The banteng known as tembadau, is a species of wild cattle found in Southeast Asia. Banteng have been domesticated in several places in Southeast Asia, there are around 1.5 million domestic banteng, which are called Bali cattle. These animals are used for their meat. Banteng have been introduced to Northern Australia, where they have established stable feral populations; these subspecies are recognised: Javan banteng: Found on Bali in Indonesia. Bornean banteng: From Borneo, they are smaller than Java banteng and the horns are steeper. Burma banteng: In Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos and may be in India, but extinct in Bangladesh; this subspecies is recognised by the IUCN, but not by Mammal Species of the World, 3rd edition. The banteng is similar in size to domesticated cattle, measuring 1.55 to 1.65 m tall at the shoulder and 2.45–3.5 m in total length, including a tail 60 cm long. Body weight can range from 400 to 900 kg, it exhibits sexual dimorphism, allowing the sexes to be distinguished by colour and size.
In mature males, the short-haired coat is blue-black or dark chestnut in colour, while in females and young it is chestnut with a dark dorsal stripe. Both males and females have white stockings on their lower legs, a white rump, a white muzzle, white spots above the eyes; the build is similar to that of domesticated cattle, but with a comparatively slender neck and small head, a ridge on the back above the shoulders. The horns of females are short and curved, pointing inward at the tips, while those of males arc upwards, growing 60 to 75 cm long, being connected by a horn-like bald patch on the forehead. Banteng live in sparse forest where they feed on grasses, fruit and young branches; the banteng is active both night and day, but in places where humans are common, they adopt a nocturnal schedule. Banteng tend to gather in herds of two to 30 members; each herd contains only one adult bull. Mating occurs from May to birth from March to April. Cows give birth to one calf after a gestation period of 9.5 month.
Lifespan is 16 to 20 years in the wild. The wild banteng is classified as Endangered by the IUCN; the populations on the Asian mainland have decreased by about 80% in the last decades. The total number of wild banteng is estimated to about 5,000-8,000 animals. No population has more than 500 animals, only a few have more than 50. Reasons for the population decline are reduction of habitat, hybridisation with domesticated cattle, infections with cattle diseases; the most important stronghold for the species is Java with the biggest populations in Ujung Kulon National Park and Baluran National Park. The biggest population on the mainland is found in Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary in Thailand. Another larger population lives in Kaeng Krachan. Borneo has still a few hundred bantengs, more than a hundred of which occur in Kulamba Wildlife Reserve in Sabah; the banteng is the second endangered species to be cloned, the first to survive for more than a week. Scientists at Advanced Cell Technology in Worcester, MA, U.
S. extracted DNA from banteng cells kept in the San Diego Zoo's "Frozen Zoo" facility, transferred it into eggs from domesticated cattle, a process called somatic cell nuclear transfer. Thirty embryos were created and sent to Trans Ova Genetics, which implanted the fertilized eggs in domestic cattle. Two were delivered by Caesarian section; the first was born on 1 April 2003, the second two days later. The second was euthanized suffering from large-offspring syndrome, but the first survived and lived for seven years at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, where it died in April 2010. A program to cross-breed domestic and wild banteng began in June 2011, resulting in five pregnancies; this was intended to help improve the productivity of the domesticated breed. The wild bulls were transported from the Baluran National Park in Situbondo; the domesticated form of the banteng was first introduced to Australia in 1849 with the establishment of a British military outpost called Port Essington on the Cobourg Peninsula.
