south.

flora. Lyell in a striking passage has speculated. of now sunken islands. and has consequently more freely inundated the south. of the former inhabitants of the surrounding lowlands. and by the aid. explains a multitude of facts in the distribution of the same and of the allied forms of life in all parts of the globe. full of interest to us. And we have now seen that Mr. on the effects of great alternations of climate throughout the world on geographical distribution. a few forms had been already widely dispersed to various points of the southern hemisphere by occasional means of transport. and in both cases have reached the equator. rising higher on the shores where the tide rises highest. in language almost identical with mine. which serves as a record. but the stream of life has flowed with greater force from the north than in the opposite direction. together with the admission of the slow modification of species. and New Zealand may have become slightly tinted by the same peculiar forms of life. in a line gently rising from the Arctic lowlands to a great latitude under the equator. Sir C. as halting-places. The various beings thus left stranded may be compared with savage races of man. Thus the southern shores of America. As the tide leaves its drift in horizontal lines. The living waters have flowed during one period from the north and during another from the south. Croll's conclusion that successive Glacial periods in the one hemisphere coincide with warmer periods in the opposite hemisphere. driven up and surviving in the mountain fastnesses of almost every land. 393 . Australia. so have the living waters left their living drift on our mountain summits. It may be suspected that before this flora was exterminated during the last Glacial epoch.

Chapter 13 Geographical Distribution--continued Distribution of fresh-water productions — On the inhabitants of oceanic islands — Absence of Batrachians and of terrestrial Mammals — On the relation of the inhabitants of islands to those of the nearest mainland — On colonisation from the nearest source with subsequent modification — Summary of the last and present chapters. 394 .

however. be mainly attributed to changes in the level of the land within the recent period. shells. Instances. for short and frequent migrations from pond to pond. This case. compared with those of Britain. that they would never have extended to distant countries. the Falkland Islands and the mainland of South America. and liability to wide dispersal would follow from this capacity as an almost necessary consequence. in a manner highly useful to them. But the case is exactly the reverse. for in two adjoining river systems some of the species may be the same and some wholly different.. could be given of this having occurred during 395 .1. belonging to different classes. causing rivers to flow into each other. and as if capriciously. however. is rendered in some degree less surprising by the species of this genus having the power of crossing by some unknown means considerable spaces of open ocean: thus there is one species common to New Zealand and to the Auckland Islands. and it is known that the ova retain their vitality for a considerable time after removal from the water. On the same continent fresh-water fish often range widely. I think. and as the sea is apparently a still more formidable barrier. and probably indicates dispersal from an Antarctic centre during a former warm period. also. it might have been thought that fresh-water productions would not have ranged widely within the same country. Their dispersal may. Gunther has lately shown that the Galaxias attenuatus inhabits Tasmania. in most cases be explained by their having become fitted. But Dr. New Zealand. When first collecting in the fresh waters of Brazil. Thus fishes still alive are not very rarely dropped at distant points by whirlwinds. I well remember feeling much surprise at the similarity of the fresh-water insects. though separated by a distance of about 230 miles. some of the most difficult to explain are presented by fish. or from stream to stream. but allied species prevail in a remarkable manner throughout the world. Not only have many fresh-water species. But the wide ranging power of fresh-water productions can. etc. This is a wonderful case. of these. Fresh-Water Productions As lakes and river-systems are separated from each other by barriers of land. an enormous range. It was formerly believed that the same fresh-water species never existed on two continents distant from each other. within their own countries. and at the dissimilarity of the surrounding terrestrial beings. It is probable that they are occasionally transported by what may be called accidental means. We can here consider only a few cases.

according to Valenciennes. which I have observed—and many others no doubt will be discovered—throw some light on this subject. which are continuous and consequently must. and it has happened to me. and if blown across the sea to an oceanic island. so that a marine species belonging to a fresh-water group might travel far along the shores of the sea. would be sure to alight on a pool or rivulet. and consequently time and means for much migration. have completely prevented the inosculation of the river systems on the two sides. though at a somewhat more advanced age they would voluntarily drop off. on our theory. that I have unintentionally stocked the one with fresh-water shells from the other. Salt-water fish can with care be slowly accustomed to live in fresh water. from twelve to twenty hours. and clung to them so firmly that when taken out of the water they could not be jarred off. Some species of fresh-water shells have very wide ranges. are immediately killed by sea-water. as well as the adults. The wide differences of the fish on the opposite sides of most mountain-ranges. survived on the duck's feet. Their distribution at first perplexed me much. there is hardly a single group of which all the members are confined to fresh water. I could not even understand how some naturalised species have spread rapidly throughout the same country. from an early period. Moreover. leads to the same conclusion. without any change of level. prevail throughout the world. and. though aquatic in their nature. Sir Charles Lyell informs me that a Dyticus has been caught with an Ancylus (a fresh-water shell like a 396 . in damp air. and in this length of time a duck or heron might fly at least six or seven hundred miles. But two facts. and I found that numbers of the extremely minute and just-hatched shells crawled on the feet. and could. But another agency is perhaps more effectual: I suspended the feet of a duck in an aquarium. as their ova are not likely to be transported by birds. where many ova of fresh-water shells were hatching. and must have proceeded from a single source.floods. in removing a little duck-weed from one aquarium to another. and the ova. or to any other distant point. become adapted without much difficulty to the fresh waters of a distant land. Gunther has recently been led by several considerations to infer that with fishes the same forms have a long endurance. it is probable. and allied species which. and in such cases there will have been ample time for great geographical changes. When ducks suddenly emerge from a pond covered with duck-weed. I have twice seen these little plants adhering to their backs. Dr. are descended from a common parent. Some fresh-water fish belong to very ancient forms. These just-hatched molluscs.

