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In
biogeography Biogeography is the study of the distribution of species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A species is often defin ...

biogeography
, a land bridge is an
isthmus An isthmus ( or ; plural: isthmuses or isthmi; from grc, ἰσθμός, isthmós, neck) is a narrow piece of land connecting two larger areas across an expanse of water by which they are otherwise separated. A tombolo is an isthmus that consist ...

isthmus
or wider land connection between otherwise separate areas, over which
animals Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular Multicellular organisms are organism In biology, an organism (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ὀργανισμός, ''organismos'') is any individual contiguous system that embodies the L ...

animals
and
plant Plants are predominantly photosynthetic Photosynthesis is a process used by plants and other organisms to Energy transformation, convert light energy into chemical energy that, through cellular respiration, can later be released to fuel ...

plant
s are able to cross and
colonize Colonization, or colonisation refers to large-scale population movements where the migrants maintain strong links with their or their ancestors' former country, gaining significant privileges over other inhabitants of the territory by such links ...
new lands. A land bridge can be created by
marine regression A marine regression is a geological process occurring when areas of submerged seafloor are exposed above the sea level. The opposite event, transgression (geology), marine transgression, occurs when flooding from the sea covers previously-exposed l ...
, in which
sea level Mean sea level (MSL) (often shortened to sea level) is an average In colloquial, ordinary language, an average is a single number taken as representative of a list of numbers, usually the sum of the numbers divided by how many numbers are in th ...

sea level
s fall, exposing shallow, previously submerged sections of
continental shelf A continental shelf is a portion of a continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven regions are commonly regarded as continen ...

continental shelf
; or when new land is created by
plate tectonics upright=1.35, Diagram of the internal layering of Earth showing the lithosphere above the asthenosphere (not to scale) Plate tectonics (from the la, label=Late Latin Late Latin ( la, Latinitas serior) is the scholarly name for the written L ...
; or occasionally when the sea floor rises due to post-glacial rebound after an
ice age An ice age is a long period of reduction in the temperature of Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbour and support life. 29.2% of Earth's surface is land consisting of continents and ...

ice age
.


Prominent examples

*
Adam's Bridge Adam's Bridge, '; ta, ஆதாம் பாலம் ' also known as Rama's Bridge or Rama Setu, '; ta, ராமர் பாலம் '; sa, रामसेतु ' is a chain of natural limestone Limestone is a common type of c ...
(also known as Rama Setu), connecting
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, seventh-largest country by area, the List of countries and dependencies by population, second-most populous ...

India
and
Sri Lanka Sri Lanka (, ; si, ශ්‍රී ලංකාව, Śrī Laṅkā, translit-std=ISO (); ta, இலங்கை, Ilaṅkai, translit-std=ISO ()), formerly known as Ceylon, and officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, is ...

Sri Lanka
* The
Bering Land Bridge Beringia is defined today as the land and maritime area bounded on the west by the Lena River The Lena (russian: link=no, Ле́на, ; evn, Елюенэ, ''Eljune''; sah, Өлүөнэ, ''Ölüöne''; bua, Зүлхэ, ''Zülkhe''; mn, З ...
(aka Beringia), which intermittently connected
Alaska Alaska (; ale, Alax̂sxax̂; ; ems, Alas'kaaq; Central Alaskan Yup'ik language, Yup'ik: ''Alaskaq''; tli, Anáaski) is a U.S. state in the Western United States, on the northwest extremity of the country's West Coast of the United State ...

Alaska
(
Northern America Northern America is the north North is one of the four compass points or cardinal directions. It is the opposite of south and is perpendicular to East and West. ''North'' is a noun, adjective, or adverb indicating Direction (geometry), d ...
) with
Siberia Siberia (; rus, Сибирь, r=Sibir', p=sʲɪˈbʲirʲ, a=Ru-Сибирь.ogg) is an extensive geographical region spanning much of Northern Asia. Siberia has been Russian conquest of Siberia, part of modern Russia since the latter half of th ...

Siberia
(
North Asia North Asia or Northern Asia, also referred to as Siberia, is the northern region of Asia, which is defined in Geography, geographical terms and is coextensive with the Asian part of Russia, and consists of three Russian regions east of the Ural ...
) as sea levels rose and fell under the effect of ice ages *
Doggerland Doggerland (also called Dogger Littoral) was an area of land, now submerged beneath the southern North Sea The North Sea is a sea of the Atlantic Ocean located between Great Britain (England and Scotland), Denmark, Norway, Germany, the Nethe ...

Doggerland
, a former landmass in the southern
North Sea The North Sea is a sea The sea, connected as the world ocean or simply the ocean The ocean (also the sea or the world ocean) is the body of salt water which covers approximately 71% of the surface of the Earth.
which connected the island of
Great Britain Great Britain is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean off the northwest coast of continental Europe. With an area of , it is the largest of the British Isles, the List of European islands by area, largest European island, and the List of i ...

