Geography 200
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Rescooped by Elizabeth Bitgood from Geography Education!

Island Biogeography

Part I, island biogeography in a World Regional here to watch part II, why island biogeography matters in places that aren't on islands.  All links archived at:

Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

This video presentation gives a good description of why islands have a varied and different forms of species on the islands.  The isolation gives them a strong hold in their particular environment but this is a double edged sword because they lack predation or stronger comparators so they become very adapted to their place but cannot compete when a stronger adaptor for generalized environment comes to the island.  Like cats that are brought to the isolated island and then proceed to cause mass extinctions.

Wilmine Merlain's curator insight, December 17, 2014 9:27 PM

Like World Regional Geography, Bio-geography is closely related to that of World Regional Geography. Species that live on islands are prone to extinction.  While this so, they is very little competition of survival as there are on mainlands. With the Sunda Shelf in Asia, some species that can be found on one side of the continent can also be found in Australia. While we are separated by sea, rivers, and oceans, animals that can be found in one area of the world, can also be found on another land. Respectively, animals that were exclusive to one country are appearing on other lands where they aren't known to dwell on.

Alec Castagno's curator insight, December 17, 2014 11:45 PM

It is fascinating to see how life evolves differently on isolated islands. The unique biomes often lack enough diversity to fill certain roles, so the animals move to fill them. For example, the komodo dragon was able to evolve to its large size because there was not large predator sitting on top of the food chain to prevent its growth. Sadly, the unique nature of island biogeography also makes it much more delicate, and species are much more likely to become extinct.

Kristin Mandsager San Bento's curator insight, May 4, 12:35 PM

There are times where I wish certain species don't spread.  Other times I understand the migration and think it's great.  If humans died out then I believe all species would flourish just as Sir Ken Robinson says.  

Rescooped by Elizabeth Bitgood from Geography Education!

Six-Legged Giant Finds Secret Hideaway, Hides For 80 Years

Six-Legged Giant Finds Secret Hideaway, Hides For 80 Years | Geography 200 |
The insect is so large — as big as a human hand — it's been dubbed a "tree lobster." It was thought to be extinct, but some enterprising entomologists scoured a barren hunk of rock in the middle of the ocean and found surviving Lord Howe Island...


Island Biogeography is endlessly fascinating and provides some of the most striking species we have on Earth.  The physical habitat is fragmented and the genetic diversity is limited.  Within this context, species evolve to fill ecological niches within their particular locale.  This NPR article demonstrates the story of but one of these incredible species that never could have evolved on the continents.  In modern society, more extinctions are happening on islands than anywhere else as 'specialist' species are in greater competition with 'generalists.' 

Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

This article freeked me out at first.  The idea of hand sized bugs is just…yuck!  But after reading the article I found it very interesting.  That these bugs managed to survive on a single bush on an island isolated from the world.  The description of them as acting un-buglike by peering off into couples that sleep cuddling with each other is just kind of cool.

Joseph Thacker 's curator insight, April 25, 2014 10:35 AM

On Ball's Pyramid the stick insect is different than any other insect I have seen. The size of it is terrifying, as it as big as a human hand. There are many different kinds of animals or insects someone can find on remote islands, islands such as Madagascar, Australia and even on this small island, which is located off of Australia's coast in the Pacific.    

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 15, 2014 4:40 PM

Isolation can lead to some remarkable examples of evolution. This "tree lobster" is an example of that. On an island cut off from many predators and hold little resources, the tree lobster has found a way to survive.

Felix Ramos Jr.'s curator insight, May 7, 9:52 PM

A truly remarkable story.  A prehistoric 'stick' insect that lived on an island off the coast of Australia was obliterated by rats that came to the island on English ships.  Everyone thought they were extinct until one day some researchers found 24 of them living on a remote piece of land not too far from the insect's homeland.  This was an uninhabited piece of rock, essentially, with very little to offer any life form but the stick insects found just enough to survive.  How they got here is unknown but after the find and a sleepless zoo worker, this insect is flourishing in captivity.  The move to release them back into the wild is ongoing.

Rescooped by Elizabeth Bitgood from Geography Education!

Aral Sea Basin

Aral Sea Basin | Geography 200 |

"Dust blows from what was once the Aral Sea floor. Tragic mismanagement of a natural resource."

Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

This startling picture from space of the Aral Sea is heartbreaking.  The destruction of this inland sea is a terrible thing to behold.

Joseph Thacker 's curator insight, February 20, 2014 9:49 PM

This is a sad reality humans must live with forever and something we as people must learn from. A man made disaster that occurred many years ago has a negative impact on areas surrounding the shrinking Aral Sea to this day. People cannot exploit an area of water this large, as this is not only harming the environment, but many human beings, as well

Jess Deady's curator insight, April 30, 2014 8:36 PM

The Aral Sea Basin has been a topic of conversation throughout geography for many reasons. What used to be filled with water is now blowing dust because its that dry? This basin is no longer a natural resource.

Gene Gagne's curator insight, November 18, 3:30 PM

Here is a question. Do you think perhaps in the future this could happen to lake Mead in Nevada/Arizona? With all the non-stop building and no rain perhaps one day could it run dry or do we have a way to stop it.