M Database Inspector (cheetah)
Not logged in. Login


133 rows, page 26 of 34 (4/p)
1 10 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 34

Export to Excel select * from OriginOfSpecies where ordinal = '10' order by subject desc limit 100, 4 (Page 26: Row)
subject Desending Order (top row is last)
title
ordinal
description
04 - Natural Selection 04-04 - Its Power at All Ages and on Both Sexes 10 As we see that those variations which, under domestication, appear at any particular period of life, tend to reappear in the offspring at the same period;- for instance, in the shape, size, and flavour of the seeds of the many varieties of our culinary and agricultural plants; in the caterpillar and cocoon stages of the varieties of the silk-worm; in the eggs of poultry, and in the colour of the down of their chickens; in the horns of our sheep and cattle when nearly adult;- so in a state of nature natural selection will be enabled to act on and modify organic beings at any age, by the accumulation of variations profitable at that age, and by their inheritance at a corresponding age.
Full Size

silkworm
silkworm

egg
egg

poultry
poultry

chicken
chicken

sheep
sheep

cattle
cattle


If it profit a plant to have its seeds more and more widely disseminated by the wind, I can see no greater difficulty in this being effected through natural selection, than in the cotton-planter increasing and improving by selection the down in the pods on his cotton-trees.

cotton
cotton


Natural selection may modify and adapt the larva of an insect to a score of contingencies, wholly different from those which concern the mature insect; and these modifications may affect, through correlation, the structure of the adult.

larva
larva

insect
insect


So, conversely, modifications in the adult may affect the structure of the larva; but in all cases natural selection will ensure that they shall not be injurious: for if they were so, the species would become extinct.
03 - Struggle for Existence 03-08 - Protection from the Number of Individuals 10 When a species, owing to highly favourable circumstances, increases inordinately in numbers in a small tract, epidemics- at least, this seems generally to occur with our game animals- often ensue; and here we have a limiting check independent of the struggle for life.

But even some of these so-called epidemics appear to be due to parasitic worms, which have from some cause, possibly in part through facility of diffusion amongst the crowded animals, been disproportionally favoured: and here comes in a sort of struggle between the parasite and its prey.

worm
worm

parasite
parasite
prey
prey
03 - Struggle for Existence 03-09 - Complex Relations of all Animals and Plants Throughout Nature 10 Many cases are on record showing how complex and unexpected are the checks and relations between organic beings, which have to struggle together in the same country.

I will give only a single instance, which, though a simple one, interested me.

In Staffordshire, on the estate of a relation, where I had ample means of investigation, there was a large and extremely barren heath, which had never been touched by the hand of man; but several hundred acres of exactly the same nature had been enclosed twenty-five years previously and planted with Scotch fir.

The change in the native vegetation of the planted part of the heath was most remarkable, 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, but twelve species of plants (not counting grasses and carices) flourished in the plantations, which could not be found on the heath.

heath
heath

Scotch Fir
Scotch Fir

cattle
cattle


The effect on the insects must have been still greater, for six insectivorous birds were very common in the plantations, which were not to be seen on the heath; and the heath was frequented by two or three distinct insectivorous birds.

Here we see how potent has been the effect of the introduction of a single tree, nothing whatever else having been done, with the exception of the land having been enclosed, so that cattle could not enter.

But how important an element enclosure is, I plainly saw near Farnham, in Surrey. Here there are extensive heaths, with a few clumps of old Scotch firs on the distant hilltops: within the last ten years large spaces have been enclosed, and self-sown firs are now springing up in multitudes, so close together that all cannot live.

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, whence I could examine hundreds of acres of the unenclosed heath, and literally I could not see a single Scotch fir, except the old planted clumps.

But on looking closely between the stems of the heath, I found a multitude of seedlings and little trees which had been perpetually browsed down by the cattle. In one square yard, at a point some hundred yards distant from one of the old clumps, I counted thirty-two little trees; and one of them, with twenty-six rings of growth, had, during many years, tried to raise its head above the stems of the heath, and had failed.

No wonder that, as soon as the land was enclosed, it became thickly clothed with vigorously growing young firs.

Yet the heath was so extremely barren and so extensive that no one would ever have imagined that cattle would have so closely and effectually searched it for food.
03 - Struggle for Existence 03-05 - Nature of the Checks to Increase 10 In looking at Nature, 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; that each lives by a struggle at some period of its life; that heavy destruction inevitably falls either on the young or old, during each generation or at recurrent intervals. Lighten any cheek, mitigate the destruction ever so little, and the number of the species will
almost instantaneously increase to any amount.