The giant cheetah is an extinct felid species, related to the modern cheetah. The lifestyle and physical characteristics of the giant cheetah were similar to those of its modern relative, except the giant cheetah was the height of a lion at the shoulder, it was twice the size of today's cheetahs, putting it at around 79.37–100 kg, about 200 cm from head to rump, not including a 140 cm tail. Its reconstructed shoulder height was at 90 cm. Like the modern cheetah, the giant cheetah was a sprinter, but based on its proportions, was slower than the modern cheetah species. Just as with the modern cheetah every aspect of Acinonyx pardinesis was specialized for running, though not as fast; the muzzle is short and the nasal passage large for increased air intake during a strenuous sprint. To make room for the enlarged nasal passage, the maxilla was reduced and the anchorage for the canine roots was less, resulting in shorter canine roots and a shorter, more stout external canine, a characteristic seen in the modern cheetah.
As evidenced by Marco Cherin, Denis Geraads et al, the giant cheetah may have had a stronger bite than modern cheetahs enough to crush bone. To lighten the weight of the animal, bone girth is reduced and the skeleton is lean and light, excellent for running, but not for fighting or coping with injuries, severe or minor, its thoracic cavity was consumed by a powerful heart. The intestines were shorter, to lighten the animal, muscles not used for running were reduced; the diaphragm was connected to the movement of its gait and with the stretching phase of a stride, the expansion of space in the abdominal cavity pulled the diaphragm down and forced the animal to inhale, while the contractile phase compressed the lungs and forced air out, so it had no control over its breathing while running, a commonality of most quadruped sprinters. Analysis of its skeleton indicates that the giant cheetah was intermediate in morphology between the swift-moving cheetahs and slower big cats. Indeed, the giant cheetah may have less resembled its modern cousin and instead have had more in common in regards to morphology with the modern snow leopard, whose skeletal proportions are similar.
Despite its longer legs and potential as a sprinter, the giant cheetah was overall less suited to speed than its modern relatives due to its intermediate build and greater massOne of the most complete skulls of this species is from the French site of Saint-Vallier, but the best collection of postcranial bones came from the older site of Perrier in the Massif Central, including vertebral column and long bones of one individual were found. However, the metacarpals were not recovered, so subsequent reconstructions depict them at the same length as the modern Acinonyx. Giant cheetahs were present in Europe during the Middle Pleistocene; the giant cheetah was found in Germany, in China and India. European cheetahs occurred alongside jaguars and leopards at some Middle Pleistocene localities, competition among the three contributed to the cheetah's decline, its large mass and more worn claws suggest it was less adapted to climbing, an ability that would continue to evolve until modern-day cheetahs appeared.
Within the same species, as shown in the modern South American jaguar and the Asian tiger, individuals in higher and colder areas grow to larger sizes. The fossil record for cheetahs is scarce. In contrast to Smilodon fatalis, severe injuries lead to death and there is no sign of cooperation as seen in the latter species of machairodont. Fossils suggest a lifestyle similar to the modern cheetah species: solitary, except for mothers and cubs and siblings as seen with cheetah brothers, more specialized hunting tactics that narrow the number of species being hunted and therefore increasing the size of a territory and causing the species to be spread out more thinly than the much more adaptable modern leopard. Vertebrate paleontologist Alan Turner suggests, "since it had the bodily proportions of the living cheetah, since running speed is a reflection of stride length for a given stride frequency, such large animals may have been capable of running somewhat faster than their living relatives, although greater weight may have countered any advantage of greater size.
