The Malay Archipelago.
Africa and South America is also very great, and these two regions will well serve to illustrate the question we are considering. On the one side we have baboons, lions, elephants, buffaloes, and giraffes; on the other, spider-monkeys, pumas, tapirs, ant-eaters, and sloths; while among birds, thehornbills, turacos, orioles, and honeysuckers of Africa contrast strongly with the toucans, macaws, chatterers, and humming-birds of America.
Now let us endeavor to imagine (what it is very probable may occur in future ages) that a slow upheaval of the bed of the Atlantic should take place, while at the same time earth-quake-shocks and volcanic action on the land should cause increased volumes of sediment to be poured down by the rivers, so that the two continents should gradually spread out by the addition of newly-formed lands, and thus reduce the Atlantic, which now separates them, to an arm of the sea a few hundred miles wide. At the same time we may suppose islands to be upheaved in mid-channel; and, as the subterranean forces varied in intensity, and shifted their points of greatest action, these islands would sometimes become connected with the land on one side or other of the strait, and at other times again be separated from it. Several islands would at one time be joined together, at another would be broken up again, till at last, after many long ages of such intermittent action, we might have an irregular archipelago of islands filling up the oeean-channel of the Atlantic, in whose appearance and arrangement we could discover nothing to tell us which had been connected with Africa and which with America. The animals and plants inhabiting these islands would, however, certainly reveal this portion of their former history. On those islands which had ever formed a part of the South American continent we should be sure to find such common birds as chatterers and toucans and humming-birds, and some of the peculiar American quadrupeds; while on those which had been separated from Africa, hornbills, orioles, and honeysuckers would as certainly be found. Some portion of the upraised land might at different times have had a temporary connection with both continents, and would then contain a certain amount of mixture in its living inhabitants. Such seems to have been the case with the islands of Celebes and the Philippines. Other islands, again, though in such close proximity as Bali