The Palaearctic and the Nearctic. But to justify such a division it is necessary to establish either an exclusive possession or a marked predominance of types in the one which are correspondingly deficient in the other.
Thus comparing the Nearctic and Palaearctic floras we find striking differences overlying the points of agreement already indicated.
They are six in number: (1) Palaearctic, including Europe, Asia north of the Himalaya, and Africa north of the Sahara; (2) Ethiopian, consisting of Africa south of the Atlas range, and Madagascar; (3) Oriental, including India, Indo-China and the Malay Archipelago north of Wallace's line, which runs between Bali and Lombok; (4) Australian, including Australia, New Zealand, New Guinea and Pol y nesia; (5) Nearctic or North America, north of Mexico; and (6) Neotropical or South America.
In some cases, such as the Ethiopian and Neotropical and the Palaearctic and Nearctic regions, the faunas, although distinct, are related, several forms on opposite sides of the Atlantic being analogous, e.g.
These facts have led some naturalists to include the Palaearctic and Nearctic regions in one, termed Holarctic, and to suggest transitional regions, such as the Sonoran, between North and South America, and the Mediterranean, between Europe and Africa, or to create sub-regions, such as Madagascar and New Zealand.
Sclater' was the first to divide the world into a few great " regions," the Palaearctic, Ethiopian, Indian and Australian forming one group, the " Old World " (Palaeogaea); and the Nearctic and Neotropical forming a second, the New World (Neogaea).
The Nearctic and the Palaearctic. The reduction of the Oriental to a subregion, with consequent " provincial " rank of its main subdivisions, will probably be objected to, but these are matters of taste and prejudice.
Holarctic Region 5 Nearctic C Arctogaea Palaearctic () I V.
(C) Arctogaea is Huxley's well-chosen term for all the rest of the world (including the Nearctic, Palaearctic, Indian and Ethiopian regions of P. L.
Faunistically, although not geographically, the Nearctic and Palaearctic areas must form the two subdivisions of one great unit, for which the " Holarctic region " is now the generally accepted term.
The close affinity of North America with the Palaearctic avifauna becomes at once apparent if we exclude those groups of birds which we have good reason to believe have their original home in the Neotropical region, notably numerous Tyrannidae, humming-birds and the turkey-buzzards.
" More than one-third of the genera of Nearctic birds are common also to the Palaearctic subregion.
If we take the number of Nearctic species at 700, which is perhaps an exaggeration, and that of the Palaearctic at 850, we find that, exclusive of stragglers, there are about 120 common to the two areas.
Nearly 20 more are properly Palaearctic, but occasionally occur in America, and about 50 are Nearctic, which from time to time stray to Europe or Asia.
The first of these supports Newton's contention of the essential unity of the Nearctic and Palaearctic areas.
The Palaearctic Subregion is, broadly speaking, Europe and Asia, with the exception of India and China.
Like the Nearctic the Palaearctic subregion seems to possess but one single peculiar family of land birds, the Panuridae, represented by the beautiful species known to Englishmen as the bearded titmouse, Panurus biarmicus.
The entire number of Palaearctic families are, according to Newton, 67, and of the genera 323.
To compare the Palaearctic genera with those of the Australian and Neotropical regions would be simply a waste of time, for the points of resemblance are extremely few, and such as they are they lead to nothing.
It will therefore be seen from the above that next to the Nearctic area the Palaearctic has a much greater affinity to any other, a fact which might be expected from geographical considerations.
Having shown this much we have next to deal with the peculiarities of the vast Palaearctic subregion.
The Ethiopian Subregion comprises the whole of Africa and Madagascar, except the Barbary States, but including Arabia; in the north-east the subregion melts into the Palaearctic between Palestine and the Persian Gulf.
The Oriental Subregion comprises all the countries and numerous islands between the Palaearctic and Australian areas; it possesses upwards of seventy families, of which, however, only one is peculiar, but this family, the Eurylaemidae or broadbills, is of great importance since it represents all the Subclamatores.
Naturally no line whatever can be drawn between the Oriental and the Palaearctic subregions, and many otherwise essentially Indo-Malayan families extend far into the Australian realm, far across Wallace's line, whilst the reverse takes place to a much more moderate extent.
Upupidae, Upupinae, hoopoes: palaearctic and palaeotropical.
The northern portion of Asia, as far south as the Himalaya, is not zoologically distinct from Europe, and these two areas, with the strip of Africa north of the Atlas, constitute the Palaearctic region of Dr Sclater, whose zoological primary divisions of the earth have met with the general approval of naturalists.
Nearly all the mammals of Europe also occur in northern Asia, where, however, the Palaearctic fauna is enriched by numerous additional species.
The mammal fauna of the Indian region of Asia is much more highly developed than that of the Palaearctic. The Quadrumana are represented by several peculiar genera, amongst which are Semnopithecus, Hylobates and Simia.
The Carnivora are likewise numerous; and this region may be considered as the true home of the tiger, though this animal has wandered far north into the Palaearctic division of Asia.
G..Gmelin, Giildenstalt, Lepechin and others - in the exploration of the recently extended Russian empire supplied not only much material to the Commentarii and Acta of the Academy of St Petersburg, but more that is to be found in their narratives - all of it being of the highest interest to students of Palaearctic or Nearctic ornithology.
Elsewhere the forms are Palaearctic with intrusions from the east; but the length of the Syrian strip and the variety of its surface relief admit of considerable difference in the species inhabiting different districts.
We should have four great realms:-(1) Europe and Northern and Temperate Asia, Africa north of the Sahara (palaearctic region) and North and Central America (nearctic region); (2) Africa and South-Eastern Asia (Ethiopian and Indian region); (3) South America (neotropical region); and (4) Australia (Australian region).
At last, in the latest Pliocene strata (often called " pre-Glacial ") we find a flora consisting almost entirely of existing species belonging to the Palaearctic regions, and nearly all still living in the country where the fossils are found.
The flora, however, is essentially Palaearctic, American and.Australian types having disappeared.
The Tegelen plants are mainly north European; but there occur others of central and south Europe, and various exotic and extinct forms, nearly all of which, however, belong to the Palaearctic region, though some may now be confined to widely separated parts of it.
The earthworms of England belong entirely to the three genera Lumbricus, Allolobophora and Allurus, which are further subdivided by some systematists; and these genera form the prevalent earthworm fauna of the Palaearctic region and are also very numerous in the Nearctic region.
Fauna.The Iberian Peninsula belongs to the Mediterranean sub-region of the Palaearctic region of the animal kingdom.
The fauna of the Tibetan Himalaya is essentially European or rather that of the northern half of the old continent, which region has by zoologists been termed Palaearctic. Among the characteristic animals may be named the yak, from which is reared a cross breed with the ordinary horned cattle of India, many wild sheep, and two antelopes, as well as the musk-deer; several hares and some burrowing animals, including pikas (Lagomys) and two or three species of marmot; certain arctic forms of carnivora - fox, wolf, lynx, ounce, marten and ermine; also wild asses.
The fishes found in the rivers of the Himalaya show the same general connexion with the three neighbouring regions, the Palaearctic, the African and the Malayan.
The fauna of the Persian plateau he described as Palaearctic, with a great prevalence of desert forms; or, perhaps more correctly, Aug.
As being of the desert type with Palaearctic species in the more fertile regions.
In the Caspian provinces he found the fauna, on the whole, Palaearctic also, most of the animals being identical with those of south-eastern Europe.