The raccoon, sometimes spelled racoon, known as the common raccoon, North American raccoon, northern raccoon and colloquially as coon, is a medium-sized mammal native to North America. The raccoon is the largest of the family, having a body length of 40 to 70 cm. Its grayish coat mostly consists of dense underfur which insulates it against cold weather, two of the raccoons most distinctive features are its extremely dexterous front paws and its facial mask, which are themes in the mythology of several Native American ethnic groups. Raccoons are noted for their intelligence, with studies showing that they are able to remember the solution to tasks for up to three years, the diet of the omnivorous raccoon, which is usually nocturnal, consists of about 40% invertebrates, 33% plant foods, and 27% vertebrates. As a result of escapes and deliberate introductions in the century, raccoons are now distributed across mainland Europe, Caucasia. Though previously thought to be solitary, there is now evidence that raccoons engage in social behavior.
Home range sizes vary anywhere from 3 hectares for females in cities to 5,000 hectares for males in prairies, after a gestation period of about 65 days, two to five young, known as kits, are born in spring. The kits are subsequently raised by their mother until dispersal in late fall, although captive raccoons have been known to live over 20 years, their life expectancy in the wild is only 1.8 to 3.1 years. In many areas and vehicular injury are the two most common causes of death, the word raccoon was adopted into English from the native Powhatan term, as used in the Virginia Colony. It was recorded on Captain John Smiths list of Powhatan words as aroughcun and it has been identified as a Proto-Algonquian root *ahrah-koon-em, meaning one who rubs and scratches with its hands. Similarly, Spanish colonists adopted the Spanish word mapache from the Nahuatl mapachitli of the Aztecs, in French and European Portuguese, the washing behavior is combined with these languages term for rat, respectively, raton laveur and ratão-lavadeiro.
The colloquial abbreviation coon is used in words like coonskin for fur clothing and in phrases like old coon as a self-designation of trappers. In the 1830s, the U. S. Whig Party used the raccoon as an emblem, causing them to be known as coons by their political opponents. Soon after that it became an ethnic slur, especially in use between 1880 and 1920, and the term is considered offensive. In 1780, Gottlieb Conrad Christian Storr placed the raccoon in its own genus Procyon and it is possible that Storr had its nocturnal lifestyle in mind and chose the star Procyon as eponym for the species. Based on fossil evidence from France and Germany, the first known members of the family Procyonidae lived in Europe in the late Oligocene about 25 million years ago. Similar tooth and skull structures suggest procyonids and weasels share a common ancestor, after the then-existing species crossed the Bering Strait at least six million years in the early Miocene, the center of its distribution was probably in Central America.
Coatis and raccoons have been considered to share common descent from a species in the genus Paranasua present between 5.2 and 6.0 million years ago
Forty-eight of the fifty states and the federal district are contiguous and located in North America between Canada and Mexico. The state of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east, the state of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U. S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean, the geography and wildlife of the country are extremely diverse. At 3.8 million square miles and with over 324 million people, the United States is the worlds third- or fourth-largest country by area, third-largest by land area. It is one of the worlds most ethnically diverse and multicultural nations, paleo-Indians migrated from Asia to the North American mainland at least 15,000 years ago. European colonization began in the 16th century, the United States emerged from 13 British colonies along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the following the Seven Years War led to the American Revolution. On July 4,1776, during the course of the American Revolutionary War, the war ended in 1783 with recognition of the independence of the United States by Great Britain, representing the first successful war of independence against a European power.
The current constitution was adopted in 1788, after the Articles of Confederation, the first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, were ratified in 1791 and designed to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties. During the second half of the 19th century, the American Civil War led to the end of slavery in the country. By the end of century, the United States extended into the Pacific Ocean. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the status as a global military power. The end of the Cold War and the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the sole superpower. The U. S. is a member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States. The United States is a developed country, with the worlds largest economy by nominal GDP. It ranks highly in several measures of performance, including average wage, human development, per capita GDP. While the U. S. economy is considered post-industrial, characterized by the dominance of services and knowledge economy, the United States is a prominent political and cultural force internationally, and a leader in scientific research and technological innovations.
