[Taxacom] Ethiopian versus Afrotropical

John Grehan jgrehan at sciencebuff.org
Thu Aug 14 08:22:47 CDT 2008

> the divide between the Afrotropical and the Palaearctic realms is not
> clear-cut, it is common knowledge that it lies somewhere near the Tropic
> of Cancer (23°30'N), 

Good illustration of the arbitrary and artificial nature of the area.

although some of the mountain areas south of it may
> contain Palaearctic elements and vice versa for more northern ranges. 

'Contain Palaearctic elements' - this is a good example of how the artificial nature of such areas is imbued with a another artificial construction - centers of origin whereby taxa in one 'region' related to taxa in another region are supposed to have dispersed from that latter region and therefore represent 'elements' of that region.

> the south, the entirety of Africa is included, although the southern tip
> of the continent is known to have a temperate climate. However, there is
> no clear zoological boundary between tropical and southern temperate 

The lack of a 'clear zoological boundary' is to be expected since the boundaries are artificial.

> it is generally accepted that the Afrotropical realm includes all of South
> Africa.

In other words, the area is a majority consensus. Again a good illustration of the artificial nature of the area.

John Grehan

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