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General Zoogeography

Nature volume 140, pages 663664 (16 October 1937) | Download Citation



THE recent rapid advances in the study of animal ecology, historical geology and palaeo-climatology are making inadequate the old formal zoogeography, which consisted mainly in the accumulation of distributional facts and in the parcelling out the earth's surface into rigidly defined zoogeographical regions, provinces, etc. An urgent necessity for revising the fundamental conceptions and methods of zoogeographical research, in order to bring it into line with allied sciences, is felt by all biologists working on distributional problems, whose aim is not merely to register facts, but also to find the most probable scientific theories accounting for their origin. There is no lack of attempts at such revisions, but none of them can be considered sufficiently balanced. Usually there is a distinct bias either towards pure ecology, which is taken to provide a complete explanation of all distributional facts, or the stress is laid on geological history, and very ingenious theories are built on an incomplete foundation.

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