In 1507, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller produced a map on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere America after the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci
An amphitheatre or amphitheater /ˈæmfᵻˌθiːətər/ is an open-air venue used for entertainment and sports. The term derives from the ancient Greek ἀμφιθέατρον, from ἀμφί, ancient Roman amphitheatres were oval or circular in plan, with seating tiers that surrounded the central performance area, like a modern open-air stadium. In contrast both ancient Greek and ancient Roman theatres were built in a semicircle, with tiered seating rising on one side of the performance area. In modern usage, amphitheatre is used to describe theatre-style stages with spectator seating on only one side, theatres in the round. Natural formations of similar shape are known as natural amphitheatres. Ancient Roman amphitheatres were major public venues, circular or oval in plan and they were used for events such as gladiator combats, chariot races and executions. About 230 Roman amphitheatres have been found across the area of the Roman Empire, the earliest Roman amphitheatres date from the middle of the 1st century BC, but most were built under Imperial rule, from the Augustan period onwards.
Imperial amphitheatres were built throughout the Roman empire, the largest could accommodate 40, the most elaborate featured multi-storeyed, arcaded façades and were elaborately decorated with marble and statuary. After the end of games in the 5th century and of staged animal hunts in the 6th. Their materials were mined or recycled, some were razed, and others were converted into fortifications. A few continued as convenient open meeting places, in some of these, in modern usage, an amphitheatre is a circular, semicircular or curved, acoustically vibrant performance space, particularly one located outdoors. Small-scale amphitheatres can serve to host outdoor local community performances, notable modern amphitheatres include the Shoreline Amphitheatre and the Hollywood Bowl. The term amphitheatre is used for some indoor venues such as the Gibson Amphitheatre. The term amphitheatre can be used to naturally occurring formations which would be ideal for this purpose. Arena Stadium Thingplatz List of Roman amphitheatres List of contemporary amphitheatres List of indoor arenas List of ancient Greek theatres Roman theatre Bomgardner, the Story of the Roman Amphitheatre
A waterfall is a place where water flows over a vertical drop or a series of drops in the course of a stream or river. Waterfalls occur where meltwater drops over the edge of an iceberg or ice shelf. Waterfalls are commonly formed in the course of a river. At these times the channel is narrow and deep. When the river courses over resistant bedrock, erosion happens slowly, as the watercourse increases its velocity at the edge of the waterfall, it plucks material from the riverbed. Whirlpools created in the turbulence as well as sand and stones carried by the increase the erosion capacity. This causes the waterfall to carve deeper into the bed and to recede upstream, often over time, the waterfall will recede back to form a canyon or gorge downstream as it recedes upstream, and it will carve deeper into the ridge above it. The rate of retreat for a waterfall can be as high as one, the outcropping, more resistant cap rock will collapse under pressure to add blocks of rock to the base of the waterfall.
Waterfalls normally form in an area due to erosion. After a long period of being formed, the water falling off the ledge will retreat. Eventually, as the pit grows deeper, the waterfall collapses to be replaced by a steeply sloping stretch of river bed, a river sometimes flows over a large step in the rocks that may have been formed by a fault line. Waterfalls can occur along the edge of a trough, where a stream or river flowing into a glacier continues to flow into a valley after the glacier has receded or melted. The large waterfalls in Yosemite Valley are examples of this phenomenon, another reason hanging valleys may form is where two rivers join and one is flowing faster than the other. Waterfalls can be grouped into ten classes based on the average volume of water present on the fall using a logarithmic scale. Class 10 waterfalls include Niagara Falls, Paulo Afonso Falls and Khone Falls, young Wrote Waterfalls and process this work made waterfalls a much more serious topic for research for modern Geoscientists.
