1I.] PROCESSES IN HEREDITY. 11
sponding variety in the results. In some islets one plant would prevail, in others another ; nevertheless there would be many traits of family likeness in the vegetation of all of them, and no plant would be found that had not existed in one or other of the islands.
Though family likeness and individual variations are largely due to a common cause, some variations are so large and otherwise remarkable, that they seem to belong to a different class. They are known among breeders as "sports"; I will speak of these later on.
Latent Characteristics.-Another fact in heredity may also be illustrated by the islands and islets ; namely, that the child often resembles an ancestor in some feature or character that neither of his parents personally possessed. We are told that buried seeds may lie dormant for many years, so that when a plot of ground that was formerly cultivated is again deeply dug into and upturned, plants that had not been known to grow on the spot within the memory of man, will frequently make their appearance. It is easy to imagine that some of these dormant seeds should find their way to an islet, through currents that undermined the island cliffs and drifted away their debris, after the cliffs had tumbled into the sea. Again, many plants on the islands may maintain an obscure existence, being hidden and half smothered by successful rivals ; but whenever their seeds happened to find their way to any one of the islets, while those of their rivals did not, they would sprout freely and assert themselves. This