By Jacob Abbott
Origin of Vegetable and Animal Life in America
When the new world was first discovered it was found to be, like the old, well stocked with plants and animals, and inhabited by a great many tribes and nations of men; and yet the plants and animals, if not the men, were all essentially different from those known in the old world. This was unexpected; it was thought to be quite remarkable, and it added greatly to the difficulty of deciding the question, which, of course, at once arose, in respect to the origin of these plants and animals and men, and to the manner in which they came in possession of a continent thus cut off apparently from all intercourse and connection with the rest of the world.
For the American continent is entirely separated from the old. The nearest approach which it makes to it in any part is at Behring’s Straits, on the north-west, where it is divided form the Asiatic continent by a channel about forty miles wide
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