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10 - On The Geological Succession of Organic Beings 10-03 - Species once lost do not reappear 10 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 exact 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.

For instance, it is just possible, if our fantail-pigeons were all destroyed, that fanciers, by striving during long ages for the same object, might make a new breed hardly distinguishable from our present fantail; but if the parent rock-pigeon were also destroyed, and in nature we have every reason to believe that the parent-form will generally be supplanted and exterminated by its improved offspring, it is quite incredible that a fantail, identical with the existing breed, could be raised from any other species of pigeon, or even from the other well-established races of the domestic pigeon, for the newly-formed fantail would be almost sure to inherit from its new progenitor some slight characteristic differences.

Fantail Pigeon
Fantail Pigeon

Rock Pigeon
Rock Pigeon