I have stated that fresh-water fish eat some kinds of seeds. and were altogether 537 in number. the plants were of many kinds. have gone on daily devouring fish. and even marsh-species. situated at very distant points. I think favourable means of dispersal explain this fact. for the latter seem immediately to acquire. Other and unknown agencies probably have also played a part. when rejected many hours afterwards in pellets or in the excrement. I have before mentioned that earth occasionally adheres in some quantity to the feet and beaks of birds. I kept it covered up in my study for six months. in those large groups of terrestrial plants. this mud when dry weighed only 6 and 3/4 ounces. as of the yellow water-lily and Potamogeton. if suddenly flushed. on the edge of a little pond. once flew on board the "Beagle. and a water-beetle of the same family. Wading birds. and when gaining the land. The same agency may have come into play with the eggs of some of the smaller fresh-water animals. I do not believe that botanists are aware how charged the mud of ponds is with seeds: I have tried several little experiments. and we have seen that seeds retain their power of germination.limpet) firmly adhering to it. and yet the viscid mud was all contained in a breakfast cup! Considering these facts. a wide range. beneath water. they would be sure to fly to their natural fresh-water haunts. Herons and other birds. it has long been known what enormous ranges many fresh-water. they then take flight and go to other waters. so that any dirt on their feet would not be washed off. which have very few aquatic members. which frequent the muddy edges of ponds. according to Alph. they would not be likely to alight on the surface of the sea. the 397 . though they reject many other kinds after having swallowed them. even small fish swallow seeds of moderate size. With respect to plants. have. and are occasionally found on the most remote and barren islands of the open ocean. de Candolle. century after century. pulling up and counting each plant as it grew. a Colymbetes. When I saw the great size of the seeds of that fine water-lily. as if in consequence. or are blown across the sea. but will here give only the most striking case: I took in February three tablespoonfuls of mud from three different points. would be the most likely to have muddy feet. I think it would be an inexplicable circumstance if water-birds did not transport the seeds of fresh-water plants to unstocked ponds and streams. Birds of this order wander more than those of any other. This is strikingly illustrated." when forty-five miles distant from the nearest land: how much farther it might have been blown by a favouring gale no one can tell. both over continents and to the most remote oceanic islands.

and we have reason to believe that such beings become modified more slowly than the high. more especially by fresh-water birds. or in some degree modified. but Audubon states that he found the seeds of the great southern water-lily (probably according to Dr. which have great powers of flight. But the wide distribution of fresh-water plants. and remembered Alph. for instance on a rising islet. and of the lower animals. it should be remembered that when a pond or stream is first formed. In considering these several means of distribution. Now this bird must often have flown with its stomach thus well stocked to distant ponds. yet as the number even in a well-stocked pond is small in comparison with the number of species inhabiting an equal area of land. and then having become extinct at intermediate points. and this will give time for the migration of aquatic species. analogy makes me believe that it would have rejected the seeds in the pellet in a fit state for germination. it will be unoccupied. apparently depends in main part on the wide dispersal of their seeds and eggs by animals. and naturally travel from one piece of water to another. and a single seed or egg will have a good chance of succeeding. I thought that the means of its dispersal must remain inexplicable. 398 . the Nelumbium luteum) in a heron's stomach. We should also remember that many fresh-water productions are low in the scale of nature. whether retaining the same identical form. Although there will always be a struggle for life between the inhabitants of the same pond. We should not forget the probability of many fresh-water forms having formerly ranged continuously over immense areas. however few in kind. the competition between them will probably be less severe than between terrestrial species. then getting a hearty meal of fish. de Candolle's remarks on the distribution of this plant. consequently an intruder from the waters of a foreign country would have a better chance of seizing on a new place. and. than in the case of terrestrial colonists. Hooker.Nelumbium.

Helena there is reason to believe that the naturalised plants and animals have nearly or quite exterminated many native productions. extending over 780 miles of latitude. Even the uniform county of Cambridge has 847 plants. In the following remarks I shall not confine myself to the mere question of dispersal. but it does not accord with all the facts in regard to the productions of islands. and the comparison in some other respects is not quite fair. have proceeded from a single area. de Candolle admits this for plants. but that allied species. contain altogether only 960 kinds of flowering plants. as they have in New Zealand and on every other oceanic island which can be named. Campbell and Chatham. will have to admit that a sufficient number of the best adapted plants and animals were not created for oceanic islands. This view removes many difficulties. I have already given my reasons for disbelieving in continental extensions within the period of existing species on so enormous a scale that all the many islands of the several oceans were thus stocked with their present terrestrial inhabitants. with its lofty mountains and diversified stations. He who admits the doctrine of the creation of each separate species. although now inhabiting the most distant points. together with the outlying islands of Auckland. has given rise to so great a difference in number. we must admit that some cause. In St. the birthplace of their early progenitors. if we compare this moderate number with the species which swarm over equal areas in Southwestern Australia or at the Cape of Good Hope. On The Inhabitants Of Oceanic Islands We now come to the last of the three classes of facts. for man has unintentionally stocked them far more fully and perfectly than did nature. on the view that not only all the individuals of the same species have migrated from some one area. which I have selected as presenting the greatest amount of difficulty with respect to distribution. and Wollaston for insects. 399 .2. independently of different physical conditions. New Zealand. but shall consider some other cases bearing on the truth of the two theories of independent creation and of descent with modification. We have evidence that the barren island of Ascension aboriginally possessed less than half-a-dozen flowering plants. yet many species have now become naturalised on it. but a few ferns and a few introduced plants are included in these numbers. The species of all kinds which inhabit oceanic islands are few in number compared with those on equal continental areas: Alph. for instance. and the little island of Anglesea 764.

