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THE

GEOGRAPHICAL DISTRIBUTION

OF ANIMALS.

PART III. (continued.)

200LOGICAL GEOGRAPHY:

A REVIEW OF THE CHIEF FORMS OP ANIMAL LIFE IN THE

SEVERAL REGIONS AND SUB-REGIONS, WITH THE INDICA. TIONS THEY AFFORD OF GEOGRAPHICAL MUTATIONS.

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CHAPTER XIV.
THE NEOTROPICAL REGION.

THIS region, comprehending not only South America but Tropical North America and the Antilles, may be compared as to extent with the Ethiopian region; but it is distinguished from all the other great zoological divisions of the globe, by the small proportion of its surface occupied by deserts, by the large proportion of its lowlands, and by the altogether unequalled extent and luxuriance of its tropical forests. It further possesses a grand mountain range, rivalling the Himalayas in altitude and far surpassing them in extent, and which, being wholly situated within the region and running through eighty degrees of latitude, offers a variety of conditions and an extent of mountain slopes, of lofty plateaus and of deep valleys, which no other tropical region can approach. It has a further advantage in a southward prolongation far into the temperate zone, equivalent to a still greater extension of its lofty plateaus; and this has, no doubt, aided the development of the peculiar alpine forms of life which abound in the southern Andes. The climate of this region is exceptionally favourable. Owing to the lofty mountain range situated along its western margin, the moisture-laden trade winds from the Atlantic have free access to the interior. A sufficient proportion of this moisture reaches the higher slopes of the Andes, where its condensation gives rise to innumerable streams, which cut deep ravines and carry down such an amount of sediment, that they have formed the vast plains of the Amazon, of Para

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