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forms of genera which exist at the present time. This admixture was first noticed by M. Desnoyers, in the marine formations of the faluns of Touraine.* Similar admixtures have been found in Bavaria,f and near Darmstadt.J Many
p. 379.)—The compact lava of Calabria contains 10. of carbonate of lime, and the basalt of Saxony 9. 5.
We may in like manner, refer the origin of those large quantities of silex, which constitute the chert and flint beds of stratified formations, to the waters of hot springs, holding siliceous earth in solution, and depositing it on exposure to reduced degrees of temperature and pressure, as silex is deposited by the hot waters that issue from the geysers of Iceland.
* Here, the remains of Palseotherium, Anthracotherium, and Lophiodon, which formed the prevailing genera in the Eocene period, are found mixed with bones of the Tapir, Mastodon, Rhinoceros, Hippopotamus, and Horse: these bones are fractured and rolled, and sometimes covered with flustra, and must have been derived from carcasses drifted into an estuary, or sea. Annates des Sciences Naturelles. Fevrier, 1828.
t Count Munster and Mr. Murchison have discovered, at Georgensgermind, in Bavaria, the bones of PalaHherium, Anoplotherium, and Anthracotherium, mixed with those of Mastodon, Rhinoceros, Hippopotamus, Horse, Ox, Bear, Fox, &c.; and several species of land shells.
A very interesting detailed description of the remains found at this place has been published by Hermann von Meyer Frankfurt, 1834, 4to. with 14 plates.
t We learn from the excellent publication of Professor Kaup, of Darmstadt, that at Epplesheim, near Altzey, about twelve leagues south of Mayence, remains of the following animals have been found, in strata of sand, referable to the second or Miocene period of the tertiary formations. These are preserved in the Museum at Darmstadt.
Gigantic Herbivorous Animals fifteen
and eighteen feet long.
Allied to Mastodon.
Large Cats, some as large as a Lion.
Allied to Dog, large as a Lion.
of these animals also indicate a lacustrine or swampy condition of the regions they inhabited: one of them, the Dinotherium giganteum (gigantic Tapir of Cuvier,) is calculated to have been eighteen feet in length, and was much the largest of all terrestrial Mammalia yet discovered, exceeding even the largest fossil elephant.
The Dinotherium will be described in a subsequent chapter.
Mammalia of the Pliocene Periods.
The third, and fourth, or Pliocene devisions of the tertiary fresh-water deposites, contain no more traces of the extinct lacustrine genera of the Palaeotherian family, but abound in extinct species of existing genera of Pachydermata, e. g. Elephant, Rhinoceros, Hippopotamus, and Horse, together with the extinct genus Mastodon. With these also occur the first abundant traces of Ruminantia, e. g. Oxen and Deer. The number of Rodentia becomes also enlarged; and the carnivora assume a numerical importance commensurate with the increased numbers of terrestrial herbivora.
The seas, also, of the Miocene and Pliocene periods, were inhabited by marine Mammalia, consisting of Whales, Dolphins, Seals, Walrus, and the Lamantin, or Manati, whose existing species are chiefly found near the coasts and mouths of rivers in the torrid zone (see PI. 1, Figs. 97 to 101.) The presence of the Lamantin adds another argument to those which arise from the tropical character of many other animals, even of the latest tertiary strata, in favour of the opinion, that the climate of Europe maintained a high, though probably a gradually decreasing temperature* even to the latest periods of tertiary formations.
We have many sources of evidence whereby the history of the Pliocene periods is illustrated: First, we have the remains of terrestrial animals, drifted into estuaries or seas, and preserved together with marine shells; such are the Snbapennine marine formations, containing the remains of Elephant, Rhinoceros, &c. and the Crag of Norfolk.*
Secondly, we have similar remains of terrestrial quadrupeds, mixed with fresh-water shells, in strata formed during the same epoch, at the bottom of fresh-water lakes and ponds; such as those which occur in the Val D'Arno, and in the small lacustrine deposite at North Cliff, near Market Weighton, in Yorkshire. (See Phil. Mag. 1829, vol.. vi. p. 225.)
