Island biogeography operates on different principles than we see on the continents. Some extraordinary creatures such as the komodo dragon and thylacine can be found in isolated places removed interactions with more generalist species. Alfred Russel Wallace made some extraordinary discoveries combining biology and spatial thinking.
Island biogeography is pertinent today since habitat fragmentation (from urbanization and agricultural land uses) has rendered ‘islands’ out of the wilderness that isn’t being used by humanity. Some animals such as the cougar are locally extinct from their historic ranges (extirpation).
Some of the greatest discoveries in biology began as spatial discoveries. Alfred Russel Wallace made some amazing advances in biogeography and discovered the appropriately named Wallace Line. The video above is a paper-puppet animation celebrates the life of Alfred Russel Wallace, who is co-credited with Charles Darwin for the theory of natural selection. Read the New York Times story here.