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Georges Cuvier quotes
The lowest and most level land areas show us, especially when we dig there to very great depths, nothing but horizontal layers of material more or less varied, which almost all contain innumerable products of the sea.
Why has not anyone seen that fossils alone gave birth to a theory about the formation of the earth, that without them, no one would have ever dreamed that there were successive epochs in the formation of the globe.
But the revolutions and changes which are responsible for the present state of the earth are not limited to the upsetting of the ancient strata and to the ebbing of the sea after the formations of new layers.
It is evident that one cannot say anything demonstrable about the problem before having resolved these preliminary questions, and yet we hardly possess the necessary information to solve some of them.
Moreover, it thus follows that not a great deal of time was needed for the large animals of the three major parts of the world to become known to the people who spent time on the coasts of those regions.
The appearance of the bones of quadrupeds, especially those of complete bodies in the strata, tells us either that the layer itself which carries them was in earlier times dry land or that dry land was at least formed in the immediate area.
The traces of upheavals become more impressive when one moves a little higher, when one gets even closer to the foot of the great mountain ranges. There are still plenty of shell layers. We notice them, even thicker and more solid ones.