North America Quotes (4 quotes)
In the course of this short tour, I became convinced that we must turn to the New World if we wish to see in perfection the oldest monuments of the earths history, so far at least as relates to its earliest inhabitants.
The application of botanical and zoological evidence to determine the relative age of rocksthis chronometry of the earth's surface which was already present to the lofty mind of Hookeindicates one of the most glorious epochs of modern geognosy, which has finally, on the Continent at least, been emancipated from the way of Semitic doctrines. Palaeontological investigations have imparted a vivifying breath of grace and diversity to the science of the solid structure of the earth.
What happened to those Ice Age beasts? What caused the mammoth and mastodon and wooly rhinoceros to pay the ultimate Darwinian penalty, while bison and musk ox survived? Why didn't the fauna of Africa suffer the kinds of losses evident in other regions of the world? And if something like climatic change caused the extinction of North America's Pleistocene horse, how have feral horses managed to reestablish themselves on the western range?
[O]ne might ask why, in a galaxy of a few hundred billion stars, the aliens are so intent on coming to Earth at all. It would be as if every vertebrate in North America somehow felt drawn to a particular house in Peoria, Illinois. Are we really that interesting?