one. I should have made him shit a little gold before expiring.

Doubt and Doubtbird2023-12-07 12:46:06 12 2

"The increase of speed was equally well marked, and was a direct result of the gradual formation of the limbs. The latter were slowly concentrated by the reduction of their lateral elements and enlargement of the axial bone, until the force exerted by each limb came to act directly through its axis in the line of motion. This concentration is well seen--e.g., in the fore-limb. There was, first, a change in the scapula and humerus, especially in the latter, which facilitated motion in one line only; second, an expansion of the radius and reduction of the ulna, until the former alone remained entire and effective; third, a shortening of all the carpal bones and enlargement of the median ones, insuring a firmer wrist; fourth, an increase of size of the third digit, at the expense of those of each side, until the former alone supported the limb.

one. I should have made him shit a little gold before expiring.

"Such is, in brief, a general outline of the more marked changes that seemed to have produced in America the highly specialized modern Equus from his diminutive four-toed predecessor, the eocene Orohippus. The line of descent appears to have been direct, and the remains now known supply every important intermediate form. It is, of course, impossible to say with certainty through which of the three-toed genera of the pliocene that lived together the succession came. It is not impossible that the latter species, which appear generically identical, are the descendants of more distinct pliocene types, as the persistent tendency in all the earlier forms was in the same direction. Considering the remarkable development of the group through the tertiary period, and its existence even later, it seems very strange that none of the species should have survived, and that we are indebted for our present horse to the Old World."[7]

one. I should have made him shit a little gold before expiring.

These and such-like revelations have come to light in our own time--are, indeed, still being disclosed. Needless to say, no index of any sort now attempts to conceal them; yet something has been accomplished towards the same end by the publication of the discoveries in Smithsonian bulletins and in technical memoirs of government surveys. Fortunately, however, the results have been rescued from that partial oblivion by such interpreters as Professors Huxley and Cope, so the unscientific public has been allowed to gain at least an inkling of the wonderful progress of paleontology in our generation.

one. I should have made him shit a little gold before expiring.

The writings of Huxley in particular epitomize the record. In 1862 he admitted candidly that the paleontological record as then known, so far as it bears on the doctrine of progressive development, negatives that doctrine. In 1870 he was able to "soften somewhat the Brutus-like severity" of his former verdict, and to assert that the results of recent researches seem "to leave a clear balance in favor of the doctrine of the evolution of living forms one from another." Six years later, when reviewing the work of Marsh in America and of Gaudry in Pikermi, he declared that, "on the evidence of paleontology, the evolution of many existing forms of animal life from their predecessors is no longer an hypothesis, but an historical fact." In 1881 he asserted that the evidence gathered in the previous decade had been so unequivocal that, had the transmutation hypothesis not existed, "the paleontologist would have had to invent it."

Since then the delvers after fossils have piled proof on proof in bewildering profusion. The fossil-beds in the "bad lands" of western America seem inexhaustible. And in the Connecticut River Valley near relatives of the great reptiles which Professor Marsh and others have found in such profusion in the West left their tracks on the mud-flats--since turned to sandstone; and a few skeletons also have been found. The bodies of a race of great reptiles that were the lords of creation of their day have been dissipated to their elements, while the chance indentations of their feet as they raced along the shores, mere footprints on the sands, have been preserved among the most imperishable of the memory-tablets of the world.

Of the other vertebrate fossils that have been found in the eastern portions of America, among the most abundant and interesting are the skeletons of mastodons. Of these one of the largest and most complete is that which was unearthed in the bed of a drained lake near Newburg, New York, in 1845. This specimen was larger than the existing elephants, and had tusks eleven feet in length. It was mounted and described by Dr. John C. Warren, of Boston, and has been famous for half a century as the "Warren mastodon."

But to the student of racial development as recorded by the fossils all these sporadic finds have but incidental interest as compared with the rich Western fossil- beds to which we have already referred. From records here unearthed, the racial evolution of many mammals has in the past few years been made out in greater or less detail. Professor Cope has traced the ancestry of the camels (which, like the rhinoceroses, hippopotami, and sundry other forms now spoken of as "Old World," seem to have had their origin here) with much completeness.

A lemuroid form of mammal, believed to be of the type from which man has descended, has also been found in these beds. It is thought that the descendants of this creature, and of the other "Old-World" forms above referred to, found their way to Asia, probably, as suggested by Professor Marsh, across a bridge at Bering Strait, to continue their evolution on the other hemisphere, becoming extinct in the land of their nativity. The ape-man fossil found in the tertiary strata of the island of Java in 1891 by the Dutch surgeon Dr. Eugene Dubois, and named Pithecanthropus erectus, may have been a direct descendant of the American tribe of primitive lemurs, though this is only a conjecture.



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