Twenty animals were taken to the western Arnhem Land, in present-day Northern Territory, as a source of meat. A year after the outpost's establishment, poor conditions including crop failure and tropical disease led to its abandonment. On the departure of British troops, the banteng were released from their grazing pastures and allowed to form a feral population. By the 1960s, researchers realized that a population of about 1,500 individuals had developed in the tropical forests of the Cobourg Peninsula. Since their introduction in 1849, the population has not strayed far from its initial point of domesticated life; as of 2007, the initial population had grown from only 20 in 1849 to 8,000-10,000 and is used for sport hunting and by Aboriginal subsistence hunters. The banteng of the Cobourg Peninsula have developed different life processes than their domesticated counterparts. Growth over lifetime is sexually dimorphic. Furthermore, females reach maximum body mass in three to four years, while males take
A chordate is an animal constituting the phylum Chordata. During some period of their life cycle, chordates possess a notochord, a dorsal nerve cord, pharyngeal slits, an endostyle, a post-anal tail: these five anatomical features define this phylum. Chordates are bilaterally symmetric; the Chordata and Ambulacraria together form the superphylum Deuterostomia. Chordates are divided into three subphyla: Vertebrata. There are extinct taxa such as the Vetulicolia. Hemichordata has been presented as a fourth chordate subphylum, but now is treated as a separate phylum: hemichordates and Echinodermata form the Ambulacraria, the sister phylum of the Chordates. Of the more than 65,000 living species of chordates, about half are bony fish that are members of the superclass Osteichthyes. Chordate fossils have been found from as early as the Cambrian explosion, 541 million years ago. Cladistically, vertebrates - chordates with the notochord replaced by a vertebral column during development - are considered to be a subgroup of the clade Craniata, which consists of chordates with a skull.
The Craniata and Tunicata compose the clade Olfactores. Chordates form a phylum of animals that are defined by having at some stage in their lives all of the following anatomical features: A notochord, a stiff rod of cartilage that extends along the inside of the body. Among the vertebrate sub-group of chordates the notochord develops into the spine, in wholly aquatic species this helps the animal to swim by flexing its tail. A dorsal neural tube. In fish and other vertebrates, this develops into the spinal cord, the main communications trunk of the nervous system. Pharyngeal slits; the pharynx is the part of the throat behind the mouth. In fish, the slits are modified to form gills, but in some other chordates they are part of a filter-feeding system that extracts particles of food from the water in which the animals live. Post-anal tail. A muscular tail that extends backwards behind the anus. An endostyle; this is a groove in the ventral wall of the pharynx. In filter-feeding species it produces mucus to gather food particles, which helps in transporting food to the esophagus.
It stores iodine, may be a precursor of the vertebrate thyroid gland. There are soft constraints that separate chordates from certain other biological lineages, but are not part of the formal definition: All chordates are deuterostomes; this means. All chordates are based on a bilateral body plan. All chordates are coelomates, have a fluid filled body cavity called a coelom with a complete lining called peritoneum derived from mesoderm; the following schema is from the third edition of Vertebrate Palaeontology. The invertebrate chordate classes are from Fishes of the World. While it is structured so as to reflect evolutionary relationships, it retains the traditional ranks used in Linnaean taxonomy. Phylum Chordata †Vetulicolia? Subphylum Cephalochordata – Class Leptocardii Clade Olfactores Subphylum Tunicata – Class Ascidiacea Class Thaliacea Class Appendicularia Class Sorberacea Subphylum Vertebrata Infraphylum incertae sedis Cyclostomata Superclass'Agnatha' paraphyletic Class Myxini Class Petromyzontida or Hyperoartia Class †Conodonta Class †Myllokunmingiida Class †Pteraspidomorphi Class †Thelodonti Class †Anaspida Class †Cephalaspidomorphi Infraphylum Gnathostomata Class †Placodermi Class Chondrichthyes Class †Acanthodii Superclass Osteichthyes Class Actinopterygii Class Sarcopterygii Superclass Tetrapoda Class Amphibia Class Sauropsida Class Synapsida Craniates, one of the three subdivisions of chordates, all have distinct skulls.