But it by no means follows that. and which has a very peculiar soil. E. and we know from Mr. as I am informed by Mr. and will consequently have been but little liable to modification. This fact might have been theoretically expected. Hence. as already explained. so that even an occasional cross would produce more effect than might have been anticipated. would be eminently liable to modification. and partly on the frequent arrival of unmodified immigrants from the mother-country. and would often produce groups of modified descendants.M. which for long ages have there struggled together. does not possess a single endemic land bird. Harcourt. whereas of the eleven marine birds only two are peculiar. that very many North American birds occasionally or even frequently visit this island. and three or four other species are confined to this island and to the Canaries. so that their mutual relations have not been much disturbed. the number of endemic land-shells in Madeira. and then compare the area of the island with that of the continent. though very closely related to a European form. Any tendency to 400 . of which one alone is peculiar. with the number found on any continent. we shall see that this is true. because in an island nearly all the species of one class are peculiar. each kind will have been kept by the others to its proper place and habits. Almost every year. J. species occasionally arriving.Although in oceanic islands the species are few in number. for. when settled in their new homes. I will give a few illustrations of the foregoing remarks: in the Galapagos Islands there are twenty-six land birds. of these twenty-one (or perhaps twentythree) are peculiar.e. Jones's admirable account of Bermuda. and having to compete with new associates. after long intervals of time in the new and isolated district. Bermuda. for instance. with which the insular forms have intercrossed. If we compare. which lies at about the same distance from North America as the Galapagos Islands do from South America. this island is inhabited by ninetynine kinds.V. and it is obvious that marine birds could arrive at these islands much more easily and frequently than land-birds. or of another section of the same class. the proportion of endemic kinds (i. many European and African birds are blown to Madeira. are peculiar. on the other hand. and this difference seems to depend partly on the species which are not modified having immigrated in a body. It should be borne in mind that the offspring of such crosses would certainly gain in vigour. So that the islands of Bermuda and Madeira have been stocked from the neighbouring continents with birds. and have become mutually co-adapted. those of another class. those found nowhere else in the world) is often extremely large. or of endemic birds in the Galapagos Archipelago.

Although New Zealand is here spoken of as an oceanic island. often arriving from the mother-country. The different orders of insects inhabiting Madeira present nearly parallel cases. but this explanation is not a little doubtful. Madeira again is inhabited by a wonderful number of peculiar land-shells. islands often possess trees or bushes belonging to orders which elsewhere include only herbaceous species. But a hooked seed might be carried to an island by other means. whatever the cause may be. and their places are occupied by other classes. or to the feet of wading birds. Many remarkable little facts could be given with respect to the inhabitants of oceanic islands. and the plant then becoming modified would form an endemic species. generally have. whereas not one species of sea-shell is peculiar to its shores: now. Turning to plants. Facility of immigration seems to have been fully as important as the nature of the conditions. which had no chance of successfully competing with the many 401 . like the shrivelled wings under the soldered wing-covers of many insular beetles. some of the endemic plants have beautifully hooked seeds. Dr. or recently took. and an herbaceous plant. which would form a useless appendage. should be considered as appurtenances of Australia. the place of mammals. take.modification will also have been checked by intercrossing with the unmodified immigrants. though we do not know how sea-shells are dispersed. and in New Zealand gigantic wingless birds. as well as New Caledonia. the Rev. All such differences in number. confined ranges. as Alph. thus in the Galapagos Islands reptiles. are generally accounted for by supposed differences in the physical conditions of the islands. from its geological character and the direction of its mountain ranges. Hooker has shown that in the Galapagos Islands the proportional numbers of the different orders are very different from what they are elsewhere. it is in some degree doubtful whether it should be so ranked. de Candolle has shown. Oceanic islands are sometimes deficient in animals of certain whole classes. yet we can see that their eggs or larvae. perhaps attached to seaweed or floating timber. and the absence of certain whole groups of animals and plants. and is not separated from Australia by a profoundly deep sea. For instance. Again. still retaining its hooks.B. in certain islands not tenanted by a single mammal. Hence trees would be little likely to reach distant oceanic islands. might be transported across three or four hundred miles of open sea far more easily than land-shells. yet few relations are more manifest than that hooks serve for the transportal of seeds in the wool or fur of quadrupeds. W. Clarke has lately maintained that this island. now trees. it is of large size.

fully developed trees growing on a continent, might, when established on an island, gain an advantage over other herbaceous plants by growing taller and taller and overtopping them. In this case, natural selection would tend to add to the stature of the plant, to whatever order it belonged, and thus first convert it into a bush and then into a tree.


3. Absence Of Batrachians And Terrestrial Mammals On Oceanic Islands
With respect to the absence of whole orders of animals on oceanic islands, Bory St. Vincent long ago remarked that Batrachians (frogs, toads, newts) are never found on any of the many islands with which the great oceans are studded. I have taken pains to verify this assertion, and have found it true, with the exception of New Zealand, New Caledonia, the Andaman Islands, and perhaps the Solomon Islands and the Seychelles. But I have already remarked that it is doubtful whether New Zealand and New Caledonia ought to be classed as oceanic islands; and this is still more doubtful with respect to the Andaman and Solomon groups and the Seychelles. This general absence of frogs, toads and newts on so many true oceanic islands cannot be accounted for by their physical conditions; indeed it seems that islands are peculiarly fitted for these animals; for frogs have been introduced into Madeira, the Azores, and Mauritius, and have multiplied so as to become a nuisance. But as these animals and their spawn are immediately killed (with the exception, as far as known, of one Indian species) by sea-water, there would be great difficulty in their transportal across the sea, and therefore we can see why they do not exist on strictly oceanic islands. But why, on the theory of creation, they should not have been created there, it would be very difficult to explain. Mammals offer another and similar case. I have carefully searched the oldest voyages, and have not found a single instance, free from doubt, of a terrestrial mammal (excluding domesticated animals kept by the natives) inhabiting an island situated above 300 miles from a continent or great continental island; and many islands situated at a much less distance are equally barren. The Falkland Islands, which are inhabited by a wolf-like fox, come nearest to an exception; but this group cannot be considered as oceanic, as it lies on a bank in connection with the mainland at a distance of about 280 miles; moreover, icebergs formerly brought boulders to its western shores, and they may have formerly transported foxes, as now frequently happens in the arctic regions. Yet it cannot be said that small islands will not support at least small mammals, for they occur in many parts of the world on very small islands, when lying close to a continent; and hardly an island can be named on which our smaller quadrupeds have not become naturalised and greatly multiplied. It cannot be said, on the ordinary view of creation, that there has not been time for the creation of mammals; many volcanic islands are sufficiently


