Natural History Museum, London
The Natural History Museum in London is a museum of natural history that exhibits a vast range of specimens from various segments of natural history. It is one of three major museums on Exhibition Road in South Kensington, the others being the Science Museum, the Natural History Museums main frontage, however, is on Cromwell Road. The museum is home to life and earth science specimens comprising some 80 million items within five main collections, the museum is a world-renowned centre of research specialising in taxonomy and conservation. Given the age of the institution, many of the collections have great historical as well as scientific value, the museum is recognised as the pre-eminent centre of natural history and research of related fields in the world. Although commonly referred to as the Natural History Museum, it was known as British Museum until 1992. Originating from collections within the British Museum, the landmark Alfred Waterhouse building was built and opened by 1881, the Darwin Centre is a more recent addition, partly designed as a modern facility for storing the valuable collections.
Like other publicly funded museums in the United Kingdom, the Natural History Museum does not charge an admission fee. The museum is a charity and a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Culture, Media. Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge is a patron of the museum, there are approximately 850 staff at the Museum. The two largest strategic groups are the Public Engagement Group and Science Group and this purchase was funded by a lottery. Sloanes collection, which included dried plants, and animal and human skeletons, was housed in Montagu House, Bloomsbury, in 1756. Most of the Sloane collection had disappeared by the decades of the nineteenth century. Dr George Shaw sold many specimens to the Royal College of Surgeons and had periodic cremations of material in the grounds of the museum and his successors applied to the trustees for permission to destroy decayed specimens. In 1833 the Annual Report states that, of the 5,500 insects listed in the Sloane catalogue, the inability of the natural history departments to conserve its specimens became notorious, the Treasury refused to entrust it with specimens collected at the governments expense.
The huge collection of the conchologist Hugh Cuming was acquired by the museum and that collection is said never to have recovered. The Principal Librarian at the time was Antonio Panizzi, his contempt for the history departments. The general public was not encouraged to visit the Museums natural history exhibits, in 1835 to a Select Committee of Parliament, Sir Henry Ellis said this policy was fully approved by the Principal Librarian and his senior colleagues. Many of these faults were corrected by the palaeontologist Richard Owen and his changes led Bill Bryson to write that by making the Natural History Museum an institution for everyone, Owen transformed our expectations of what museums are for
Radiocarbon dating is a method for determining the age of an object containing organic material by using the properties of radiocarbon, a radioactive isotope of carbon. The method was developed by Willard Libby in the late 1940s, Libby received the Nobel Prize for his work in 1960. The radiocarbon dating method is based on the fact that radiocarbon is constantly being created in the atmosphere by the interaction of cosmic rays with atmospheric nitrogen. The resulting radiocarbon combines with oxygen to form radioactive carbon dioxide. When the animal or plant dies, it stops exchanging carbon with its environment, and from that point onwards the amount of 14C it contains begins to decrease as the 14C undergoes radioactive decay. Measuring the amount of 14C in a sample from a plant or animal such as a piece of wood or a fragment of bone provides information that can be used to calculate when the animal or plant died. The idea behind radiocarbon dating is straightforward, but years of work were required to develop the technique to the point where accurate dates could be obtained.
Research has been ongoing since the 1960s to determine what the proportion of 14C in the atmosphere has been over the past fifty thousand years. The resulting data, in the form of a curve, is now used to convert a given measurement of radiocarbon in a sample into an estimate of the samples calendar age. Other corrections must be made to account for the proportion of 14C in different types of organisms, additional complications come from the burning of fossil fuels such as coal and oil, and from the above-ground nuclear tests done in the 1950s and 1960s. Conversely, nuclear testing increased the amount of 14C in the atmosphere, measurement of radiocarbon was originally done by beta-counting devices, which counted the amount of beta radiation emitted by decaying 14C atoms in a sample. The development of dating has had a profound impact on archaeology. In addition to permitting more accurate dating within archaeological sites than previous methods, histories of archaeology often refer to its impact as the radiocarbon revolution.
