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Geographic Relations of Ozarkian Amphibians and Reptiles

Herndon G. Dowling
The Southwestern Naturalist
Vol. 1, No. 4 (Oct., 1956), pp. 174-189
DOI: 10.2307/3668989
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3668989
Page Count: 16
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Geographic Relations of Ozarkian Amphibians and Reptiles
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Abstract

Ranges of the amphibians and reptiles of the Interior Highland (Ozark Plateau and Ouachita Mountains) are contrasted, and an attempt is made to correlate present distributions with the geologic and paleoclimatic history of the region. Salamanders are found to be better indicators of past distributional patterns than the other groups. The ecology of endemic species is described and interpreted in terms of adaptation for a semi-arid climate. Six herpetofaunal invasions of the Highland are suggested: a quite recent one from the east (Coastal Plain), a somewhat older one from the western plains, a late Pleistocene invasion from the north, and three or more older invasions from the Appalachian region. The predominance of eastern sources may be due to heavy reliance for evidence being put on salamanders (mostly deriving from the humid east), and not a true picture for the herpetofauna as a whole.

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