Oct 21 2008

A Tangled Reef

Published by at 11:51 am under nature photos

Above is a foureye butterfly fish. One of my favorites. Okay, I have dozens of favorites, so maybe that’s not saying a whole lot.  I “caught” the fish in roughly 8 feet of water, 1/2 mile off the northwest coast of New Providence Island, Bahamas.

The 116 Edition of Tangled Bank was posted a few days ago.

The title to this blog carnival is derived from the oft-quoted concluding paragraph of one of the most important books ever written: Origin of the Species.

It is interesting to contemplate a tangled bank, clothed with many plants of many kinds, with birds singing on the bushes, with various insects flitting about, and with worms crawling through the damp earth, and to reflect that these elaborately constructed forms, so different from each other, and dependent upon each other in so complex a manner, have all been produced by laws acting around us. These laws, taken in the largest sense, being Growth with reproduction; Inheritance which is almost implied by reproduction; Variability from the indirect and direct action of the conditions of life, and from use and disuse; a Ratio of Increase so high as to lead to a Struggle for Life, and as a consequence to Natural Selection, entailing Divergence of Character and the Extinction of less improved forms. Thus, from the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of the higher animals, directly follows. There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone circling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being evolved.”

Had Charles Darwin been a snorkeler, he could very well have written “It is interesting to contemplate a tangled reef . . . .”

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