Whether they needed to run faster is less clear." The reason for A. pardinensis achieving large size could be to keep warm, to move faster, to subdue larger prey, or a combination of the three. On the same field as the modern cheetah, it would have been a successful hunter wary of injuries, came into contact with others of its species, it would have been cautious, preferring fleeing to fighting, would have been wary of large prey capable of injuring the cheetah. Cooperative hunting would have been unused, mortality rates in the young would have been high; the modern cheetah must stop running after about 60 seconds, or when its body temperature rises over 104 °F, this large species would have had these confines, as well. It could have preyed upon anything from small, contemporary muntjac deer and mountainous ibex, to elk and sambar, prey, larger than the modern cheetah's ideal prey, the Thomson's gazelle; the modern cheetah uses a specific hunting style seen nowhere else in the cat family: on open plains
The cheetah is a large cat of the subfamily Felinae that occurs in North and East Africa, a few localities in Iran. It inhabits a variety of arid habitats like dry forests, scrub forests, savannahs; the species is IUCN Red Listed as Vulnerable, as it suffered a substantial decline in its historic range in the 20th century due to habitat loss, poaching for the illegal pet trade, conflict with humans. By 2016, the global cheetah population has been estimated at 7,100 individuals in the wild. Several African countries have taken steps to improve cheetah conservation measures; the cheetah was formally described by Johann Christian Daniel von Schreber in 1775 and is the only extant member of the genus Acinonyx. Its yellowish tan or rufous to greyish white coat is uniformly covered with nearly 2,000 solid black spots, its body is slender with a small rounded head, black tear-like streaks on the face, deep chest, long thin legs and long spotted tail. It reaches 70–90 cm at the shoulder, weighs 21–72 kg.
The cheetah breeds throughout the year, is an induced ovulator. Gestation lasts nearly three months, resulting in a litter of three to five, in rare cases up to eight cubs, they are weaned at the age of about six months. After siblings become independent from their mother, they stay together for some time, it is active during the day, with hunting its major activity. It is a carnivore and preys upon antelopes and gazelles, it stalks its prey to within 100–300 m, charge towards it and kill it by tripping it during the chase and biting its throat to suffocate it to death. Female cheetahs are live with their offspring in home ranges. Adult males are sociable despite their territoriality, forming groups called coalitions. African cheetahs may achieve successful hunts only running up to a speed of 64 km/h while hunting due to their exceptional ability to accelerate, it is therefore the fastest land animal. Because of its prowess at hunting, the cheetah has been tamed in the 16th century BC in Egypt and used to kill game at hunts.
It has been depicted in art, literature and animation. The vernacular name "cheetah" is derived from cītā, which in turn comes from the Sanskrit word citra meaning "variegated, painted”; the generic name Acinonyx is derived from the combination of two Greek words: ἁκινητος meaning'unmoved, motionless', ὄνυξ meaning'nail, hoof'. A rough translation of the word would be "immobile nails", a reference to the cheetah's limited ability to retract its claws; the Latin word jubatus means'having a mane or crest, crested'. Felis jubatus was the scientific name used by Johann Christian Daniel von Schreber in 1777 who based his description of the species on earlier descriptions by Comte de Buffon and Thomas Pennant; the generic name Acinonyx was proposed by Joshua Brookes in 1828. In the 19th and 20th centuries, several cheetah specimens were proposed as subspecies; the following table is based on the classification of the species provided in Mammal Species of the World. It reflects the classification used by IUCN Red List assessors and the revision by the Cat Classification Task Force: The cheetah's closest relatives are the cougar and the jaguarundi.
These three species together form one of the eight lineages of Felidae. The sister group of the Puma lineage is a clade of smaller Old World cats that includes the genera Felis and Prionailurus. Although the cheetah is an Old World cat, molecular evidence indicates that the three species of the Puma lineage evolved in North America two to three million years ago, where they had a common ancestor during the Miocene, they diverged from this ancestor 8.25 million years ago. The cheetah diverged from the jaguarundi around 6.7 million years ago. A genome study suggests that cheetahs experienced two genetic bottlenecks in their history, the first about 100,000 years ago and the second about 12,000 years ago lowering their genetic variability; these bottlenecks may have been associated with migrations across Asia and into Africa, and/or with a depletion of prey species at the end of the Pleistocene. Cheetah fossils found in the lower beds of the Olduvai Gorge site in northern Tanzania date back to the Pleistocene.
