Zoogeography of the Sea

Zoogeography of the Sea

Zoogeography of the Sea

Zoogeography of the Sea

Excerpt

In 1935 the Akademische Verlagsgesellschaft in Leipzig published my book Tiergeographie des Meeres. When, some time ago, it was proposed to bring out an English edition, it was evident to me that a simple translation would not suffice because the progress made in marine zoology since 1934 made it necessary to revise the text, making additions and corrections where required. When I set to work I found that the revision had to be more comprehensive than I thought. It is true that the recent war made scientific expeditions into the world's oceans almost impossible, but work on the collections of earlier expeditions was continued and a considerable number of other advances in marine zoology had been published. The revision, therefore, had to be thorough-going.

To elucidate the various zoogeographical regions and their faunas I have, in a number of cases, drawn up tables for the occurrence of various groups of species and genera within the fauna in question, the data being expressed in figures for the absolute number and the percentage. It goes without saying that these tables cannot be absolutely correct, but merely reflect in an approximate way our present knowledge, incomplete as it is. They constitute an attempt to present the faunistic facts as objectively as possible, arranged in such a way that the important features are brought out by and for comparison with other faunas.

It is not only the individual animals which live; the faunas also appear to us as living units. Since a fauna has developed from an earlier fauna, in the course of time it changes, perhaps grows old and will in future be replaced by a new one. The attempt, by growing refinement of method, to find out more and more of the life history of these faunas provides a particular stimulus for the zoogeographer. In so doing he must combine various disciplines. In the sphere of zoology he combines faunistics with taxonomy, ecology with its fundamental science, physiology. In its methodology zoogeography closely resembles plant geography, the results of which it uses, in addition to those of oceanography, present and past climatology, geomorphology and palmontology. Animal geography thus represents a gratifying example that even today, when an ever- increasing specialization is often a condition of progress, there are still sciences left which find in the opening up of frontiers and in the . . .

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