How much of this is fabulous there seems no means at present of determining, but some of the statements are made by veracious travellers - D'Orbigny and Tschudi.
It was Alcide Dessalines d'Orbigny (1802-1857) who pushed to an extreme Cuvier's ideas of the fixity of species and of successive extinctions, and finally developed the wild hypothesis of twenty-seven distinct creations.
The greatest generalization of this second period, however, was that partly prepared for by d'Orbigny, as will be more fully explained later in this article, and clearly expressed by Agassiz - namely, the law of repetition of ancestral stages of life in the course of the successive stages of individual development.
D'Orbigny, being a special creationist, failed to recognize the bearing of these individual stages on evolution.
In this book attention was also directed to the succession of forms in the various geological periods, with the important result (stated in modern terms) that in the Palaeozoic period the Pteridophyta are found to predominate; in the Mesozoic, the Gymnosperms; in the Cainozoic, the Angiosperms, a result subsequently more fully stated in his "Tableau des genres de vegetaux fossiles" (D'Orbigny, Diet.
D'Orbigny, Voyage dans l'Amerique meridionale, vol.