The Origin of Faunas. Evolution of Lizard Congeners in a Complex Island Fauna: A Trial Analysis

  • Ernest E. Williams


The history of faunas, whether studied by paleontologists and zoogeographers or by systematists, has customarily been described in terms of phylogeny or colonization—in terms, therefore, of the origin or arrival of species. However, a major element permitting the build-up of faunas has been the coadaptation of their species-the fact that they are ecologically fitted together. Study of this coadaptation among living species is, in fact, a major part of modern ecology. Yet ecologista have, on their part, avoided history; they have avoided any attempt to look closely, theoretically or empirically, at the historical sequence of events in the build-up of a complex coadapted fauna.


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Copyright information

© Meredith Corporation 1972

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ernest E. Williams
    • 1
  1. 1.Museum of Comparative ZoologyHarvard UniversityCambridgeUSA

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