Biological Notes

    Abstract

    NATURAL SELECTION AMONG LARVAL SALAMANDERS. —Every case illustrating survival of the fittest has its own interest, as well as its bearing on general laws. The New England salamanders lay large numbers of eggs attached to water plants, and the larvæ are very interesting to watch. In a group that was studied recently, cannibal tendencies soon developed, the stronger eating off the gills of the weaker, at the same time being able to protect their own, within a week or ten days after hatching; these cannibals were fifty per cent, larger than their brethren, and, soon waxing bolder, they began to swallow them bodily. After ten days of the results of such feeding, they were ten or twelve times the size of such weaker brethren as were still left alive. Thus they rapidly developed and passed out of the gill-bearing stage. See Mr. S. F. Clarke, in American Naturalist for September.

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