Page:Origin of Species 1872.djvu/354

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As the arctic forms moved first southward and afterwards backward to the north, in unison with the changing climate, they will not have been exposed during their long migrations to any great diversity of temperature; and as they all migrated in a body together, their mutual relations will not have been much disturbed. Hence, in accordance with the principles inculcated in this volume, these forms will not have been liable to much modification. But with the Alpine productions, left isolated from the moment of the returning warmth, first at the bases and ultimately on the summits of the mountains, the case will have been somewhat different; for it is not likely that all the same arctic species will have been left on mountain ranges far distant from each other, and have survived there ever since; they will also, in all probability, have become mingled with ancient Alpine species, which must have existed on the mountains before the commencement of the Glacial epoch, and which during the coldest period will have been temporarily driven down to the plains; they will, also, have been subsequently exposed to somewhat different climatical influences. Their mutual relations will thus have been in some degree disturbed; consequently they will have been liable to modification; and they have been modified; for if we compare the present Alpine plants and animals of the several great European mountain ranges, one with another, though many of the species remain identically the same, some exist as varieties, some as doubtful forms or sub-species and some as distinct yet closely allied species representing each other on the several ranges.

In the foregoing illustration, I have assumed that at the commencement of our imaginary Glacial period, the arctic productions were as uniform round the polar regions as they are at the present day. But it is also necessary to assume that many sub-arctic and some few temperate forms were the same round the world, for some of the species which now exist on the lower mountain slopes and on the plains of North America and Europe are the same; and it may be asked how I account for this degree of uniformity of the sub-arctic and temperate forms round the world, at the commencement of the real Glacial period. At the present day, the sub-arctic and northern temperate productions of the Old and New Worlds are separated from each other by the whole Atlantic Ocean and by the northern part of the Pacific. During the Glacial period, when the inhabitants of the Old and New Worlds lived further southwards than they do at present, they must have been still more completely separated from each other by wider spaces of ocean; so that it may well be asked how the