They include the hagfish. Michael J. Benton commented that "craniates are characterized by their heads, just as chordates, or all deuterostomes, are by their tails". Most craniates are vertebrates; these consist of a series of bony or cartilaginous cylindrical vertebrae with neural arches that protect the spinal cord, with projections that link the vertebrae. However hagfish have incomplete braincases and no vertebrae, are therefore not regarded as vertebrates, but as members of the craniates, the group from which vertebrates are thought to have evolved; however the cladistic exclusion of hagfish from the vertebrates is controversial, as they ma
Mammals are vertebrate animals constituting the class Mammalia, characterized by the presence of mammary glands which in females produce milk for feeding their young, a neocortex, fur or hair, three middle ear bones. These characteristics distinguish them from reptiles and birds, from which they diverged in the late Triassic, 201–227 million years ago. There are around 5,450 species of mammals; the largest orders are the rodents and Soricomorpha. The next three are the Primates, the Cetartiodactyla, the Carnivora. In cladistics, which reflect evolution, mammals are classified as endothermic amniotes, they are the only living Synapsida. The early synapsid mammalian ancestors were sphenacodont pelycosaurs, a group that produced the non-mammalian Dimetrodon. At the end of the Carboniferous period around 300 million years ago, this group diverged from the sauropsid line that led to today's reptiles and birds; the line following the stem group Sphenacodontia split off several diverse groups of non-mammalian synapsids—sometimes referred to as mammal-like reptiles—before giving rise to the proto-mammals in the early Mesozoic era.
The modern mammalian orders arose in the Paleogene and Neogene periods of the Cenozoic era, after the extinction of non-avian dinosaurs, have been among the dominant terrestrial animal groups from 66 million years ago to the present. The basic body type is quadruped, most mammals use their four extremities for terrestrial locomotion. Mammals range in size from the 30–40 mm bumblebee bat to the 30-meter blue whale—the largest animal on the planet. Maximum lifespan varies from two years for the shrew to 211 years for the bowhead whale. All modern mammals give birth to live young, except the five species of monotremes, which are egg-laying mammals; the most species-rich group of mammals, the cohort called placentals, have a placenta, which enables the feeding of the fetus during gestation. Most mammals are intelligent, with some possessing large brains, self-awareness, tool use. Mammals can communicate and vocalize in several different ways, including the production of ultrasound, scent-marking, alarm signals and echolocation.
Mammals can organize themselves into fission-fusion societies and hierarchies—but can be solitary and territorial. Most mammals are polygynous. Domestication of many types of mammals by humans played a major role in the Neolithic revolution, resulted in farming replacing hunting and gathering as the primary source of food for humans; this led to a major restructuring of human societies from nomadic to sedentary, with more co-operation among larger and larger groups, the development of the first civilizations. Domesticated mammals provided, continue to provide, power for transport and agriculture, as well as food and leather. Mammals are hunted and raced for sport, are used as model organisms in science. Mammals have been depicted in art since Palaeolithic times, appear in literature, film and religion. Decline in numbers and extinction of many mammals is driven by human poaching and habitat destruction deforestation. Mammal classification has been through several iterations since Carl Linnaeus defined the class.
No classification system is universally accepted. George Gaylord Simpson's "Principles of Classification and a Classification of Mammals" provides systematics of mammal origins and relationships that were universally taught until the end of the 20th century. Since Simpson's classification, the paleontological record has been recalibrated, the intervening years have seen much debate and progress concerning the theoretical underpinnings of systematization itself through the new concept of cladistics. Though field work made Simpson's classification outdated, it remains the closest thing to an official classification of mammals. Most mammals, including the six most species-rich orders, belong to the placental group; the three largest orders in numbers of species are Rodentia: mice, porcupines, beavers and other gnawing mammals. The next three biggest orders, depending on the biological classification scheme used, are the Primates including the apes and lemurs. According to Mammal Species of the World, 5,416 species were identified in 2006.
