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so clearly indicated as in some of the other regions, and they are adopted more for convenience than because they are very natural or strongly marked. The first, or European sub-region, comprises Central and Northern Europe as far South as the Pyrenees, the Maritime and Dinaric Alps, the Balkan mountains, the Black Sea, and the Caucasus. On the east the Caspian sea and the Ural mountains seem the most obvious limit; but it is doubtful if they form the actual boundary, which is perhaps better marked by the valley of the Irtish, where a pre-glacial sea almost certainly connected the Aral and Caspian seas with the Arctic ocean, and formed an effective barrier which must still, to some extent, influence the distribution of animals. The next, or Mediterranean sub-region, comprises South Europe, North Africa with the extra-tropical portion of the Sahara, and Egypt to about the first or second cataracts; and eastward through Asia Minor, Persia, and Cabul, to the deserts of the Indus. The third, or Siberian sub-region, consists of all north and central Asia north of Herat, as far as the eastern limits of the great desert plateau of Mongolia, and southward to about the upper limit of trees on the Himalayas. The fourth, or Manchurian sub-region, consists of Japan and North China with the lower valley of the Amoor; and it should probably be extended westward in a narrow strip along the Himalayas, embracing about 1,000 or 2,000 feet of vertical distance below the upper limit of trees, till it meets an eastern extension of the Mediterranean sub-region a little beyond Simla. These extensions are necessary to avoid passing from the Oriental region, which is essentially tropical, directly to the Siberian subregion, which has an extreme northern character; whereas the Mediterranean and Manchurian sub-regions are more temperate in climate. It will be found that between the upper limit of most of the typical Oriental groups and the Thibetan or Siberian fauna, there is a zone in which many forms occur common to temperate China. This is especially the case among the pheasants and finches.
Ethiopian Region.—The limits of this region have been indicated by the definition of the Palaearctic region. Besides Africa south of the tropic of Cancer, and its islands, it comprises the southern half of Arabia. This region has been said to be identical in the main characters of its mammalian fauna with the Oriental region, and has therefore been united with it by Mr. A. Murray. Most important differences have however been overlooked, as the following summary of the peculiarities of the Ethiopian region will, I think, show. It possesses 22 peculiar families of vertebrates; 90 peculiar genera of mammalia, being two-thirds of its whole number; and 179 peculiar genera of birds, being three-fifths of all it possesses. It is further characterized by the absence of several families and genera which range over the whole northern hemisphere, details of which will be found in the chapter treating of the region. There are, it is true, many points of resemblance, not to be wondered at between two tropical regions in the same hemisphere, and which have evidently been at one time more nearly connected, both by intervening lands and by a different condition of the lands that even now connect them. But these resemblances only render the differences more remarkable; since they show that there has been an ancient and long-continued separation of the two regions, developing a distinct fauna in each, and establishing marked specialities which the temporary intercommunication and immigration has not sufficed to remove. The entire absence of such wide-spread groups as bears and deer, from a country many parts of which are well adapted to them, and in close proximity to regions where they abound, would alone mark out the Ethiopian region as one of the primary divisions of the earth, even if it possessed a less number than it actually does of peculiar family and generic groups. Sub-divisions of the Ethiopian Region.—The African continent south of the tropic of Cancer is more homogeneous in its prominent and superficial zoological features than most of the
other regions, but there are nevertheless important and deepWoL. I.-7
seated local peculiarities. Two portions can be marked off as possessing many peculiar forms; the luxuriant forest district of equatorial West Africa, and the southern extremity or Cape district. The remaining portion has no well-marked divisions, and a large proportion of its animal forms range over it from Nubia and Abyssinia, to Senegal on the one side and to the Zambesi on the other; this forms our first or East-African sub-region. The second, or West African sub-region extends along the coast from Senegal to Angola, and inland to the sources of the Shary and the Congo. The third, or South African sub-region, comprises the Cape Colony and Natal, and is roughly limited by a line from Delagoa Bay to Walvish Bay. The fourth, or Malagasy sub-region, consists of Madagascar and the adjacent islands, from Rodriguez to the Seychelles; and this differs so remarkably from the continent that it has been proposed to form a distinct primary region for its reception. Its productions are indeed highly interesting; since it possesses 3 families, and 