The term Palearctic refers to an eco-zone or region in which the earth’s surface falls.
The Palearctic or Palearctic eco-zone has an extension of 54.1 million km2.
The Palearctic is one of the eight ecozones into which the earth’s surface has been conventionally divided. Of all the eight ecozones, the Palearctic is the one that covers the largest extent.
The eight ecozones, in addition to the Palearctic, are:
– Neartic or neartic ecozone (North America, (area 22.9 million km2) including northern Mexico and Greenland);
– Indomalesia or Indomalese eco-zone, (area 7.5 million km2), (India and Southeast Asia);
– Australian Ecozone, (area 7.6 million km2), (Australia, New Guinea, New Zealand);
– Neotropical Ecozone, (area 19.0 million km2) (Southern Mexico, Central America, Caribbean and South America);
– Afrotropical or paleotropical or Ethiopian ecozone, (area 22.1 million km2), (non-Mediterranean Africa, Southern Arabian Peninsula, Madagascar;
– Oceanian ecozone, (area 1.0 million km2), includes Polynesia, Micronesia and the Fiji Islands;
– Antarctic Ecozone, (area 0.3 million km2), consisting essentially of Antarctica and the surrounding waters.
They fall within the Palearctic:
Europe, Asia north of the Himalayas, North Africa and the north and central area of the Arabian Peninsula.
The Palearctic together with the Neartic ecozone constitutes the Olarctic ecozone.
Within the Palearctic ecozone we find a series of biomes. these are:
– tundra, taiga, temperate deciduous forest, Mediterranean ecosystems, temperate grassland and the temperate desert.
In addition, only two exclusive families of mammals live in this region, both rodents: the one to which the desert dormouse belongs and that of the blind mole-rats.