Radiocarbon dating has allowed key transitions in prehistory to be dated, such as the end of the last ice age, and they synthesized 14C using the laboratorys cyclotron accelerator and soon discovered that the atoms half-life was far longer than had been previously thought. This was followed by a prediction by Serge A. Korff, employed at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia and it had previously been thought that 14C would be more likely to be created by deuterons interacting with 13C. At some time during World War II, Willard Libby, who was at Berkeley, learned of Korffs research, in 1945, Libby moved to the University of Chicago where he began his work on radiocarbon dating. He published a paper in 1946 in which he proposed that the carbon in living matter might include 14C as well as non-radioactive carbon, by contrast, methane created from petroleum showed no radiocarbon activity because of its age. The results were summarized in a paper in Science in 1947, Libby and James Arnold proceeded to test the radiocarbon dating theory by analyzing samples with known ages
Marine isotope stage
The data are derived from pollen and foraminifera remains in drilled marine sediment cores and other data that reflect historic climate, these are called proxies. Over 100 stages have been identified, going back some 6 million years. Some stages, in particular MIS5, are divided into sub-stages, such as MIS 5a, with 5 a, c, for more recent periods, increasingly precise resolution of timing continues to be developed. In 1957 Emiliani moved to the University of Miami to have access to core-drilling ships and equipment, the cycles in the isotope ratio were found to correspond to terrestrial evidence of glacials and interglacials. A graph of the series of stages revealed unsuspected advances and retreats of ice. More recent ice core samples of glacial ice substantiated the cycles through studies of ancient pollen deposition. Currently a number of methods are making additional detail possible, matching the stages to named periods proceeds as new dates are discovered and new regions are explored geologically.
The marine isotopic records appear more complete and detailed than any terrestrial equivalents and it is now believed that changes in the size of the major ice sheets such as the historical Laurentide ice sheet of North America are the main factor governing variations in the oxygen isotope ratios. For relatively recent periods data from radiocarbon dating and dendrochronology support the MIS data, the sediments acquire depositional remanent magnetization which allows them to be correlated with earths geomagnetic reversals. For older core samples, individual annual depositions cannot usually be distinguished, other information, especially as to the ratios of gases such as carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, is provided by analysis of ice cores. The SPECMAP Project, funded by the US National Science Foundation, has produced one standard chronology for oxygen isotope records and this high resolution chronology was derived from several isotopic records, the composite curve was smoothed and tuned to the known cycles of the astronomical variables.
The use of a number of profiles was designed to eliminate noise errors. Hays and John Imbrie, which is very widely accepted today, and covers the MIS timescale. This was compiled by Lorraine Lisiecki and Maureen Raymo, the following are the start dates of the most recent MIS from the Lisiecki & Raymo LR04 Benthic Stack. The figures, in kya, are taken from the list on Lorraine Lisieckis website.614 million years ago, the following are the start dates of the most recent MIS, in kya. For stages 1–16 the SPECMAP figures are within 5 kya of the figures given here, the British Palaeolithic, Human Societies at the Edge of the Pleistocene World. Global chronostratigraphical correlation table for the last 2.7 million years, Subcommission on Quaternary Stratigraphy, International Commission on Stratigraphy, Cambridge
Montauban is a commune in the Tarn-et-Garonne department in the Occitanie region in southern France. It is the capital of the department and lies 50 kilometres north of Toulouse, Montauban is the most populated town in Tarn-et-Garonne, and the sixth most populated of Languedoc Roussillon Midi Pyrenees behind Toulouse, Montpellier, Nîmes, Perpignan and Béziers. In 2013, there were 57,921 inhabitants, called “Montalbanais”, the town has been classified “Ville d’art et d’histoire” since 2015. The town, built mainly of a brick, stands on the right bank of the Tarn River at its confluence with the Tescou. Montauban is the second oldest of the bastides of southern France and its foundation dates from 1144 when Count Alphonse Jourdain of Toulouse, granted it a liberal charter. The inhabitants were chiefly from Montauriol, a village which had grown up around the neighbouring monastery of St Théodard. In 1360, under the Treaty of Brétigny, it was ceded to the English, in 1560 the bishops and magistrates embraced Protestantism, expelled the monks, and demolished the cathedral.