Ledge waterfall, Water descends vertically over a cliff, maintaining partial contact with the bedrock. Block/Sheet. Classical, Ledge waterfalls where fall height is equal to stream width. Curtain, Ledge waterfalls which descend over a larger than the width of falling water stream
State parks are parks or other protected areas managed at the sub-national level within those nations which use state as a political subdivision. State parks are established by a state to preserve a location on account of its natural beauty, historic interest. There are state parks under the administration of the government of each U. S. state, some of the Mexican states, the term is used in the Australian state of Victoria. The equivalent term used in Canada, South Africa, similar systems of local government maintained parks exist in other countries, but the terminology varies. State parks are thus similar to parks, but under state rather than federal administration. Similarly, local government entities below state level may maintain parks, in general, state parks are smaller than national parks, with a few exceptions such as the Adirondack Park in New York and Anza-Borrego Desert State Park in California. As of 2014, there were 10,234 state park units in the United States, there are some 739 million annual visits to the countrys state parks.
The NASPD further counts over 43,000 miles of trail,217,367 campsites, many states include designations beyond state park in their state parks systems. Other designations might be state recreation areas, state beaches, some state park systems include long-distance trails and historic sites. The title of oldest state park in the United States is claimed by Niagara Falls State Park in New York, however several public parks previously or currently maintained at the state level pre-date it. Indian Springs State Park has been operated continuously by the state of Georgia as a park since 1825. In 1864 Yosemite Valley and Mariposa Grove were ceded by the government to California until Yosemite National Park was proclaimed in 1890. In 1878 Wisconsin set aside a vast swath of its forests as The State Park but, needing money. The first state park with the designation of state park was Mackinac Island State Park in 1895, list of U. S. state parks National Association of State Park Directors Wilderness preservation systems in the United States Ahlgren, Carol.
The Civilian Conservation Corps and Wisconsin State Park Development, the State Park Movement in America, A Critical Review excerpt and text search Larson, Zeb. Silver Falls State Park and the Early Environmental Movement, oregon Historical Quarterly 112#1 pp, 34-57 in JSTOR Newton, Norman T. When Forests Trumped Parks, The Maryland Experience, 1906-1950, Maryland Historical Magazine 101#2 pp, 203-224
The herons are the long-legged freshwater and coastal birds in the family Ardeidae, with 64 recognised species, some of which are referred to as egrets or bitterns rather than herons. Egrets are not a distinct group from the herons. Although egrets have the build as herons, they tend to be smaller. Herons, by evolutionary adaptation, have long beaks, the relationship of the genera in the family is not completely resolved. However, one species formerly considered to constitute a monotypic family Cochlearidae. Although herons resemble birds in other families, such as the storks, ibises and cranes, they differ from these in flying with their necks retracted. They are one of the groups that have powder down. Some members of this group nest colonially in trees, while others, notably the bitterns, the herons are medium to large sized birds with long legs and necks. They exhibit very little sexual dimorphism in size, the smallest species is usually considered the little bittern, which can measure under 30 cm in length, although all the species in the Ixobrychus genus are small and many broadly overlap in size.
The largest species of heron is the Goliath heron, which stand up to 152 cm tall, the necks are able to kink in an S-shape, due to the modified shape of the sixth vertebrae of which they have 20-21. The neck is able to retract and extend, and is retracted during flight, the neck is longer in the day herons than the night herons and bitterns. The legs are long and strong and in almost every species are unfeathered from the part of the tibia. In flight the legs and feet are held backward, the feet of herons have long thin toes, with three forward pointing ones and one going backward. The bill is long and harpoon like. It can vary from fine, as in the agami heron. The most atypical bill is owned by the boat-billed heron, which has a thick bill. The bill, as well as other parts of the body, is usually yellow, black or brown coloured. The wings are broad and long, exhibiting 10–11 primaries feathers, the feathers of the herons are soft and the plumage is usually blue, brown, grey or white, and can often be strikingly complex
California is the most populous state in the United States and the third most extensive by area. Located on the western coast of the U. S, California is bordered by the other U. S. states of Oregon and Arizona and shares an international border with the Mexican state of Baja California. Los Angeles is Californias most populous city, and the second largest after New York City. The Los Angeles Area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nations second- and fifth-most populous urban regions, California has the nations most populous county, Los Angeles County, and its largest county by area, San Bernardino County. The Central Valley, an agricultural area, dominates the states center. What is now California was first settled by various Native American tribes before being explored by a number of European expeditions during the 16th and 17th centuries, the Spanish Empire claimed it as part of Alta California in their New Spain colony. The area became a part of Mexico in 1821 following its war for independence.
