That's some interesting news about Java. Can you make a guesstimate as to how large Java is in comparison to the United States? If Israel/Palestine is about the size of Rhode Island how large do you suppose Java is in comparison to- let's say- New Zealand?
What does this have to do with Illustrations of peafowl.....as you like to say stay on topic.
Weren't you comparing geographic forms of peafowl with strains of domestic mutants a few posts back? Clinton is illustrating different forms of peafowl and there has been some discussion about the difference between respective wild, naturally selected forms of green peafowl. If you care to read the last few posts you may gain an understanding of where these different forms come from, and something about the biogeographic histories of these respective regions.
When we learn about an island , Java for example, we see it on a map or a globe and it doesn't necessarily resonate with the average person. What's so significant about this island? Naturalists, and people with some curiosity about the natural order of the world, we investigate its geography, its flora and fauna.
You may have noticed that we've been discussing what is described in most literature as a single species of peafowl living on the island of Java- and one that is anecdotally identical with birds living in Malaysia ('muticus muticus') over two thousand miles across the ocean. The significance of the differences between Malaysian and Javanese forms has come up and they are important to discuss. But foremost there are some important differences between peafowl on opposite sides of this great island of Java. As this species of peafowl is actually endemic to the island of Java, and there appears to be at least two well-demarcated forms on the island of Java, they should probably be analyzed and compared with one another before skipping to comparisons between Javanese birds and those of Malaysia.
In short, I am consistently underscoring the significance of Theory of Island Biogeography because each region where a genetically distinctive population of peafowl has historically existed, has at some point in evolutionary history been an island of sorts- an ecological island- surrounded by ecosystems that peafowl do not inhabit. These refugia areas were left relatively unscathed by cataclysmic events that transformed the region about 80,000 years ago.
Learning about the size, the width and length of Java is fairly crucial in placing the different races of Javanese peafowl on the map- placing them back into the context of the natural history of the island of Java. Helping the average reader comprehend what the scale of the island is encourages the reader to expand the parameters of their knowledge base. Gaining a comprehension of the biogeography of the island helps us intuit the significance of the divergent races on opposite sides of the island.
From this foundation of relevant and substantiated facts, Clifton has a basis to work from- a literal map to apply what he is learning about.
It's important to learn what, where, when, why and how to come to objective and dynamic conclusions about natural history.
Edited by Resolution - 11/17/11 at 11:06pm