2 sub-families of mammals peculiar to itself, while almost all its genera are peculiar. Of these a few show Oriental or Ethiopian affinities, but the remainder are quite isolated. Turning to other classes of animals, we find that the birds are almost as remarkable; but, as might be expected, a larger number of genera are common to surrounding countries. More than 30 genera are altogether peculiar, and some of these are so isolated as to require to be classed in separate families or sub-families. The African affinity is however here more strongly shown by the considerable number (13) of peculiar Ethiopian genera which in Madagascar have representative species. There can be no doubt therefore about Madagascar being more nearly related to the Ethiopian than to any other region; but its peculiarities are so great, that, were it not for its small size and the limited extent of its fauna, its claim to rank as a separate region might not seem unreasonable. It is true that it is not poorer in mammals than Australia; but that country is far more isolated, and cannot be so decidedly and naturally associated with any other region as Madagascar can be with the Ethiopian. It is therefore the better and more natural course to keep it as a sub-region; the peculiarities it exhibits being of exactly the same kind as those presented by the Antilles, by New Zealand, and even by Celebes and Ceylon, but in a much greater degree. Oriental Region.—On account of the numerous objections that have been made to naming a region from the least characteristic portion of it, and not thinking “Malayan,” proposed by Mr. Blanford, a good term, (as it has a very circumscribed and definite meaning, and especially because the “Malay” archipelago is half of it in the Australian region,) I propose to use the word “Oriental" instead of “Indian,” as being geographically applicable to the whole of the countries included in the region and to very few beyond it; as being euphonious, and as being free from all confusion with terms already used in zoological geography. I trust therefore that it may meet with general acceptance. This small, compact, but rich and varied region, consists of all India and China from the limits of the Palaearctic region; all the Malay peninsula and islands as far east as Java and Baly, Borneo and the Philippine Islands; and Formosa. It is positively characterized by possessing 12 peculiar families of vertebrata; by 55 genera of land mammalia, and 165 genera of land birds, altogether confined to it; these peculiar genera forming in each case about one half of the total number it possesses. Sub-divisions of the Oriental region.—First we have the Indian sub-region, consisting of Central India from the foot of the Himalayas in the west, and south of the Ganges to the east, as far as a line drawn from Goa curving south and up to the Kistna river; this is the portion which has most affinity with Africa. The second, or Ceylonese sub-region, consists of the southern extremity of India with Ceylon; this is a mountainous forest region, and possesses several peculiár forms as well as some Malayan types not found in the first sub-region.
Next we have the Indo-Chinese sub-region, comprising South China and Burmah, extending westward along the Himalayan range to an altitude of about 9,000 or 10,000 feet, and southward to Tavoy or Tenasserim. The last is the Indo-Malayan sub-region, comprising the Peninsula of Malacca and the Malay Islands to Baly, Borneo, and the Philippines. On account of the absence from the first sub-region of many of the forms most characteristic of the other three, and the number of families and genera of mammalia and birds which occur in it and also in Africa, it has been thought by some naturalists that this part of India has at least an equal claim to be classed as a part of the Ethiopian region. This question will be found fully discussed in Chapter XII. devoted to the Oriental region, where it is shown that the African affinity is far less than has been represented, and that in all its essential features Central India is wholly Oriental in its fauna. Before leaving this region a few words may be said about Lemuria, a name proposed by Mr. Sclater for the site of a supposed submerged continent extending from Madagascar to Ceylon and Sumatra, in which the Lemuroid type of animals was developed. This is undoubtedly a legitimate and highly probable supposition, and it is an example of the way in which a study of the geographical distribution of animals may enable us to reconstruct the geography of a bygone age. But we must not, as Mr. Blyth proposed, make this hypothetical land one of our actual Zoological regions. It represents what was probably a primary Zoological region in some past geological epoch; but what that epoch was and what were the limits of the region in question, we are quite unable to say. If we are to suppose that it comprised the whole area now inhabited by Lemuroid animals, we must make it extend from West Africa to Burmah, South China, and Celebes; an area which it possibly did once occupy, but which cannot be formed into a modern Zoological region without violating much more important affinities. If, on the other hand, we leave out all those areas which undoubtedly belong to other regions, we reduce Lemuria to Madagascar and its adjacent