ancient, as shown by the stupendous degradation which they have suffered, and by their tertiary strata: there has also been time for the production of endemic species belonging to other classes; and on continents it is known that new species of mammals appear and disappear at a quicker rate than other and lower animals. Although terrestrial mammals do not occur on oceanic islands, aerial mammals do occur on almost every island. New Zealand possesses two bats found nowhere else in the world: Norfolk Island, the Viti Archipelago, the Bonin Islands, the Caroline and Marianne Archipelagoes, and Mauritius, all possess their peculiar bats. Why, it may be asked, has the supposed creative force produced bats and no other mammals on remote islands? On my view this question can easily be answered; for no terrestrial mammal can be transported across a wide space of sea, but bats can fly across. Bats have been seen wandering by day far over the Atlantic Ocean; and two North American species, either regularly or occasionally, visit Bermuda, at the distance of 600 miles from the mainland. I hear from Mr. Tomes, who has specially studied this family, that many species have enormous ranges, and are found on continents and on far distant islands. Hence, we have only to suppose that such wandering species have been modified in their new homes in relation to their new position, and we can understand the presence of endemic bats on oceanic islands, with the absence of all other terrestrial mammals. Another interesting relation exists, namely, between the depth of the sea separating islands from each other, or from the nearest continent, and the degree of affinity of their mammalian inhabitants. Mr. Windsor Earl has made some striking observations on this head, since greatly extended by Mr. Wallace's admirable researches, in regard to the great Malay Archipelago, which is traversed near Celebes by a space of deep ocean, and this separates two widely distinct mammalian faunas. On either side, the islands stand on a moderately shallow submarine bank, and these islands are inhabited by the same or by closely allied quadrupeds. I have not as yet had time to follow up this subject in all quarters of the world; but as far as I have gone, the relation holds good. For instance, Britain is separated by a shallow channel from Europe, and the mammals are the same on both sides; and so it is with all the islands near the shores of Australia. The West Indian Islands, on the other hand, stand on a deeply submerged bank, nearly one thousand fathoms in depth, and here we find American forms, but the species and even the genera are quite distinct. As the amount of modification which animals of all kinds undergo partly depends on the lapse of time, and as the islands which


are separated from each other, or from the mainland, by shallow channels, are more likely to have been continuously united within a recent period than the islands separated by deeper channels, we can understand how it is that a relation exists between the depth of the sea separating two mammalian faunas, and the degree of their affinity, a relation which is quite inexplicable on the theory of independent acts of creation. The foregoing statements in regard to the inhabitants of oceanic islands, namely, the fewness of the species, with a large proportion consisting of endemic forms—the members of certain groups, but not those of other groups in the same class, having been modified—the absence of certain whole orders, as of batrachians and of terrestrial mammals, notwithstanding the presence of aerial bats, the singular proportions of certain orders of plants, herbaceous forms having been developed into trees, etc., seem to me to accord better with the belief in the efficiency of occasional means of transport, carried on during a long course of time, than with the belief in the former connection of all oceanic islands with the nearest continent; for on this latter view it is probable that the various classes would have immigrated more uniformly, and from the species having entered in a body, their mutual relations would not have been much disturbed, and consequently, they would either have not been modified, or all the species in a more equable manner. I do not deny that there are many and serious difficulties in understanding how many of the inhabitants of the more remote islands, whether still retaining the same specific form or subsequently modified, have reached their present homes. But the probability of other islands having once existed as halting-places, of which not a wreck now remains, must not be overlooked. I will specify one difficult case. Almost all oceanic islands, even the most isolated and smallest, are inhabited by land-shells, generally by endemic species, but sometimes by species found elsewhere striking instances of which have been given by Dr. A.A. Gould in relation to the Pacific. Now it is notorious that land-shells are easily killed by sea-water; their eggs, at least such as I have tried, sink in it and are killed. Yet there must be some unknown, but occasionally efficient means for their transportal. Would the just-hatched young sometimes adhere to the feet of birds roosting on the ground and thus get transported? It occurred to me that land-shells, when hybernating and having a membranous diaphragm over the mouth of the shell, might be floated in chinks of drifted timber across moderately wide arms of the sea. And I find that several species in this state withstand uninjured an immersion in sea-water during seven days. One shell, the Helix pomatia,


after having been thus treated, and again hybernating, was put into seawater for twenty days and perfectly recovered. During this length of time the shell might have been carried by a marine country of average swiftness to a distance of 660 geographical miles. As this Helix has a thick calcareous operculum I removed it, and when it had formed a new membranous one, I again immersed it for fourteen days in sea-water, and again it recovered and crawled away. Baron Aucapitaine has since tried similar experiments. He placed 100 land- shells, belonging to ten species, in a box pierced with holes, and immersed it for a fortnight in the sea. Out of the hundred shells twenty-seven recovered. The presence of an operculum seems to have been of importance, as out of twelve specimens of Cyclostoma elegans, which is thus furnished, eleven revived. It is remarkable, seeing how well the Helix pomatia resisted with me the salt-water, that not one of fifty-four specimens belonging to four other species of Helix tried by Aucapitaine recovered. It is, however, not at all probable that land-shells have often been thus transported; the feet of birds offer a more probable method.


