Distribution of fresh-water productions--On the inhabitants of oceanic islands--Absence of Batrachians and of terrestrial Mammals--On the relation of the inhabitants of islands to those of the nearest mainland-- On colonization from the nearest source with subsequent modification --Summary of the last and present chapters
AS lakes and river-systems are separated from each other by barriers of land, it might have been thought that fresh-water productions would not have ranged widely within the same country, and as the sea is apparently a still more formidable barrier, that they would never have extended to distant countries. But the case is exactly the reverse. Not only, have many fresh-water species, belonging to different classes, an enormous range, but allied species prevail in a remarkable manner throughout the world. 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.
But the wide-ranging power of fresh-water productions can, I think, in most cases be explained by their having become fitted, in a manner highly useful to them, for short and frequent migrations from pond to pond, or