Author: Lee E. Harding

Where Did They Come From? The Origins of South American Fauna

eBook: US $39 Special Offer (PDF + Printed Copy): US $137
Printed Copy: US $117
Library License: US $156
ISBN: 978-981-5124-88-0 (Print)
ISBN: 978-981-5124-87-3 (Online)
Year of Publication: 2023


Where Did They Come From? The Origins of South American Fauna offers a fascinating journey into the origins of South American flora and fauna. Exploring life on the continent before and after the breakup of Gondwana, it delves into how creatures arrived in South America, be it through drifting across oceans or traversing land bridges. From birds and reptiles to mammals and fish, this book provides a comprehensive compendium of biological diversity, discussing their origins and evolutionary paths. Readers will gain insights into the mechanisms of animal dispersal, evolution, and the impact of the Great Biotic Interchange. The book also lists references for further exploration of the subject.

The book is structured into five parts:

  • -   Building South America: Covers tectonic movements, climate changes, and breaching isolation.
  • -   Shaping South America: Explores the landforms and diverse biomes across the continent.
  • -   Vertebrates within South America: Discusses unique amphibians, reptiles, fish, mammals, and birds that evolved on the continent.
  • -   Vertebrates immigrating to South America: Examines exotic reptiles, birds, and mammals that found their way to the continent. The author also lists the families of almost all genera of South American animals, while giving knowledge of their origins.
  • -   Recent Arrivals - the Great Biotic Interchange: Explores the significant interchange of various species that occurred later.

Ideal for students, biologists, and anyone curious about the natural world, this book is a captivating read that uncovers the incredible history of South American fauna and its evolutionary tapestry.


Students in life sciences, evolutionary and animal biologists, and anyone curious about the natural world.


Lee E. Harding
Retired from the Canadian Wildlife Service
Coquitlam, British Columbia V3J 6Y3