4. On The Relations Of The Inhabitants Of Islands To Those Of The Nearest Mainland
The most striking and important fact for us is the affinity of the species which inhabit islands to those of the nearest mainland, without being actually the same. Numerous instances could be given. The Galapagos Archipelago, situated under the equator, lies at a distance of between 500 and 600 miles from the shores of South America. Here almost every product of the land and of the water bears the unmistakable stamp of the American continent. There are twenty-six land birds. Of these twentyone, or perhaps twenty-three, are ranked as distinct species, and would commonly be assumed to have been here created; yet the close affinity of most of these birds to American species is manifest in every character in their habits, gestures, and tones of voice. So it is with the other animals, and with a large proportion of the plants, as shown by Dr. Hooker in his admirable Flora of this archipelago. The naturalist, looking at the inhabitants of these volcanic islands in the Pacific, distant several hundred miles from the continent, feels that he is standing on American land. Why should this be so? Why should the species which are supposed to have been created in the Galapagos Archipelago, and nowhere else, bear so plainly the stamp of affinity to those created in America? There is nothing in the conditions of life, in the geological nature of the islands, in their height or climate, or in the proportions in which the several classes are associated together, which closely resembles the conditions of the South American coast. In fact, there is a considerable dissimilarity in all these respects. On the other hand, there is a considerable degree of resemblance in the volcanic nature of the soil, in the climate, height, and size of the islands, between the Galapagos and Cape Verde Archipelagos: but what an entire and absolute difference in their inhabitants! The inhabitants of the Cape Verde Islands are related to those of Africa, like those of the Galapagos to America. Facts, such as these, admit of no sort of explanation on the ordinary view of independent creation; whereas, on the view here maintained, it is obvious that the Galapagos Islands would be likely to receive colonists from America, whether by occasional means of transport or (though I do not believe in this doctrine) by formerly continuous land, and the Cape Verde Islands from Africa; such colonists would be liable to modification—the principle of inheritance still betraying their original birthplace. Many analogous facts could be given: indeed it is an almost universal rule that the endemic productions of islands are related to those of the


nearest continent, or of the nearest large island. The exceptions are few, and most of them can be explained. Thus, although Kerguelen Land stands nearer to Africa than to America, the plants are related, and that very closely, as we know from Dr. Hooker's account, to those of America: but on the view that this island has been mainly stocked by seeds brought with earth and stones on icebergs, drifted by the prevailing currents, this anomaly disappears. New Zealand in its endemic plants is much more closely related to Australia, the nearest mainland, than to any other region: and this is what might have been expected; but it is also plainly related to South America, which, although the next nearest continent, is so enormously remote, that the fact becomes an anomaly. But this difficulty partially disappears on the view that New Zealand, South America, and the other southern lands, have been stocked in part from a nearly intermediate though distant point, namely, from the antarctic islands, when they were clothed with vegetation, during a warmer tertiary period, before the commencement of the last Glacial period. The affinity, which, though feeble, I am assured by Dr. Hooker is real, between the flora of the south-western corner of Australia and of the Cape of Good Hope, is a far more remarkable case; but this affinity is confined to the plants, and will, no doubt, some day be explained. The same law which has determined the relationship between the inhabitants of islands and the nearest mainland, is sometimes displayed on a small scale, but in a most interesting manner, within the limits of the same archipelago. Thus each separate island of the Galapagos Archipelago is tenanted, and the fact is a marvellous one, by many distinct species; but these species are related to each other in a very much closer manner than to the inhabitants of the American continent, or of any other quarter of the world. This is what might have been expected, for islands situated so near to each other would almost necessarily receive immigrants from the same original source, and from each other. But how is it that many of the immigrants have been differently modified, though only in a small degree, in islands situated within sight of each other, having the same geological nature, the same height, climate, etc? This long appeared to me a great difficulty: but it arises in chief part from the deeply-seated error of considering the physical conditions of a country as the most important; whereas it cannot be disputed that the nature of the other species with which each has to compete, is at least as important, and generally a far more important element of success. Now if we look to the species which inhabit the Galapagos Archipelago, and are likewise found in other parts of the world, we find that they differ


considerably in the several islands. This difference might indeed have been expected if the islands have been stocked by occasional means of transport—a seed, for instance, of one plant having been brought to one island, and that of another plant to another island, though all proceeding from the same general source. Hence, when in former times an immigrant first settled on one of the islands, or when it subsequently spread from one to another, it would undoubtedly be exposed to different conditions in the different islands, for it would have to compete with a different set of organisms; a plant, for instance, would find the ground bestfitted for it occupied by somewhat different species in the different islands, and would be exposed to the attacks of somewhat different enemies. If, then, it varied, natural selection would probably favour different varieties in the different islands. Some species, however, might spread and yet retain the same character throughout the group, just as we see some species spreading widely throughout a continent and remaining the same. The really surprising fact in this case of the Galapagos Archipelago, and in a lesser degree in some analogous cases, is that each new species after being formed in any one island, did not spread quickly to the other islands. But the islands, though in sight of each other, are separated by deep arms of the sea, in most cases wider than the British Channel, and there is no reason to suppose that they have at any former period been continuously united. The currents of the sea are rapid and deep between the islands, and gales of wind are extraordinarily rare; so that the islands are far more effectually separated from each other than they appear on a map. Nevertheless, some of the species, both of those found in other parts of the world and of those confined to the archipelago, are common to the several islands; and we may infer from the present manner of distribution that they have spread from one island to the others. But we often take, I think, an erroneous view of the probability of closely allied species invading each other's territory, when put into free intercommunication. Undoubtedly, if one species has any advantage over another, it will in a very brief time wholly or in part supplant it; but if both are equally well fitted for their own places, both will probably hold their separate places for almost any length of time. Being familiar with the fact that many species, naturalised through man's agency, have spread with astonishing rapidity over wide areas, we are apt to infer that most species would thus spread; but we should remember that the species which become naturalised in new countries are not generally closely allied to the aboriginal inhabitants, but are very distinct forms, belonging in a


