By Alan Dale (Auth.)
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Thus there are found marsupial moles, marsupial bears, marsupial wolves, marsupial mice, the kangaroos and wallabies corresponding to the large herbivores of other regions, and even flying marsupials which mimic the flying squirrels. Besides this weird menagerie, the Australian region is unique in possessing the two kinds of egg-laying mammals, the Duck Billed Platypus (Ornithorhynchus) and the Spiny Anteater (Echidna). The fossils of the present day Australian forms are not found outside the Australian region, so it would seem that the marsupial types now present must have evolved in Australia from the primitive mammalian stock which invaded Australia before it was cut 34 SOCIAL BIOLOGY off by the seas from the general land mass of Asia.
1 Previously unknown, this factor cropped up in a tame rabbit in France shortly after the 1914-18 war. Its commercial applications being realised, it was preserved, and has since been introduced into most of the recognised breeds of rabbits. A consideration of these facts shows that a tendency to vary from the normal exists in plants and animals, and through the selective methods employed by man they may be fixed to give essentially new types of organisms. It is but logical to assume that Nature, exerting its own particular selective methods down the long, long, span of geological time, will also have caused new types to appear and become stabilised as new species.
The distribution of plants and animals over the surface of the world is in its broad outlines well known ; and several groups of facts emerge which can be interpreted adequately by the theory that the different species have come into existence by the slow process of evolution from pre-existing forms, but which cannot be accounted for in any satisfactory manner by the theory of Special Creation. The fish populations of the waters on the Atlantic and Pacific sides of the Isthmus of Panama are peculiar in that very many species living in the Atlantic waters have similar, but nevertheless distinct, " twin " species living in the Pacific waters.