Ten years it became one of the four Huguenot strongholds under the Peace of Saint-Germain and it was the headquarters of the Huguenot rebellion of 1621, and successfully withstood an 86-day siege by Louis XIII. It did not submit to royal authority until after the fall of La Rochelle in 1629, the Protestants again suffered persecution after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685. In the 17th century, the King of France revoked “l’Édit de Nantes”, Montauban was considered as an intellectual city. Because Montauban was a Protestant town, it started to resist and hold its position against the royal power, to scare off the King’s opponents and speed up the end of the siege,400 cannonballs were fired, but Montauban resisted and the royal army was vanquished. Saint Jacques church is marked by the cannonballs, and every year in September, the city celebrates “les 400 coups”. During World War II, Leonardo da Vincis Mona Lisa was briefly hidden in a secret vault behind a cellar at Montauban. Montauban’s climate is temperate and oceanic, temperatures are rather mild in winter and hot in summer.
The town experienced severe droughts in 2003,2006,2012 and 2015, on August 31,2015, the Tarn-et-Garonne area was particularly struck by a wave of violent storms. These storms, accompanied by very important winds, created a tornado, Montauban was particularly affected, with winds measured between 130 and 150 kilometers per hour in the city center. This bridge is known as Pont Vieux, King Philip the Fair of France officially launched the building of the bridge in 1303 while on a tour to Toulouse. The project took 30 years to complete, and the bridge was inaugurated in 1335, the main architects were Étienne de Ferrières and Mathieu de Verdun
The Pleistocene is the geological epoch which lasted from about 2,588,000 to 11,700 years ago, spanning the worlds most recent period of repeated glaciations. The end of the Pleistocene corresponds with the end of the last glacial period, the Pleistocene is the first epoch of the Quaternary Period or sixth epoch of the Cenozoic Era. In the ICS timescale, the Pleistocene is divided into four stages or ages, all of these stages were defined in southern Europe. In addition to this subdivision, various regional subdivisions are often used. Charles Lyell introduced the term pleistocene in 1839 to describe strata in Sicily that had at least 70% of their molluscan fauna still living today and this distinguished it from the older Pliocene Epoch, which Lyell had originally thought to be the youngest fossil rock layer. The Pleistocene has been dated from 2.588 million to 11,700 years before present and it covers most of the latest period of repeated glaciation, up to and including the Younger Dryas cold spell.
The end of the Younger Dryas has been dated to about 9640 BC, the IUGS has yet to approve a type section, Global Boundary Stratotype Section and Point, for the upper Pleistocene/Holocene boundary. The proposed section is the North Greenland Ice Core Project ice core 75°06 N 42°18 W, the lower boundary of the Pleistocene Series is formally defined magnetostratigraphically as the base of the Matuyama chronozone, isotopic stage 103. Above this point there are notable extinctions of the calcareous nanofossils, Discoaster pentaradiatus, the Pleistocene covers the recent period of repeated glaciations. The name Plio-Pleistocene has, in the past, been used to mean the last ice age. The revised definition of the Quaternary, by pushing back the date of the Pleistocene to 2.58 Ma. Pleistocene climate was marked by repeated glacial cycles in which continental glaciers pushed to the 40th parallel in some places and it is estimated that, at maximum glacial extent, 30% of the Earths surface was covered by ice.
In addition, a zone of permafrost stretched southward from the edge of the sheet, a few hundred kilometres in North America. The mean annual temperature at the edge of the ice was −6 °C, during interglacial times, such as at present, drowned coastlines were common, mitigated by isostatic or other emergent motion of some regions. The effects of glaciation were global, antarctica was ice-bound throughout the Pleistocene as well as the preceding Pliocene. The Andes were covered in the south by the Patagonian ice cap, there were glaciers in New Zealand and Tasmania. The current decaying glaciers of Mount Kenya, Mount Kilimanjaro, glaciers existed in the mountains of Ethiopia and to the west in the Atlas mountains. In the northern hemisphere, many glaciers fused into one, the Cordilleran ice sheet covered the North American northwest, the east was covered by the Laurentide
Karst topography is a landscape formed from the dissolution of soluble rocks such as limestone and gypsum. It is characterized by underground drainage systems with sinkholes and caves and it has been documented for more weathering-resistant rocks, such as quartzite, given the right conditions. Subterranean drainage may limit surface water, with few to no rivers or lakes, the English word karst was borrowed from German Karst in the late 19th century. The German word came into use before the 19th century, according to the prevalent interpretation, the term is derived from the German name for the Karst region, a limestone plateau above the city of Trieste in the northern Adriatic. Scholars disagree, however, on whether the German word was borrowed from Slovene, the Slovene common noun kras was first attested in the 18th century, and the adjective form kraški in the 16th century. The Slovene words arose through metathesis from the reconstructed form *korsъ, the word is of Mediterranean origin, believed to derive from some Romanized Illyrian base.