The western portion of Alta California was organized as the State of California, the California Gold Rush starting in 1848 led to dramatic social and demographic changes, with large-scale emigration from the east and abroad with an accompanying economic boom. If it were a country, California would be the 6th largest economy in the world, fifty-eight percent of the states economy is centered on finance, real estate services and professional, scientific and technical business services. Although it accounts for only 1.5 percent of the states economy, the story of Calafia is recorded in a 1510 work The Adventures of Esplandián, written as a sequel to Amadis de Gaula by Spanish adventure writer Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo. The kingdom of Queen Calafia, according to Montalvo, was said to be a land inhabited by griffins and other strange beasts. This conventional wisdom that California was an island, with maps drawn to reflect this belief, shortened forms of the states name include CA, Cal. Calif. and US-CA.
Settled by successive waves of arrivals during the last 10,000 years, various estimates of the native population range from 100,000 to 300,000. The Indigenous peoples of California included more than 70 distinct groups of Native Americans, ranging from large, settled populations living on the coast to groups in the interior. California groups were diverse in their organization with bands, villages. Trade and military alliances fostered many social and economic relationships among the diverse groups, the first European effort to explore the coast as far north as the Russian River was a Spanish sailing expedition, led by Portuguese captain Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo, in 1542. Some 37 years English explorer Francis Drake explored and claimed a portion of the California coast in 1579. Spanish traders made unintended visits with the Manila galleons on their trips from the Philippines beginning in 1565
The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression that took place during the 1930s. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations, in most countries it started in 1929 and it was the longest and most widespread depression of the 20th century. In the 21st century, the Great Depression is commonly used as an example of how far the economy can decline. The depression originated in the United States, after a fall in stock prices that began around September 4,1929. Between 1929 and 1932, worldwide GDP fell by an estimated 15%, by comparison, worldwide GDP fell by less than 1% from 2008 to 2009 during the Great Recession. Some economies started to recover by the mid-1930s, however, in many countries, the negative effects of the Great Depression lasted until the beginning of World War II. The Great Depression had devastating effects in both rich and poor. Personal income, tax revenue and prices dropped, while international trade plunged by more than 50%, unemployment in the U. S. rose to 25% and in some countries rose as high as 33%.
Cities all around the world were hit hard, especially dependent on heavy industry. Construction was virtually halted in many countries, farming communities and rural areas suffered as crop prices fell by about 60%. Facing plummeting demand with few sources of jobs, areas dependent on primary sector industries such as mining and logging suffered the most. Even after the Wall Street Crash of 1929 optimism persisted for some time, john D. Rockefeller said These are days when many are discouraged. In the 93 years of my life, depressions have come, prosperity has always returned and will again. The stock market turned upward in early 1930, returning to early 1929 levels by April and this was still almost 30% below the peak of September 1929. Together and business spent more in the first half of 1930 than in the period of the previous year. On the other hand, many of whom had suffered losses in the stock market the previous year. In addition, beginning in the mid-1930s, a severe drought ravaged the agricultural heartland of the U. S, by mid-1930, interest rates had dropped to low levels, but expected deflation and the continuing reluctance of people to borrow meant that consumer spending and investment were depressed.
By May 1930, automobile sales had declined to below the levels of 1928, prices in general began to decline, although wages held steady in 1930
Old-growth features include diverse tree-related structures that provide diverse wildlife habitat that increases the biodiversity of the forested ecosystem. The concept of tree structure includes multi-layered canopies and canopy gaps, greatly varying tree heights and diameters. Old-growth forests are valuable, and logging of these forests has been a point of contention between the logging industry and environmentalists. Old-growth forests tend to have trees and standing dead trees, multi-layered canopies with gaps that result from the deaths of individual trees. Depending on the forest, this may take anywhere from a century to several millennia, hardwood forests of the eastern United States can develop old-growth characteristics in one or two generations of trees, or 150–500 years. In British Columbia, old growth is defined as 120 to 140 years of age in the interior of the province where fire is a frequent and natural occurrence. In British Columbia’s coastal rainforests, old growth is defined as more than 250 years.
