Annual Report by Smithsonian InstitutionAnnual Report by Smithsonian Institution

Annual Report

bySmithsonian Institution

Paperback | April 21, 2013

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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can usually download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1896 edition. Excerpt: ...and the most distinctive peculiarity of the microscopic food supply of the ocean is the very small number of forms which make up the enormo.ns mass of individuals. All the animals of the ocean are dependent upon this supply of microscopic food, and many of them are adapted for preying upon it directly, but a review of the animal kingdom will show that no highly organized animal has ever been evolved at the surface of the ocean, although all depend upon the food supply of the surface. The animals which now find their home in the open waters of the ocean are, almost without exception, descendants of forms which lived upon or near the bottom, or along the seashore, or upon the land, and all the exceptions are simple animals of minute size. A review of the whole animal kingdom would take more space than we can spare, but it would show that the evidence from embryology, from comparative anatomy, and from paleontology all bears in the same direction and proves that every large and highly organized animal in the open ocean is descended from ancestors whose home was not open water but solid ground, either on the bottom or on the shore. Embryology also gives us good ground for believing that all these animals are still more remotely descended from minute and simple pelagic ancestors, and that the history of all the highly organized inhabitants of the water has followed a roundabout path from the surface to the bottom and then back into the water. When this fact is seen in all its bearings, and its full significance is grasped, it is certainly one of the most notable and instructive features of evolution. The food supply of marine animals consists of a few species of microscopic organisms which are inexhaustible and the only source of food for all...
Title:Annual ReportFormat:PaperbackDimensions:380 pages, 9.69 × 7.44 × 0.78 inPublished:April 21, 2013Publisher:General Books LLCLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0217176593

ISBN - 13:9780217176590