Species and Varieties


IT may be taken, I presume, that the description and naming of “species” has now a great value as material for studying the laws of the evolution of species and of geographical distribution and variation; and that the question is not so much to know what name to call a “species” as to account for its presence and form in the economy of nature. And it will, perhaps, also be granted that the study of geographical distribution does not consist, alone, in acquiring a knowledge of the fauna of a district, so muck as in investigating the laws of the special differentiation of that fauna. It thus becomes evident that the slightest modification tending to persistency requires the most careful record, as it is only by the knowledge of first slight modifications that we can expect to understand the process of larger divergencies.

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DISTANT, W. Species and Varieties. Nature 14, 392 (1876). https://doi.org/10.1038/014392b0

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