It has been suggested that the word may derive from the Proto-Indo-European root karra- rock, the name may be connected to the oronym Karsádios oros cited by Ptolemy, and perhaps to Latin Carusardius. The development of karst occurs whenever acidic water starts to break down the surface of bedrock near its cracks, as the bedrock continues to degrade, its cracks tend to get bigger. As time goes on, these fractures will become wider, if this underground drainage system does form, it will speed up the development of karst formations there because more water will be able to flow through the region, giving it more erosive power. The carbonic acid that causes karstic features is formed as rain passes through the atmosphere picking up carbon dioxide, once the rain reaches the ground, it may pass through soil that can provide much more CO2 to form a weak carbonic acid solution, which dissolves calcium carbonate. The oxidation of sulfides leading to the formation of acid can be one of the corrosion factors in karst formation.
As oxygen -rich surface waters seep into deep anoxic karst systems, they bring oxygen, sulfuric acid reacts with calcium carbonate, causing increased erosion within the limestone formation. This chain of reactions is, This reaction chain forms gypsum, the karstification of a landscape may result in a variety of large- or small-scale features both on the surface and beneath. On exposed surfaces, small features may include solution flutes, limestone pavement, medium-sized surface features may include sinkholes or cenotes, vertical shafts, disappearing streams, and reappearing springs. Large-scale features may include limestone pavements and karst valleys, mature karst landscapes, where more bedrock has been removed than remains, may result in karst towers, or haystack/eggbox landscapes. Beneath the surface, complex underground systems and extensive caves. Some of the most dramatic of these formations can be seen in Thailands Phangnga Bay, calcium carbonate dissolved into water may precipitate out where the water discharges some of its dissolved carbon dioxide.
Rivers which emerge from springs may produce tufa terraces, consisting of layers of calcite deposited over extended periods of time, in caves, a variety of features collectively called speleothems are formed by deposition of calcium carbonate and other dissolved minerals
Calcite is a carbonate mineral and the most stable polymorph of calcium carbonate. The Mohs scale of hardness, based on scratch hardness comparison. Other polymorphs of calcium carbonate are the minerals aragonite and vaterite, aragonite will change to calcite at 380–470 °C, and vaterite is even less stable. Calcite is derived from the German Calcit, a term coined in the 19th century from the Latin word for lime and it is thus etymologically related to chalk. Calcite crystals are trigonal-rhombohedral, though actual calcite rhombohedra are rare as natural crystals, they show a remarkable variety of habits including acute to obtuse rhombohedra, tabular forms, prisms, or various scalenohedra. Calcite exhibits several twinning types adding to the variety of observed forms and it may occur as fibrous, lamellar, or compact. Cleavage is usually in three directions parallel to the rhombohedron form and its fracture is conchoidal, but difficult to obtain. It has a defining Mohs hardness of 3, a gravity of 2.71.
Color is white or none, though shades of gray, orange, green, violet, calcite is transparent to opaque and may occasionally show phosphorescence or fluorescence. A transparent variety called Iceland spar is used for optical purposes, acute scalenohedral crystals are sometimes referred to as dogtooth spar while the rhombohedral form is sometimes referred to as nailhead spar. Single calcite crystals display an optical property called birefringence and this strong birefringence causes objects viewed through a clear piece of calcite to appear doubled. The birefringent effect was first described by the Danish scientist Rasmus Bartholin in 1669, at a wavelength of ~590 nm calcite has ordinary and extraordinary refractive indices of 1.658 and 1.486, respectively. Between 190 and 1700 nm, the refractive index varies roughly between 1.9 and 1.5, while the extraordinary refractive index varies between 1.6 and 1.4. Calcite, like most carbonates, will dissolve with most forms of acid, calcite can be either dissolved by groundwater or precipitated by groundwater, depending on several factors including the water temperature, pH, and dissolved ion concentrations.