large proportion of cases, as shown by Alph. de Candolle, to distinct genera. In the Galapagos Archipelago, many even of the birds, though so well adapted for flying from island to island, differ on the different islands; thus there are three closely allied species of mocking-thrush, each confined to its own island. Now let us suppose the mocking-thrush of Chatham Island to be blown to Charles Island, which has its own mocking-thrush; why should it succeed in establishing itself there? We may safely infer that Charles Island is well stocked with its own species, for annually more eggs are laid and young birds hatched than can possibly be reared; and we may infer that the mocking-thrush peculiar to Charles Island is at least as well fitted for its home as is the species peculiar to Chatham Island. Sir C. Lyell and Mr. Wollaston have communicated to me a remarkable fact bearing on this subject; namely, that Madeira and the adjoining islet of Porto Santo possess many distinct but representative species of land-shells, some of which live in crevices of stone; and although large quantities of stone are annually transported from Porto Santo to Madeira, yet this latter island has not become colonised by the Porto Santo species: nevertheless, both islands have been colonised by some European land-shells, which no doubt had some advantage over the indigenous species. From these considerations I think we need not greatly marvel at the endemic species which inhabit the several islands of the Galapagos Archipelago not having all spread from island to island. On the same continent, also, pre-occupation has probably played an important part in checking the commingling of the species which inhabit different districts with nearly the same physical conditions. Thus, the south-east and south-west corners of Australia have nearly the same physical conditions, and are united by continuous land, yet they are inhabited by a vast number of distinct mammals, birds, and plants; so it is, according to Mr. Bates, with the butterflies and other animals inhabiting the great, open, and continuous valley of the Amazons. The same principle which governs the general character of the inhabitants of oceanic islands, namely, the relation to the source whence colonists could have been most easily derived, together with their subsequent modification, is of the widest application throughout nature. We see this on every mountain-summit, in every lake and marsh. For Alpine species, excepting in as far as the same species have become widely spread during the Glacial epoch, are related to those of the surrounding lowlands; thus we have in South America, Alpine humming-birds, Alpine rodents, Alpine plants, etc., all strictly belonging to American forms; and it is obvious that a mountain, as it became slowly upheaved, would be


colonised from the surrounding lowlands. So it is with the inhabitants of lakes and marshes, excepting in so far as great facility of transport has allowed the same forms to prevail throughout large portions of the world. We see the same principle in the character of most of the blind animals inhabiting the caves of America and of Europe. Other analogous facts could be given. It will, I believe, be found universally true, that wherever in two regions, let them be ever so distant, many closely allied or representative species occur, there will likewise be found some identical species; and wherever many closely-allied species occur, there will be found many forms which some naturalists rank as distinct species, and others as mere varieties; these doubtful forms showing us the steps in the process of modification. The relation between the power and extent of migration in certain species, either at the present or at some former period, and the existence at remote points of the world of closely allied species, is shown in another and more general way. Mr. Gould remarked to me long ago, that in those genera of birds which range over the world, many of the species have very wide ranges. I can hardly doubt that this rule is generally true, though difficult of proof. Among mammals, we see it strikingly displayed in Bats, and in a lesser degree in the Felidae and Canidae. We see the same rule in the distribution of butterflies and beetles. So it is with most of the inhabitants of fresh water, for many of the genera in the most distinct classes range over the world, and many of the species have enormous ranges. It is not meant that all, but that some of the species have very wide ranges in the genera which range very widely. Nor is it meant that the species in such genera have, on an average, a very wide range; for this will largely depend on how far the process of modification has gone; for instance, two varieties of the same species inhabit America and Europe, and thus the species has an immense range; but, if variation were to be carried a little further, the two varieties would be ranked as distinct species, and their range would be greatly reduced. Still less is it meant, that species which have the capacity of crossing barriers and ranging widely, as in the case of certain powerfully-winged birds, will necessarily range widely; for we should never forget that to range widely implies not only the power of crossing barriers, but the more important power of being victorious in distant lands in the struggle for life with foreign associates. But according to the view that all the species of a genus, though distributed to the most remote points of the world, are descended from a single progenitor, we ought to find, and I believe as a


412 .general rule we do find. from geological evidence. as alpine. We should bear in mind that many genera in all classes are of ancient origin. together with the subsequent adaptation of the colonists to their new homes. The relations just discussed—namely. that the lower any group of organisms stands the more widely it ranges. This fact. consequently they will have had a better chance of ranging widely and of still retaining the same specific character. but are explicable if we admit colonisation from the nearest or readiest source. lower organisms ranging more widely than the higher—some of the species of widely-ranging genera themselves ranging widely—such facts. together with that of the seeds and eggs of most lowly organised forms being very minute and better fitted for distant transportal. and the species in this case will have had ample time for dispersal and subsequent modification. namely. probably accounts for a law which has long been observed. that some at least of the species range very widely. lacustrine. and marsh productions being generally related to those which live on the surrounding low lands and dry lands—the striking relationship between the inhabitants of islands and those of the nearest mainland—the still closer relationship of the distinct inhabitants of the islands of the same archipelago—are inexplicable on the ordinary view of the independent creation of each species. that within each great class the lower organisms change at a slower rate than the higher. de Candolle in regard to plants. There is also reason to believe. and which has lately been discussed by Alph.

are descended from common parents. which have certainly occurred within the recent period.5. enormous periods of time having been thus granted for their migration. and likewise of the several species belonging to the same genus. they are often great. which affected even the equatorial regions. the difficulties are far from insuperable. With respect to distinct species belonging to the same genus. by various general considerations. more especially from the importance of barriers of all kinds. and which. if we make the same allowances as before for our ignorance. If the difficulties be not insuperable in admitting that in the long course of time all the individuals of the same species. and families. and remember that some forms of life have changed very slowly. As exemplifying the effects of climatical changes on distribution. in not only separating but in apparently forming the several zoological and 413 . have proceeded from some one source. I have attempted to show how important a part the last Glacial period has played. and from the analogical distribution of subgenera. Summary Of The Last And Present Chapters In these chapters I have endeavoured to show that if we make due allowance for our ignorance of the full effects of changes of climate and of the level of the land. though in this case. I have discussed at some little length the means of dispersal of fresh-water productions. as in that of the individuals of the same species. how often a species may have ranged continuously over a wide area. which has been arrived at by many naturalists under the designation of single centres of creation. whether of land or water. We can thus understand the high importance of barriers. and then have become extinct in the intermediate tracts—the difficulty is not insuperable in believing that all the individuals of the same species. together with subsequent modification and the multiplication of new forms. then all the grand leading facts of geographical distribution are explicable on the theory of migration. As showing how diversified are the means of occasional transport. allowed the productions of opposite hemispheres to mingle. wherever found. and left some of them stranded on the mountain-summits in all parts of the world. genera. and this is a very important consideration. And we are led to this conclusion. during the alternations of the cold in the north and the south. which on our theory have spread from one parent-source. and of other changes which have probably occurred—if we remember how ignorant we are with respect to the many curious means of occasional transport—if we bear in mind.