These were grouped into 153 families and 29 orders. In 2008, the International Union for Conservation of Nature completed a five-year Global Mammal Assessment for its IUCN Red List, which counted 5,488 species. According to a research published in the Journal of Mammalogy in 2018, the number of recognized mammal species is 6,495 species included 96 extinct; the word "mammal" is modern, from the scientific name Mammalia coined by Carl Linnaeus in 1758, derived from the Latin mamma. In an influential 1988 paper, Timothy Rowe defined Mammalia phylogenetically as the crown group of mammals, the clade consisting of the most recent common ancestor of living monotremes and therian m
The gaur called the Indian bison, is the largest extant bovine. This species is native to Southeast Asia, it has been listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List since 1986. Population decline in parts of its range is to be more than 70% during the last three generations. However, population trends are stable in well-protected areas, are rebuilding in a few areas, neglected; the gaur is the tallest of wild cattle species. The Malayan gaur is called seladang, the Burmese gaur is called pyoung ပြောင်; the domesticated form of the gaur is called mithun. The gaur is a strong and massively built species with a high convex ridge on the forehead between the horns, which protrudes anteriorly, causing a deep hollow in the profile of the upper part of the head. There is a prominent ridge on the back; the ears are large. The adult male is dark brown, approaching black in old individuals; the upper part of the head, from above the eyes to the nape of the neck, is ashy grey, or dirty white. The muzzle is pale coloured, the lower part of the legs are pure white or tan.
The cows and young bulls are paler, in some instances have a rufous tinge, most marked in groups inhabiting dry and open areas. The tail is shorter than in the typical oxen, reaching only to the hocks, they have a distinct ridge running from the shoulders to the middle of the back. This ridge is caused by the great length of the spinous processes of the vertebrae of the fore-part of the trunk as compared with those of the loins; the hair is short and glossy. The gaur has a head-and-body length of 250 to 330 cm with a 70 to 105 cm long tail, is 142 to 220 cm high at the shoulder, averaging about 168 cm in females and 188 cm in males. At the top of its muscular hump just behind its shoulder, an average adult male is just under 200 cm tall and the male's girth at its midsection averages about 277 cm. Males are heavier than females. Body mass can range from 440 to 1,000 kg in adult females and 588 to 1,500 kg in adult males. In general measurements are derived from gaurs surveyed in India. Indian gaur males averaged about 840 kg and females weigh a median of 700 kg.
Body masses elsewhere suggest. For example, males from China can weigh 1,200 kg or more; the Seladang, or Malayasian subspecies, appears to be larger on average than the nominate race from India, but sample sizes as known are small. According to some sources, seladang bulls weigh on average 1,000 to 1,300 kg, which if accurate indicates these animals are on average more than 20% more massive than the gaurs of India. Gaurs do not have a distinct dewlap on the chest. Both sexes carry horns, curving upwards. Between the horns is a high convex ridge on the forehead. At their bases they present an elliptical cross-section, a characteristic, more marked in bulls than in cows; the horns are decidedly flattened at the base and curved throughout their length, are bent inward and backward at their tips. The colour of the horns is some shade of pale green or yellow throughout the greater part of their length, but the tips are black; the horns, of medium size by large bovid standards, grow to a length of 60 to 115 cm.
The cow is lighter in make and in colour than the bull. The horns are more slender and upright, with more inward curvature, the frontal ridge is scarcely perceptible. In young animals the horns are polished. In old bulls they are dented at the base. Gaurs are among the largest living land animals. Only elephants, the hippopotamus and the giraffe grow heavier. Two species that co-exist with the gaur are heavier: the Asian elephant and Indian rhinoceros. By most standards of measurements, gaur is the largest wild bovid alive today. However, the shorter-legged, bulkier wild water buffalo is similar in average body mass, if not maximum weight. Gaur occurred throughout mainland South and Southeast Asia, including Vietnam, Laos, Peninsular Malaysia, India, Bhutan and Nepal. Today, the range of the species is fragmented, it is regionally extinct in Sri Lanka. Gaur are confined to evergreen forests or semi-evergreen and moist deciduous forests, but occur in deciduous forest areas at the periphery of their range.