Great Britain
to
continental Europe Continental Europe or mainland Europe is the contiguous continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven geographical region ...

continental Europe
during the last ice age * The
Isthmus of Panama The Isthmus of Panama ( es, Istmo de Panamá), also historically known as the Isthmus of Darien (), is the narrow strip of land that lies between the Caribbean Sea The Caribbean Sea ( es, Mar Caribe; french: Mer des Caraïbes; ht, Lamè Kara ...
, whose appearance three million years ago allowed the
Great American Interchange The Great American Biotic Interchange (commonly abbreviated as GABI), also known as the Great American Interchange or Great American Faunal Interchange, was an important late Cenozoic The Cenozoic ( ; ) is Earth's current geological era An era ...
between
North America North America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven geographical regions are commonly regarded as continen ...

North America
and
South America South America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven geographical regions are commonly regarded as continent ...

South America
* The
Sinai Peninsula The Sinai Peninsula, or simply Sinai (now usually ) (, ), is a peninsula in Egypt, and the only part of the country located in Asia. It is between the Mediterranean Sea to the north and the Red Sea to the south, and is a land bridge between As ...

Sinai Peninsula
, linking
Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous continent, after Asia in both cases. At about 30.3 million km2 (11.7 million square miles) including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of Earth's total surface area and 20% of i ...

Africa
and
Eurasia Eurasia () is the largest continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven geographical regions are commonly regarded as cont ...

Eurasia
* The Thule Land Bridge, a since disappeared land bridge between the
British Isles The British Isles are a in the North off the north-western coast of , consisting of the islands of , , the , the and over six thousand smaller islands."British Isles", ' They have a total area of and a combined population of almost 72&nb ...

British Isles
and
Greenland Greenland ( kl, Kalaallit Nunaat, ; da, Grønland, ) is an autonomous territory An autonomous administrative division (also referred to as an autonomous area, entity, unit, region, subdivision, or territory) is a subnational administra ...

Greenland
* The De Geer Land Bridge


Land bridge theory

In the 19th century a number of scientists noted puzzling geological and zoological similarities between widely separated areas. To solve these problems, "whenever geologists and paleontologists were at a loss to explain the obvious transoceanic similarities of life that they deduced from the fossil records, they sharpened their pencils and sketched land bridges between appropriate continents." Chapter 5: "Up-and-Down Landbridges". The concept was first proposed by
Jules Marcou Jules Marcou (April 20, 1824 – April 17, 1898) was a French-Swiss-American geologist. Biography He was born at Salins, in the ''département In the administrative divisions of France, the department (french: département, ) is one of the t ...
in ''Lettres sur les roches du Jura et leur distribution géographique dans les deux hémisphères'' ("Letters on the rocks of the
Jura
.html"_;"title="ountains
">ountains
_and_their_geographic_distribution_in_the_two_hemispheres"),_1857–1860._Chapter_5:_"Up-and-Down_Landbridges"._"The_basic_idea_is_usually_attributed_to_Jules_Marcou..." The_hypothetical_land_bridges_included: *_''Archatlantis''_from_the_West_Indies_to_North_Africa_ *_''Archhelenis''_from_Brazil_to_South_Africa *_''Archiboreis''_in_the_North_Atlantic *_''Archigalenis''_from_Central_America_through_Hawaii_to_Northeast_Asia *_''Archinotis''_from_South_America_to_Antarctica *_''Lemuria_(continent).html" ;"title="ountains"_>.html" ;"title="ountains
Jura [Mountains
">ountains
Jura [Mountains
and their geographic distribution in the two hemispheres"), 1857–1860. Chapter 5: "Up-and-Down Landbridges". "The basic idea is usually attributed to Jules Marcou..." The hypothetical land bridges included: * ''Archatlantis'' from the West Indies to North Africa * ''Archhelenis'' from Brazil to South Africa * ''Archiboreis'' in the North Atlantic * ''Archigalenis'' from Central America through Hawaii to Northeast Asia * ''Archinotis'' from South America to Antarctica * ''Lemuria (continent)">Lemuria'' in the Indian Ocean The theory of continental drift provided an alternate explanation that did not require land bridges. However the continental drift theory was not widely accepted until the development of
plate tectonics upright=1.35, Diagram of the internal layering of Earth showing the lithosphere above the asthenosphere (not to scale) Plate tectonics (from the la, label=Late Latin Late Latin ( la, Latinitas serior) is the scholarly name for the written L ...
in the early 1960s, which more completely explained the motion of continents over geological time.


See also

*
Habitat fragmentation Fragmentation and destruction of Great Ape habitat in Central Africa, from thGLOBIOand GRASP projects (2002). Areas shown in black and red delineate areas of severe and moderate habitat loss, respectively. Habitat fragmentation describes the emer ...
*
Sea level rise Tide gauge measurements show that the current global sea level rise began at the start of the 20th century. Between 1900 and 2017, the globally averaged sea level Mean sea level (MSL) (often shortened to sea level) is an average In colloqui ...

Sea level rise


References


External links

* {{DEFAULTSORT:Land Bridge Landforms Historical geology Biogeography Bridges