The humerus is likewise shorter relatively to the forearm. This shortening of that part of the limb which is nearest to the body, appears to be, as suggested to me by Mr. Forbes, a case of compensation in relation with the greatly increased length of the trunk. The Aymaras present some other singular points of structure, for instance, the very small projection of the heel.

These men are so thoroughly acclimatised to their cold and lofty abode, that when formerly carried down by the Spaniards to the low eastern plains, and when now tempted down by high wages to the gold-washings, they suffer a frightful rate of mortality. Nevertheless Mr. Forbes found a few pure families which had survived during two generations: and he observed that they still inherited their characteristic peculiarities. But it was manifest, even without measurement, that these peculiarities had all decreased; and on measurement, their bodies were found not to be so much elongated as those of the men on the high plateau; whilst their femora had become somewhat lengthened, as had their tibiae, although in a less degree. The actual measurements may be seen by consulting Mr. Forbes's memoir. From these observations, there can, I think, be no doubt that residence during many generations at a great elevation tends, both directly and indirectly, to induce inherited modifications in the proportions of the body. (35. Dr. Wilckens ('Landwirthschaft. Wochenblatt,' No. 10, 1869) has lately published an interesting essay shewing how domestic animals, which live in mountainous regions, have their frames modified.)

Although man may not have been much modified during the latter stages of his existence through the increased or decreased use of parts, the facts now given shew that his liability in this respect has not been lost; and we positively know that the same law holds good with the lower animals. Consequently we may infer that when at a remote epoch the progenitors of man were in a transitional state, and were changing from quadrupeds into bipeds, natural selection would probably have been greatly aided by the inherited effects of the increased or diminished use of the different parts of the body.


There is a difference between arrested development and arrested growth, for parts in the former state continue to grow whilst still retaining their early condition. Various monstrosities come under this head; and some, as a cleft palate, are known to be occasionally inherited. It will suffice for our purpose to refer to the arrested brain-development of microcephalous idiots, as described in Vogt's memoir. (36. 'Memoires sur les Microcephales,' 1867, pp. 50, 125, 169, 171, 184-198.) Their skulls are smaller, and the convolutions of the brain are less complex than in normal men. The frontal sinus, or the projection over the eye-brows, is largely developed, and the jaws are prognathous to an "effrayant" degree; so that these idiots somewhat resemble the lower types of mankind. Their intelligence, and most of their mental faculties, are extremely feeble. They cannot acquire the power of speech, and are wholly incapable of prolonged attention, but are much given to imitation. They are strong and remarkably active, continually gambolling and jumping about, and making grimaces. They often ascend stairs on all-fours; and are curiously fond of climbing up furniture or trees. We are thus reminded of the delight shewn by almost all boys in climbing trees; and this again reminds us how lambs and kids, originally alpine animals, delight to frisk on any hillock, however small. Idiots also resemble the lower animals in some other respects; thus several cases are recorded of their carefully smelling every mouthful of food before eating it. One idiot is described as often using his mouth in aid of his hands, whilst hunting for lice. They are often filthy in their habits, and have no sense of decency; and several cases have been published of their bodies being remarkably hairy. (37.

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Charles Darwin

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