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OriginOfSpecies - 475 Rows
Column Type #Values Column Stats
id int(11) 475 Column Stats
subject varchar(80) 14 Column Stats
title varchar(250) 139 Column Stats
ordinal int(11) 30 Column Stats
description text 474 Column Stats

475 rows, page 97 of 119 (4/p)
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12 - Geographical Distribution -- continued 12-30 - Absence of Batrachians and of terrestrial Mammals 30 But as these animals and their spawn are known to be immediately killed by sea-water, on my view we can see that there would be great difficulty in their transportal across the sea, and therefore why they do not exist on any oceanic island.

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, but have not finished my search; as yet I 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 connected with the mainland; moreover, icebergs formerly brought boulders to its western shores, and they may have formerly transported foxes, as so frequently now happens in the arctic regions.

Falkland Islands
Falkland Islands

Falkland Islands Wolf
Falkland Islands Wolf
12 - Geographical Distribution -- continued 12-30 - Absence of Batrachians and of terrestrial Mammals 40 Yet it cannot be said that small islands will not support small mammals, for they occur in many parts of the world on very small islands, if 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 thought that mammals appear and disappear at a quicker rate than other and lower animals.

Though 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.

New Zealand
New Zealand

bat
bat

Norfolk Island
Norfolk Island

Viti Archipelago
Viti Archipelago

Bonin Islands
Bonin Islands

Mauritius
Mauritius


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.

Bermuda
Bermuda


I hear from Mr.Tomes, who has specially studied this family, that many of the same 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 through natural selection in their new homes in relation to their new position, and we can understand the presence of endemic bats on islands, with the absence of all terrestrial mammals.
12 - Geographical Distribution -- continued 12-40 - On the relations of the inhabitants of islands to those of the nearest mainland 10 Besides the absence of terrestrial mammals in relation to the remoteness of islands from continents, there is also a relation, to a certain extent independent of distance, between the depth of the sea separating an island from the neighbouring mainland, and the presence in both of the same mammiferous species or of allied species in a more or less modified condition.

Mr. Windsor Earl has made some striking observations on this head in regard to the great Malay Archipelago, which is traversed near Celebes by a space of deep ocean; and this space separates two widely distinct mammalian faunas.

Malayan archipelago
Malayan archipelago

Celebes
Celebes


On either side the islands are situated on moderately deep submarine banks, and they are inhabited by closely allied or identical quadrupeds.

No doubt some few anomalies occur in this great archipelago, and there is much difficulty in forming a judgment in some cases owing to the probable naturalisation of certain mammals through man's agency; but we shall soon have much light thrown on the natural history of this archipelago by the admirable zeal and researches of Mr Wallace.

Alfred Russel Wallace
Alfred Russel Wallace
12 - Geographical Distribution -- continued 12-40 - On the relations of the inhabitants of islands to those of the nearest mainland 20 I have not as yet had time to follow up this subject in all other quarters of the world; but as far as I have gone, the relation generally holds good.

We see Britain separated by a shallow channel from Europe, and the mammals are the same on both sides; we meet with analogous facts on many islands separated by similar channels from Australia.

England
England

europe
europe

Australia
Australia


The West Indian Islands stand on a deeply submerged bank, nearly 1000 fathoms in depth, and here we find American forms, but the species and even the genera are distinct.

As the amount of modification in all cases depends to a certain degree on the lapse of time, and as during changes of level it is obvious that islands separated by shallow channels are more likely to have been continuously united within a recent period to the mainland than islands separated by deeper channels, we can understand the frequent relation between the depth of the sea and the degree of affinity of the mammalian inhabitants of islands with those of a neighbouring continent, an explicable relation on the view of independent acts of creation.