In Australia, eucalypt trees rarely exceed 350 years of age due to frequent fire disturbance, Forest types have very different development patterns, natural disturbances and appearances. Levels of biodiversity may be higher or lower in old-growth forests compared to that in second-growth forests, depending on circumstances, environmental variables. Logging in old-growth forests is an issue in many parts of the world. Excessive logging reduces biodiversity, affecting not only the old-growth forest itself, a forest in old-growth stage has a mix of tree ages, due to a distinct regeneration pattern for this stage. New trees regenerate at different times from other, because each one of them has different spatial location relative to the main canopy. The mixed age of the forest is an important criterion in ensuring that the forest is a stable ecosystem in the long term. A climax stand that is uniformly aged becomes senescent and degrades within a relatively short time-period to result in a new cycle of forest succession, uniformly aged stands are a less stable ecosystem.
Forest canopy gaps are essential in creating and maintaining mixed-age stands, some herbaceous plants only become established in canopy openings, but persist beneath an understory. Openings are a result of death due to small impact disturbances such as wind, low-intensity fires. Because old-growth forest is structurally diverse it provides higher-diversity habitat than forests in other stages, sometimes higher biological diversity can be sustained in old-growth forest, or at least a biodiversity that is different from other forest stages. The characteristic topography of much old-growth forest consists of pits and mounds, mounds are caused by decaying fallen trees, and pits by the roots pulled out of the ground when trees fall due to natural causes, including being pushed over by animals
Santa Cruz Mountains
The Santa Cruz Mountains, part of the Pacific Coast Ranges, are a mountain range in central and northern California, United States. The range passes through San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties, the highest point in the range is Loma Prieta Peak 3,786 feet, near which is the epicenter of the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. Other major peaks include Mount Umunhum 3,486 feet, Mount Bielawski 3,231 feet, El Sombroso 2,999 feet, Eagle Rock 2,488 feet, Black Mountain 2,800 feet, and Sierra Morena 2,417 feet. The San Andreas Fault runs along or near the line throughout the range. The east side of the mountains drops abruptly towards this fault line especially near Woodside, for much of the length of the range on the San Francisco Peninsula, State Route 35 runs along its ridge, and is known as Skyline Boulevard. The Santa Cruz Mountains have been a legally defined American Viticultural Area since 1981, wine has been produced here since at least the 1840s. The Santa Cruz Mountain AVA has emerged as premier producer of top wines, there are over 30 wineries located in this area.
The Santa Cruz Mountains are largely the result of uplift caused by a leftward bend of the San Andreas Fault. The Salinian Block basement rocks are overlain by Miocene rock strata of the Lompico Sandstone, the Vaqueros Sandstone, the Santa Cruz Mountains are a region of large biological diversity, encompassing cool, moist coastal ecosystems as well as warm, dry chaparral. Much of the area in the Santa Cruz mountains is considered temperate rainforest, there do exist several small and isolated stands of old-growth forest, most notably at Henry Cowell Redwoods and Portola Redwoods State Parks and one sizeable old-growth redwood forest at Big Basin. At higher elevations and on sunny south slopes a more drought-resistant chaparral vegetation dominates, California scrub oak, spring wildflowers are widespread throughout the range. The area welcomes a number of species of birds. Black-tailed deer, a subspecies of deer are common, as are western gray squirrels, chipmunks. Periodic sightings of black bears indicate they frequent the mountains or wander north from Big Sur, coyotes, bobcats and human-introduced Virginia opossums inhabit the region but are rarely seen.
Rattlesnakes are inhabitants, mostly in the high, dry chaparral, the Santa Cruz Mountains have a Mediterranean type climate typical of most of California, with the majority of the annual precipitation falling between November and April. According to the National Weather Service, this more than 50 inches annually. Due to a shadow effect, precipitation on the eastern side of the range is significantly less. Snow falls a few times a year on the highest ridges, no temperature records were kept at these stations
The acorn woodpecker is a medium-sized woodpecker,21 cm long, with an average weight of 85 g. The adult acorn woodpecker has a head, back and tail, white forehead, belly. There is a part on the small of their backs where there are some green feathers. The adult male has a red cap starting at the forehead, the white neck and forehead patches are distinctive identifiers. When flying, they take a few flaps of their wings, white circles on their wings are visible when in flight. Acorn woodpeckers have a call that is almost like they are laughing, the breeding habitat is forested areas with oaks in the hills of coastal areas and foothills of California and the southwestern United States south to Colombia. This species may occur at low elevations in the north of its range, but rarely below 1,000 m in Central America, the breeding pair excavate a nest in a large cavity in a dead tree or a dead part of a tree. Young from a single brood have been found with multiple paternity, Acorn woodpeckers, as their name implies, depend heavily on acorns for food.
