By Louis Agassiz; Elizabeth Cary Agassiz
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Provided for voyagers on the great deep than are to be found Oll this magnificent ship. The state-rooms large and commodiou , parlor and dining-hall well ventilated, cool, and cheerful, the decks long and broad enough to give a chance for extensive" constitutionals " to everybody who can stand upright for two minutes together, the attendance punctual and admirable in every respect; in short, nothing is left to be desired except a little more stable footing. Ap1'il 10t7~. - A rough sea to-day, notwithstanding which we had our lecture as usual, though I mu t say, that, owing to the lurching of the ship, the lecturer pitched about more than was consistent with the dignity of science.
This is one of a family whose geological antecedents arc very important and interesting. The Mastodons, the Palmotherium, the Dinotherinm, and other large Mammalia of the Tertiaries, are closely related to the Tapir. The elephant, rhinoceros, and the like, are of the same family. From its structural standing next to the elephant, which is placed highest in the group, the embryology of the Tapir would give us a very. complete series of changes. It would seem from some of the fossil remains of this family that the Pachyderms were formedy more nearly related to the Ruminants and Rodents than they now are.
Are they the result of disintegration of the rock by ordinary atmospheric agents, or are they caused by the action of water or by that of glaciers? Was there ever a time whcn larg ma:::ses of ice descended far lower than the present snov line of the Andes, and, moving over the low lands, ground these ) 16 A JOURNEY IN BRAZIL. materials to powder? We know that such an agency has been at work on the northern half of this hemisphere. We have now to look for its traces on the southern half, where no such inve tigations have ever been made within its warm latitudes; though to Darwin science is already indebted for much valuable information concerning the glacial phenomena of the temperate and colder portions of the South American continent.
A Journey in Brazil by Louis Agassiz; Elizabeth Cary Agassiz