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Textes en anglaisLyell, Charles, Principles of Geology (extract of Vol. 2) • CHAPTER V.
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CHAPTER V.
NEXT to determining the question whether species have a real existence, the 
consideration of the laws which regulate their geographical distribution is a 
subject of primary importance to the geologist. It is only by studying these 
laws with attention, by observing the position which groups of species occupy at 
present, and inquiring how these may be varied in the course of time by 
migrations, by changes in physical geography, and other causes, that we can hope 
to learn whether the duration of species be limited, or in what manner the state 
of the animate world is affected by the endless vicissitudes of the inanimate.
 

That different regions of the globe are inhabited by entirely distinct animals 
and plants is a fact which has been familiar to all naturalists since Buffon 
first pointed out the want of specific identity between the land quadrupeds of 
America and those of the Old World. The same phenomenon has, in later times, 
been forced, in a striking manner, upon our attention, by the examination of New 
Holland, where the indigenous species of animals and plants were found to be, 
almost without exception, distinct from those known in other parts of the 
world.
 

But the extent of this parcelling out of the globe amongst different nations, as 
they have been termed, of plants and animals, - the universality of a phenomenon 
so extraordinary and unexpected, may be considered as one of the most 
interesting facts clearly established by the advance of modern science, 
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Auteur et directeur de publication : Pietro CORSI, pietro.corsi@history.ox.ac.uk
Hébergement : Centre de Calcul de l'IN2P3-CNRS.