Geog 6 - Final Exam_Study Guide

Geog 6 - Final Exam_Study Guide - Geography 6 World Regions...

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Geography 6: World Regions Final Exam Study Guide N America ---------------------------------------------- Physical Geography N America has no tropics zone; ecologically most homogeneous continent- snow to temperate forest instead of snow to tropical rainforest; N Am, Eurasia both extend past Arctic circle (no continents past Antarctic circle) Form of continent: wide area at top, narrow below Ice sheets form at top and move downwards America esp. torn up by glaciers soil has been shifted 23 times by the 23 Ice Ages esp. fertile grounds Islands encourage people to become seafarers: very few islands around both American continents- explains why both N, S Americans didn’t become navigators N, S America only two continents to be mostly dominated/drained by a single river: E side of N America & Rocky Mtns drained by the Mississippi, most of S America drained by the Amazon=> forms good natural transportation corridor Biogeography Nearctic region: N America S to isthmus of Mexico; lE distinctive of world’s 6 biogeographic regs. o Almost no families of fauna indigenous & confined to N America o Single bird: turkey (2 species: wild turkey [N America] & oscillated turkey [Mexico]) o 2 families of mammals, and only single species: mountain beaver and prong-horned antelope Faunal dominance of Palearctic over Nearctic mammals Most distinctive mammals of N America actually arrived from Palearctic 1400 years ago: grizzly bear (now extinct?) arrived from Asia, as did wolf, buffalo, elk, moose; few made it over to Eurasia and survived Endemic groups of birds and animals Very limited b/c N America just too easy to get to- too accessible to Asia over Bering Strait, & to S America from land bridge of Central America Probably many endemic species gone extinct from Ice Ages Salamander: one of world’s great centers of salamander diversity Mega-fauna went extinct at end of Ice Age (11,000 B.C.): Short-faced bear, giant ground sloths, vultures; big mammals today all from Palearctic region Theories for the extinction of mega-fauna 1. Glaciers of N America @ peak of melting 14,000 years ago certainly big climate change Objections: Ice ages also ending in Eurasia: exterminated few things Why would the last age make so many species go extinct, if the ones before that did not? Would expect end of ice age to be good rather than bad for animals w/ good habitats such as in the Great Plains Diff. species both went extinct (i.e. ground sloths and mountain goats) one should do better than another w/ climate change 2. Extinction correlated w/ arrival of humans in the New World Support:
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1 st humans were Clovis hunters (recognized by spear point called Clovis point for hunting elephants) ~11,000 B.C. When 1st humans arrived, animals didn’t know they were dangerous (now same thing happening w/ Antarctic and Galapagos) animals don’t know to run or hide; humans kill and take the prey carnivores and vultures go extinct People and Languages
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