The extinct species of Acinonyx are older than the cheetah, with the oldest known from the late Pliocene. These species include Acinonyx pardinensis, notably larger than the modern cheetah, A. intermedius. While the range of A. intermedius stretched from Europe to China, A pardinensis spanned over Eurasia as well as eastern and southern Africa. A variety of larger cheetah believed to have existed in Europe fell to extinction around half a million years ago. Extinct North American cats resembling the cheetah had been assigned to Felis, Puma or Acinonyx. However, a phylogenetic analysis in 1990 placed these species under the genus Miracinonyx. Miracinonyx exhibited a high degree of similarity with the cheetah. However, in 1998, a DNA analysis showed that Miracinonyx inexpectatus, M. studeri, M. trumani, found in North America, are more related to the cougar than modern cheetahs. The diploid number of chromosomes in the cheetah is 38, the same as in most other felids. A remarkable feature of the cheetah is its unusually low genetic variability in comparison to
The Felinae is a subfamily of the family Felidae. This subfamily comprises the small cats having a bony hyoid, because of which they are able to purr but not roar. Other authors proposed an alternative definition for this subfamily: as comprising only the living conical-toothed cat genera with two tribes, the Felini and Pantherini; the members of the Felinae have retractile claws. Their larynx is kept close to the base of the skull by an ossified hyoid, they can purr owing to the vocal folds being shorter than 6 mm. The term Felini was first used in 1817 by Gotthelf Fischer von Waldheim, at the time for all the cat species, proposed as belonging to the genus Felis. In 1917, Reginald Innes Pocock subordinated the following genera to the Felinae, proposed in the course of the 19th century: Lynx, Leptailurus, Pardofelis, Herpailurus and four more; the Felinae and Pantherinae diverged about 11.5 million years ago. The genera within the Felinae diverged between 4.23 million years ago. Today, the following living genera and species are recognised as belonging to the Felinae: Acinonyx † Giant cheetah A. pardinensis Croizet e Joubert, 1928 † A. intermedius Thenius, 1954 † A. aicha Geraads, 1997 † Miracinonyx Adams, 1979 Miracinonyx trumani Orr, 1969 Miracinonyx inexpectatus Miracinonyx studeri Adams, 1979 Felis † F. lunensis Martelli, 1906 † Pratifelis Hibbard, 1934 Pratifelis martini Hibbard, 1934 † Pristifelis Salesa et al. 2012 Felis attica Wagner, 1857 † Leptofelis †L. vallesiensis Salesa et al. 2012 Cats portal List of felids Media related to Felinae at Wikimedia Commons Data related to Felinae at Wikispecies
Asia is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located in the Eastern and Northern Hemispheres. It shares the continental landmass of Eurasia with the continent of Europe and the continental landmass of Afro-Eurasia with both Europe and Africa. Asia covers an area of 44,579,000 square kilometres, about 30% of Earth's total land area and 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area. The continent, which has long been home to the majority of the human population, was the site of many of the first civilizations. Asia is notable for not only its overall large size and population, but dense and large settlements, as well as vast populated regions, its 4.5 billion people constitute 60% of the world's population. In general terms, Asia is bounded on the east by the Pacific Ocean, on the south by the Indian Ocean, on the north by the Arctic Ocean; the border of Asia with Europe is a historical and cultural construct, as there is no clear physical and geographical separation between them. It has moved since its first conception in classical antiquity.
The division of Eurasia into two continents reflects East–West cultural and ethnic differences, some of which vary on a spectrum rather than with a sharp dividing line. The most accepted boundaries place Asia to the east of the Suez Canal separating it from Africa. China and India alternated in being the largest economies in the world from 1 to 1800 CE. China was a major economic power and attracted many to the east, for many the legendary wealth and prosperity of the ancient culture of India personified Asia, attracting European commerce and colonialism; the accidental discovery of a trans-Atlantic route from Europe to America by Columbus while in search for a route to India demonstrates this deep fascination. The Silk Road became the main east–west trading route in the Asian hinterlands while the Straits of Malacca stood as a major sea route. Asia has exhibited economic dynamism as well as robust population growth during the 20th century, but overall population growth has since fallen. Asia was the birthplace of most of the world's mainstream religions including Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Sikhism, as well as many other religions.
