In the diagram each horizontal line has hitherto been supposed to represent a thousand generations, but each may represent a million or more generations; it may also represent a section of the successive strata of the earth's crust including extinct remains.

We shall, when we come to our chapter on geology, have to refer again to this subject, and I think we shall then see that the diagram throws light on the affinities of extinct beings, which, though generally belonging to the same orders, families, or genera, with those now living, yet are often, in some degree, intermediate in character between existing groups; and we can understand this fact, for the extinct species lived at various remote epochs when the branching lines of descent had diverged less.

I see no reason to limit the process of modification, as now explained, to the formation of genera alone.

If, in the diagram, we suppose the amount of change represented by each successive group of diverging dotted lines to be great, the forms marked a14 to p14, those marked b14 and f14, and those marked o14 to m14, will form three very distinct genera.

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