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" The average progress, therefore, was. 273 “ miles in the 24 hours; and on one of the
days, the vessel actually ran 288 miles. As " the wind blew almost a constant hurricane,
very little sail was carried.”*
We have here a recent instance of a large floating body following the direct line of one of the very currents which we have traced, (assisted, it is true, by a high wind,) and passing over a space of nearly 4,000 miles in about eleven days, with very little assistance from artificial means, One glance at the Map of the World will shew, that the same favourable current, and the same powerful wind, would, in a few days more, have carried the same body into the polar seas. Now, from the latitude of 20 degrees N., (or about the meridian of the centre of Hindostan,) to that of 75 degrees, (or that of the north of Nova Zembla, and Siberia,) is not more than a distance of 3,300 miles; and, therefore, even allowing for a smaller floating body than a ship of war, without much sail, we cannot hesitate in concluding to the possibility of large inflated animal bodies remaining entire during a longer time than would be necessary for the passage of this distance, at a period peculiarly marked by storms and tempests.
* Comp. Estim.
We are not, however, to suppose it probable, that the greater number of dead bodies reached a high northern latitude in an entire state. On the contrary, numbers must have sunk in
every part of the temperate regions, and become embedded, piece-meal, in the rapidly accumulating diluvial formations, where we now find them in a fossil state. But it must be admitted to be a remarkably corroborative circumstance, in support of this view of the subject, that, as the elephant, the hippopotamus, and rhinoceros, are the animals, of all others, we should expect to float longest in an entire state, from the great strength and thickness of their skins, so they are the very animals now found in such vast numbers in the frozen regions, as to make their ivory a very considerable and valuable branch of Northern commerce.
High Importance of the Evidence of Fossils.-Siberian
Mammoth. The entire Elephant of the Lena.-Theories founded on this Specimen, unsupported by Facts.-Consistent Mode of accounting for Tropical Productions in Cold Climates.- Unchanged condition of the Climates of the Earth.-Italian Deposits.- Monte Bolca.- Fossils on the Coast of Norfolk.- Formations of the South of England. The same View extended to the Continent.
We may now proceed to the consideration of some of the most remarkable fossil remains of quadrupeds that have been found in the temperate regions, and in such quantities in high northern latitudes, as to have given rise to much speculation and vague theory amongst philosophers, respecting the means by which they came into their present unnatural situations.
The bones of large quadrupeds have been observed, more or less, in all the quarters of the globe, where any attention has been paid to the search for them. In early times, they were considered as the bones of the giants which were supposed to have formerly inhabited the earth. As mankind became more enlightened, these absurd opinions gave place to something nearer approaching the truth : it The great
is, however, only within the last half century that science has applied that attention to the subject, of which it is so highly deserving ; though the number of different opinions relating to these animal remains, proves how uncertain philosophers still are respecting them. attention of late paid to comparative anatomy, more especially in France, under that distinguished naturalist, the late Baron Cuvier, has greatly increased our knowledge of the different classes of animals, the remains of which are now found in the earth. But the geological views of that eminent man by no means kept pace with his zoological and anatomical knowledge. His theories of the earth, though exhibiting much talent, are all formed upon those very principles of secondary causes, which we have found to be so objectionable and unsound. His numerous revolutions, his alternate salt and fresh water deluges, all bespeak the school from which he derived his earliest geological ideas, and of which he himself latterly became the head. We cannot,
We cannot, therefore, with any consistency, or hope of profitable instruction, follow the track by which he would lead us to the origin of these fossil remains.
It is in the Arctic, and North Polar regions of the earth, that some of the most remarkable and best preserved of these fossil remains have been discovered. There cannot, however, be a doubt, that if the South Polar regions were equally accessible, we should also find their icy masses charged with the remains of the antediluvian dead. In Siberia, that barren region, so associated in our minds with tyrannical cruelty, solitude, and desolation, where
Aut herbæ campo apparent aut arbore frondes :
the great steppes, or plains, formed of a sandy and gravelly soil, intermixed with salt lakes, contain such quantities of the remains of elephants, that the fossil ivory forms a highly important and valuable branch of commerce. The natives of that country have given the name of Mammoth, or the Mole, to these fossil elephants; and, however strange it may appear, they look upon them as the bodies of animals now living under the ground; which idea is, however, founded on appearances and facts which render it in some sort plausible. For those who inhabit the northern regions, frequently find the remains of these large bodies still fresh and bloody;