Image from page 139 of "Nature and the Bible. A course of lectures delivered in New York, in December, 1874, on the Morse foundation of the Union theological seminary" (1875)
Authors: Dawson, John William, Sir, 1820-1899
Publisher: New York, R. Carter and brothers
Contributing Library: Princeton Theological Seminary Library
Digitizing Sponsor: Princeton Theological Seminary Library
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st complicated partsand organs. The teeming multitudes of thesecreatures in the Cambrian and Silurian pe-riods were so great that thick beds of lime-stone are often made up of fragments of theirskeletons, and it appears that the seas thenbrought forth the lower forms of life in abun-dance since unsurpassed. (See Plate V.) As we ascend in the geological series, ver-tebrate life has its commencement, beginning,like the lower forms, in the waters, and repre-sented at first only by the fishes ; and it is notuntil we are approaching the close of thePalaeozoic that reptile life is introduced. Rep-tiles and birds make their appearance abun-dantly in the earlier and middle Mesozoic, inwhich also reptilian life culminates in thegigantic and multiform Dinosaurs and theirallies, of what is par excellence the Reptilianage. In like manner, the record of creation,after stating the creation of lower forms, goeson to specify the gigantic reptilian animals ofthe Mesozoic by the term tanninim, and con-
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Tanninim of the Fifth Bay.—Restorations of Mesozoic Reptiles;—adaptedfrom the Story of the Earth. Nature and the Bible. PLATE VI. p. 123. OF ANIMAL LIFE. 123 nects with them the birds, which, with alliedwinged reptiles, were their contemporaries ingeological time. We may note here a stillcloser agreement, when we consider thataccording to both records gigantic carnivorousreptiles were lords of creation during at leastthe latter half of one long creative period.(See Plate VI.) So, as we pass into the next creative seon,the mammalia, represented in the Mesozoic ofgeology by only a few small species, becomedominant; and here we have, in the promi-nence given to the larger Herbivora (the he-moth of Genesis), a position corresponding totheir grandeur and dominance in the Eocene;while in the introduction of the beasts of theearth or carnivorous mammalia, we have theinauguration of an era, the later Tertiary, inwhich these assume the highest rank in nature,and take the place of the great
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