but that of these. in islands. we can see why two areas. infinitely diversified conditions of life. why oceanic islands should have few inhabitants. but less closely. in South America. even within the same class. according or not as those which entered happened to come into more or less direct competition with each other and with the aborigines. We can see why whole groups of organisms. some developed in great force. are linked together in so mysterious a manner. and according as the immigrants were capable of varying more or less rapidly. We can thus understand the concentration of related species within the same areas. of the forests. there would be an almost endless amount of organic action and reaction. though specifically distinct on the several islets. a large proportion should be endemic or peculiar. whilst the most isolated islands should possess their own peculiar species of aerial mammals or bats. for according to the length of time which has elapsed since the colonists entered one of the regions. and we should find some groups of beings greatly. if there exist very closely allied or 414 . and should likewise be related. should have all its species the same with those in an adjoining quarter of the world. there should be some relation between the presence of mammals. On these same principles we can understand. there would ensue in the to or more regions. and deserts. Bearing in mind that the mutual relation of organism to organism is of the highest importance. and how it is that under different latitudes. as batrachians and terrestrial mammals. having nearly the same physical conditions. independently of their physical conditions. to those of the nearest continent. We can clearly see why all the inhabitants of an archipelago. in a more or less modified condition. either in greater or lesser numbers. the inhabitants of the plains and mountains. or both. in relation to the means of migration. for instance. should be absent from oceanic islands. We can see why.botanical provinces. should often be inhabited by very different forms of life. and are likewise linked to the extinct beings which formerly inhabited the same continent. or other source whence immigrants might have been derived. some existing in scanty numbers—and this we do find in the several great geographical provinces of the world. and another group. as I have endeavoured to show. and why. one group of beings should have all its species peculiar. We can see why. should be closely related to each other. and the depth of the sea between such islands and the mainland. according to the nature of the communication which allowed certain forms and not others to enter. marshes. and some only slightly modified.

We see this in many facts. or to those which have changed after having migrated into distant quarters. In both time and space the lowly organised members of each class generally change less than the highly organised. some identical species will almost always there be found. but there are in both cases marked exceptions to the rule. is continuous. the laws governing the succession of forms in past times being nearly the same with those governing at the present time the differences in different areas. 415 . As the late Edward Forbes often insisted. or by the species having become extinct in the intermediate tracts. or through occasional means of transport. In looking to the long succession of past ages. or only in a different section of the same order. which are not rare. whilst those in another class. Groups of species. as of sculpture or colour. but which occur above and below: so in space. or by a group of species. in both cases they are connected by the same bond of ordinary generation. as I have attempted to show. or living within the same area. as in looking to distant provinces throughout the world.representative species in two areas. for the apparent exceptions to the rule are so few that they may fairly be attributed to our not having as yet discovered in an intermediate deposit certain forms which are absent in it. be accounted for by former migrations under different circumstances. in both cases the laws of variation have been the same. however distant from each other. and the exceptions. Both in time and space species and groups of species have their points of maximum development. may. living during the same period of time. there is a striking parallelism in the laws of life throughout time and space. and modifications have been accumulated by the same means of natural selection. it certainly is the general rule that the area inhabited by a single species. are often characterised by trifling features in common. The endurance of each species and group of species is continuous in time. According to our theory. for whether we look to the allied forms of life which have changed during successive ages. these several relations throughout time and space are intelligible. differ greatly from each other. we find that species in certain classes differ little from each other.

groups subordinate to groups — Natural system — Rules and difficulties in classification. and being inherited at a corresponding age — Rudimentary organs. explained by variations not supervening at an early age.Rudimentary Organs Classification. laws of. complex and radiating — Extinction separates and defines groups — Morphology. between parts of the same individual — Embryology. explained on the theory of descent with modification — Classification of varieties — Descent always used in classification — Analogical or adaptive characters — Affinities. general. 416 . between members of the same class.Chapter 14 Mutual Affinities Of Organic Beings: Morphology -Embryology -. their origin explained — Summary.

though 417 . of these several principles. tend to go on increasing in size. But the three genera on the left hand have. and so on. which vary most. or incipient species. but the case is widely different. for all are descended from one ancient parent. and which generally include many dominant species. ultimately become converted into new and distinct species. for it is notorious how commonly members of even the same subgroup have different habits. so that they can be classed in groups under groups. if one group had been exclusively fitted to inhabit the land. and. one to feed on flesh. which diverged from a common parent at the fifth stage of descent. and these. on Variation and on Natural Selection. and by certain facts in naturalisation. I have attempted to show that within each country it is the widely ranging. I attempted also to show that there is a steady tendency in the forms which are increasing in number and diverging in character. that the modified descendants proceeding from one progenitor become broken up into groups subordinate to groups. in any small area. In the diagram each letter on the uppermost line may represent a genus including several species.1. have inherited something in common. they constantly tend to diverge in character. consequently. belonging to the larger genera in each class. I further attempted to show that from the varying descendants of each species trying to occupy as many and as different places as possible in the economy of nature. and form a subfamily. and he will see that the inevitable result is. Consequently the groups which are now large. Classification From the most remote period in the history of the world organic beings have been found to resemble each other in descending degrees. to supplant and exterminate the preceding. and the whole of the genera along this upper line form together one class. much in common. that is the dominant species. the much diffused and common. The varieties. In the second and fourth chapters. as formerly explained. tend to produce other new and dominant species. This classification is not arbitrary like the grouping of the stars in constellations. another on vegetable matter. come into the closest competition. This latter conclusion is supported by observing the great diversity of forms. thus produced. and another the water. I request the reader to turn to the diagram illustrating the action. on this same principle. less divergent and less improved forms. on the principle of inheritance. distinct from that containing the next two genera on the right hand. The existence of groups would have been of simple significance. which. These five genera have also much in common.