In some parts of their range, the woodpeckers create granaries or acorn trees by drilling holes in trees, dead branches, telephone poles. The woodpeckers collect acorns and find a hole that is just the size for the acorn. As acorns dry out, they are moved to smaller holes and they feed on insects and fruit. The acorns are visible, and the group defends the tree against potential cache robbers like Stellers jays, acorns are such an important resource to the California populations that acorn woodpeckers may nest in the fall to take advantage of the fall acorn crop, a rare behavior in birds. Acorn woodpeckers can be seen sallying from tree limbs to catch insects, eating fruit and seeds, the acorn woodpecker will use any human-made structures to store acorns, drilling holes into fence posts, utility poles and even automobile radiators. Occasionally the woodpecker will put acorns into places where it cannot get them out, woodpeckers put 220 kg of acorns into a wooden water tank in Arizona. In parts of its range the acorn woodpecker does not construct a granary tree, if the stores are eaten, the woodpecker will move to another area, even going from Arizona to Mexico to spend the winter.
Acorn woodpeckers practice cooperative breeding, which is a rare evolutionary trait that is thought to occur in only nine percent of bird species. Cooperative breeding is defined as more than two birds taking care of nestlings in the nest, with the acorn woodpecker, cooperative breeding occurs in two ways and family groups. Coalitions of adult acorn woodpeckers nest together, localizing to storage granaries, adult offspring often stay in their parents nest and help raise the next generation of woodpeckers
A marsh is a wetland that is dominated by herbaceous rather than woody plant species. Marshes can often be found at the edges of lakes and streams and they are often dominated by grasses, rushes or reeds. If woody plants are present they tend to be low-growing shrubs, Marshes provide a habitat for many species of plants and insects that have adapted to living in flooded conditions. The plants must be able to survive in wet mud with low oxygen levels, many of these plants therefore have aerenchyma, channels within the stem that allow air to move from the leaves into the rooting zone. Marsh plants tend to have rhizomes for underground storage and reproduction, familiar examples include cattails, sedges and sawgrass. Aquatic animals, from fish to salamanders, are able to live with a low amount of oxygen in the water. Some can obtain oxygen from the air instead, while others can live indefinitely in conditions of low oxygen, Marshes provide habitats for many kinds of invertebrates, amphibians and aquatic mammals.
Marshes have extremely high levels of production, some of the highest in the world. Marshes improve water quality by acting as a sink to filter pollutants, Marshes are able to absorb water during periods of heavy rainfall and slowly release it into waterways and therefore reduce the magnitude of flooding. The pH in marshes tends to be neutral to alkaline, as opposed to bogs, Marshes differ depending mainly on their location and salinity. Both of these factors influence the range and scope of animal and plant life that can survive. The three main types of marsh are salt marshes, freshwater marshes, and freshwater marshes. These three can be found worldwide and each contains a different set of organisms, saltwater marshes are found around the world in mid to high latitudes, wherever there are sections of protected coastline. They are located close enough to the shoreline that the motion of the tides affects them and they flourish where the rate of sediment buildup is greater than the rate at which the land level is sinking.
Salt marshes are dominated by specially adapted rooted vegetation, primarily salt-tolerant grasses, salt marshes are most commonly found in lagoons, and on the sheltered side of shingle or sandspit. The currents there carry the fine particles around to the side of the spit. These locations allow the marshes to absorb the nutrients from the water running through them before they reach the oceans. Coastal development and urban sprawl has caused significant loss of these essential habitats, although considered a freshwater marsh, this form of marsh is affected by the ocean tides