circumstances they have been discovered, we shall see
that there is but little hope of ever finding those that
we have only seen as fossils.
Islands of moderate extent, situated at a distance
from extensive continents, have very few quadrupeds,
and those very small; when they have large ones, it is
because they have been brought from elsewhere.
Bougainville and Cook found only dogs and hogs on
the South Sea Islands; and the largest species of the
West India Islands was the agouti.
In fact, large territories, such as Asia, Africa, the
two Americas, and New Holland, have large
quadrupeds, and generally, species peculiar to each of
them; so that wherever it has been found that the
situation of these lands has kept them isolated from the
rest of the world, a class of quadrupeds has been there
found entirely different from any elsewhere existing.
Thus, when the Spaniards first overran South America,
they did not find one of the quadrupeds common to
Europe, Asia, or Africa. The puma, the jaguar, the
tapir, the cabiai, the lama, the vicuna, sloths,
armadilloes, opossurns, and all the species of monkeys,
were to them entirely strange, and beings of which
they had no idea. The same phenomenon occurred in
our time, when the first survey of the coast of New
Holland and the adjacent islands took place. The
different kangaroos, phascolomys, dasyurus, and
perameles, the flying phalangers, the ornithorynchi,
and echidnæ, have been found to astonish naturalists
by their strange conformations, which broke through
all rules and overthrew all systems.
If then there remained any extensive continent to
discover, we might hope to find new species, amongst
which some might be found more or less