general propositions—that is. by one sentence to give the characters common. and no other explanation has ever been attempted. they believe that it reveals the plan of the Creator. to all mammals. namely. but unless it be specified whether order in time or space. and no cause can at present be assigned for their falling into groups. though observed by various degrees of modification. The grand fact of the natural subordination of organic beings in groups under groups. can be classed in many ways. I believe that this is the case. it seems to me that nothing is thus added to our knowledge. try to arrange the species. And all these genera. But what is meant by this system? Some authors look at it merely as a scheme for arranging together those living objects which are most alike. either artificially by single characters. or as an artificial method of enunciating. which we often meet with in a more or less concealed form. descended from (A). is in my judgment thus explained. a full description is given of each kind of dog. genera and families in each class. and the genera into subfamilies. which. But many naturalists think that something more is meant by the Natural System. Naturalists. and for separating those which are most unlike. and then. seem to imply that some deeper bond is included in our classifications than mere resemblance. or both. and the view above given accords with their natural arrangement in group under group. all under one great class. by adding a single sentence. for instance. does not always sufficiently strike us. by another those common to all carnivora. by another those common to the doggenus. as briefly as possible. but that the genus gives the characters. from its familiarity. for instance. Expressions such as that famous one by Linnaeus. which. that minerals and the elemental substances can be thus arranged. No doubt organic beings. In this case there is of course no relation to genealogical succession. and they form a family distinct from that containing the three genera still further to the right hand. families and orders. 418 . form an order distinct from the genera descended from (I). like all other objects. or what else is meant by the plan of the Creator. on what is called the Natural System. that the characters do not make the genus. as we have seen. So that we here have many species descended from a single progenitor grouped into genera. But with organic beings the case is different. and that community of descent—the one known cause of close similarity in organic beings—is the bond. or more naturally by a number of characters. The ingenuity and utility of this system are indisputable. is partially revealed to us by our classifications.less than when grouped in subfamilies. We know. which diverged at an earlier period.

Robert Brown." Again. whereas the organs of reproduction. in formerly discussing certain morphological characters which are not functionally important.Let us now consider the rules followed in classification. is almost proved by the fact. No naturalist can have worked at any group without being struck with this fact. We are least likely in the modifications of these organs to mistake a merely adaptive for an essential character. but. are ranked as merely "adaptive or analogical characters. and it has been fully acknowledged in the writings of almost every author. the 419 . as of any importance. These resemblances. the more important it becomes for classification. I have always regarded as affording very clear indications of its true affinities. of a whale to a fish. as we have every reason to suppose. "The generative organs. in another work he says. It might have been thought (and was in ancient times thought) that those parts of the structure which determined the habits of life. which acts only on serviceable characters. "like that of all their parts. As an instance: Owen. not only in this. we have seen that they are often of the highest service in classification. in speaking of certain organs in the Proteaceae. and their constancy chiefly depends on any slight deviations not having been preserved and accumulated by natural selection. and in some cases seems to be entirely lost. is very unequal. and the general place of each being in the economy of nature." but to the consideration of these resemblances we shall recur. who. with their product the seed and embryo. and the difficulties which are encountered on the view that classification either gives some unknown plan of creation. It may even be given as a general rule. It will suffice to quote the highest authority. would be of very high importance in classification. says their generic importance. on which their nutrition and life depend. has nearly the same physiological value. being those which are most remotely related to the habits and food of an animal. that in allied groups. says. are of little signification. No one regards the external similarity of a mouse to a shrew. That the mere physiological importance of an organ does not determine its classificatory value. its classificatory value is widely different." With plants how remarkable it is that the organs of vegetation. of a dugong to a whale. in which the same organ. are of paramount importance! So again. in speaking of the dugong. Nothing can be more false. though so intimately connected with the whole life of the being. that the less any part of the organisation is concerned with special habits. as I apprehend in every natural family. or is simply a scheme for enunciating general propositions and of placing together the forms most like each other. This depends on their constancy throughout many allied groups.

though here even. Numerous instances could be given of characters derived from parts which must be considered of very trifling physiological importance. undoubtedly. whether or not there is an open passage from the nostrils to the mouth. in the Vertebrata. Any number of instances could be given of the varying importance for classification of the same important organ within the same group of beings. If the Ornithorhynchus had been covered with feathers instead of hair. they appear insufficient to separate Cnestis from Connarus. it has been found that a 420 . Again. both of high physiological importance. and yet leave us in no doubt where it should be ranked. are highly serviceable in exhibiting the close affinity between Ruminants and Pachyderms. No one will dispute that the rudimentary teeth in the upper jaws of young ruminants. when all taken together. yet. a species may depart from its allies in several characters. which absolutely distinguishes fishes and reptiles—the inflection of the angle of the lower jaw in Marsupials—the manner in which the wings of insects are folded—mere colour in certain Algae—mere pubescence on parts of the flower in grasses—the nature of the dermal covering. Hence. also. and of almost universal prevalence. mainly depends on their being correlated with many other characters of more or less importance. this external and trifling character would have been considered by naturalists as an important aid in determining the degree of affinity of this strange creature to birds. as hair or feathers. no one will say that rudimentary or atrophied organs are of high physiological or vital importance. Hence. as Westwood has remarked. according to Owen. in the existence or absence of albumen. of trifling