Animal Peculiarity Volume 1 Part 2
Rewilded Saving the South China Tiger. Big Cats. Tiger Lord of the Jungle. Animal Planet Tigers Calendar. The Tigers of India Set of 3 Volumes. The Cougar Beautiful Wild and Dangerous. Maneaters and Memories. Carrington Turner. Animal Peculiarity Volume 3 Part 3. Animal Peculiarity Volume 3 Part 6.
Animal Peculiarity Volume 1 Part 1 - 9781494786076
Animal Peculiarity Volume 3 Part 2. Animal Peculiarity Volume 3 Part 4. Animal Peculiarity Volume 3 Part 5. Animal Peculiarity Volume 3 Part 8. Animal Peculiarity Volume 3 Part 7.
Animal Peculiarity Volume 1 Part 7. Animal Peculiarity Volume 2 Part 4. Animal Peculiarity Volume 1 Part 5. As the will of man thus comes into play, we can understand how it is that domesticated breeds show adaptation to his wants and pleasures.
Mohan Mondal, K K Baruah* and C Rajkhowa*
We can further understand how it is that domestic races of animals and cultivated races of plants often exhibit an abnormal character, as compared with natural species; for they have been modified not for their own benefit, but for that of man. In a second work I shall discuss the variability of organic beings in a state of nature; namely, the individual differences presented by animals and plants, and those slightly greater and generally inherited differences which are ranked by naturalists as varieties or geographical races. We shall see how difficult, or rather how impossible it often is, to distinguish between races and sub-species, as the less well-marked forms have sometimes been denominated; and again between sub-species and true species.
I shall further attempt to show that it is the common and widely ranging, or, as they may be called, the dominant species, which most frequently vary; and that it is the large and flourishing genera which include the greatest number of varying species. Varieties, as we shall see, may justly be called incipient species. But it may be urged, granting that organic beings in a state of nature present some varieties,—that their organization is in some slight degree plastic; granting that many animals and plants have varied greatly under domestication, and that man by his power of selection has gone on accumulating such variations until he has made strongly marked and firmly inherited races; granting all this, how, it may be asked, have species arisen in a state of nature?
How do these lesser differences become augmented into the greater difference? How do varieties, or as I have called them incipient species, become converted into true and well-defined species? How has each new species been adapted to the surrounding physical conditions, and to the other forms of life on which it in any way depends?
We see on every side of us innumerable adaptations and contrivances, which have justly excited in the mind of every observer the highest admiration. There is, for instance, a fly Cecidomyia  which deposits its eggs within the stamens of a Scrophularia, and secretes a poison which produces a gall, on which the larva feeds; but there is another insect Misocampus which deposits its eggs within the body of the larva within the gall, and is thus nourished by its living prey; so that here a hymenopterous insect depends on a dipterous insect, and this depends on its power of producing a monstrous growth in a particular organ of a particular plant.
So it is, in a more or less plainly marked manner, in thousands and tens of thousands of cases, with the lowest as well as with the highest productions of nature.
This problem of the conversion of varieties into species,—that is, the augmentation of the slight differences characteristic of varieties into the greater differences characteristic of species and genera, including the admirable adaptations of each being to its complex organic and inorganic conditions of life,—will form the main subject of my second work.
We shall therein see that all organic beings, without exception, tend to increase at so high a ratio, that no district, no station, not even the whole surface of the land or the whole ocean, would hold the progeny of a single pair after a certain number of generations. The inevitable result is an ever-recurrent Struggle for Existence. It has truly been said that all nature is at war; the strongest ultimately prevail, the weakest fail; and we well know that myriads of forms have disappeared from the face of the earth.
This preservation, during the battle for life, of varieties which possess any advantage in structure, constitution, or instinct, I have called Natural Selection; and Mr. Herbert Spencer has well expressed the same idea by the Survival of the Fittest. The term "natural selection" is in some respects a bad one, as it seems to imply conscious choice; but this will be disregarded after a little familiarity. No one objects to chemists speaking of "elective affinity;" and certainly an acid has no more choice in combining with a base, than the conditions of life have in determining whether or not a new form be selected or preserved.
The term is so far a good one as it brings into connection the production of domestic races by man's power of selection, and the natural preservation of varieties and species in a state of nature. For brevity sake I sometimes speak of natural selection as an intelligent power;—in the same way as astronomers speak of the attraction of gravity as ruling the movements of the planets, or as agriculturists speak of man making domestic races by his power of selection. In the one case, as in the other, selection does nothing without variability, and this depends in some manner on the action of the surrounding circumstances on the organism.
Animal peculiarity volume 3 part 2 pdf
I have, also, often personified the word Nature; for I have found it difficult to avoid this ambiguity; but I mean by nature only the aggregate action and product of many natural laws,—and by laws only the ascertained sequence of events. In the chapter devoted to natural selection I shall show from experiment and from a multitude of facts, that the greatest amount of life can be supported on each spot by great diversification or divergence in the structure and constitution of its inhabitants.
We shall, also, see that the continued production of new forms through natural selection, which implies that each new variety has some advantage over others, almost inevitably leads to the extermination of the older and less improved forms. These latter are almost necessarily intermediate in structure as well as in descent between the last-produced forms and their original parent-species.
Role of continental growth in history of life
Now, if we suppose a species to produce two or more varieties, and these in the course of time to produce other varieties, the principle of good being derived from diversification of structure will generally lead to the preservation of the most divergent varieties; thus the lesser differences characteristic of varieties come to be augmented into the greater differences characteristic of species, and, by the extermination of the older intermediate forms, new species come to be distinctly defined objects.
