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Old 11-29-2011, 10:59 PM   #1
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Default The Ecology of Pangaea

I was wondering if anyone knew of a book like the one I'm about to describe.

We open with Pangaea and what we know of the organism that lived there during the time, and slowly move up through the ages as one continent split into the 7 we have today. And discussing how each one has become unique in it's own way. Lastly mentioning how human commerce is negating these ocean barriers between them, thus creating the concept of the invasive species.

Or something close to that?
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Old 11-30-2011, 06:51 AM   #2
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I do not recall ever encountering a single book on zoogeography that covered all those aspects. You might try perusing the books reviewed by the 'American Scientist', published by Sigma Xi - American Scientist Online
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Old 12-01-2011, 03:51 AM   #3
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Look up 2 guys.... Mooney and then another guy name Oats. They did some research back about 10-15 years ago. Both of them were outspoken and pretty much spelled it out.... global travel, trade, and tourism weren't doing any of us any favors and then they basically fell off the side of the earth. I've seen some recent research coming out of Europe... maybe it was the Danes and then before them some research coming out of the former USSR that was supportive... unanticipated consequences of the end of the cold war.... the costs their people must now bear because of invasive species explosions. I don’t think we’re funding research like this though…. who in their right mind would risk re-election by suggesting we look into it? It'd result in the equivalent of what's going on in the Great Lakes right now with carp ONLY at an international level.... I doubt there's anyone out there who wants to open up that global can 'o worms by providing conservationists with the ammunition to call out for a grinding halt to global TTT for the sake of all future generations. Definitely not PC considering the world trade agreements favor developing countries. Those trade agreements are saddling ALL of us with the costs of control, management, and eradication of invasive species into perpetuity.
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Old 12-04-2011, 05:18 PM   #4
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Yeah It's all about Gross Domestic Product...But I can't tell you what that is anymore. In fact that's probably a mis-nomer, Now it's a company making chopsticks in Americus Georgia and shipping them to the Pacific Rim and then loading that ship with Electronics for the trip back. Of course the first thing that comes to mind would be a cold-blooded animal..Something along the lines of the Crocodile family. You also couldn't count out sea turtles. You might consider the changes to the whale family as the norrel whale has that unicorn horn and as far as I know each ocean has it's own whale diversity. Much has been written about the neo-tropical migration of birds which may not have occurred until the continents divided. Throw in the last ice age and things get even murkier. Were saber-toothed tigers and woolly mammoths descents of the Bengal tiger and African Elephants? Australia has the largest population of Marsupials but the South American continent is home to the Opossum that is common in North America. Please forgive me for my ramblings in advance,,Some of the things posted might be outright B.S. but maybe that's why there's not published on the subject. I guess conjunct really sounds silly when it's all jumbled together but hopefully one of these theories will help you find that book...I'd certainly be interested in reading it too.
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Old 12-05-2011, 03:57 PM   #5
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I would love to read such a book. Are you considering writing such a thing and looking into the possible competition?

Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond touches on many aspects of the early transfer of animals, crops and microorganisms, as well as how the presence of a large, temperate land mass (Eurasia) favored the development of the kinds of animals that were eventually domesticated by man. However, it in no way goes back to Pangaea, and is written as a history text, not an ecology text.
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Old 12-06-2011, 04:21 AM   #6
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What I've gathered from roaming Wikipedia.


The Paleozoic era took place between 542 – 250 million years ago. Its start is marked as having the largest diversification of life in earth’s history. Its end marks the largest mass extinction in earth’s history. During its hay day we saw the rise of the Lycopodiophyta which is dated as 410 million years ago, making it the oldest known plant family. Lycopodiophyta reproduce by shedding spores. It’s wrong to mistake them for ferns however as modern day ferns have a more complex vascular structure. We also saw the rise of Invertebrates. As plants didn’t flower yet the world lacked the butterflies, and bees we know today. (perhaps I'll fill in this gap on invertebrates later.)

350 million years ago an event called the Carboniferous Rainforest Collapse occurred. Essentially this was the hay day of plant life on our planet and almost nothing was eating them early on! Tree-like plants increased the stability of flood plains, rainforests littered the planet, and so much organic matter built up that vast deposits of Coal suddenly occurred all over the earth. This rich organic matter fueled the rise of Invertebrates, some of whom became the first herbivores. Everything from climate change, to meteorites has been suggested as contributing factors that ended this time. The cascade of extinctions contributed to the end of the Paleozoic era. This is the time when we lost the giant dragonfly, millipedes and such.

