Page:Origin of Species 1872.djvu/324

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down the intervals between existing genera. Cuvier ranked the Ruminants and Pachyderms as two of the most distinct orders of mammals; but so many fossil links have been disentombed that Owen has had to alter the whole classification, and has placed certain Pachyderms in the same sub-order with ruminants; for example, he dissolves by gradations the apparently wide interval between the pig and the camel. The Ungulata or hoofed quadrupeds are now divided into the even-toed or odd-toed divisions; but the Macrauchenia of South America connects to a certain extent these two grand divisions. No one will deny that the Hipparion is intermediate between the existing horse and certain other ungulate forms. What a wonderful connecting link in the chain of mammals is the Typotherium from South America, as the name given to it by Professor Gervais expresses, and which cannot be placed in any existing order. The Sirenia form a very distinct group of the mammals, and one of the most remarkable peculiarities in existing dugong and lamentin is the entire absence of hind limbs, without even a rudiment being left; but the extinct Halitherium had, according to Professor Flower, an ossified thigh-bone "articulated to a well-defined acetabulum in the pelvis," and it thus makes some approach to ordinary hoofed quadrupeds, to which the Sirenia are in other respects allied. The cetaceans or whales are widely different from all other mammals, but the tertiary Zeuglodon and Squalodon, which have been placed by some naturalists in an order by themselves, are considered by Professor Huxley to be undoubtedly cetaceans, "and to constitute connecting links with the aquatic carnivora."

Even the wide interval between birds and reptiles has been shown by the naturalist just quoted to be partially bridged over in the most unexpected manner, on the one hand, by the ostrich and extinct Archeopteryx, and on the other hand by the Compsognathus, one of the Dinosaurians — that group which includes the most gigantic of all terrestrial reptiles. Turning to the Invertebrata, Barrande asserts, a higher authority could not be named, that he is every day taught that, although palæozoic animals can certainly be classed under existing groups, yet that at this ancient period the groups were not so distinctly separated from each other as they now are.

Some writers have objected to any extinct species, or group of species, being considered as intermediate between any two living species, or groups of species. If by this term it is meant that an extinct form is directly intermediate in all its characters between two living forms or groups, the objection is probably valid.