Although calcite is fairly insoluble in water, acidity can cause dissolution of calcite. Ambient carbon dioxide, due to its acidity, has a slight solubilizing effect on calcite, calcite exhibits an unusual characteristic called retrograde solubility in which it becomes less soluble in water as the temperature increases. When conditions are right for precipitation, calcite forms mineral coatings that cement the existing rock grains together or it can fill fractures. On a landscape scale, continued dissolution of calcium carbonate-rich rocks can lead to the expansion and eventual collapse of cave systems, high-grade optical calcite was used in World War II for gun sights, specifically in bomb sights and anti-aircraft weaponry
In statistics, the standard deviation is a measure that is used to quantify the amount of variation or dispersion of a set of data values. The standard deviation of a variable, statistical population, data set. It is algebraically simpler, though in practice less robust, than the absolute deviation. A useful property of the deviation is that, unlike the variance. There are other measures of deviation from the norm, including mean absolute deviation, in addition to expressing the variability of a population, the standard deviation is commonly used to measure confidence in statistical conclusions. For example, the margin of error in polling data is determined by calculating the standard deviation in the results if the same poll were to be conducted multiple times. This derivation of a deviation is often called the standard error of the estimate or standard error of the mean when referring to a mean. It is computed as the deviation of all the means that would be computed from that population if an infinite number of samples were drawn.
It is very important to note that the deviation of a population. The reported margin of error of a poll is computed from the error of the mean and is typically about twice the standard deviation—the half-width of a 95 percent confidence interval. The standard deviation is important in finance, where the standard deviation on the rate of return on an investment is a measure of the volatility of the investment. For a finite set of numbers, the deviation is found by taking the square root of the average of the squared deviations of the values from their average value. For example, the marks of a class of eight students are the eight values,2,4,4,4,5,5,7,9. These eight data points have the mean of 5,2 +4 +4 +4 +5 +5 +7 +98 =5 and this formula is valid only if the eight values with which we began form the complete population. If the values instead were a sample drawn from some large parent population. In that case the result would be called the standard deviation. Dividing by n −1 rather than by n gives an estimate of the variance of the larger parent population.
This is known as Bessels correction, as a slightly more complicated real-life example, the average height for adult men in the United States is about 70 inches, with a standard deviation of around 3 inches
The Upper Paleolithic is the third and last subdivision of the Paleolithic or Old Stone Age. Very broadly, it dates to between 50,000 and 10,000 years ago, roughly coinciding with the appearance of behavioral modernity, modern humans are believed to have emerged about 195,000 years ago in Africa. Although these humans were modern in anatomy, their lifestyle changed very little from their contemporaries, such as Homo erectus, about 50,000 years ago, there was a marked increase in the diversity of artifacts. In Africa, bone artifacts and the first art appear in the archeological record, between 45,000 and 43,000 years ago, this new tool technology spread with human migration to Europe. The new technology generated an explosion of modern humans which is believed to have contributed to the extinction of the Neanderthals. The Upper Paleolithic has the earliest known evidence of organized settlements, in the form of campsites, artistic work blossomed, with cave painting, petroglyphs and engravings on bone or ivory.
The first evidence of fishing is noted, from artifacts in places such as Blombos cave in South Africa. More complex social groupings emerged, supported by more varied and reliable food sources and this probably contributed to increasing group identification or ethnicity. By 50, 000–40,000 BP, the first humans set foot in Australia, by 45,000 BP, humans lived at 61° north latitude in Europe. By 30,000 BP, Japan was reached, and by 27,000 BP humans were present in Siberia above the Arctic Circle, at the end of the Upper Paleolithic, a group of humans crossed the Bering land bridge and quickly expanded throughout North and South America. Both Homo erectus and Neanderthals used the same crude stone tools, archaeologist Richard G. Klein, who has worked extensively on ancient stone tools, describes the stone tool kit of archaic hominids as impossible to categorize. It was as if the Neanderthals made stone tools, and were not much concerned about their final forms and he argues that almost everywhere, whether Asia, Africa or Europe, before 50,000 years ago all the stone tools are much alike and unsophisticated.
