Science in Arcady

Science in Arcady

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Science in Arcady by Grant Allen

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1892

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Science in Arcady

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Book Excerpt

which they migrated, that comparatively little change took place in their forms or habits. Of course, just in proportion as the islands got stocked I noticed that the changes were less and less marked; for each new plant, insect, or bird that established itself successfully tended to make the balance of nature more similar to the one that obtained in the mainland opposite, and so decreased the chances of novelty of variation.

Hence, it struck me that the oldest arrivals were the ones which altered most in adaptation to the circumstances, while the newest, finding themselves in comparatively familiar surroundings, had less occasion to be selected for strange and curious freaks or sports of form or colour.

The peopling of the islands with birds and animals, however, was to me even a more interesting and engrossing study in natural evolution than its peopling by plants, shrubs, and trees. I may as well begin, therefore, by telling you at once that no furry or hairy quadruped of any sort--no mammal,

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