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The present volume consists mainly of a reprint of two volumes of essays Contributions to the Theory of Natural Selection, which appeared in 1870, with a second edition in 1871, and has now been many years out of print; and, Tropical Nature and Other Essays, which appeared in 1878.

In preparing a new edition of these works to appear as a single volume I have thought it advisable to omit two essays—that on “The Malayan Papilionida" as being too technical for general readers, and that on “The Distribution of Animals as indicating Geographical Changes,” which contains nothing that is not more fully treated in my other works. Another essay — “By - Paths in the Domain of Biology”—has also been partly omitted, one portion of it forming a short chapter on “The Antiquity and Origin of Man,” while another portion has been incorporated in the chapter on “The Colours of Animals and Sexual Selection.” More than compensating for these omissions are two new chapters—"The Antiquity of Man in North America ” and "The Debt of Science to Darwin.”

Many corrections and some important additions have been made to the text, the chief of which are indicated in the table given below; and to facilitate reference the two original works have separate headings, and form Parts I. and II. of the present volume.


Instinct or Reason in the Construction of Birds' Nests-Do Men build by

Reason or by Imitation ?-Why does each Bird build a peculiar kind
of Nest?-How do young Birds learn to build their first Nest?
Do Birds sing by Instinct or by Imitation ?-How young Birds may
learn to build Nests—The Skill exhibited in Nest-building Ex-
aggerated - Man's Works mainly Imitative- Birds do Alter and
Improve their Nests when altered Conditions requirc it-Conclusion



Laws from which the Origin of Species may be deduced—Mr. Darwin's

Metaphors liable to Misconception-A case of Orchid-structure ex-

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