TAILIEUCHUNG - Linzey - Vertebrate Biology - Chapter 3

C H A P T E R 3 Vertebrate Zoogeography The study of the geographic distribution of animals and the mutual influence of the environment and animals on each other is known as zoogeography. Because animals and plants of a community are interdependent ecologically, zoogeographic. | I Text Linzey Vertebrate Biology The McGraw-Hill Companies 2003 3. Vertebrate Zoogeography CHAPTER 3 Vertebrate Zoogeography INTRODUCTION The study of the geographic distribution of animals and the mutual influence of the environment and animals on each other is known as zoogeography. Because animals and plants of a community are interdependent ecologically zoogeographic studies usually must further include a consideration of plants. Zoogeography also attempts to explain how species have come to be distributed as they are which requires a knowledge of historical changes in climates geography and the distributions of species. Thus zoogeography is related intimately to both ecology and geology. Four major branches of zoogeographic research are recognized faunal comparative historical and ecological. Faunal zoogeography includes the preparation of faunal lists of animal populations for specific areas and forms the basis on which all other zoogeographic research relies. Comparative zoogeography attempts to classify the distribution of animals according to their external features. When fauna from different areas are compared their distribution may not be consistent with the present geologic and geographic divisions of the Earth. For example amphibians reptiles and birds of North Africa are much more closely related to forms in southern Europe than to those in Africa south of the Sahara. The fauna of southern Asia is more closely related to that of trans-Saharan Africa than it is to the fauna of Asia north of the Himalayas. Many groups of North American birds and mammals differ more widely from their corresponding groups in Central and South America than from those in Europe and northern Asia. Homologies among such comparable faunas are based on genetic relationships and common evolutionary origins. A few species of vertebrates have natural ranges that are virtually cosmopolitan in distribution mallards Anas platyrhynchos ospreys Pandion haliaetus common terns Sterna .

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