Beagle Diary: New South Wales, Australia
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From Charles Darwin's Beagle Diary:
New South Wales
January 19, 1836
I had been lying on a sunny bank & was reflecting on the strange character of the Animals of this country as compared to the rest of the World. An unbeliever in everything beyond his own reason, might exclaim "Surely two distinct Creators must have been [at] work; their object however has been the same & certainly the end in each case is complete".— Whilst thus thinking, I observed the conical pitfall of a Lion-Ant:— A fly fell in & immediately disappeared; then came a large but unwary Ant; his struggles to escape being very violent, the little jets of sand described by Kirby (Vol. 1. P. 425) were promptly directed against him.— (Note in margin: NB The pitfall was not above half the size of the one described by Kirby.) His fate however was better than that of the poor fly's:— Without a doubt this predacious Larva belongs to the same genus, but to a different species from the European one.— Now what would the Disbeliever say to this? Would any two workmen ever hit on so beautiful, so simple & yet so artificial a contrivance? It cannot be thought so.— The one hand has surely worked throughout the universe. A Geologist perhaps would suggest, that the periods of Creation have been distinct & remote the one from the other; that the Creator rested in his labor.—"