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By Alfred Russell Wallace

The Malay Archipelago is a very available booklet written via famous British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace. A century and a part after it used to be released, this e-book continues to be one of many nice classics of ordinary heritage and commute, on par with Charles Darwin's paintings. jam-packed with a wealth of aspect approximately pre-modern lifestyles within the Indonesian archipelago, The Malay Archipelago is an interesting examine traditional choice.

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The Malay Archipelago

The Malay Archipelago is a very obtainable e-book written via famous British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace. A century and a part after it was once released, this booklet is still one of many nice classics of ordinary historical past and shuttle, on par with Charles Darwin's paintings. jam-packed with a wealth of element approximately pre-modern lifestyles within the Indonesian archipelago, The Malay Archipelago is an engaging examine common choice.

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Sample text

Pascoe, late President of the Entomological Society of London, who has almost completed the classification and description of my large collection of Longicorn beetles (now in his possession), comprising more than a thousand species, of which at least nine hundred were previously undescribed, and new to European cabinets. The remaining orders of insects, comprising probably more than two thousand species, are in the collection of Mr. William Wilson Saunders, who has caused the larger portion of them to be described by good entomologists.

Birds and insects illustrate the same view, for every family, and almost every genus of these groups found in any of the islands occurs also on the Asiatic continent, and in a great number of cases the species are exactly identical. Birds offer us one of the best means of determining the law of distribution; for though at first sight it would appear that the watery boundaries which keep out the land quadrupeds could be easily passed over by birds, yet practically it is not so; for if we leave out the aquatic tribes which are pre-eminently wanderers, it is found that the others (and especially the Passeres, or true perching-birds, which form the vast majority) are often as strictly limited by straits and arms of the sea as are quadrupeds themselves.

In the Galapagos Islands, almost every indigenous living thing is peculiar to them, though closely resembling other kinds found in the nearest parts of the American continent. Most naturalists now admit that these facts can only be explained by the greater or less lapse of time since the islands were upraised from beneath the ocean, or were separated from the nearest land; and this will be generally (though not always) indicated by the depth of the intervening sea. The enormous thickness of many marine deposits through wide areas shows that subsidence has often continued (with intermitting periods of repose) during epochs of immense duration.

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