Tibet is a historical region covering much of the Tibetan Plateau in Inner Asia. It is the traditional homeland of the Tibetan people as well as some other ethnic groups such as Monpa, Qiang and Lhoba peoples and is now inhabited by considerable numbers of Han Chinese and Hui people. Tibet is the highest region on Earth, with an average elevation of 5,000 metres; the highest elevation in Tibet is Mount Everest, Earth's highest mountain, rising 8,848 m above sea level. The Tibetan Empire emerged in the 7th century, but with the fall of the empire the region soon divided into a variety of territories; the bulk of western and central Tibet was at least nominally unified under a series of Tibetan governments in Lhasa, Shigatse, or nearby locations. Thus Tibet remained a suzerainty of the Mongol and Chinese rulers in Nanjing and Beijing, with reasonable autonomy given to the Tibetan leaders; the eastern regions of Kham and Amdo maintained a more decentralized indigenous political structure, being divided among a number of small principalities and tribal groups, while often falling more directly under Chinese rule after the Battle of Chamdo.
The current borders of Tibet were established in the 18th century. Following the Xinhai Revolution against the Qing dynasty in 1912, Qing soldiers were disarmed and escorted out of Tibet Area; the region subsequently declared its independence in 1913 without recognition by the subsequent Chinese Republican government. Lhasa took control of the western part of Xikang, China; the region maintained its autonomy until 1951 when, following the Battle of Chamdo, Tibet became incorporated into the People's Republic of China, the previous Tibetan government was abolished in 1959 after a failed uprising. Today, China governs western and central Tibet as the Tibet Autonomous Region while the eastern areas are now ethnic autonomous prefectures within Sichuan and other neighbouring provinces. There are tensions regarding dissident groups that are active in exile. Tibetan activists in Tibet have been arrested or tortured; the economy of Tibet is dominated by subsistence agriculture, though tourism has become a growing industry in recent decades.
The dominant religion in Tibet is Tibetan Buddhism. Tibetan Buddhism is a primary influence on the art and festivals of the region. Tibetan architecture reflects Indian influences. Staple foods in Tibet are roasted barley, yak meat, butter tea; the Tibetan name for their land, Bod བོད་, means "Tibet" or "Tibetan Plateau", although it meant the central region around Lhasa, now known in Tibetan as Ü. The Standard Tibetan pronunciation of Bod, is transcribed Bhö in Tournadre Phonetic Transcription, Bö in the THL Simplified Phonetic Transcription and Poi in Tibetan pinyin; some scholars believe the first written reference to Bod "Tibet" was the ancient Bautai people recorded in the Egyptian Greek works Periplus of the Erythraean Sea and Geographia, itself from the Sanskrit form Bhauṭṭa of the Indian geographical tradition. The modern Standard Chinese exonym for the ethnic Tibetan region is Zangqu, which derives by metonymy from the Tsang region around Shigatse plus the addition of a Chinese suffix, 区 qū, which means "area, region, ward".
Tibetan people and culture, regardless of where they are from, are referred to as Zang although the geographical term Xīzàng is limited to the Tibet Autonomous Region. The term Xīzàng was coined during the Qing dynasty in the reign of the Jiaqing Emperor through the addition of a prefix meaning "west" to Zang; the best-known medieval Chinese name for Tibet is Tubo. This name first appears in Chinese characters as 土番 in the 7th century and as 吐蕃 in the 10th-century. In the Middle Chinese spoken during that period, as reconstructed by William H. Baxter, 土番 was pronounced thux-phjon and 吐蕃 was pronounced thux-pjon. Other pre-modern Chinese names for Tibet include Wusiguo, Wusizang and Tanggute. American Tibetologist Elliot Sperling has argued in favor of a recent tendency by some authors writing in Chinese to revive the term Tubote for modern use in place of Xizang, on the grounds that Tubote more includes the entire Tibetan plateau rather than the Tibet Autonomous Region; the English word Tibet or Thibet dates back to the 18th century.
Historical linguists agree that "Tibet" names in European languages are loanwords from Semitic Ṭībat orTūbātt, itself deriving from Turkic Töbäd, literally: "The Heights". Linguists classify the Tibetan language as a Tibeto-Burman language of the Sino-Tibetan language family although the boundaries between'Tibetan' and certain other Himalayan languages can be unclear. According to
Alpaca fleece is the natural fiber harvested from an alpaca. It is light or heavy depending on how it is spun, it is a soft, durable and silky natural fiber. While similar to sheep’s wool, it is warmer, not prickly, has no lanolin, which makes it hypoallergenic. Alpaca fiber is water-repellent and difficult to ignite. Huacaya, an alpaca that grows soft spongy fiber, has natural crimp, thus making a elastic yarn well-suited for knitting. Suri has no crimp and thus is a better fit for woven goods; the designer Armani has used Suri alpaca to fashion women's suits. Alpaca fleece is made into various products, from simple and inexpensive garments made by the indigenous communities to sophisticated, industrially made and expensive products such as suits. In the United States, groups of smaller alpaca breeders have banded together to create "fiber co-ops," to make the manufacture of alpaca fiber products less expensive; the preparing, spinning and finishing process of alpaca is similar to the process used for wool.