Given its size and diversity, the concept of Asia—a name dating back to classical antiquity—may have more to do with human geography than physical geography. Asia varies across and within its regions with regard to ethnic groups, environments, historical ties and government systems, it has a mix of many different climates ranging from the equatorial south via the hot desert in the Middle East, temperate areas in the east and the continental centre to vast subarctic and polar areas in Siberia. The boundary between Asia and Africa is the Red Sea, the Gulf of Suez, the Suez Canal; this makes Egypt a transcontinental country, with the Sinai peninsula in Asia and the remainder of the country in Africa. The border between Asia and Europe was defined by European academics; the Don River became unsatisfactory to northern Europeans when Peter the Great, king of the Tsardom of Russia, defeating rival claims of Sweden and the Ottoman Empire to the eastern lands, armed resistance by the tribes of Siberia, synthesized a new Russian Empire extending to the Ural Mountains and beyond, founded in 1721.
The major geographical theorist of the empire was a former Swedish prisoner-of-war, taken at the Battle of Poltava in 1709 and assigned to Tobolsk, where he associated with Peter's Siberian official, Vasily Tatishchev, was allowed freedom to conduct geographical and anthropological studies in preparation for a future book. In Sweden, five years after Peter's death, in 1730 Philip Johan von Strahlenberg published a new atlas proposing the Urals as the border of Asia. Tatishchev announced; the latter had suggested the Emba River as the lower boundary. Over the next century various proposals were made until the Ural River prevailed in the mid-19th century; the border had been moved perforce from the Black Sea to the Caspian Sea into which the Ural River projects. The border between the Black Sea and the Caspian is placed along the crest of the Caucasus Mountains, although it is sometimes placed further north; the border between Asia and the region of Oceania is placed somewhere in the Malay Archipelago.
The Maluku Islands in Indonesia are considered to lie on the border of southeast Asia, with New Guinea, to the east of the islands, being wholly part of Oceania. The terms Southeast Asia and Oceania, devised in the 19th century, have had several vastly different geographic meanings since their inception; the chief factor in determining which islands of the Malay Archipelago are Asian has been the location of the colonial possessions of the various empires there. Lewis and Wigen assert, "The narrowing of'Southeast Asia' to its present boundaries was thus a gradual process." Geographical Asia is a cultural artifact of European conceptions of the world, beginning with the Ancient Greeks, being imposed onto other cultures, an imprecise concept causing endemic contention about what it means. Asia does not correspond to the cultural borders of its various types of constituents. From the time of Herodotus a minority of geographers have rejected the three-continent system on the grounds that there is no substantial physical separation between
The Holocene is the current geological epoch. It began 11,650 cal years before present, after the last glacial period, which concluded with the Holocene glacial retreat; the Holocene and the preceding Pleistocene together form the Quaternary period. The Holocene has been identified with the current warm period, known as MIS 1, it is considered by some to be an interglacial period within the Pleistocene Epoch. The Holocene has seen the growth and impacts of the human species worldwide, including all its written history, development of major civilizations, overall significant transition toward urban living in the present. Human impacts on modern-era Earth and its ecosystems may be considered of global significance for future evolution of living species, including synchronous lithospheric evidence, or more hydrospheric and atmospheric evidence of human impacts. In July 2018, the International Union of Geological Sciences split the Holocene epoch into three distinct subsections, Greenlandian and Meghalayan, as proposed by International Commission on Stratigraphy.
The boundary stratotype of Meghalayan is a speleothem in Mawmluh cave in India, the global auxiliary stratotype is an ice core from Mount Logan in Canada. The name Holocene comes from the Ancient Greek words ὅλος and καινός, meaning "entirely recent", it is accepted by the International Commission on Stratigraphy that the Holocene started 11,650 cal years BP. The Subcommission on Quaternary Stratigraphy quotes Gibbard and van Kolfschoten in Gradstein Ogg and Smith in stating the term'Recent' as an alternative to Holocene is invalid and should not be used and observe that the term Flandrian, derived from marine transgression sediments on the Flanders coast of Belgium has been used as a synonym for Holocene by authors who consider the last 10,000 years should have the same stage-status as previous interglacial events and thus be included in the Pleistocene; the International Commission on Stratigraphy, considers the Holocene an epoch following the Pleistocene and the last glacial period. Local names for the last glacial period include the Wisconsinan in North America, the Weichselian in Europe, the Devensian in Britain, the Llanquihue in Chile and the Otiran in New Zealand.
