Definition: group of closely located islands
Definition: group of closely located islands
Sentences Containing 'archipelago'
said he,``I have traveled through Sicily and Calabria I have sailed two months in the Archipelago, and yet I never saw even the shadow of a bandit or a pirate.''
The count purchased an island in the Tuscan archipelago, and, as he told you to day, has founded a commandery.
First, those colonies, in preparing themselves for their non-importation agreement, drained Great Britain completely of all the commodities which were fit for their market; secondly, the extra ordinary demand of the Spanish flota has, this year, drained Germany and the north of many commodities, linen in particular, which used to come into competition, even in the British market, with the manufactures of Great Britain; thirdly, the peace between Russia and Turkey has occasioned an extraordinary demand from the Turkey market, which, during the distress of the country, and while a Russian fleet was cruizing in the Archipelago, had been very poorly supplied; fourthly, the demand of the north of Europe for the manufactures of Great Britain has been increasing from year to year, for some time past; and, fifthly, the late partition, and consequential pacification of Poland, by opening the market of that great country, have, this year, added an extraordinary demand from thence to the increasing demand of the north.
I have more especially been induced to do this, as Mr. Wallace, who is now studying the natural history of the Malay Archipelago, has arrived at almost exactly the same general conclusions that I have on the origin of species.
Thus, Mr. Wallace, who has lately called attention to the subject, has shown that the females of certain species of butterflies, in the Malayan Archipelago, regularly appear under two or even three conspicuously distinct forms, not connected by intermediate varieties.
Mr. Wallace, for instance, describes a certain butterfly which presents in the same island a great range of varieties connected by intermediate links, and the extreme links of the chain closely resemble the two forms of an allied dimorphic species inhabiting another part of the Malay Archipelago.
Mr. Wallace, in several valuable papers on the various animals, especially on the Lepidoptera, inhabiting the islands of the great Malayan Archipelago, shows that they may be classed under four heads, namely, as variable forms, as local forms, as geographical races or sub-species, and as true representative species.
When, on the other hand, an animal or plant ranges over the same continent, or inhabits many islands in the same archipelago, and presents different forms in the different areas, there is always a good chance that intermediate forms will be discovered which will link together the extreme states; and these are then degraded to the rank of varieties.
Without here entering on further details I may state that I have collected cases of leg and shoulder stripes in horses of very different breeds in various countries from Britain to Eastern China; and from Norway in the north to the Malay Archipelago in the south.
A trailing palm in the Malay Archipelago climbs the loftiest trees by the aid of exquisitely constructed hooks clustered around the ends of the branches, and this contrivance, no doubt, is of the highest service to the plant; but as we see nearly similar hooks on many trees which are not climbers, and which, as there is reason to believe from the distribution of the thorn-bearing species in Africa and South America, serve as a defence against browsing quadrupeds, so the spikes on the palm may at first have been developed for this object, and subsequently have been improved and taken advantage of by the plant, as it underwent further modification and became a climber.
In the case of an extensive and shallow sea, such as that within a large part of the Malay Archipelago, where the depth varies from thirty or forty to sixty fathoms, a widely extended formation might be formed during a period of elevation, and yet not suffer excessively from denudation during its slow upheaval; but the thickness of the formation could not be great, for owing to the elevatory movement it would be less than the depth in which it was formed; nor would the deposit be much consolidated, nor be capped by overlying formations, so that it would run a good chance of being worn away by atmospheric degradation and by the action of the sea during subsequent oscillations of level.
On the other hand, during subsidence, the inhabited area and number of inhabitants will decrease (excepting on the shores of a continent when first broken up into an archipelago), and consequently during subsidence, though there will be much extinction, few new varieties or species will be formed; and it is during these very periods of subsidence that the deposits which are richest in fossils have been accumulated.
The Malay Archipelago is about the size of Europe from the North Cape to the Mediterranean, and from Britain to Russia; and therefore equals all the geological formations which have been examined with any accuracy, excepting those of the United States of America.