Gaur habitat is characterized by large undisturbed forest tracts, hilly terrain below an altitude of 1,500 to 1,800 m, availability of water, an abundance of forage in the form of grasses, bamboo and trees. Their apparent preference for hilly terrain may be due to the earlier conversion of most of the plains and other low-lying areas to croplands and pastures, they occur from sea level to an altitude of at least 2,800 m. Low-lying areas seem to comprise optimal habitat. In Vietnam, several areas in Đắk Lắk Province were known to contain gaur in 1997. Several herds persist in adjacent state forest enterprises; the current status of
The biological subfamily Bovinae includes a diverse group of 10 genera of medium to large-sized ungulates, including domestic cattle, African buffalo, the water buffalo, the yak, the four-horned and spiral-horned antelopes. The evolutionary relationship between the members of the group is still debated, their classification into loose tribes rather than formal subgroups reflects this uncertainty. General characteristics include cloven hooves and at least one of the sexes of a species having true horns; the largest extant bovine is the gaur. In many countries, bovid milk and meat is used as food. Cattle are kept as livestock everywhere except in parts of India and Nepal where they are considered sacred by most Hindus. Bovids are used as riding animals. Small breeds of bovid, such as the Miniature Zebu, are kept as pets. FAMILY BOVIDAE Subfamily Bovinae Tribe Boselaphini Genus Tetracerus Four-horned antelope, Tetracerus quadricornis T.q. quadricornis T.q. iodes T.q. subquadricornis Genus Boselaphus Nilgai or blue bull, Boselaphus tragocamelus B.t. tragocamelus Tribe Bovini Genus Bubalus Water buffalo, Bubalus arnee Wild Asian water buffalo, Bubalus arnee arnee Domestic Swamp buffalo, Bubalus arnee carabanesis Domestic River buffalo, Bubalus arnee bubalis Lowland anoa, Bubalus depressicornis Mountain anoa, Bubalus quarlesi Tamaraw, Bubalus mindorensis Cebu tamaraw†, Bubalus cebuensis Genus Bos Aurochs, Bos primigenius Eurasian Aurochs†, Bos primigenius primigenius Indian Aurochs†, Bos primigenius namadicus North African Aurochs†, Bos primigenius africanus Banteng, Bos javanicus Gaur, Bos gaurus Gayal, Bos frontalis Yak, Bos grunniens Wild yak, Bos mutus Bos palaesondaicus†, Bos sauveli Domestic cattle, Bos taurus Taurine cattle, Bos taurus taurus Zebu, Bos taurus indicus Genus Pseudoryx Saola, Pseudoryx nghetinhensis Genus Syncerus African buffalo, Syncerus caffer Genus Bison American bison, Bison bison Wisent, Bison bonasus Bison palaeosinensis†, Steppe wisent†, Bison priscus Ancient bison†, Bison antiquus Long-horned bison†, Bison latifrons Genus Pelorovis† Giant buffalo†, Pelorovis antiquus Tribe Tragelaphini Genus Tragelaphus Bongo, Tragelaphus eurycerus Greater kudu, Tragelaphus strepsiceros Kéwel, Tragelaphus scriptus Imbabala, Tragelaphus sylvaticus Lesser kudu, Tragelaphus imberbis Mountain nyala, Tragelaphus buxtoni Nyala, Tragelaphus angasii Sitatunga, Tragelaphus spekeii Genus Taurotragus Common eland, Taurotragus oryx Giant eland, Taurotragus derbianus Bovine is derived from Latin bos, "ox", through Late Latin bovinus.
Bos comes from the Indo-European root * gwous. International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature Opinion 2027. Usage of 17 specific names based on wild species which are pre-dated by or contemporary with those based on domestic animals: conserved. Bull. Zool. Nomencl. 60:81–84. Bovinae information in ITIS. Congress on Controversies in Bovine Health, Industry & Economics
Domestication is a sustained multi-generational relationship in which one group of organisms assumes a significant degree of influence over the reproduction and care of another group to secure a more predictable supply of resources from that second group. Charles Darwin recognized the small number of traits that made domestic species different from their wild ancestors, he was the first to recognize the difference between conscious selective breeding in which humans directly select for desirable traits, unconscious selection where traits evolve as a by-product of natural selection or from selection on other traits. There is a genetic difference between wild populations. There is such a difference between the domestication traits that researchers believe to have been essential at the early stages of domestication, the improvement traits that have appeared since the split between wild and domestic populations. Domestication traits are fixed within all domesticates, were selected during the initial episode of domestication of that animal or plant, whereas improvement traits are present only in a proportion of domesticates, though they may be fixed in individual breeds or regional populations.
