The New Evolution: Zoogenesis

By Austin H. Clark | Go to book overview

CHAPTER VI
FACTORS AFFECTING ANIMAL LIFE

VARIATIONS in the several different types of animal life from place to place on the earth's surface or in the oceans, and from one geological epoch to another, are directly or indirectly brought about as a response to variations in the factors which bear more or less directly upon the animals involved.

Frogs are not found in deserts, nor are there any lizards in cold regions. Elephants, rhinoceroses and tapirs now live only in restricted areas in the tropics, but in the Pleistocene all three ranged far to the northward of their present habitats. On the New Siberian Islands in the Arctic Ocean the bones of Arctic elephants or mammoths are to be found in great abundance.

So before we can discuss the problem of the changes in and the development of animal forms it is essential that we understand just what the most important of these factors are.

The chief factors affecting all living things are the great diversity in the form in which the supply of necessary new materials is offered, and the great diversity in the chemical and physical environment or surroundings in which they must be taken up and used.

Only the plants containing chlorophyll or some similar substance are able to build up organic out of

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