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Vocabulary Word

Word: isthmus

Definition: narrow neck of land connecting two larger bodies of land


Sentences Containing 'isthmus'

Even when at last convinced that they were different, he still flattered himself that those rich countries were at no great distance; and in a subsequent voyage, accordingly, went in quest of them along the coast of Terra Firma, and towards the Isthmus of Darien.
It was the sacred thirst of gold that carried Ovieda, Nicuessa, and Vasco Nugnes de Balboa, to the Isthmus of Darien; that carried Cortes to Mexico, Almagro and Pizarro to Chili and Peru.
In some few cases, however, as by the breaking of an isthmus and the consequent irruption of a multitude of new inhabitants into an adjoining sea, or by the final subsidence of an island, the process of extinction may have been rapid.
Mr. Prestwich, in his admirable Memoirs on the eocene deposits of England and France, is able to draw a close general parallelism between the successive stages in the two countries; but when he compares certain stages in England with those in France, although he finds in both a curious accordance in the numbers of the species belonging to the same genera, yet the species themselves differ in a manner very difficult to account for considering the proximity of the two areas, unless, indeed, it be assumed that an isthmus separated two seas inhabited by distinct, but contemporaneous faunas.
The marine inhabitants of the eastern and western shores of South America are very distinct, with extremely few shells, crustacea, or echinodermata in common; but Dr. Gunther has recently shown that about thirty per cent of the fishes are the same on the opposite sides of the isthmus of Panama; and this fact has led naturalists to believe that the isthmus was formerly open.
Changes of level in the land must also have been highly influential: a narrow isthmus now separates two marine faunas; submerge it, or let it formerly have been submerged, and the two faunas will now blend together, or may formerly have blended.
So that when I shall hereafter detail to you all the specialities and concentrations of potency everywhere lurking in this expansive monster; when I shall show you some of his more inconsiderable braining feats; I trust you will have renounced all ignorant incredulity, and be ready to abide by this; that though the Sperm Whale stove a passage through the Isthmus of Darien, and mixed the Atlantic with the Pacific, you would not elevate one hair of your eye-brow.

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