The dog was the first domesticated vertebrate, was established across Eurasia before the end of the Late Pleistocene era, well before cultivation and before the domestication of other animals. The archaeological and genetic data suggest that long-term bidirectional gene flow between wild and domestic stocks – including donkeys, horses and Old World camelids, goats and pigs – was common. Given its importance to humans and its value as a model of evolutionary and demographic change, domestication has attracted scientists from archaeology, anthropology, zoology and the environmental sciences. Among birds, the major domestic species today is the chicken, important for meat and eggs, though economically valuable poultry include the turkey and numerous other species. Birds are widely kept as cagebirds, from songbirds to parrots; the longest established invertebrate domesticates are the silkworm. Terrestrial snails are raised for food, while species from several phyla are kept for research, others are bred for biological control.
The domestication of plants began at least 12,000 years ago with cereals in the Middle East, the bottle gourd in Asia. Agriculture developed in at least 11 different centres around the world, domesticating different crops and animals. Domestication, from the Latin domesticus,'belonging to the house', is "a sustained multi-generational, mutualistic relationship in which one organism assumes a significant degree of influence over the reproduction and care of another organism in order to secure a more predictable supply of a resource of interest, through which the partner organism gains advantage over individuals that remain outside this relationship, thereby benefitting and increasing the fitness of both the domesticator and the target domesticate." This definition recognizes both the biological and the cultural components of the domestication process and the impacts on both humans and the domesticated animals and plants. All past definitions of domestication have included a relationship between humans with plants and animals, but their differences lay in, considered as the lead partner in the relationship.
This new definition recognizes a mutualistic relationship. Domestication has vastly enhanced the reproductive output of crop plants and pets far beyond that of their wild progenitors. Domesticates have provided humans with resources that they could more predictably and securely control and redistribute, the advantage that had fueled a population explosion of the agro-pastoralists and their spread to all corners of the planet. Houseplants and ornamentals are plants domesticated for aesthetic enjoyment in and around the home, while those domesticated for large-scale food production are called crops. Domesticated plants deliberately altered or selected for special desirable characteristics are cultigens. Animals domesticated for home companionship are called pets, while those domesticated for food or work are known as livestock; this biological mutualism is not restricted to humans with domestic crops and livestock but is well-documented in nonhuman species among a number of social insect domesticators and their plant and animal domesticates, for example the ant–fungus mutualism that exists between leafcutter ants and certain fungi.
Domestication syndrome is the suite of phenotypic traits arising during domestication that distinguish crops from their wild ancestors. The term is applied to vertebrate animals, includes increased docility and tameness, coat color changes, reductions in tooth size, changes in craniofacial morphology, alterations in ear and tail form, more frequent and nonseasonal estrus cycles, alterations in adrenocorticotropic hormone levels, changed concentrations of several neurotransmitters, prolongations in juvenile behavior, reductions in both total brain size and of particular brain regions; the domestication of animals and plants began with the wolf at least 15,000 years before present, which led to a rapid shift in the evolution and demography of both humans and numerous species of animals and plants. The sudden appearance of the domestic dog in the archaeological record was followed by livestock and crop domestication, the transition of humans from foraging to farming in different places and times across the planet.
Around 10,000 YBP, a new way of life emerged for humans through the management and exploitation of plant and an
Egypt the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a country spanning the northeast corner of Africa and southwest corner of Asia by a land bridge formed by the Sinai Peninsula. Egypt is a Mediterranean country bordered by the Gaza Strip and Israel to the northeast, the Gulf of Aqaba and the Red Sea to the east, Sudan to the south, Libya to the west. Across the Gulf of Aqaba lies Jordan, across the Red Sea lies Saudi Arabia, across the Mediterranean lie Greece and Cyprus, although none share a land border with Egypt. Egypt has one of the longest histories of any country, tracing its heritage back to the 6th–4th millennia BCE. Considered a cradle of civilisation, Ancient Egypt saw some of the earliest developments of writing, urbanisation, organised religion and central government. Iconic monuments such as the Giza Necropolis and its Great Sphinx, as well the ruins of Memphis, Thebes and the Valley of the Kings, reflect this legacy and remain a significant focus of scientific and popular interest. Egypt's long and rich cultural heritage is an integral part of its national identity, which has endured, assimilated, various foreign influences, including Greek, Roman, Ottoman Turkish, Nubian.