Thirdly, we have remains of the same animals in caverns and fissures of rocks, which formed parts of the dry land during the more recent portions of the same period. Such are the bones collected by Hysenas, in the caves of Kirkdale, Kent's Hole, Lunel, &c: and the bones of Bears in caverns of the limestone rocks of central Germany, and the Grotte d'Osselles, near Besanjon.. Such also are the bones of the osseous breccia, found in fissures of limestone rocks on the northern shores of the Mediterranean, and in similar fissures of limestone at Plymouth, and in the Mendip Hills in Somerset. These are derived chiefly from herbivora which fell into the fissures before they were partially filled with the detritus of a violent inundation.
Fourthly, we have the same remains contained in deposites of diluvial detritus, dispersed over the surface of formations of all ages.
As I have elsewhere (Reliquiae Diluvianaef) entered into
• In the museum at Milan, I have seen a large part of the skeleton of a Rhinoceros, from the Subappennine formation, having. oyster shells attached to many of its bones, in such a manner as to show that the skeleton must have remained undisturbed for a considerable time at the bottom of the sea. Cuvier also states that in the museum at Turin there is the head of an elephant, to which shells of the same kind were similarly attached, and fitted to the form of the bones.
f The evidence which I have collected in my Reliquiae Diluvianae, 1823, shows, that one of the last great physical events that have affected the surface of our globe,, was a violent inundation, which overwhelmed great part of the northern hemisphere, and that this event was followed by the sudden disappearance of a large number of the species of terrestrial quadrupeds, which had inhabited these regions in the period immediately preceding it. I also ventured to apply the name Diluvium to the superficial beds of gravel, clay, and sand, which appear to have been produced by this great irruption of water.
the evidences illustrating the state of animal life, during the period immediately preceding the formation of this diluvium, I must refer to that work for details respecting the nature and habits of the then existing population of the earth. It appears that at this epoch, the whole surface of Europe was densely peopled by various orders of Mammalia; that the numbers of the herbivora were maintained in due proportion by the controlling influence of carnivora; and that the individuals of every species were constructed in a manner fitting each to its own enjoyment of the pleasures of existence, and placing it in due and useful relations to the animal and vegetable kingdoms by which it was surrounded.
The description of the facts that form the evidence presented in this volume, is kept distinct from the question of the identity of the event attested by them, with any deluge recorded in history. Discoveries which have heen made, since the publication of this work, show that many of the animals therein described, existed during more than one geological period preceding the catastrophe by which they were extirpated. Hence it seems more probable, that the event in question, was the last of the many geological revolutions that have been produced by violent irruptions of water, rather than the comparatively tranquil inundation described in the Inspired Narrative.
It has been justly argued, against the attempt to identify these two great historical and natural phenomena, that as the rise and fall of the waters of the Mosaic deluge are described to have been gradual, and of short duration, they would have produced comparatively little change on the surface on the country they overflowed. The large preponderance of extinct species among the animals we find in caves, and in superficial deposites of diluvium, and the non-discovery of human bones along with them, afford other strong reasons for referring these species to a period anterior to the creation of man. This important point, however, cannot be considered as completely settled, till more detailed investigations of the newest members of the Pliocene, and of the diluvial and alluvial formations shall have taken place.
Every comparative anatomist is familiar with the beautiful examples of mechanical contrivance and compensations, which adapt each existing species of herbivora and carnivora to its own peculiar place and state of life. Such contrivances began not with living species: the geologist demonstrates their prior existence in the extinct forms of the same genera which he discovers beneath the surface of the earth, and he claims for the Author of these fossil forms under which the first types of such mechanisms were embodied, the same high attributes of Wisdom and Goodness, the demonstration of which exalts and sanctifies the labours of science, in her investigation of the organizations of the living world.
Relations of the Earth and its Inhabitants to Man.
From the statements which have been made in the preceding chapters, it appears that five principal causes have been instrumental in producing the actual condition of the surface of our globe. First, the passage of the unstratified crystalline rocks, from a fluid to a solid state.—Secondly, The deposition of stratified rocks at the bottom of the ancient seas.—Thirdly, The elevation both of stratified and unstratified rocks from beneath the sea, at successive intervals, to form continents and islands.—Fourthly, Violent inundations; and the decomposing Power of atmospheric agents; producing partial destruction of these lands, and forming, from their detritus, extensive beds of gravel, sand, and clay.—Fifthly, Volcanic eruptions.
We shall form a better estimate of the utility of the com