Biogeography Critical Thinking Samples
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One of the significant contributors of the biogeography is Ernst Haeckel, who lived between 1834 and 1919. He is considered to be a prominent German Darwinist, who exploited in various fields such as biology, art, philosophy, and medicine. Haeckel is recognized for his work in biography such as naming and describing various new species, mapping a genealogical tree, and formulating biological terms. Such terms include phylum, phylogeny, Protista, anthropogeny, and ecology. Haeckel also popularized the Darwin’s earlier work through public lecture between the age of 29 to 38 (Ebach and Raymond 7). Furthermore, Haeckel developed a Haeckel’s Genealogical Oaks and stick trees. One of the significant trees developed by Haeckel include the tree that is among “four believed to have contributed most to the developing views on how best to represent the living world” (Ebach and Raymond 9). Together with Zimmermann, Haeckel’s four trees are seen as major contributor to the phylogenetic work of Darwin. Haeckel also developed a monism that included the General Morphology. He suggested that there is a thin line between the inorganic nature and organic nature. In other words, he suggested that the life is different from the inorganic perspective only on the practical of the level of its organization.
Another important contributor of biogeography is the Tiedemann, who is considered to the “’true’ creator of recapitulation” (Ebach and Raymond 5). Tiedemann contributed to the development the threefold parallelism in the doctrine of recapitulation. The theory provides “the apparent relation between the results of comparative anatomy (systematics, and ‘natural system’, classification) and the ontogenetic development of individual organisms (Ebach and Raymond 4). Tiedemann has also taught other contributors of biogeography, such as Agassiz, on the correlation between fossil records, development, and comparative anatomy.
The split of new species from a common ancestor occurs in two ways namely: sympatric speciation and allopatric speciation. Charles Darwin believed that sympatric speciation occurs when numerous species adapts to the local environment in unique ways. For instance, the adaptation of a frog can allow it to eat a particular fly while another species of the same frog, Conspecific, might get used to feeding on another genre of the fly. If the feed is attained at different times, an insect might loiter during the day while other does it at night. The changes will help led to the adaptations that will automatically change the behavior and structure of the same species, and this can make them never to interact or even mate again. It should be noted that sympatric speciation does not result in the evolution of species, and natural selection is behind the adaptations.
On the other hand, Moritz Wagner based his findings on allopatric speciation. In this theory, it is believed that the population of species is separated from each other and finds themselves in a different environment. Some physical features that can isolate the species from each other include rivers, mountains or even forests. During the continental drift, species of a population were separated and started to exist in a different environment. These conditions prompted the species to adapt to their new surroundings. In such situation, the species evolves in a unique way and develop characteristics that are only associated with the environment. In my opinion, Charles Darwin was not right in his explanation of sympatric speciation. On a scientific point of view, allopatric speciation offers the best explanation of the evolution, and there is substantial evidence to support this method.
Ebach, Malte C., and Raymond S. Tangney, eds. Biogeography in a changing world. CRC Press, 2006.
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