During this time geographically the world existed as one continent, Pangaea which existed as we see in text books between 250 million years ago to ~200 million years ago. After that the continents had severely broken up and had started going their separate ways. This is an important time in the world as the first Angiosperms (flowering plants) started appearing sometime between 245 and 202 million years ago. They quickly became the most dominant form of plant life on the planet mostly using the wind for pollination. By 150 million years ago they started to incorporate insect help to achieve pollination and the first nectarivores were born. The world brightened up as flowers became fancier, shaping the evolution of their pollinating counterparts.

When the Paleozonic era ended 250 million years ago, the Mesozoic era began and continued up until 65 million years ago. This time period is known as the age of reptiles and marks the rise and fall of dinosaurs, specifically non avian dinosaurs. (There are a few lesser known plants and animals that go extinct by the end as well but they’re not as well known.) It’s odd thinking that a Tyrannosaurus rex may have indeed tasted like chicken, but sure enough modern day birds are all descendents of the dinosaurs. The world was becoming a much colder place which had a negative effect on cold blooded life the world over. Although reptiles are cold blooded there is some debate as to whether this was true of dinosaurs as well. During their decline 150 million years ago, we saw the first mammals appear. These were limited in size until the dinosaurs were either completely gone, or transitioned into birds which are endothermic (warm blooded).

While this speciation of animal life was going on plants were just as prolific. Grasses were on the scene turning the world into one big savanna. Whereas, 350 million years ago, the world had mostly been one mighty rainforest.

The Cenozonic era started 65 million years ago and continues to modern day. This is the age of mammals. Fueled by the prolific grassy meadows herds of animal grazers roamed the now 7 continents on the earth. Constant grazing prevented most trees from growing into full on forests though they do eventually become the end result. Fires eliminate most trees though and the prairies comes back to life.

From here the trail turns more into modern topics and much bigger topics such as the rise of man, the mass extinction of huge mammals, the onset of agriculture and land management, the burning of all that coal and oil that's built up in the earth, glottalization of the world economy, and this crazy notion of "invasive" species people keep throwing around but should really look into a mirror.
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Old 01-09-2012, 10:07 PM   #7
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Check this out. He starts out mentioning the same things you are talking about. We picked this audio book up at the library tonight. I will let you know.

In '1493,' Columbus Shaped A World To Be : NPR


Interview with Author Charles Mann "1493"

NPR Media Player
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Old 01-09-2012, 11:10 PM   #8
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I've been working on a newer version of this essay on facebook. I correct what I've written about plant evolution.

Algae - seem to only be found in water.

Moss - found on land, water is essential to spore reproduction.

Ferns - vascular structure, water is essential to spore reproduction.

Gymnosperms - produce seeds which differ from spores in that they have stored food and can grow in dryer areas. (I learned there are male and female pine cones.)

Angiosperms - Flowering plants, wind pollinated at first but then insects got involved along with a few dozen mammals.


As a second part I was to go into land masses and change my view on invasive species as I've written it in the essay above. Generally the more land = more species overall and more niche habitats for natural selection to go nuts. Where as the smaller the land mass the more closed off species tend to be. Some islands can seem like they are niche habitats but only when compared to larger islands and continents.

In regard to land masses, I want to establish that the 7 continents now are fairly well separated. The life on Antarctica, and Australia are far more unique and isolated than that of North and South America, which are connected somewhat. When we look at Europe, Africa, and Asia we get yet more species overlap. It's an incomplete thought but I'm working on it.

The oceans are harder to talk about because they are all connected. In regard to evolution I think it would be easier to talk about lakes and streams.

Lastly I'm throwing in something on invasive species. Generally how they take over where they want to grow best. They do cause extinctions in small islands. On larger land masses they can decimate whole groups of species and create a drought of ecological services those species normally preforms. (Fire Ants displacing nearly ~500 or so native ants species for example. A number I'd have to look into but you get the idea.) We still have ants, but one species replaces the majority of them.

From here I'd love to spin it into something Doug Tallamy might wright. Host plants for butterflies, but also in regard to pollinators I'd like to add something on flower shape.
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Old 01-10-2012, 02:56 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gloria View Post
Check this out. He starts out mentioning the same things you are talking about. We picked this audio book up at the library tonight. I will let you know.

In '1493,' Columbus Shaped A World To Be : NPR


Interview with Author Charles Mann "1493"

NPR Media Player
Thanks for posting this, that was a good listen.
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