This question is based on the following excerpt from a GRE example:
Experts have differed about where the genus Varanus (monitor lizards) originated. Because most existing species live in Australia, early researchers concluded that Varanus originated in Australia and subsequently island hopped westward along the Indo-Australian archipelago. Herpetologist Robert Mertens later argued that Varanus probably originated in the archipelago. Chromosomal analysis has since supported Mertens’ contention, and in addition, geologic evidence points to a collision between the archipelago and the Australian landmass after Varanus evolved—a fact that could account for the genus’ present distribution.
Here is my question:
In the second sentence, "Because most existing species ...", why is an article not needed before the noun "island"?