Page images

lusca, as shown in the following table of their range taken from Mr. Woodward's work, but re-arranged, and somewhat modified.

[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

Spiriferidæ, Orthidæ
Atlantidæ, Hyaleidæ
Pyramidellidæ, Turbinida
lanthidæ, Chitonidæ
Aviculidæ, Mytilidæ
Arcadæ, Trigoniadæ
Cyprinidæ, Anatinidæ...
Rhynchonellidæ, Cra-7

niadæ, Disciuidæ
Cardiadæ, Lucinidæ
Naticidæ, Calyptræidæ..
Dentalidæ, Terebratulidae
Fissurellidæ, Tornatellide
Pectinidæ, Solenidæ
Cerithiadæ, Littorini-

dæ, Astartida
Teuthide, Sepiadæ
Neritidæ, Patellidæ, !

Bullidæ Gastrochenidæ, Pholadidæ Limnæidæ, Melaniadæ Chamidæ, Myadæ

[ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Cycladinidae Veneride,

Tellinidæ Hippuritidæ Unionidæ Strombidæ, Buccinidæ Conidæ, Volutidæ Auriculidæ, Cyclostomidæ Mactridæ Limacidæ Argonautidæ Tridacnidæ

[ocr errors]

Nor is this enormous antiquity confined to family types alune. Many genera are equally ancient. The genus Lingula has

existed from the earliest Palæozoic times down to the present day ; while Terebratula, Rhynchonella, Discina, Nautilus, Natica, Pleurotomaria, Patella, Dentalium, Mytilus and many other living forms, range back to the Palæozoic epoch. That groups of such immense antiquity, and having power to resist such vast changes of external conditions as they must have been subject to, should now be widely distributed, is no more than might reasonably be expected. It is only in the case of sub-genera and species, that we can expect the influence of recent geological or climatal changes to be manifest; and it must be left to special students to work out the details of their distribution, with reference to the general principles found to obtain among the more highly organised animals.




HAVING already given summaries of the distribution of the several orders, and of some of the classes of land animals, we propose here to make a few general remarks on the special phenomena presented by the more important groups, and to indicate where possible, the general lines of migration by which they have become dispersed over wide areas.


This class is very important, and its past history is much better known than that of most others. We shall therefore briefly summarise the results we have arrived at from our examination of the distribution of extinct and living forms of each order.

Primates. This order, being pre-eminently a tropical one, became separated into two portions, inhabiting the Eastern and Western Hemispheres respectively, at a very early epoch. In consequence of this separation it has diverged more radically than most other orders, so that the two American families, Cebidæ and Hapalidæ, are widely differentiated from the Apes, Monkeys, and Lemurs of the Old World. The Lemurs were probably still more ancient, but being much lower in organisation, they became extinct in most of the areas where the higher forms of Primates became 'developed. Remains found in the Eocene formation indicate, that the North American and European

Primates had, even at that early epoch, diverged into distinct series, so that we must probably look back to the secondary period for the ancestral form from which the entire order was developed.

Chiroptera.—These are also undoubtedly very ancient. The most generalised forms—the Vespertilionidæ and Noctilionideare the most widely distributed; while special types have arisen in America, and in the Eastern Hemisphere. Remains found in the Upper Eocene formation of Europe differ little from species still living in the same countries ; so that we can forın no conjecture as to the origin or migration of the group. Their power of flight would, however, enable them rapidly to spread over all the great continents of the globe.

Insectivora.-This very ancient group, now probably verging towards extinction, appears to have originated in the Northern continent, and never to have reached Australia or South America. It may, however, have become extinct in the latter country owing to the competition of the numerous Edentata. The Insectivora now often maintain themselves amidst more highly developed forms, by means of some special protection. Some burrow in the earth,—like the moles ; others have a spiny covering,-as the hedgehogs and several of the Centetidæ ; others are aquatic, -as the Potamogale and the desman ; others have a nauseous odour, -as the shrews; while there are several which seem to be preserved by their resemblance to higher forms, -as the elephant-shrews to jerboas, and the tupaias to squirrels. The same need of protection is shown by the numerous Insectivora inhabiting Madagascar, where the competing forms are few; and by one lingering in the Antilles, where there are hardly any other mammalia.

Carnivora.—Although perhaps less ancient than the preceding, this form of mainmal is far more highly organised, and from its earliest appearance appears to have become dominant in the world. It would therefore soon spread widely, and diverge into the various specialised types represented by existing families. Most of these appear to have originated in the Eastern Hemisphere, the only Carnivora occurring in North

American Miocene deposits being ancestral forms of Canidæ and Felidæ. It seems probable, therefore, that the order had attained a considerable development before it reached the Western Hemisphere. The Procyonidæ, now confined to America, are not very ancient; and the occurrence of a few allied forms in the Himalayas (Ælurus and Æluropus) render it probable that their common ancestors entered North America from the Palæarctic region during the Miocene period, but being a rather low type they have succumbed under the competition of higher forms in most parts of the Eastern Hemisphere. Bears and Weasels are probably still more recent emigrants to America. The aquatic carnivora (Seals, &c.) are, as might be expected, more widely and uniformly distributed, but there is little evidence to show at what period the type was first developed.

Ungulata. These are the dominant vegetable-feeders of the great continents, and they have steadily increased in numbers and in specialisation from the oldest Tertiary times to the present day. Being generally of larger size and less active than the Carnivora, they have somewhat more restricted powers of dispersal. We have good evidence that their wide range over the globe is a comparatively recent phenomenon. Tapirs and Llamas have probably not long inbabited South America, while Rhinoceroses and Antelopes were once, perhaps, unknown in Africa, although abounding in Europe and Asia. Swine are one of the most ancient types in both hemispheres; and their great hardiness, their omnivorous diet, and their powers of swimming, have led to their wide distribution. The sheep and goats, on the other hand, are perhaps the most recent development of the Ungulata, and they seem to have arisen in the Palæarctic region at a time when its climate already approximated to that which now prevails. Hence they are pre-eminently a Temperate group, never found within the Tropics except upon a few mountain ranges.

Proboscidea.—These huge animals (the Elephants and Mastodons) appear to have originated in the warmer parts of the Palæarctic region, but they soon spread over all the great

« EelmineJätka »