DATABASE: Birth of Biogeography

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Science  07 Jun 2002:
Vol. 296, Issue 5574, pp. 1771
DOI: 10.1126/science.296.5574.1771b

Darwin found the Galápagos Islands fluttering with finches and crawling with tortoises but not hopping with frogs. He concluded that frogs are missing from remote islands because they can't tolerate the journey across salt water. Biogeography—the study of what creatures live where and why—provides a heap of compelling evidence for evolution and natural selection. Scientists and historians curious about the genesis of this field might want to burrow into this bibliography of works dating from the 1700s to 1950. Charles H. Smith, a science librarian at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, has corralled several hundred books, articles, and lectures that also include contributions on ecology and species diversity. About one-third of the entries link either to free online copies of the works or to the archive service JSTOR, which many universities subscribe to. Users can also zip to biographies of many of the authors.∼smithch/biogeog

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