The Holocene can be subdivided into five time intervals, or chronozones, based on climatic fluctuations: Preboreal, Atlantic and Subatlantic. Note: "ka" means "kilo-annum" Before Present, i.e. 1,000 years before 1950 The Blytt–Sernander classification of climatic periods defined by plant remains in peat mosses, is being explored. Geologists working in different regions are studying sea levels, peat bogs and ice core samples by a variety of methods, with a view toward further verifying and refining the Blytt–Sernander sequence, they find a general correspondence across Eurasia and North America, though the method was once thought to be of no interest. The scheme was defined for Northern Europe, but the climate changes were claimed to occur more widely; the periods of the scheme include a few of the final pre-Holocene oscillations of the last glacial period and classify climates of more recent prehistory. Paleontologists have not defined any faunal stages for the Holocene. If subdivision is necessary, periods of human technological development, such as the Mesolithic and Bronze Age, are used.
However, the time periods referenced by these terms vary with the emergence of those technologies in different parts of the world. Climatically, the Holocene may be divided evenly into the Neoglacial periods. According to some scholars, a third division, the Anthropocene, has now begun; the International Commission on Stratigraphy Subcommission on Quaternary Stratigraphy’s working group on the'Anthropocene' note this term is used to denote the present time interval in which many geologically significant conditions and processes have been profoundly altered by human activities. The'Anthropocene' is not a formally defined geological unit. Continental motions due to plate tectonics are less than a kilometre over a span of only 10,000 years. However, ice melt caused world sea levels to rise about 35 m in the early part of the Holocene. In addition, many areas above about 40 degrees north latitude had been depressed by the weight of the Pleistocene glaciers and rose as much as 180 m due to post-glacial rebound over the late Pleistocene and Holocene, are still rising today.
The sea level rise and temporary land depression allowed temporary marine incursions into areas that are now far from the sea. Holocene marine fossils are known, from Vermont and Michigan. Other than higher-latitude temporary marine incursions associated with glacial depression, Holocene fossils are found in lakebed and cave deposits. Holocene marine deposits along low-latitude coastlines are rare because the rise in sea levels during the period exceeds any tectonic uplift of non-glacial origin. Post-glacial rebound in the Scandinavia region resulted in the formation of the Baltic Sea; the region continues to rise, still causing weak earthquakes across Northern Europe. The equivalent event in North America was the rebound of Hudson Bay, as it shrank from its larger, immediate post-glacial Tyrrell Sea phase, to near its present boundaries. Climate has been stable over the Holocene. Ice core
Berlin Zoological Garden
The Berlin Zoological Garden is the oldest and best-known zoo in Germany. Opened in 1844 it is located in Berlin's Tiergarten. With about 1,380 different species and over 20,200 animals the zoo presents one of the most comprehensive collection of species in the world; the zoo and its aquarium had more than 3.5 million visitors in 2017. It is one of the most popular worldwide. Regular animal feedings are among its most famous attractions. Globally known animals like Knut, the polar bear, Bao Bao, the giant panda have contributed to the zoo's public image; the zoo collaborates with many universities, research institutes, other zoos around the world. It maintains and promotes European breeding programmes, helps safeguard several endangered species, participates in several species reintroduction programs. Opened on 1 August 1844, the Zoologischer Garten Berlin was the first zoo in Germany; the aquarium opened in 1913. The first animals were donated by Frederick William IV, King of Prussia, from the menagerie and pheasantry of the Tiergarten.
