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Adaptation in Fossil Plants1

Nature volume 81, pages 115118 (22 July 1909) | Download Citation



THE Darwinian theory of the origin of species by variation and natural selection only fulfils its râle in so far as the distinctive characters of organisms are, or have been, adaptive, i.e. beneficial to the species. Purely “morphological” characters (if any such exist) and non-adaptive characters in general are not explained by the Darwinian theory (or only indirectly with the help of correlation). I therefore make no apology for having a good deal to say about adaptations in what follows.

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  1. 1.

    "Origin of Species," sixth edition, p. 279.

  2. 2.

    , "The Old Wood and the New" (New Phytologist, vol. i., 1902).

  3. 3.

    , , Lepidodendron selaginoides.

  4. 4.

    "Origin of Species," sixth edition, p. 308.

  5. 5.

    "Darwin and Modern Science." XII. The Palæontological Record. II. Plants. (1909.)

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