Definition: on or relating to the earth
Definition: on or relating to the earth
Sentences Containing 'terrestrial'
``Do you feel, yet, that you belong to this terrestrial scheme again, Mr. Darnay?''
The winds which passed over my dwelling were such as sweep over the ridges of mountains, bearing the broken strains, or celestial parts only, of terrestrial music.
He sacrifices not to Ceres and the Terrestrial Jove, but to the infernal Plutus rather.
``That is what we must find out,''returned Gaetano, fixing his eyes on this terrestrial star.
``Sir, I should make a terrestrial paradise of it.''
do you know that he holds terrestrial beings under his control?
For instance, there must be a limit to the fleetness of any terrestrial animal, as this will be determined by the friction to be overcome, the weight of the body to be carried, and the power of contraction in the muscular fibres.
As yet I have not found a single terrestrial animal which can fertilise itself.
This remarkable fact, which offers so strong a contrast with terrestrial plants, is intelligible on the view of an occasional cross being indispensable; for owing to the nature of the fertilising element there are no means, analogous to the action of insects and of the wind with plants, by which an occasional cross could be effected with terrestrial animals without the concurrence of two individuals.
I conclude that for terrestrial productions a large continental area, which has undergone many oscillations of level, will have been the most favourable for the production of many new forms of life, fitted to endure for a long time and to spread widely.
It would be easy to show that there now exist carnivorous animals presenting close intermediate grades from strictly terrestrial to aquatic habits; and as each exists by a struggle for life, it is clear that each must be well adapted to its place in nature.
All the members of the great order of Hymenopterous insects are terrestrial, excepting the genus Proctotrupes, which Sir John Lubbock has discovered to be aquatic in its habits; it often enters the water and dives about by the use not of its legs but of its wings, and remains as long as four hours beneath the surface; yet it exhibits no modification in structure in accordance with its abnormal habits.
The water-hen and landrail are members of this order, yet the first is nearly as aquatic as the coot, and the second is nearly as terrestrial as the quail or partridge.
We may, also, believe that a part formerly of high importance has frequently been retained (as the tail of an aquatic animal by its terrestrial descendants), though it has become of such small importance that it could not, in its present state, have been acquired by means of natural selection.
Oceanic islands are inhabited by bats and seals, but by no terrestrial mammals; yet as some of these bats are peculiar species, they must have long inhabited their present homes.
But seals would necessarily be first converted into terrestrial carnivorous animals of considerable size, and bats into terrestrial insectivorous animals; for the former there would be no prey; for the bats ground-insects would serve as food, but these would already be largely preyed on by the reptiles or birds, which first colonise and abound on most oceanic islands.
A strictly terrestrial animal, by occasionally hunting for food in shallow water, then in streams or lakes, might at last be converted into an animal so thoroughly aquatic as to brave the open ocean.
But seals would not find on oceanic islands the conditions favourable to their gradual reconversion into a terrestrial form.
We can perhaps understand the apparently quicker rate of change in terrestrial and in more highly organised productions compared with marine and lower productions, by the more complex relations of the higher beings to their organic and inorganic conditions of life, as explained in a former chapter.
The diffusion would, it is probable, be slower with the terrestrial inhabitants of distinct continents than with the marine inhabitants of the continuous sea.
A very ancient form may occasionally have lasted much longer than a form elsewhere subsequently produced, especially in the case of terrestrial productions inhabiting separated districts.
For we know that Europe in ancient times was peopled by numerous marsupials; and I have shown in the publications above alluded to, that in America the law of distribution of terrestrial mammals was formerly different from what it now is.
We see this in the great difference in nearly all the terrestrial productions of the New and Old Worlds, excepting in the northern parts, where the land almost joins, and where, under a slightly different climate, there might have been free migration for the northern temperate forms, as there now is for the strictly arctic productions.
The incapacity of migrating across a wide sea is more clear in the case of terrestrial mammals than perhaps with any other organic beings; and, accordingly, we find no inexplicable instances of the same mammals inhabiting distant points of the world.
