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Alfred R. Wallace's "The Malay Archipelago" Describes the Wallace Line

"Fold-out coloured map at front of book, showing Wallace

"Fold-out coloured map at front of book, showing Wallace's travels around the archipelago. The deep water that separates Borneo from Sulawesi (Celebes) forms what became known as the Wallace line."

In 1869 British naturalist, explorer, and evolutionist Alfred Russel Wallace published The Malay Archipelago.

"The preface summarizes Wallace’s travels, the thousands of specimens he collected, and some of the results from their analysis after his return to England. The first chapter describes the physical geography and geology of the islands with particular attention to the role of volcanoes and earthquakes. It also discusses the overall pattern of the flora and fauna including the fact that the islands can be divided, by what would eventually become known as the Wallace line, into 2 parts, those whose animals are more closely related to those of Asia and those whose fauna is closer to that of Australia. The following chapters then describe in detail the places Wallace visited. Wallace includes numerous observations on the people, their languages, ways of living, and social organization, as well as on the plants and animals found in each location. He talks about the biogeographic patterns he observes and their implications for natural history, both in terms of biology (evolution ) and the geologic history of the region. He also narrates some of his personal experiences during his travels. The final chapter is an overview of the ethnic, linguistic, and cultural divisions among the people who live in the region and speculation about what such divisions might indicate about their history. The book is dedicated to Charles Darwin" (Wikipedia article on The Malay Archipelago, accessed 05-08-2009).

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