These new stone-tool types have been described as being distinctly differentiated from each other, the invaders, commonly referred to as the Cro-Magnons, left many sophisticated stone tools and engraved pieces on bone and antler, cave paintings and Venus figurines. The Neanderthals continued to use Mousterian stone tool technology and possibly Chatelperronian technology and these tools disappeared from the archeological record at around the same time the Neanderthals themselves disappeared from the fossil record, about 40,000 years ago. Settlements were often located in valley bottoms, possibly associated with hunting of passing herds of animals. Hunting was important, and caribou/wild reindeer may well be the species of single greatest importance in the anthropological literature on hunting. Technological advances included significant developments in flint tool manufacturing, with industries based on fine blades rather than simpler and shorter flakes and racloirs were used to work bone and hides.
Advanced darts and harpoons appear in period, along with the fish hook, the oil lamp, rope
Bruniquel is a commune in the Tarn-et-Garonne department in the Occitanie region in southern France. The tiny fortified village of 561 inhabitants is at an altitude of 250 metres by the river Aveyron, the river Vère flows northward through the commune, flows into the Aveyron, which forms most of the communes northern border. The village is a mixture of old pink stone and red tile with a dramatic belfry, medieval gateways. Two feudal medieval castles dominate the village and the valley, one of which is the Château de Bruniquel. The old castle was built in the 12th century on the ruins of an earlier fortress said to have founded by Queen Brunehaut in the 6th century. It was the home of William of Tudela who wrote the first part of La Chanson de la Croisade Albigeoise, the castle is notable for a gallery 20 metres long in Renaissance style overhanging the valley of which it offers steep views that many visitors find alarming. The young castle was built in the 15th century and occupied for about 200 years and it now houses a museum of prehistory exhibiting treasures of Bruniquel found in several caves near the castles.
The communes shield depicts a red chevron above a rams head on a green ground, since 1997 the castles have been the venue of an annual arts festival celebrating the works of Jacques Offenbach. The village, including the Château de Bruniquel, and its surroundings feature in the 1975 film Le Vieux Fusil directed by Robert Enrico starring Romy Schneider, there is a scheduled bus service to Montauban
Christopher Brian Chris Stringer FRS, is a British physical anthropologist noted for his work on human evolution. Growing up in a family in the East End of London, Stringers interest in anthropology began in primary school. Stringer studied anthropology at University College London, holds a PhD in Anatomical Science, Stringer joined the permanent staff of the Natural History Museum in 1973. He is currently Research Leader in Human Origins and he has three children and lives in London. He always considered that some interbreeding between the different groups could have occurred, but thought this would have been trivial in the big picture, recent genetic data show that the replacement process did include some interbreeding. In the last decade he has proposed a complex version of events within Africa. He directed the Ancient Human Occupation of Britain project which ran for about 10 years from 2001 and this consortium reconstructed and studied the episodic pattern of human colonisation of Britain during the Pleistocene.
He is co-director of the follow-up project Pathways to Ancient Britain and he is a Fellow of the Royal Society and Honorary Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. He won the 2008 Frink Medal of the Zoological Society of London and Fossil Evidence for the Origin of Modern Humans. Modern human origins – progress and prospects, philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B.357. Stringer, Chris, ed. Aspects of human evolution, Symposium on human evolution, major topics in primate and human evolution. Neandertals, their contemporaries and modern human origins, Proceedings of the 2nd International Congress of Human Paleontology. Turin, September 28 – October 3,1987, the Human Revolution and Biological Perspectives on the Origins of Modern Humans. Neanderthals on the Edge, Papers from a Conference Marking the 150th Anniversary of the Forbes Quarry Discovery, cS1 maint, Multiple names, authors list Introduction to the fiftieth anniversary edition of The Piltdown Forgery (pp. vii–x | and Afterword, Piltdown 2003.
In The Piltdown Forgery By J. S. Weiner Oxford, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-860780-6 Chris Stringer, Peter Andrews. The Complete World of Human Evolution, London & New York, Thames & Hudson. The Incredible Story of Human Life in Britain, published in the United States in 2012 retitled as Lone Survivors, How We Came to Be the Only Humans on Earth