Egypt was an early and important centre of Christianity, but was Islamised in the seventh century and remains a predominantly Muslim country, albeit with a significant Christian minority. From the 16th to the beginning of the 20th century, Egypt was ruled by foreign imperial powers: The Ottoman Empire and the British Empire. Modern Egypt dates back to 1922, when it gained nominal independence from the British Empire as a monarchy. However, British military occupation of Egypt continued, many Egyptians believed that the monarchy was an instrument of British colonialism. Following the 1952 revolution, Egypt expelled British soldiers and bureaucrats and ended British occupation, nationalized the British-held Suez Canal, exiled King Farouk and his family, declared itself a republic. In 1958 it merged with Syria to form the United Arab Republic, which dissolved in 1961. Throughout the second half of the 20th century, Egypt endured social and religious strife and political instability, fighting several armed conflicts with Israel in 1948, 1956, 1967 and 1973, occupying the Gaza Strip intermittently until 1967.
In 1978, Egypt signed the Camp David Accords withdrawing from the Gaza Strip and recognising Israel. The country continues to face challenges, from political unrest, including the recent 2011 revolution and its aftermath, to terrorism and economic underdevelopment. Egypt's current government is a presidential republic headed by President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, described by a number of watchdogs as authoritarian. Islam is the official religion of Egypt and Arabic is its official language. With over 95 million inhabitants, Egypt is the most populous country in North Africa, the Middle East, the Arab world, the third-most populous in Africa, the fifteenth-most populous in the world; the great majority of its people live near the banks of the Nile River, an area of about 40,000 square kilometres, where the only arable land is found. The large regions of the Sahara desert, which constitute most of Egypt's territory, are sparsely inhabited. About half of Egypt's residents live in urban areas, with most spread across the densely populated centres of greater Cairo and other major cities in the Nile Delta.
The sovereign state of Egypt is a transcontinental country considered to be a regional power in North Africa, the Middle East and the Muslim world, a middle power worldwide. Egypt's economy is one of the largest and most diversified in the Middle East, is projected to become one of the largest in the world in the 21st century. In 2016, Egypt became Africa's second largest economy. Egypt is a founding member of the United Nations, Non-Aligned Movement, Arab League, African Union, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. "Miṣr" is the Classical Quranic Arabic and modern official name of Egypt, while "Maṣr" is the local pronunciation in Egyptian Arabic. The name is of Semitic origin, directly cognate with other Semitic words for Egypt such as the Hebrew "מִצְרַיִם"; the oldest attestation of this name for Egypt is the Akkadian "mi-iṣ-ru" related to miṣru/miṣirru/miṣaru, meaning "border" or "frontier". There is evidence of rock carvings in desert oases. In the 10th millennium BCE, a culture of hunter-gatherers and fishers was replaced by a grain-grinding culture.
Climate changes or overgrazing around 8000 BCE began to desiccate the pastoral lands of Egypt, forming the Sahara. Early tribal peoples migrated to the Nile River where they developed a settled agricultural economy and more centralised society. By about 6000 BCE, a Neolithic culture rooted in the Nile Valley. During the Neolithic era, several predynastic cultures developed independently in Upper and Lower Egypt; the Badarian culture and the successor Naqada series are regarded as precursors to dynastic Egypt. The earliest known Lower Egyptian site, predates the Badarian by about seven hundred years. Contemporaneous Lower Egyptian communities coexisted with their southern counterparts for more than two thousand years, remaining culturally distinct, but maintaining frequent contact through trade; the earliest known evidence of Egyptian hieroglyphic inscriptions appeared during the predynastic period on Naqada III pottery vessels, dated to about 3200 BCE. A unified kingdom was founded c. 3150 BCE