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Nunung Rahayu Anas

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ICP Biology07

Introduction to Zoogeography

What is "zoogeography"? Zoogeography is the study of the patterns of the past,

present, and future distribution of animals (and their attributes) in nature and the
processes that regulate these distributions. Zoogeography is often divided into two main
branches: "ecological zoogeography" and "historical zoogeography". The former
investigates the role of current day biotic and abiotic interactions in influencing animal
distributions; the latter are concerned with historical reconstruction of the origin,
dispersal, and extinction of taxa.

It’s the scientific analysis of the spatial and termporal pattern.The subdivision of
the science of biogeography that is concerned with the detailed description of the
distribution of animals and how their past distribution has produced present-day patterns.
Scientists in this field attempt to formulate theories that explain the present distributions
as elucidated by geography, physiography, climate, ecological correlates (especially
vegetation), geological history, the canons of evolutionary theory, and an understanding
of the evolutionary relationships of the particular animals under study.

The field of zoogeography is based upon five observations and two conclusions.
The observations are as follows. (1) Each species and higher group of animals has a
discrete nonrandom distribution in space and time (for example, the gorilla occurs only in
two forest areas in Africa). (2) Different geographical regions have an assemblage of
distinctive animals that coexist (for example, the fauna of Africa south of the Sahara with
its monkeys, pigs, and antelopes is totally different from the fauna of Australia with its
platypuses, kangaroos, and wombats). (3) These differences (and similarities) cannot be
explained by the amount of distance between the regions or by the area of the region
alone [for example, the fauna of Europe and eastern Asia is strikingly similar although
separated by 6900 mi (11,500 km) of land, while the faunas of Borneo and New Guinea
are extremely different although separated by a tenth of that distance across land and
water]. (4) Faunas strikingly different from those found today previously occurred in all
geographical regions (for example, dinosaurs existed over much of the world in the
Cretaceous). (5) Faunas resembling those found today or their antecedents previously
occurred, sometimes at sites far distant from their current range (for example, the
subtropical-warm temperate fauna of Eocene Wyoming, including many fresh-water
fishes, salamander, and turtle groups, is now restricted to the southeastern United States).

The conclusions are as follows. (1) There are recognizible recurrent patterns of
animal distribution. (2) These patterns represent faunas composed of species and higher
groups that have evolved through time in association with one another.