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Wallace line


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An imaginary line that runs between the Indonesian islands of Bali and Lombok and represents the separation of the Australian and Oriental faunas. It was proposed by A. R. Wallace, who had noted that the mammals in Southeast Asia are different from and more advanced than their Australian counterparts. He suggested this was because the Australian continent had split away from Asia before the better adapted placental mammals evolved in Asia. Hence the isolated Australian marsupials and monotremes were able to thrive while those in Asia were driven to extinction by competition from placental mammals. See also zoogeography.


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