Thus, also, we shall see how it is that organic beings can be classed by what is called a natural method in distinct groups—species under genera, and genera under families. As all the inhabitants of each country may be said, owing to their high rate of reproduction, to be striving to increase in numbers; as each form is related to many other forms in the struggle for life,—for destroy any one and its place will be seized by others; as every part of the organization occasionally varies in some slight degree, and as natural selection acts exclusively by the preservation of variations which are advantageous under the excessively complex conditions to which each being is exposed, no limit exists to the number, singularity, and perfection of the contrivances and co-adaptations which may thus be produced.
An animal or a plant may thus slowly become related in its structure and habits in the most intricate manner to many other animals and plants, and to the physical conditions of its home.
On the principles here briefly sketched out, there is no innate or necessary tendency in each being to its own advancement in the scale of organization. We are almost compelled to look at the specialization or differentiation of parts or organs for different functions as the best or even sole standard of advancement; for by such division of labour each function of body and mind is better performed.
And, as natural selection acts exclusively through the preservation of profitable modifications of structure, and as the conditions of life in each area generally become more and more complex, from the increasing number of different forms which inhabit it and from most of these forms acquiring a more and more perfect structure, we may confidently believe, that, on the whole, organization advances.
Nevertheless a very simple form fitted for very simple conditions of life might remain for indefinite ages unaltered or unimproved; for what would it profit an infusorial animalcule, for instance, or an intestinal worm, to become highly organized? Members of a high group might even become, and this apparently has occurred, fitted for simpler conditions of life; and in this case natural selection would tend to simplify or degrade the organization, for complicated mechanism for simple actions would be useless or even disadvantageous.
In a second work, after treating of the Variation of organisms in a state of nature, of the Struggle for Existence and the principle of Natural Selection, I shall discuss the difficulties which are opposed to the theory. These difficulties may be classed under the following heads:—the apparent impossibility in some cases of a very simple organ graduating by small steps into a highly perfect organ; the marvellous facts of Instinct; the whole question of Hybridity; and, lastly, the absence, at the present time and in our geological formations, of innumerable links connecting all allied species.
Although some of these difficulties are of great weight, we shall see that many of them are explicable on the theory of natural selection, and are otherwise inexplicable. In scientific investigations it is permitted to invent any hypothesis, and if it explains various large and independent classes of facts it rises to the rank of a well-grounded theory.
The principle of natural selection may be looked at as a mere hypothesis, but rendered in some degree probable by what we positively know of the variability of organic beings in a state of nature,—by what we positively know of the struggle for existence, and the consequent almost inevitable preservation of favourable variations,—and from the analogical formation of domestic races.
Now this hypothesis may be tested,—and this seems to me the only fair and legitimate manner of considering the whole question,—by trying whether it explains several large and independent classes of facts; such as the geological succession of organic beings, their distribution in past and present times, and their mutual affinities and homologies. If the principle of natural selection does explain these and other large bodies of facts, it ought to be received.
On the ordinary view of each species having been independently created, we gain no scientific explanation of any one of these facts. We can only say that it has so pleased the Creator to command that the past and present inhabitants of the world should appear in a certain order and in certain areas; that He has impressed on them the most extraordinary resemblances, and has classed them in groups subordinate to groups.
But by such statements we gain no new knowledge; we do not connect together facts and laws; we explain nothing.
In a third work I shall try the principle of natural selection by seeing how far it will give a fair explanation of the several classes of facts just alluded to. It was the consideration of these facts which first led me to take up the present subject. When I visited, during the voyage of H. Beagle , the Galapagos Archipelago, situated in the Pacific Ocean about miles from the shore of South America, I found myself surrounded by peculiar species of birds, reptiles, and plants, existing nowhere else in the world.
Yet they nearly all bore an American stamp. Still more surprising was the fact that most of the inhabitants of each separate island in this small archipelago were specifically different, though most closely related to each other. The archipelago, with its innumerable craters and bare streams of lava, appeared to be of recent origin; and thus I fancied myself brought near to the very act of creation.
I often asked myself how these many peculiar animals and plants had been produced: the simplest answer seemed to be that the inhabitants of the several islands had descended from each other, undergoing modification in the course of their descent; and that all the inhabitants of the archipelago had descended from those of the nearest land, namely America, whence colonists would naturally have been derived.
But it long remained to me an inexplicable problem how the necessary degree of modification could have been effected, and it would have thus remained for ever, had I not studied domestic productions, and thus acquired a just idea of the power of Selection. As soon as I had fully realized this idea, I saw, on reading Malthus on Population, that Natural Selection was the inevitable result of the rapid increase of all organic beings; for I was prepared to appreciate the struggle for existence by having long studied the habits of animals.
Before visiting the Galapagos I had collected many animals whilst travelling from north to south on both sides of America, and everywhere, under conditions of life as different as it is possible to conceive, American forms were met with—species replacing species of the same peculiar genera. Thus it was when the Cordilleras were ascended, or the thick tropical forests penetrated, or the fresh waters of America searched. Subsequently I visited other countries, which in all the conditions of life were incomparably more like to parts of South America, than the different parts of that continent were to each other; yet in these countries, as in Australia or Southern Africa, the traveller cannot fail to be struck with the entire difference of their productions.
Again the reflection was forced on me that community of descent from the early inhabitants or colonists of South America would alone explain the wide prevalence of American types of structure throughout that immense area. An analogous succession of allied forms had been previously observed in Australia.
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Here then we see the prevalence, as if by descent, in time as in space, of the same types in the same areas; and in neither case does the similarity of the conditions by any means seem sufficient to account for the similarity of the forms of life.