Oriental region

The Oriental region includes Asia south of the Himalayas, southern China, the Philippines, and Southeast Asia up to Wallace's Line, between the islands of Bali and Lombok. The region has two endemic orders, Scandentia (tree shrews), with 19 species, and Dermoptera (colugos). There are two species of colugos, often also called flying lemurs, a doubly confusing name as they are not lemurs and they glide, rather than fly. There are 50 families in the region, four endemic, and 260 genera, about 35% of them endemic. About two thirds of the more than one thousand species are also endemic. Endemic families include Kitti's hog-nosed bat (Craseonycteri-dae); tarsiers (Tarsiidae); gibbons (Hylobatidae); and tree shrews (Tupaiidae). The region has strong affinities with the Palaearctic and Ethiopian regions. There is a long land boundary with the Palaearctic along the Himalayas and through China, and almost 75% of the families are shared with the Palaearctic region. These include bears (Ursidae), deer (Cervidae), musk deer (Moschidae), and Felidae, includ ing the tiger (Panthera tigris). Wooded savannas formerly connected the Indian subcontinent with Africa, although these linking areas now consist largely of desert. Groups in common between the Oriental and Ethiopian regions include elephants (one species in each), rhinoceroses, big cats (lion, leopard, and cheetah), viverrids, and great apes. Orangutans (genus Pongo) occur on Borneo and Sumatra and the 14 species of gibbons are distributed from eastern India and southern China through Southeast Asia. There are seven endemic genera of monkeys containing 26 species. Two of these are restricted to Sri Lanka, and two to the Mentawai Islands off the coast of Sumatra. The Oriental region lacks the great diversity of antelopes and other herbivores present in Ethiopian region, though a few species are present. Three are endemic to India, blackbuck (Antilope cervicapra), nilgai (Boselaphus tragocamelus), and four-horned antelope (Tetracerus quadricor-nis). The herbivore niches are filled in part by several species of deer. Other artiodactyls endemic to the region include five species of wild pigs, and four species of wild cattle including the little-known kouprey (Bos sauveli). The best-known endemic is undoubtedly the giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca), which is indigenous to western China.

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Responses

  • simon negassi
    Why the affinites of oriental region is similar to ethopian and palaeoarctic region?
    11 months ago
  • roseann
    What is the oriental region of animals?
    15 days ago

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