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among forms implying a climate very little different from the present; and our own Crag formation furnishes evidence of a gradual refrigeration of climate; since its three divisions, the Coralline, Red, and Norwich Crags, show a decreasing number of southern, and an increasing number of northern species, as we approach the Glacial epoch. Still later than these we have the shells of the drift, almost all of which are northern and many of them arctic species. Among the mammalia indicative of cold, are the mammoth and the reindeer. In gravels and cavedeposits of Post-Pliocene date we find the same two animals, which soon disappear as the climate approached its present condition; and Professor Forbes has given a list of fifty shells which inhabited the British seas before the Glacial epoch and inhabit it still, but are all wanting in the glacial deposits. The whole of these are found in the Newer Pliocene strata of Sicily and the south of Europe, where they escaped destruction during the glacial winter.
There are also certain facts in the distribution of plants, which are so well explained by the Glacial epoch that they may be said to give an additional confirmation to it. All over the northern hemisphere within the glaciated districts, the summits of lofty mountains produce plants identical with those of the polar regions. In the celebrated case of the White Mountains in New Hampshire, United States (latitude 45°), all the plants on the summit are arctic species, none of which exist in the lowlands for near a thousand miles further north. It has also been remarked that the plants of each mountain are more especially related to those of the countries directly north of it. Thus, those of the Pyrenees and of Scotland are Scandinavian, and those of the White Mountains are all species found in Labrador. Now, remembering that we have evidence of an exceedingly mild and uniform climate in the arctic regions during the Miocene period and a gradual refrigeration from that time, it is evident that with each degree of change more and more hardy plants would be successively driven southwards; till at last the plains of the temperate zone would be inhabited by plants, which were once confined to alpine heights or to the arctic regions.
As the icy mantle gradually melted off the face of the earth these plants would occupy the newly exposed soil, and would thus necessarily travel in two directions, back towards the arctic circle and up towards the alpine peaks. The facts are thus exactly explained by a cause which independent evidence has proved to be a real one, and every such explanation is an additional proof of the reality of the cause. But this explanation implies, that in cases where the Glacial epoch cannot have so acted alpine plants should not be northern plants; and a striking proof of this is to be found on the Peak of Teneriffe, a mountain 12,000 feet high. In the uppermost 4,500 feet of this mountain above the limit of trees, Von Buch found only eleven species of plants, eight of which were peculiar; but the whole were allied to those found at lower elevations. On the Alps or Pyrenees at this elevation, there would be a rich flora comprising hundreds of arctic plants; and the absence of anything corresponding to them in this case, in which their ingress was cut off by the sea, is exactly what the theory leads us to expect.
Changes of Vegetation as affecting the Distribution of Animals. -As so many animals are dependent on vegetation, its changes immediately affect their distribution. A remarkable example of this is afforded by the pre-historic condition of Denmark, as interpreted by means of the peat-bogs and kitchen-middens. This country is now celebrated for its beech-trees; oaks and pines being scarce ; and it is known to have had the same vegetation in the time of the Romans. In the peat-bogs, however, are found deposits of oak trees; and deeper still pines alone occur. Now the kitchen-middens tell us much of the natural history of Denmark in the early Stone period; and a curious confirmation of the fact that Denmark like Norway was then chiefly covered with pine forests is obtained by the discovery, that the Capercailzie was then abundant, a bird which feeds almost exclusively on the young shoots and seeds of pines and allied plants. The cause of this change in the vegetation is unknown; but from the known fact that when forests are destroyed trees, of a different kind usually occupy the ground, we may suppose that some such change as a temporary submergence might cause an entirely
different vegetation and a considerably modified fauna to occupy the country.
