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Individuals are at work gathering information in regard to particular formations, correcting mistakes, advancing new theories, devising new plans for more thorough and accurate works and imbuing students with the grandeur of the science. What is there more sublime than a science that reveals the universe in all its beauty and grandeur and as the result of the balancing of forces which emanate from a creative will? Geology reviews the history of the planet from the earliest known formation to the present. Back of this it goes by retrograde calculation, and hence we have a complete resumé from the time "the earth was without form and void," to the phenomena observed to-day. It tells us of periods of time of immeasurable duration, during which was being molded that upon which it would be possible for life to exist, and over which mind should rule.


There is no science which presents so many problems to be studied, nor in which so much of interest can be taken. carries one over plains, up the rugged mountains and down into valleys. On every hand is found something new upon which to concentrate the mind, and which demands a satisfactory explanation. How came these plains, these mountains, these valleys? How came those masses of rock, thousands of feet high? Why is sandstone here, limestone there, and granite yonder? What mean those remains of animals and plants that are not in existence to-day? Why are those masses of rock in every conceivable position? Whence came the waters and the land? The plants and animals? Is there a reason for all we see? Are these things accidental, or was there a purpose in their formation?

And so questions crowd upon us, and fill us with wonder and admiration, and with a determination not to be satisfied until they are answered. We see that law is at work, fashioning the universe, and we have brought very forcibly to our minds the fact that there was a purpose involved in the creation of the universe, and that from this realized grand conception is being evolved a divine purpose. That which at first appeared to be outside the domain of law, is seen to be the result of the balancing of forces; and we come to realize the fact

that law pervades the universe, and although we do not know as yet the way in which these laws are balanced to produce all phenomena, that they are so balanced as to produce harmony, and that in proportion as the human mind develops it will be capable of grappling with problems that are not now within its reach.



(Continued from page 188.)

Such a new stage of existence may have been essayed frequently. The dwellers in the early seas, in their descents below the surface, must often have come into contact with the bottom, and at times temporarily rested upon it. This contact with hard substance doubtless produced some effect upon them, and certain variations in structure may have proved of advantage in these new circumstances and been retained and further developed. Particularly if food was found there, and habitation on or near the bottom was thus encouraged, would such favoring variations tend to be preserved.

But, as has been said, myriads of years may have passed in the slow development of swimming pelagic animals before this phase of evolution was completed. And, perhaps, not until this was fully accomplished did contact with the bottom set in train a new series of changes, and in time give rise to the greatly transformed bottom-dwellers. The change, indeed, was a great one, if we may judge by the wide diversity in character between the swimming embryos and the mature forms of oceanic in vertebrates, and must have needed a long period of contact with the bottom for its completion. Yet it was probably much more rapid than had been the preceding pelagic development. Contact with solid substance was a decided change in condition, and may have greatly increased

the preservation of favorable variations. And the area of habitation on the single plane of the sea bottom is so restricted as compared with that within the many planes of oceanic waters, that the struggle for place and food must have been greatly increased, and the development and preservation of newly adapted forms have been more rapid in consequence.

This may seem to bring us to the very verge of the kingdom of life as it is known to us from the oldest fossils yet discovered. Yet in truth we are probably still remote from it. We are still dealing with soft bodied animals, not with those possessed of the hard external skeletons from which fossils are produced. There is no good reason to believe that mere contact with the earth induced the previously naked swimmers to clothe themselves in solid shells. In truth, the earliest bottom-dwellers may have long continued soft bodied, the hard case or shell being only slowly evolved. The mantle of the mollusk, for instance, with its shell-secreting glands, is not likely to have been a primary accessory of molluscan organization. The same may be said of the chitin-forming glands of the crustacea, and the analogous glandular organs of other types. Such conditions must have developed slowly, and their appearance was probably due to an exigency of equally slow unfold


For now we come to another highly important problem, that of the true disposing cause of the development of dermal skeletons, on which there exists some basis for speculation. In truth the fossils preserved for us in the Cambrian rocks have an interesting tale to tell which has a strong bearing upon the story of animal evolution. And this is, that all these bottomdwellers, with the exception of the burrowing annelids, became covered with what was probably defensive armor. They all seem to have sought protection in one way or other, and in so doing became in a measure degenerated forms of life, their former ease of motion being now partly or wholly lost.

