Bio geographical evidence of evolution, Biology

BIO GEOGRAPHICAL EVIDENCE-

  • The patterns of distribution of animals and plants in different parts of the globe are termed as biogeography.
  • It is believed that around carboniferous period or slightly earlier all the present day continents formed a single large, irregular land mass called Pangaea.
  • Pangaea splited up and the smaller masses (continents) lighter than the underlying earth crust material gradually floated over it to their present position.
  • As the continents drifted away, the sea separated them, forming barriers to free intercontinental movements of organisms. Due to different environmental continents, organisms evolved independently in them.
  • Earlier whole land mass of Globe was one piece called Panagea. 200 - 300 million years ago it got divided as follows -

538_bio geographical evidence.png

  • Sclater (1858) first divided globe in six zoogeographical regions on the basis of avian fauna.
  • A.R.Wallace (1876) divided more scientifically on the basis of entire flora and fauna as:

(i) Oriental region

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Asia (lower China, West Asia, Malaysia, Indonesia, India, Ceylon)

(ii) Australian region

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Australia, New Zealand, New Guinea, Tasmania, Hawaiian Island.

(iii) Ethiopian region

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Africa continent, Madagascar, Egypt, Sahara

(iv) Palaearctic region

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Europe, Most part of China, Japan, USSR, Siberia, N. Sahara

(v) Nearctic region

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North America continent (USA, Canada, Alaska, Greenland)

(v) Neotropical region

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South America continent (Mexico, Galapagos island)

  • Wallace's Line divides Oriental and Australian region.
  • Darwin (1831) during his expedition on H.M.S. Beagle visited Galapagos Islands (900 Km off West coast of South America) and found many endemic (restricted) species.
  • He studied 13 different subspecies of finches (Darwin's finches by David Lack 1947) with different eating habits (originally seed-eating).
  • He reasoned it as suitable adaptation brought by environmental conditions and called the islands as " living laboratory of evolution "
  • Discontinuous (Allopatric) distribution: When closely related genera are found in different regions.
  • This indicated that after arising from common stock they were geographically separated and evolved differently.
  • Due to the geographical barrier they remained isolated and evolved as genera, examples - 2101_bio geographical evidence1.png
  • Continuous (Sympatric) distribution: When closely related genera are found in the same or connected region. e.g. Prototheria and Metatheria are found only in Australian region.
  • Sometimes referred as restricted distribution. endemic fauna.
Posted Date: 10/8/2012 9:21:24 AM | Location : United States







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