Organic Changes as affecting Distribution. We have now briefly touched on some of the direct effects of changes in physical geography, climate, and vegetation, on the distribution of animals; but the indirect effects of such changes are probably of quite equal, if not of greater importance. Every change becomes the centre of an ever-widening circle of effects. The different members of the organic world are so bound together by complex relations, that any one change generally involves numerous other changes, often of the most unexpected kind. We know comparatively little of the way in which one animal or plant is bound up with others, but we know enough to assure us that groups the most apparently disconnected are often dependent on each other. We know, for example, that the introduction of goats into St. Helena utterly destroyed a whole flora of forest trees; and with them all the insects, mollusca, and perhaps birds directly or indirectly dependent on them. Swine, which ran wild in Mauritius, exterminated the Dodo. The same animals are known to be the greatest enemies of venomous serpents. Cattle will, in many districts, wholly prevent the growth of trees; and with the trees the numerous insects dependent on those trees, and the birds which fed upon the insects, must disappear, as well as the small mammalia which feed on the fruits, seeds, leaves, or roots. Insects again have the most wonderful influence on the range of mammalia. In Paraguay a certain species of fly abounds which destroys new-born cattle and horses; and thus neither of these animals have run wild in that country, although they abound both north and south of it. This inevitably leads to a great difference in the vegetation of Paraguay, and through that to a difference in its insects, birds, reptiles, and wild mammalia. On what causes the existence of the fly depends we do not know, but it is not improbable that some comparatively slight changes in the temperature or humidity of the air at a particular season, or the introduction of some enemy might lead to its extinction or banishment. The whole face of the country would then soon be changed: new species would
come in, while many others would be unable to live there; and the immediate cause of this great alteration would probably be quite imperceptible to us, even if we could watch it in progress year by year. So, in South Africa, the celebrated Tsetse fly inhabits certain districts having well defined limits; and where it abounds no horses, dogs, or cattle can live. Yet asses, zebras, and antelopes are unaffected by it. So long as this fly continues to exist, there is a living barrier to the entrance of certain animals, quite as effectual as a lofty mountain range or a wide arm of the sea. The complex relations of one form of life with others is nowhere better illustrated than in Mr. Darwin's celebrated case of the cats and clover, as given in his Origin of Species, 6th ed., p. 57. He has observed that both wild heartsease and red-clover are fertilized in this country by humble-bees only, so that the production of seed depends on the visits of these insects. A gentleman who has specially studied humble-bees finds that they are largely kept down by field-mice, which destroy their combs and nests. Field-mice in their turn are kept down by cats; and probably also by owls; so that these carnivorous animals are really the agents in rendering possible the continued existence of red-clover and wild heartsease. For if they were absent, the field-mice having no enemies, would multiply to such an extent as to destroy all the humble-bees; and these two plants would then produce no seed and soon become extinct.
Mr. Darwin has also shown that one species often exterminates another closely allied to it, when the two are brought into contact. One species of swallow and thrush are known to have increased at the expense of allied species. Rats, carried all over the world by commerce, are continually extirpating other species of rats. The imported hive-bee is, in Australia, rapidly exterminating a native stingless bee. Any slight change, therefore, of physical geography or of climate, which allows allied species hitherto inhabiting distinct areas to come into contact, will often lead to the extermination of one of them; and this extermination will be effected by no external force, by no actual enemy, but merely because the one is slightly better
adapted to live, to increase, and to maintain itself under adverse circumstances, than the other.
Now if we consider carefully the few suggestive facts here referred to (and many others of like import are to be found in Mr. Darwin's various works), we shall be led to conclude that the several species, genera, families, and orders, both of animals and vegetables which inhabit any extensive region, are bound together by a series of complex relations; so that the increase, diminution, or extermination of any one, may set in motion a series of actions and reactions more or less affecting a large portion of the whole, and requiring perhaps centuries of fluctuation before the balance is restored. The range of any species or group in such a region, will in many cases (perhaps in most) be determined, not by physical barriers, but by the competition of other organisms. Where barriers have existed from a remote epoch, they will at first have kept back certain animals from coming in contact with each other ; but when the assemblage of organisms on the two sides of the barrier have, after many ages, come to form a balanced organic whole, the destruction of the barrier may lead to a very partial intermingling of the peculiar forms of the two regions. Each will have become modified in special ways adapted to the organic and physical conditions of the country, and will form a living barrier to the entrance of animals less perfectly adapted to those conditions. Thus while the abolition of ancient barriers will always lead to much interniixture of forms, much extermination and widespread alteration in some families of animals; other important groups will be unable materially to alter their range; or they may make temporary incursions into the new territory, and be ultimately driven back to very near their ancient limits.
In order to make this somewhat difficult subject more intelligible, it may be well to consider the probable effects of certain hypothetical conditions of the earth's surface :
1. If the dry land of the globe had been from the first continuous, and nowhere divided up by such boundaries as lofty mountain ranges, wide deserts, or arms of the sea, it seems probable that none of the larger groups (as orders, tribes, or