I fully agree with Mr. Godwin-Austen, that the present condition of the Malay Archipelago, with its numerous large islands separated by wide and shallow seas, probably represents the former state of Europe, while most of our formations were accumulating.
The Malay Archipelago is one of the richest regions in organic beings; yet if all the species were to be collected which have ever lived there, how imperfectly would they represent the natural history of the world!
Even throughout the extensive and shallow seas within the archipelago, sedimentary beds could hardly be accumulated of great thickness during the periods of elevation, or become capped and protected by subsequent deposits, so as to have a good chance of enduring to a very distant future.
It is also probable that each great period of subsidence would be interrupted by oscillations of level, and that slight climatical changes would intervene during such lengthy periods; and in these cases the inhabitants of the archipelago would migrate, and no closely consecutive record of their modifications could be preserved in any one formation.
Even at this day, if the Malay Archipelago were converted into land, the tropical parts of the Indian Ocean would form a large and perfectly enclosed basin, in which any great group of marine animals might be multiplied; and here they would remain confined, until some of the species became adapted to a cooler climate, and were enabled to double the southern capes of Africa or Australia, and thus reach other and distant seas.
Hartung to inquire whether he had observed erratic boulders on these islands, and he answered that he had found large fragments of granite and other rocks, which do not occur in the archipelago.
This extension of the same temperate forms, almost under the equator, across the whole continent of Africa and to the mountains of the Cape Verde archipelago, is one of the most astonishing facts ever recorded in the distribution of plants.
If we compare, for instance, the number of endemic land-shells in Madeira, or of endemic birds in the Galapagos Archipelago, with the number found on any continent, and then compare the area of the island with that of the continent, we shall see that this is true.
New Zealand possesses two bats found nowhere else in the world: Norfolk Island, the Viti Archipelago, the Bonin Islands, the Caroline and Marianne Archipelagoes, and Mauritius, all possess their peculiar bats.
Mr. Windsor Earl has made some striking observations on this head, since greatly extended by Mr. Wallace's admirable researches, in regard to the great Malay Archipelago, which is traversed near Celebes by a space of deep ocean, and this separates two widely distinct mammalian faunas.
The Galapagos Archipelago, situated under the equator, lies at a distance of between 500 and 600 miles from the shores of South America.
So it is with the other animals, and with a large proportion of the plants, as shown by Dr. Hooker in his admirable Flora of this archipelago.
Why should the species which are supposed to have been created in the Galapagos Archipelago, and nowhere else, bear so plainly the stamp of affinity to those created in America?
Thus each separate island of the Galapagos Archipelago is tenanted, and the fact is a marvellous one, by many distinct species; but these species are related to each other in a very much closer manner than to the inhabitants of the American continent, or of any other quarter of the world.
Now if we look to the species which inhabit the Galapagos Archipelago, and are likewise found in other parts of the world, we find that they differ considerably in the several islands.
Nevertheless, some of the species, both of those found in other parts of the world and of those confined to the archipelago, are common to the several islands; and we may infer from the present manner of distribution that they have spread from one island to the others.
In the Galapagos Archipelago, many even of the birds, though so well adapted for flying from island to island, differ on the different islands; thus there are three closely allied species of mocking-thrush, each confined to its own island.
From these considerations I think we need not greatly marvel at the endemic species which inhabit the several islands of the Galapagos Archipelago not having all spread from island to island.
We can clearly see why all the inhabitants of an archipelago, though specifically distinct on the several islets, should be closely related to each other, and should likewise be related, but less closely, to those of the nearest continent, or other source whence immigrants might have been derived.
Wallace and Trimen have likewise described several equally striking cases of imitation in the Lepidoptera of the Malay Archipelago and Africa, and with some other insects.
We see this in the striking relation of nearly all the plants and animals of the Galapagos Archipelago, of Juan Fernandez, and of the other American islands, to the plants and animals of the neighbouring American mainland; and of those of the Cape de Verde Archipelago, and of the other African islands to the African mainland.
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::: quiescent - dormant; temporarily inactive; at rest; N. quiescence
::: nectar - drink of the gods; sweet liquid collected by bees
::: potable - suitable for drinking; drinkable