Very skilful accommodation was needful, if the limitation of sloths to South America, and of the Ornithorhynchus to Australia, was to be reconciled with the literal interpretation of the history of the Deluge; and, with the establishment of the existence of distinct provinces of distribution, any serious belief in the peopling of the world by migration from Mount Ararat came to an end.
Many of the great historic movements of peoples were doubtless due to the gradual change of geographical or climatic conditions; and the slow desiccation of Central Asia has been plausibly suggested as the real cause of the peopling of modern Europe and of the medieval wars of the Old World, the theatres of which were critical points on the great natural lines of communication between east and west.
Their primary object being the development and peopling of the land, they have naturally been made as cheaply as possible; and as in such cases the cost of the land is inconsiderable, economy has been sought by the use of lighter and rougher permanent way, plant, rolling stock, &c. Such railways are not " light " in the technical sense of having been made under enactments intended to secure permanent lowness of cost as compared with standard lines.
Although the species are fewer in number than in most other families of fishes, they are widely spread and extremely abundant, peopling by countless schools the oceans of the tropical and temperate zones, and approaching the coasts only accidentally, occasionally, or periodically.
The south-west from the highland districts of southern China, which has produced so many recruits for the peopling of the Indo-Chinese peninsula.
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