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Operation of Zoogeographic Barriers

John C. Briggs
Systematic Zoology
Vol. 23, No. 2 (Jun., 1974), pp. 248-256
DOI: 10.2307/2412136
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2412136
Page Count: 9
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Operation of Zoogeographic Barriers
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Abstract

Information about the operation of various, major zoogeographic barriers in both marine and terrestrial environments is presented. The data appear to indicate that such barriers affect the distribution of animals in a consistent manner. Therefore, it is possible to propose a general theory of barrier function. If we assume that such barriers have been constant in their function over long periods of time, we are provided with a relatively simple explanation for certain, worldwide distributional (and phylogenetic) patterns that apparently have taken millions of years to become established. If it is recognized that, in general, the more advanced species will be found in the center of origin, the task of working out the relationships of an animal group, and hence the course of evolution, will be made easier. The data on barriers indicate that the cladistic biogeographic principle, which states that the most primitive species are found closest to the center of origin, is probably unsound.

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