The nearby U-Bahn station was opened the same year. In 1938, the Berlin Zoo got rid of Jewish board members and forced Jewish shareholders to sell their stocks at a loss, before re-selling the stocks in an effort to "Aryanize" the institution; the zoo has now commissioned a historian to identify these past shareholders and track down their descendants, according to a report by AFP. Zoo director Lutz Heck was named chief of the Oberste Naturschütz Behörde im Reichsforstamt by his friend Hermann Göring in the summer of 1938 and in this capacity he was the senior responsible person for the entire nature management. During World War II, the zoo area was hit by Allied bombs for the first time on 8 September 1941. Most damage was done during the bombardments on 22 and 23 November 1943. In less than 15 minutes, 30% of the zoo population was killed on the first day. On the second day the aquarium building was destroyed by a direct hit. Of the eight elephants only one survived, the bull Siam. 2-year-old hippo bull Knautschke was saved from the fire in his animal house.
Most damage was done during the Battle of Berlin. From 22 April 1945 onwards, the zoo was under constant artillery fire of the Red Army. Heavy fighting took place on the zoo area till 30 April; because of safety measures, some predators and other dangerous animals were killed by the zoo keepers. By the end of the war, the zoo was fortified with the Zoo Tower, a huge flak tower, one of the last remaining areas of Nazi German resistance against the Red Army, with its bunkers and anti-aircraft weapons defending against Allied air forces. At the entrance of the zoo, there was a small underground shelter for zoo keepers. During the battle, wounded German soldiers were taken care for here by female personnel and the wives of zookeepers. On 30 April, the zoo flak bunker surrendered. A count on May 31, 1945, revealed only 91 of 3,715 animals had survived, including two lion cubs, two hyenas, Asian bull elephant Siam, hippo bull Knautschke, ten hamadryas baboons, a chimpanzee, a black stork. After the battle, some animals were eaten by Red Army soldiers.
Following the zoo's destruction, it and the associated aquarium was reconstructed on modern principles so as to display the animals in as close to their natural environment as feasible. The success in breeding animals, including some rare species, demonstrates the efficacy of these new methods; the zoo came to be located in West Berlin, hence a second zoo – Tierpark Berlin – was built in the East. The Berlin Zoo is the most visited zoo in Europe, with more than 3.3 million visitors per year from all over the world. It is open all year long and can be reached by public transportation; the Berlin Zoologischer Garten railway station is one of Berlin's most important stations. Several modes of transport such as U-Bahn, S-Bahn and buses are interlinked here. Visitors can either enter the zoo through the exotically designed Elephant Gate beside the aquarium on Budapester Straße or through the Lion Gate on Hardenbergplatz; the zoo gaurs. The populations of rare deer and pigs are part of several captive breeding projects.
Berlin Zoo supports conservationists in other countries and as a partner of the Stiftung Artenschutz, a species protection foundation. Most of the animals are housed in enclosures designed to recreate their natural habitat; the zoo houses four types of great ape: orangutans, gorillas and bonobos. The carnivore house displays all big cats and many rare small predators, such as ring-tailed mongooses and narrow-striped mongooses from Madagascar. In the basement, visitors are invited to a view into the world of nocturnal animals; the bird house presents a walk-through aviary and offers a broad variety of forms, including several breeding species of hornbills and many parrots. Numerous big aviaries show waders and many other species; the Berlin Zoo is one of the few zoos to exhibit Luzon tarictic hornbills. The aquarium was built in 1913 as part of the Zoologischer Garten complex. In addition to fish and other aquatic life, it is home to most of the zoo's reptiles and invertebrates. Polar bear Knut was born in captivity at the zoo on 5 December 2006.
