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according acquired action adapted advantage amount animals appear beak become bees believe birds breeds called cause cells certain characters climate closely colour common considered continued crossed descendants developed difficulty distinct domestic doubt effects eggs existence extinct extremely facts favourable females flowers forms genera genus give given greater groups habits Hence highly important improved increase individuals inhabitants inherited insects instance instincts intermediate kind known laws less living look males manner marked means modified namely natural selection naturalists nearly nest never object observed occasionally occur organs origin parent perfect period plants points present preserved principle probably produced pupae races rank rarely reason relation remarked resemble respect seeds seems seen shown side similar slight sometimes species structure struggle supposed tend tion tree variability variations varieties vary whole widely young
Page 77 - We behold the face of nature bright with gladness, we often see superabundance of food ; we do not see or we forget, that the birds which are idly singing round us mostly live on insects or seeds, and are thus constantly destroying life ; or we forget how largely these songsters, or their eggs, or their nestlings, are destroyed by birds and beasts of prey...
Page 109 - ... perform strange antics before the females, which, standing by as spectators, at last choose the most attractive partner. Those who have closely attended to birds in confinement well know that they often take individual preferences and dislikes; thus Sir R. Heron has described how a pied peacock was eminently attractive to all his hen birds.
Page 229 - If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.
Page 1 - These facts seemed to me to throw some light on the origin of species — that mystery of mysteries, as it has been called by one of our greatest philosophers.
Page 162 - ... of the former and present buds by ramifying branches may well represent the classification of all extinct and living species in groups subordinate to groups. Of the many twigs which flourished when the tree was a mere bush, only two or three, now grown into great branches, yet survive and bear the other branches ; so with the species which lived during long-past geological periods, very few have left living and modified descendants.
Page 203 - Our ignorance of the laws of variation is profound. Not in one case out of a hundred can we pretend to assign any reason why this or that part differs, more or less, from the same part in the parents.
Page 77 - I have called this principle, by which each slight variation, if useful, is preserved, by the term natural selection, in order to mark its relation to man's power of selection. But the expression often used by Mr. Herbert Spencer, of the Survival of the Fittest, is more accurate, and is sometimes equally convenient.
Page 163 - From the first growth of the tree, many a limb and branch has decayed and dropped off; and these lost branches of various sizes may represent those whole orders, families, and genera which have now no living representatives, and which are known to us only from having been found in a fossil state.
Page 244 - Why should not Nature take a sudden leap from structure to structure? On the theory of natural selection, we can clearly understand why she should not; for natural selection acts only by taking advantage of slight successive variations; she can never take a great and sudden leap, but must advance by short and sure, though slow steps.
Page 138 - The truth of the principle, that the greatest amount of life can be supported by great diversification of structure^ is seen under many natural circumstances. In an extremely small area, especially if freely open to immigration, and where the contest between individual and individual must be severe, we always find great diversity in its inhabitants. For instance, I found that a piece of turf, three feet by four in size, which had been...