[Taxacom] Ethiopian versus Afrotropical

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


Although
> 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.


To
> 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.

and
> 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






More information about the Taxacom mailing list