He and his twin brother or sister were directly rejected by their mother at day of birth. He was subsequently raised by zookeeper Thomas Dörflein and became the center of a mass media phenomenon that spanned the globe spawning numerous toys, media specials, DVDs, a
Africa is the world's second largest and second most-populous continent, being behind Asia in both categories. At about 30.3 million km2 including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of Earth's total surface area and 20% of its land area. With 1.2 billion people as of 2016, it accounts for about 16% of the world's human population. The continent is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, the Isthmus of Suez and the Red Sea to the northeast, the Indian Ocean to the southeast and the Atlantic Ocean to the west; the continent includes various archipelagos. It contains 54 recognised sovereign states, nine territories and two de facto independent states with limited or no recognition; the majority of the continent and its countries are in the Northern Hemisphere, with a substantial portion and number of countries in the Southern Hemisphere. Africa's average population is the youngest amongst all the continents. Algeria is Africa's largest country by area, Nigeria is its largest by population. Africa central Eastern Africa, is accepted as the place of origin of humans and the Hominidae clade, as evidenced by the discovery of the earliest hominids and their ancestors as well as ones that have been dated to around 7 million years ago, including Sahelanthropus tchadensis, Australopithecus africanus, A. afarensis, Homo erectus, H. habilis and H. ergaster—the earliest Homo sapiens, found in Ethiopia, date to circa 200,000 years ago.
Africa encompasses numerous climate areas. Africa hosts a large diversity of ethnicities and languages. In the late 19th century, European countries colonised all of Africa. African nations cooperate through the establishment of the African Union, headquartered in Addis Ababa. Afri was a Latin name used to refer to the inhabitants of then-known northern Africa to the west of the Nile river, in its widest sense referred to all lands south of the Mediterranean; this name seems to have referred to a native Libyan tribe, an ancestor of modern Berbers. The name had been connected with the Phoenician word ʿafar meaning "dust", but a 1981 hypothesis has asserted that it stems from the Berber word ifri meaning "cave", in reference to cave dwellers; the same word may be found in the name of the Banu Ifran from Algeria and Tripolitania, a Berber tribe from Yafran in northwestern Libya. Under Roman rule, Carthage became the capital of the province it named Africa Proconsularis, following its defeat of the Carthaginians in the Third Punic War in 146 BC, which included the coastal part of modern Libya.
The Latin suffix -ica can sometimes be used to denote a land. The Muslim region of Ifriqiya, following its conquest of the Byzantine Empire's Exarchatus Africae preserved a form of the name. According to the Romans, Africa lay to the west of Egypt, while "Asia" was used to refer to Anatolia and lands to the east. A definite line was drawn between the two continents by the geographer Ptolemy, indicating Alexandria along the Prime Meridian and making the isthmus of Suez and the Red Sea the boundary between Asia and Africa; as Europeans came to understand the real extent of the continent, the idea of "Africa" expanded with their knowledge. Other etymological hypotheses have been postulated for the ancient name "Africa": The 1st-century Jewish historian Flavius Josephus asserted that it was named for Epher, grandson of Abraham according to Gen. 25:4, whose descendants, he claimed, had invaded Libya. Isidore of Seville in his 7th-century Etymologiae XIV.5.2. Suggests "Africa comes from the Latin aprica, meaning "sunny".
Massey, in 1881, stated that Africa is derived from the Egyptian af-rui-ka, meaning "to turn toward the opening of the Ka." The Ka is the energetic double of every person and the "opening of the Ka" refers to a womb or birthplace. Africa would be, for the Egyptians, "the birthplace." Michèle Fruyt in 1976 proposed linking the Latin word with africus "south wind", which would be of Umbrian origin and mean "rainy wind". Robert R. Stieglitz of Rutgers University in 1984 proposed: "The name Africa, derived from the Latin *Aphir-ic-a, is cognate to Hebrew Ophir." Ibn Khallikan and some other historians claim that the name of Africa came from a Himyarite king called Afrikin ibn Kais ibn Saifi called "Afrikus son of Abrahah" who subdued Ifriqiya. Africa is considered by most paleoanthropologists to be the oldest inhabited territory on Earth, with the human species originating from the continent. During the mid-20th century, anthropologists discovered many fossils and evidence of human occupation as early as 7 million years ago.
Fossil remains of several species of early apelike humans thought to have evolved into modern man, such as Australopithecus afarensis (radiometrically dated to 3.9–3.0 million years BP, Paranthropus boisei and Homo ergaster have been discovered. After the evolution of Homo sapiens sapiens 150,000 to 100,000 years BP in Africa, the continent was populated by groups of hunter-gatherers; these first modern humans left Africa and populated the rest of the globe during the Out of Africa II migration dated to 50,000 years BP, exiting the continent eith