All this represents an interesting stage in the process of evolution, and indicates some special exigency in life conditions which the animals of that age could only meet by rendering themselves heavy and sluggish with a weight of inclosing

armor. This new phase of evolution may have proceeded very rapidly, many forms of early life disappearing, while those that quickly became armored survived.

What was this exigency? Protection, apparently, as is above stated. But protection from what? Against what destructive foe did these ancient animals need such strong defence? Which among them was the rapacious creature whose ravages imperilled the existence of all the others? Certainly not the sponge or the cœlenterate; they feed on smaller prey. The mollusk or the echinoderm, in their agile unclad state, may have been actively predatory, but they were among those forced to seek protection. Of the known forms the trilobite seems most likely to have been the aggressive foe in question. It was the largest, the most abundant, and, perhaps, the most active of them all, its size and numbers indicating an abundance of easily obtained food, while its great variety of species points to the existence of varied conditions of food or methods in food getting.

To all appearances the trilobite was then the lord of life, the Napoleon of that early empire. Awkward and clumsy as such a creature would appear now, it was then superior in size, strength, and probable agility to all other known animals, while its numbers and variety indicate that it was widely distributed and exposed to all the varying conditions of existence at that time. What a hurrying and scurrying there must have been among those small soft creatures to escape this terrible enemy, from whose assaults nothing seems to have availed them but an indurated external covering, too hard for its soft jaws to master. As the prey became protected in this manner the destroyer probably improved in strength of jaw, and there may have been a successively more complete growth of protective devices in the prey and of powers of mastication in the foe. And thus arose the conditions which first made fossilization possible, in the development of a series of armor-clad creatures which were really late comers upon the stage of life, remote as they seem when measured by our standard of time.

But the story is only half told. The trilobite, as it is known to us, is under armor also. Not only is it clothed in a dermal

skeleton, but, in its later forms, is capable of rolling up into a hard ball with no part of its body exposed. Evidently the destroyer himself in time came into peril and needed protection. Some still more powerful and voracious foe had come upon the field, and the triumphant trilobite was forced to acknowledge defeat.

We cannot well imagine any of these animals assuming such armor except for protective purposes. The weight laid upon them rendered them slow and sluggish, fixed some of them immovably, and greatly decreased their powers of foraging. The only cause which seems sufficient for their assuming this disadvantageous condition is that of imminent peril-a peril which affected all known forms alike.

Whence came this peril? Where is the voracious foe against whom they all put on armor, even the preceding master of the seas? No trace of such a creature has been found. In truth, we cannot fairly expect to find it, since it was probably destitute of hard parts, and left behind it nothing to be fossilized. It had no foe and needed no armor, while lightness and flexibility may have been of such advantage to it that armor would have proved a hindrance. It probably was a swimming creature and thus left no impress of its form upon the mud. It is to this unknown creature that we must ascribe the armored condition of all known forms of life at that period, even the later cephalopods, large and powerful mollusks, becoming clothed in a cumbrous defensive shell, which they were obliged to drag about with them wherever they went.

It is a strange state of affairs which thus unfolds before our eyes. All the life we know of seems diligently arming itself against some terrible enemy, which itself has utterly vanished and left as the only evidence of its existence this display of universal dread. The creature in question would appear to have been without internal or external hard skeleton and without teeth, trusting to indurated jaws for mastication. At a later date, when its prey became less easily destroyed, teeth may have developed, and it is possible that we have remains of them in the hard, cone-like, minute substances found in the lower Silurian strata, and known as conodonts.

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