Where do you live? Perhaps your home is near an ocean, or between two mountains. Maybe you live somewhere exotic, such as the Australian Outback! Depending on your geographical location, a rich history of events lead to the landscape you see around you.
Did you ever stop to think about why penguins are typically found in the Antarctic and surrounding South Polar regions? Or why Polar Bears aren't!? How about those brightly coloured leaves you see falling around October and November, ever wonder why some people never get that experience on a yearly basis? As you may be starting to guess, some pretty fascinating things have occurred all around you (some are still going on!); you might not be aware of it, but phylogeography has been going on since the begining of time.
Emperor penguins live almost exclusively in the Antarctic, image © 2005 Bryn Jones. The temperate deciduous forests of North America, Asia, and Europe are characterized by brightly colored foliage in the fall, image © 2007 vtveen
Phylogeography is the study and understanding of the relationships found among living things and their location on Earth. It is also used to help investigate geological events and their resulting effect on and distribution of living things.
There should be enough information within this WebQuest for you to meet the goals outlined in the following section under 'Task'. Some of the topics you will be exploring have been listed below. You may find it useful to locate extra educational material that includes these keywords. There will be interactive modules for you to work through and read as you follow along the Process steps of the WebQuest. Links will be provided when necessary.
- Cambrian epoch and Gondwana
- Devonian epoch and Laurentia
- Triassic epoch and Pangea
- Cretaceous epoch and Madagascar separation, Rocky Mountains
- Eocene epoch and continental drifting
- Miocene epoch and glaciation
- Coral Reefs
- Modern birds
- Cambrian Explosion
- Ocean life
- Land life
- Scientists, explorers and researchers
- Fossils, Biogeography and Paleophylogeography
- Humans and bottlenecks
Information on the Internet
- A Paleoceanographic Summary A history of the geological epochs, with a focus on ocean formation
- Important events in the history of life An interactive timeline illustrating important events in history
- Gondwana Greening (pdf) Illustrated, comprehensive overview of major epochs, phylogeography, biodiversity and interesting bits of information
- Chameleon Biogeography Takes an Ocean Cruise An alternative viewpoint for the origin of chameleons is presented
- A Truly Bizarre Lizard Brief description and fossil evidence for chameleons
- Chameleon News Updated regularly, this online magazine features articles on all things chameleon
- What makes a petal a petal? An introduction to flower petals and an informative source for information on their evolutionary adaptations
- Nova: Mother of Gardens Click on the hyperlink 'launch interactive' and learn about a selection of common flowers that originated in China
- In Search of the First Flower A scientific article illustrating what may be considered one of the very first flowering plants discovered to date
- The Life of Birds: Evolution A very comprehensive look at the history and evolution of birds.
- Coral Reefs of the Indo-Pacific Here you will find a selection of literature on coral reefs and their geographical distribution as well as phylogeographical considerations.
- History of Biogeography A vivid description of biogeography and its history