The Geographical Distribution of the Mammalia: Considered in Relation to the Principal Ontological Regions of the Earth, and the Laws that Govern the Distribution of Animal Life

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U.S. Government Printing Office, 1878 - 377 pages

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Page 11 - Deanc, and Maynard, including three first described from birds taken within the state. No new separate enumeration of the birds of Massachusetts has, however, been since made, but in 1875 Dr. TM Brewer published a new "Catalogue of the Birds of New England
Page 316 - If these considerations are well founded," he continues, " the objections of those who study insects or molluscs, for example, — that our regions are not true for their departments of nature — cannot be maintained. For they will find, that a careful consideration of the exceptional means of dispersal and conditions of existence of each group, will explain most of the divergences from the normal distribution of higher animals."!
Page 317 - Straits, so that it is possible to go from Cape Horn to Singapore or the Cape of Good Hope without ever being out of sight of land ; and owing to the intervention of the numerous islands of the Malay Archipelago the journey might be continued under the same conditions as far as Melbourne and Hobart...
Page 314 - Istly, that the several regions are not of equal rank ; — :2ndly, that they are not equally applicable to all classes of animals. As to the first objection, it will be found impossible to form any three or more regions, each of which differs from the rest in an equal degree or in the same manner. One will surpass all others in the possession of peculiar families; another will have many characteristic genera ; while a third will be mainly distinguished by negative characters. There will also be...
Page 373 - ... correspondence between climatic belts and the zones of life seems to me abundantly evident. As has been already shown, the broader or primary zones are, first, an Arctic or North Circumpolar Zone, embracing the arctic, subarctic, and colder temperate latitudes of the northern hemisphere, throughout the whole of which area there is a marked homogeneity of mammalian life, as well as of animal and vegetable life in general ; secondly, that below this there is a broad belt of life, which, in its...
Page 384 - I, fig. 2.) In this example the tail is also pointed and graduated. About seven of the outer primaries of the wing are shown with great distinctness, and two others can be easily made out. The third primary is the longest ; the second is slightly shorter ; the first and fourth are about equal. There are also in...
Page 372 - Realm is geographically almost wholly oceanic, and its fauna hence consists almost exclusively of marine or pelagic species. It necessarily embraces not only the Antarctic Zone, but a large part of the cold south-temperate, since very few of its characteristic species are wholly restricted to the Antarctic waters. It will hence include not only the few small groups of Antarctic Islands, but also Tierra del Fuego and the Falkland Islands, and perhaps also the extreme southern shores of South America,...
Page 326 - ... herbivorous, carnivorous, or insectivorous ; are fitted to live underground, or in fresh waters, or on polar ice. It was once thought that these adaptive peculiarities were suitable foundations for a classification, — that whales were fishes, and bats birds ; and even to this day there are naturalists who cannot recognize the essential diversity of structure in such groups as swifts and swallows, sun-birds and humming-birds, under the superficial disguise caused by adaptation to a similar mode...
Page 374 - ... south-temperate oceanic regions are recognizable as a primary region, characterized by a peculiar general fades of life that more strongly recalls that of the corresponding portions of the northern hemisphere than of any other portion of the earth. It has been further shown that the Australian Realm is divisible into temperate and tropical portions, and also that the land surface is separable into zones of even still narrower limits, corresponding in a general way with those recognized by Dana...
Page 314 - all elaborate definitions of interpenetrating frontiers, as well as regions extending over three fourths of the laud surface of the globe, and including places which are the antipodes of each other, would be most inconvenient, even if there were not such difference of opinion about them ".* These arguments can be scarcely characterized as otherwise than trivial, since they imply that truth, at least to a certain degree, should be regarded as secondary to convenience.

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