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Encyclopedia > Wallace line
Wallace's line between Australasian and Southeast Asian fauna.

The Wallace Line (or Wallace's Line) is a boundary that separates the zoogeographical regions of Asia and Australasia. West of the line are found organisms related to Asiatic species; to the east, mostly organisms related to Australian species. The line is named after Alfred Russel Wallace, who noticed the apparent dividing line during his travels through the East Indies in the 19th century. The line runs through the Malay Archipelago, between Borneo and Sulawesi (Celebes); and between Bali (in the west) and Lombok (in the east). Evidence of the line was also noted in Antonio Pigafetta's biological contrasts between the Philippines and the Spice Islands, recorded during the voyage of Ferdinand Magellan in 1521. Image File history File linksMetadata Línea_de_Wallace. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Línea_de_Wallace. ... Ecozones are global divisions which have their own characteristic interplay of climatic factors, morphodynamics, soil-forming processes, living conditions for plants and animals, and production potentials for agriculture and forestry. ... World map showing the location of Asia. ... Australasia Australasia is a term variably used to describe a region of Oceania: Australia, New Zealand, and neighbouring islands in the Pacific Ocean. ... Alfred Russel Wallace Alfred Russel Wallace, OM, FRS (January 8, 1823 – November 7, 1913) was a British naturalist, explorer, geographer, anthropologist and biologist. ... The Indies, on the display globe of the Field Museum, Chicago The Indies or East Indies (or East India) is a term used to describe lands of South and South-East Asia, occupying all of the former British India, the present Indian Union, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Maldives, and... Alternative meaning: Nineteenth Century (periodical) (18th century — 19th century — 20th century — more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 19th century was that century which lasted from 1801-1900 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar. ... World map depicting Malay Archipelago The Malay Archipelago is a vast archipelago located between mainland Southeastern Asia (Indochina) and Australia. ... Borneo (left) and Sulawesi. ... Location of Sulawesi Island (light green) among the various islands of Indonesia. ... Map of Sulawesi pictures by Julianto Halim Sulawesi (or Celebes) is a large Indonesian island. ... This is the current Indonesian Collaboration of the week. ... Satellite photograph of Lombok, showing its volcano. ... Antonio Pigafetta (ca. ... Spice Islands most commonly refers to the Maluku Islands (formerly the Moluccas), which lie on the equator, between Sulawesi (Celebes) and New Guinea in what is now Indonesia. ... Ferdinand Magellan, see Ferdinand Magellan Railcar. ... Events January 3 - Pope Leo X excommunicates Martin Luther in the papal bull Decet Romanum Pontificem. ...


The distance between Bali and Lombok is small, a matter of only about 35 kilometers. The distributions of many bird species observe the line, as many birds refuse to cross even the smallest stretches of open water. Many volant mammals (bats) have distributions that cross the Wallace Line, but non-volant species are usually limited to one side or the other, with a few exceptions (e.g., rodents [Hystrix]). Various taxa in other groups of plants and animals show differing patterns, but the overall pattern is striking and reasonably predictable. Aves redirects here. ... Families Many, see text The order Rodentia is the most numerous of all the branches on the mammal family tree. ...


An understanding of the biogeography of the region centers on ancient sea levels, and the continental shelves; Wallace's Line is visible when one examines the sea contours, and can be seen as a deep-water channel which marks the southwestern edge of the Sunda Shelf linking Borneo, Bali, Java and Sumatra to the mainland of southeastern Asia. Australia, on the other hand, is united broadly with New Guinea, in the Sahul Shelf. At times when sea levels were lower, what are now islands were exposed and joined as continuous land masses, but the deep water between these two large shelf areas was — for a period in excess of 50 million years — a barrier that kept the flora and fauna of Australia largely separate from that of Asia. For considerations of sea level change, in particular rise associated with possible global warming, see sea level rise. ...  Sediment  Rock  Mantle  The global continental shelf, highlighted in cyan The continental shelf is the extended perimeter of each continent, which is covered during interglacial periods such as the current epoch by relatively shallow seas (known as shelf seas) and gulfs. ... Geologically, the Sunda Shelf is an extension of the continental shelf of Southeast Asia, covered during interglacials by the South China Sea, which isolates as islands Borneo, Sumatra Java and smaller islands. ... The Sahul Shelf and the Sunda Shelf during the last glacial maximum about 18,000 years ago. ...


A similar principle is behind the definitions of the related biogeographic boundaries known as Weber's Line and Lydekker's Line, which also occur within this transitional area (known as Wallacea). Wallacea is a biogeographical designation for a group of Indonesian islands separated by deep water from the Asian and Australian continental shelves. ...


Australasia does not conform to a single zoological area since New Zealand's fauna are completely different to those on the Australian continent. Zoologists have suggested a term for the distinct area containing Australia, Tasmania and New Guinea that is dominated by marsupials. Suggestions are Meganesia, Sahul or Australinea.


See also

Australia-New Guinea, also called Sahul or Meganesia, is made up of the continent of Australia and the islands of New Guinea and Tasmania. ... Wallacea is a biogeographical designation for a group of Indonesian islands separated by deep water from the Asian and Australian continental shelves. ...

References

  • van Oosterzee, Penny (1997). Where Worlds Collide: the Wallace Line.
  • Pleistocene Sea Level Maps
  • Wallacea - a transition zone from Asia to Australia, specially rich in marine life and on land.
  • Dawkins, Richard (2004). The Ancestors Tale. Weidenfeld & Nicolson. ISBN 0-7538-1996-1. Chapter 14 - Marsupials.

Borneo

  • Abdullah, M. T. (2003). Biogeography and variation of Cynopterus brachyotis in Southeast Asia. PhD thesis. The University of Queensland, St Lucia, Australia.
  • Hall, L. S., Gordon G. Grigg, Craig Moritz, Besar Ketol, Isa Sait, Wahab Marni and M. T. Abdullah (2004). "Biogeography of fruit bats in Southeast Asia". Sarawak Museum Journal LX(81):191-284.
  • Wilson D. E., D. M. Reeder (2005). Mammal species of the world. Washington DC: Smithsonian Institution Press.
Indonesia Portal

  Results from FactBites:
 
Alfred Russel Wallace (293 words)
Alfred Russel Wallace (January 8, 1823-November 7, 1913) was a British naturalist and biologist.
Wallace noted a line seemed to run through the Malay Archipelago, between Borneo and Celebes and east of Bali.
In the mid 20th Century, geological studies of plate tectonics showed there is an Indo-Australian plate that has Wallace's line as a border, resulting in a large drop in the sea floor at precisely the same point.
Wallace's line: Definition and Much More from Answers.com (502 words)
A hypothetical line demarcating the distribution of Asian and Australian fauna, passing between the islands of Bali and Lombok to the south and Borneo and Sulawesi to the north, used especially in biogeographic studies of evolution.
The Wallace Line is a boundary that separates the zoogeographical regions of Asia and Australasia.
Evidence of the line was also noted in Antonio Pigafetta's biological contrasts between the Philippines and the Spice Islands, recorded during the voyage of Ferdinand Magellan in 1521.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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