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This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License. To view a copy of this license, visit
 

Summary: This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share
Alike 3.0 United States License. To view a copy of this license, visit
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us/ or send a letter to Creative
Commons, 171 Second Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, California, 94105, USA.
679
arranged in two major zoogeographic groups: endemics (in Panama, or in Panama and Costa
Rica); and species that are more wide-ranging. In turn, species in the latter group are arranged
in three subgroups: widespread (in other parts of Central America, Panama, and South
America); those in Panama and South America, only; and those in Panama and Central
America, only. This last group, plus the Panamanian endemics, comprise the endemic Central
American fauna, which represents 52 per cent of the total. The authors correlate this high rate
of endemism in Central America with isolation, by seaways, of Central America from South
America, during much of the Tertiary period. They infer that, during the time of isolation,
differentiation took place. Further, they propose that species occurring now in both Central and
South America attained the present ranges when the seaways were closed as a result of
orogenies in Central America, leading to development of emergent land, and a terrestrial
connection of the two areas. This proposed sequence of events accounts nicely for the observed
patterns, and correlates well with inferences of various other recent authors, who have studied
distribution patterns of other taxa in Middle America.
A more detailed examination of the data shows that average body size is smaller for

  

Source: Aiken, Ron - Biology Department, Mount Allison University

 

Collections: Biology and Medicine