By Charles Lyell
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print Publication Year:2009
Online Publication Date:October 2010
Original Publication Year:1832
Subjects: Geomorphology and Physical Geography , Evolutionary Biology
In 1830–33, Charles Lyell laid the foundations of evolutionary biology with Principles of Geology, a pioneering book that Charles Darwin took with him on the Beagle. Volume 2 (1832) focuses on plants and animals, and consists of 17 chapters, a comprehensive index and woodcut illustrations of various natural habitats Lyell had observed. The author takes issue with the French biologist Lamarck's theory of the transmutation of species, though Darwin in fact later praised other aspects of Lamarck's work. Lyell examines the connections between the Earth's changing crust and the natural history of many species of birds, insects, mammals and fish. He discusses how wild species physically adapt over time to domestication, the diffusion of plants throughout their specific habitats, geographical distributions of certain types of animals, migratory pattern adaptation due to climate change, hybrid plants, species extinction and how organic deposits, such as moss, on emerging land affect species adaptation.