Biology, like other sciences, is rich in specific terms. Often, incomprehensible words are called very simple things that surround us. In this article, we will talk about who endemics are and who can be called such a word.
What does the word “endemic” mean?
Endemics are plant or animal species that are found in a very limited area. Strictly speaking, not only a species, but also a whole family or order can be endemic. For example, if a certain animal lives on an area of several hundred kilometers and cannot be found anywhere else on Earth, it is an endemic.
Restricted Habitat Means Living in Natural Conditions. Animals of the same species living, for example, in zoos around the world, do not remove the “title” of endemic from their counterparts from the wild, free world.
How endemics appear
Limiting the habitats of animals and plants is a complex complex of different reasons. Most often it is geographical or climatic isolation, which prevents the resettlement of species into wider areas. A great example of such conditions is the island.
It is the islands that are most often abound in endemic plants and animals that have been preserved only there and nowhere else. Once on this section of land many years ago, they are no longer able to move to the big land. Moreover, the conditions on the island allow the animal or the plant not only to survive, but also to give offspring, continuing their family.
The ways of getting to the island are different for example, seeds of rare plants can fly in the wind or on the paws of birds. Animals more often fall on the islands, thanks to natural cataclysms, for example, flooding of the territory in which they lived earlier.
If we talk about aquatic inhabitants, then the ideal condition for the appearance of an endemic species is a closed reservoir. In the lake, who is replenishing with the help of springs and does not have a connection with rivers or streams, rare invertebrates or fish often live.
Also, the reasons for the appearance of endemics include a specific climate, without which the life of a particular species is impossible. This leads to the fact that some living creatures live only in certain places of our planet in a territory limited by several kilometers.
Examples of endemic
A lot of endemic animals and plants exist on the oceanic islands. For example, more than 80% of plants on the island of St. Elena in the Atlantic Ocean endemic. There are even more such species in the Galapagos Islands up to 97%. In Eurasia, these stores of endemic representatives of the flora and fauna is Lake Baikal. Endemics can be called 75% of all living organisms and plants. One of the most famous and notable Baikal seal.
Paleoenemics and neoendemics are also distinguished among endemics. Accordingly, the former are animals and plants that have existed since ancient times and, due to complete isolation, are very different from similar but evolved species from other territories. By observing them, scientists can obtain invaluable information about the evolution and development of species. Paleoendemics include, for example, coelacanth. This is a fish that was thought to be extinct over 60 million years ago, but was accidentally discovered in two places on the planet with a very limited habitat. It is very different from other, “modern” fish.
Neoendemics are plants and animals that have been isolated recently and have begun to develop differently from similar species that are not subject to isolation. The Baikal seal, which was mentioned above, belongs precisely to neoendemic.
Articles about endemics
- Endemics of Africa
- Endemics of Eurasia
- Endemics of South America
- Endemics of Crimea
- Endemics of Baikal
- Endemics of Australia