Abalone is a common name for any of a group of small to large sea snails, marine gastropod molluscs in the family Haliotidae. Other common names are ear shells, sea ears, muttonfish or muttonshells in Australia, ormer in the UK, perlemoen in South Africa, paua in New Zealand. Abalone are marine snails, their taxonomy puts them in the family Haliotidae, which contains only one genus, which once contained six subgenera. These subgenera have become alternate representations of Haliotis; the number of species recognized worldwide ranges between 30 and 130 with over 230 species-level taxa described. The most comprehensive treatment of the family considers 56 species valid, with 18 additional subspecies; the shells of abalones have a low, open spiral structure, are characterized by several open respiratory pores in a row near the shell's outer edge. The thick inner layer of the shell is composed of nacre, which in many species is iridescent, giving rise to a range of strong, changeable colors, which make the shells attractive to humans as decorative objects, as a source of colorful mother-of-pearl.

The flesh of abalones is considered to be a desirable food, is consumed raw or cooked by a variety of cultures. Abalone vary in size from 20 mm to 200 mm while Haliotis rufescens is the largest of the genus at 12 in; the shell of abalones is convex, rounded to oval in shape, may be arched or flattened. The shell of the majority of species has two to three whorls; the last whorl, known as the body whorl, is auriform, meaning that the shell resembles an ear, giving rise to the common name "ear shell". Haliotis asinina has a somewhat different shape, as it is more distended; the shell of Haliotis cracherodii cracherodii is unusual as it has an ovate form, is imperforate, shows an exserted spire, has prickly ribs. A mantle cleft in the shell impresses a groove in the shell, in which are the row of holes characteristic of the genus; these holes are respiratory apertures for venting water from the gills and for releasing sperm and eggs into the water column. They make up; this series of eight to 38 holes is near the anterior margin.

Only a small number is open. The older holes are sealed up as the shell grows and new holes form; each species has a typical number of open holes, between 10, in the selenizone. An abalone has no operculum; the aperture of the shell is wide and nacreous. The exterior of the shell is dull; the color of the shell is variable from species to species, which may reflect the animal's diet. The iridescent nacre that lines the inside of the shell varies in color from silvery white, to pink and green-red to deep blue, green to purple; the animal has fimbriated head lobes and side lobes that are cirrated. The radula has small median teeth, the lateral teeth are single and beam-like, they have about 70 uncini, with denticulated hooks, the first four large. The rounded foot is large in comparison to most molluscs; the soft body is coiled around the columellar muscle, its insertion, instead of being on the columella, is on the middle of the inner wall of the shell. The gills are symmetrical and both well developed.

These snails cling solidly with their broad, muscular foot to rocky surfaces at sublittoral depths, although some species such as Haliotis cracherodii used to be common in the intertidal zone. Abalones reach maturity at a small size, their fecundity is high and increases with their size, laying from 10,000 to 11 million eggs at a time. The spermatozoa are filiform and pointed at one end, the anterior end is a rounded head; the adults provide no further assistance to the larvae and they are described as lecithotrophic. The adults are herbivorous and feed with their rhipidoglossan radula on macroalgae, preferring red or brown algae; the haliotid family has a worldwide distribution, along the coastal waters of every continent, except the Pacific coast of South America, the East Coast of the United States, the Arctic, Antarctica. The majority of abalone species are found in cold waters, such as off the coasts of New Zealand, South Africa, Western North America, Japan; the shell of the abalone is exceptionally strong and is made of microscopic calcium carbonate tiles stacked like bricks.

Between the layers of tiles is a clingy protein substance. When the abalone shell is struck, the tiles slide instead of shattering and the protein stretches to absorb the energy of the blow. Material scientists around the world are studying this tiled structure for insight into stronger ceramic products such as body armor; the dust created by grinding and cutting abalone shell is dangerous. Abalones are subject to various diseases; the Victorian Department of Primary Industries said in 2007 that ganglioneuritis killed up to 90% of stock in affected regions. Abalone are severe hemophiliacs as their fluids will not clot in the case of a laceration or puncture wound. Members of the Spionidae of the polychaetes are known as pests of abalone; the meat of abalone is used for food, the shells of abalone are used as decorative items and as a source of mother of pearl for jewelry, buttons and inlay. Abalone shells have been found in archaeological sites around the world, ranging from 100,000-year-old deposits at Blombos Cave in South Africa to historic Chinese abalone middens on California's Northern Channel Islands.

On the Channel Islands, where abalones were harvested by

Hybrids Plus

Hybrids Plus was a company operating from 2006 to 2009, devoted to converting hybrid electric vehicles to plug-in hybrids, including vehicle-to-grid capable PHEVs. The company was founded July, 2006 in Boulder, Colorado to convert a Toyota Prius for the State of Colorado. In 2007 Hybrids Plus won a contract with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, to convert a Ford Escape, a contract with Xcel Energy to convert 6 Escapes to V2G capable PHEVs. In 2007 Hybrids Plus started the development of the "Inverger," a bidirectional charger and inverter for vehicle-to-grid applications, funded in part by a grant from the State of Colorado, Governor's Energy Office. In the summer of 2008, a malfunction due to a manufacturing error in one of its Prius PHEVs conversions resulted in a fire that destroyed the vehicle; as a consequence, the company started a program to examine and upgrade each of the PHEV conversions it had manufactured. After this, only one more Prius PHEV conversion was completed and that product line was discontinued.

Towards the end of its existence, it converted Ford Escape HEVs to PHEVs by replacing the stock battery with a PHEV battery in the original location, adding a charger and a plug. In fall 2008, A123 Systems contracted Hybrids Plus to recall all of the vehicles it converted, remove A123's Li-Ion cells. In April 2009, Hybrids Plus ceased operations, its assets were absorbed by Eetrex, a company whose owners include some of the former shareholders of Hybrids Plus. IEEE Spectrum article featuring a PHEV conversion by Hybrids Plus AutoBlogGreen article NYSERDA program

List of extreme summits of the Rocky Mountains

This article comprises four sortable tables of mountain summits of the Rocky Mountains of North America that are the higher than any other point north or south of their latitude or east or west their longitude in those mountains. The summit of a mountain or hill may be measured in three principal ways: The topographic elevation of a summit measures the height of the summit above a geodetic sea level; the topographic prominence of a summit is a measure of how high the summit rises above its surroundings. The topographic isolation of a summit measures how far the summit lies from its nearest point of equal elevation. Rocky Mountains Geology of the Rocky Mountains Category:Rocky Mountains commons:Category:Rocky Mountains List of mountain peaks of North America List of mountain peaks of Greenland List of mountain peaks of Canada List of mountain peaks of the Rocky Mountains List of the major 4000-meter summits of the Rocky Mountains List of the major 3000-meter summits of the Rocky Mountains List of the ultra-prominent summits of the Rocky Mountains List of the major 100-kilometer summits of the Rocky Mountains List of extreme summits of the Rocky Mountains List of mountain peaks of the United States List of mountain peaks of México List of mountain peaks of Central America List of mountain peaks of the Caribbean Physical geography Topography Topographic elevation Topographic prominence Topographic isolation Natural Resources Canada Canadian Geographical Names @ NRC United States Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System @ USGS United States National Geodetic Survey Geodetic Glossary @ NGS NGVD 29 to NAVD 88 online elevation converter @ NGS Survey Marks and Datasheets @ NGS