Fauna of Puerto Rico
The fauna of Puerto Rico is similar to other island archipelago faunas, with high endemism, and low taxonomic diversity. Bats are the only extant native terrestrial mammals in Puerto Rico. The arrival of the first people about 4,000 years ago and, to a larger extent, of Europeans more than 500 years ago, had a significant effect on Puerto Rico’s fauna.
About Fauna of Puerto Rico in brief
The fauna of Puerto Rico is similar to other island archipelago faunas, with high endemism, and low, skewed taxonomic diversity. Bats are the only extant native terrestrial mammals in Puerto Rico. The arrival of the first people about 4,000 years ago and, to a larger extent, of Europeans more than 500 years ago, had a significant effect on Puerto Rico’s fauna. Hunting, habitat destruction, and the introduction of non-native species to Puerto Rico led to extinctions and extirpations. Conservation efforts, the most notable being for the Puerto Rican parrot, began in the second half of the 20th century. According to IUCN, as of 2002, there were 21 threatened species in Puerto Rico: two mammals, eight breeding birds, eight reptiles, and three amphibians. Some native freshwater fish inhabit Puerto Rico, but some species, introduced by humans, have established populations in reservoirs and rivers. There is ongoing debate over when and how the ancestors of vertebrate fauna colonized the Antilles, particularly whether the Proto-Antilles were oceanic islands or whether they once formed a land connection between South and North America. The Puerto Rican Bank has never been connected to its eastern bank, like other islands like St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The last major changes in Puerto Rican fauna occurred about 10,000 years ago as a result of the rise in sea level and environmental changes associated with the post-Ice Age Age.
The richness of Puerto Rican mammals, like many other mammals, in many other savannahs like Puerto Rico has been reduced to its present moist, forested state, especially vertebrate vertebrate extinctions, especially in the savanna state. The most recognizable and famous animal of Puerto Rico is probably the common coquí, a small endemic frog, and one of the 86 species that constitute Puerto Rico’s herpetofauna. A short-lived landmass named “GAARlandia” connected northwestern South America with three of the Greater Antilles during this period. The Caribbean Plate, an oceanic tectonic plate on which Puerto Rico and theAntilles lie, was formed in the late Mesozoic. The prevailing hypothesis, proposed by Howard Meyerhoff, posits that the Puerto Rico Bank was formed from volcanism in the Cretaceous Period. Rock samples from Sierra Bermeja in southwestern Puerto Rico,. dated to the late Jurassicearly Cret Jurassic period, confirm this theory. However, other fauna such as the endemic Antillean insectivores and freshwater fish appear to have colonized the West Indies earlier through other means. The other model favors overwater dispersal from continental, primarily South American, fauna; the other suggests the vicarization of proto-Antillean fauna, which may have arrived on the West Indies by the mid-Tertiary period, approximately at the Eocene–Oligocene boundary.
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This page is based on the article Fauna of Puerto Rico published in Wikipedia (as of Nov. 04, 2020) and was automatically summarized using artificial intelligence.