Blindness of Cave-Animals

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Abstract

I DOUBT whether Sir Ray Lankester would maintain his theory of the origin of blindness in cave-animals, at least in the fishes living in the North American limestone caves, if he had carefully considered the observations on these fishes published by Eigenmann and other American zoologists. There are two points of special significance in relation to the question of selection by the escape from the caves of individuals with better developed eyes, versus direct influence of darkness on the eyes. The first is to what degree the actual ontogeny of the eye shows recapitulation, the second whether the individuals with power of vision would actually swim away from the darkness towards the light.

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