NEOTROPICAL REGION. In zoogeog raphy, a primary division embracing South, America and its islands, Central America, and the hot lowlands of Mexico and the \Vest In dies. Other names proposed for it have been Austro-Columbian. Dendropea, and Notogwa. Its characteristics are more distinctly marked than in some of the other regions, and indicate a remote antiquity for the mainland areas. and also a long period of isolation from North Amer ica. It also has some curious resemblances to the Australian Region. especially in the presence of marsnpials and ratite birds. It is naturally divided into four subregions by physiographic features. The first, or Brazilian Subregion, com prises the great forested equatorial area from the Caribbean coast to the pampas of Southern lIrazil. The second, or Chilean Subregion, stretches along the Andean plateaus and the dry coast strip between the Andes and the Pacific, from Peru to about latitude 4° N. The third, or Mexican Subregion (q.v.), consists of Cen tral America and tropical Mexico. The fourth. or Antillean Subregion, embraces all the West Indies except Trinidad and Tobago, which are continental in their characteristics. The region a whole is characterized by great richness of life. as well as by marks of isolation. Wallace found that it had eight families of mammals ab solutely confined to it, including the distinct group (Cebidfe and of 'Nev World' monkeys; the hlood-sucking hat Phyl lost m id ) : the chinchillas, cavies, and three other families of rodents. Nearly all the edentates of the world are collected here—sloths, armadillos, ant-eaters. and the like. It has also many im
portant lesser group.. as the llamas, the opos sums (save one spc;cies), the hutias, the soleno dons, and many peenliar carnivores. Tlw absence of certain groups is notable: it has no civets. no insectivores (save a shrew or two from the North). no wild cattle or sheep, no ruminants, except the llamas and a few deer. and no other mammals except the tapir (elsewhere known only in Malaya) and the peccary. In birds the case is even More extraordinary. About twenty-live of its families are not known el-ev% here, including such large or peculiar groups as the plant-cutters, manakins, (Tiling:1, ant thrushes. tree-creepers ( Dendroeolapt ) , toucans, todies. mot-mots, enrassows. tinamous, sun-bitterns, and many others; while it possesses the great majority of several groups, such as the humming-birds, only seantily present in North and not known at all in the Old World. A siznilar account might be given of regional peculiarities in the departments of reptiles. am phibians, fishes. and the many branches of in ‘ertebtate West Indies. as a part of this region, present some extraordinary peculiar ities. Though so to the shores of North Ann•rica, their zoological affinities are distinctly Neotropical. and they present curious resem blances to the island fauna of :Nladagasear. See ANIEful'A, paragraph Fa ; ZoOgeographical Map under DISTRiBUTION OF ANIMALS; and con sult the authorities there cited.