But, after some preliminary remarks, I will discuss a few of the most striking classes of facts, namely, the existence of the same species on the summits of distant mountain ranges, and at distant points in the Arctic and Antarctic regions; and secondly (in the following chapter), the wide distribution of fresh water productions; and thirdly, the occurrence of the same terrestrial species on islands and on the nearest mainland, though separated by hundreds of miles of open sea.
Where the sea now extends, land may at a former period have connected islands or possibly even continents together, and thus have allowed terrestrial productions to pass from one to the other.
Now, if we look at a terrestrial globe, we see under the Polar Circle that there is almost continuous land from western Europe through Siberia, to eastern America.
When first collecting in the fresh waters of Brazil, I well remember feeling much surprise at the similarity of the fresh-water insects, shells, etc., and at the dissimilarity of the surrounding terrestrial beings, compared with those of Britain.
Although there will always be a struggle for life between the inhabitants of the same pond, however few in kind, yet as the number even in a well-stocked pond is small in comparison with the number of species inhabiting an equal area of land, the competition between them will probably be less severe than between terrestrial species; consequently an intruder from the waters of a foreign country would have a better chance of seizing on a new place, than in the case of terrestrial colonists.
I have already given my reasons for disbelieving in continental extensions within the period of existing species on so enormous a scale that all the many islands of the several oceans were thus stocked with their present terrestrial inhabitants.
I have carefully searched the oldest voyages, and have not found a single instance, free from doubt, of a terrestrial mammal (excluding domesticated animals kept by the natives) inhabiting an island situated above 300 miles from a continent or great continental island; and many islands situated at a much less distance are equally barren.
Although terrestrial mammals do not occur on oceanic islands, aerial mammals do occur on almost every island.
On my view this question can easily be answered; for no terrestrial mammal can be transported across a wide space of sea, but bats can fly across.
Hence, we have only to suppose that such wandering species have been modified in their new homes in relation to their new position, and we can understand the presence of endemic bats on oceanic islands, with the absence of all other terrestrial mammals.
We can see why whole groups of organisms, as batrachians and terrestrial mammals, should be absent from oceanic islands, whilst the most isolated islands should possess their own peculiar species of aerial mammals or bats.
Again, with respect to the singular fact that many terrestrial and fresh-water animals do not undergo any metamorphosis, while marine members of the same groups pass through various transformations, Fritz Muller has suggested that the process of slowly modifying and adapting an animal to live on the land or in fresh water, instead of in the sea, would be greatly simplified by its not passing through any larval stage; for it is not probable that places well adapted for both the larval and mature stages, under such new and greatly changed habits of life, would commonly be found unoccupied or ill-occupied by other organisms.
We clearly see why species belonging to those groups of animals which cannot cross wide spaces of the ocean, as frogs and terrestrial mammals, do not inhabit oceanic islands; and why, on the other hand, new and peculiar species of bats, animals which can traverse the ocean, are often found on islands far distant from any continent.
Such cases as the presence of peculiar species of bats on oceanic islands and the absence of all other terrestrial mammals, are facts utterly inexplicable on the theory of independent acts of creation.
'Looking at these stars suddenly dwarfed my own troubles and all the gravities of terrestrial life.
More Vocab Words::: munificent - very generous in giving; Ex. munificent benefactor; N. munificience
::: haughtiness - pride; arrogance; ADJ. haughty
::: catholic - (of likings and interests) universal; general; broad; including many different parts; wide-ranging liberal; Ex. catholic opinions/tastes
::: imperturbable - unshakably calm; placid
::: mire - entangle; stick in swampy ground; stick or sink in mire; N: bog; deep mud; Ex. sucked deeper into the mire
::: ancillary - serving as an aid or accessory; auxiliary; N.
::: gavel - hammerlike tool; mallet(wooden hammer) used by a presiding officer or an auctioneer; V.
::: levitate - rise and float in the air (especially by magical means); CF. light
::: prophetic - of a prophet or prophecy; having to do with predicting the future; N. prophecy; V. prophesy; N. prophet
::: enthrall - capture; enslave; captivate; hold the complete attention of (as if magic); hold spellbound