There are two types of alpaca: Huacaya, the Suri. Suris, prized for their longer and silkier fibers, are estimated to make up 19–20% of the North American alpaca population. Since its import into the United States, the number of Suri alpacas has grown and become more color diverse; the Suri is thought to be rarer, most because the breed was reserved for royalty during Incan times. Suris are said to be less cold hardy than Huacaya, but both breeds are raised in more extreme climates, they were developed in South America. Alpacas have been bred in South America for thousands of years. Vicuñas were first domesticated and bred into alpacas by the ancient tribes of the Andean highlands of Ecuador, Argentina and Bolivia. Two-thousand-year-old Paracas textiles are thought to include alpaca fiber. Known as "The Fiber of the Gods", Alpaca was used to make clothing for royalty. In recent years, alpacas have been exported to other countries. In countries such as the USA, Australia and New Zealand, breeders shear their animals annually, weigh the fleeces and test them for fineness.
With the resulting knowledge, they are able to breed heavier-fleeced animals with finer fiber. Fleece weights vary, with the top stud males reaching annual shear weights up to 7 kg total fleece and 3 kg good quality fleece; the discrepancy in weight is because an alpaca has guard hair, removed before spinning. The Amerindians of Peru used this fiber in the manufacture of many styles of fabrics for thousands of years before its introduction into Europe as a commercial product; the alpaca was a crucial component of ancient life in the Andes, as it provided not only warm clothing, but meat. Incan culture involved the alpaca, as well as guanacos, in ritual sacrifice. Methods of killing the beasts varied based on the god receiving the sacrifice, the festival during which it took place, the color of the animal's fur. One method involved slitting open the animal's left side and reaching inside the chest cavity to remove the heart; the first European importations of alpaca fiber were into Spain. Spain transferred that fiber to France.
Alpaca yarn was spun in England for the first time about the year 1808, but the fiber was condemned as an unworkable material. In 1830, Benjamin Outram, of Greetland, near Halifax, appears to have reattempted spinning it, again it was condemned; these two attempts failed due to the style of fabric into -- a type of camlet. With the introduction of cotton warps into Bradford trade about 1836, the true qualities of alpaca could be assessed as it was developed into fabric, it is not known where the cotton warp and mohair or alpaca weft plain-cloth came from, but it was this simple and ingenious structure which enabled Titus Salt a young Bradford manufacturer, to use alpaca successfully. Bradford is still the great manufacturing center for alpaca. Large quantities of yarns and cloths are exported annually to the European continent and the US, although the quantities vary with the fashions in vogue; the typical "alpaca fabric" is a characteristic "dress fabric." Due to the successful manufacture of various alpaca cloths by Sir Titus Salt and other Bradford manufacturers, a great demand for alpaca wool arose, which could not be met by the native product.
The number of alpacas available never increased appreciably. Unsuccessful attempts were made to acclimatize alpaca in England, on the European continent and in Australia, to cross English breeds of sheep with alpaca. There is a cross between alpaca and llama—a true hybrid in every sense—producing a material placed upon the Liverpool market under the name "Huarizo". Crosses between the alpaca and vicuña have not proved satisfactory, as the crosses that have produced offspring have a short fleece, more characteristic of the vicuña. Current attempts to cross these two breeds are underway at farms in the US. Alpacas are now being bred in the US, Australia, New Zealand, UK, Germany and numerous other places. In recent years, interest in alpaca fiber clothing has surged partly because alpaca ranching has a reasonably low impact on the environment. Individual U. S. farms are producing finished alpaca products like hats, scarves, insoles, sweaters, jackets, as well as any other product. Outdoor sports enthusiasts claim that its lighter weight and better warmth provides them more comfort in colder weather.
Using an alpaca and wool blend such as merino is common to the alpaca fiber industry to redu
Russia the Russian Federation, is a transcontinental country in Eastern Europe and North Asia. At 17,125,200 square kilometres, Russia is by far or by a considerable margin the largest country in the world by area, covering more than one-eighth of the Earth's inhabited land area, the ninth most populous, with about 146.77 million people as of 2019, including Crimea. About 77 % of the population live in the European part of the country. Russia's capital, Moscow, is one of the largest cities in the world and the second largest city in Europe. Extending across the entirety of Northern Asia and much of Eastern Europe, Russia spans eleven time zones and incorporates a wide range of environments and landforms. From northwest to southeast, Russia shares land borders with Norway, Estonia, Latvia and Poland, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, China and North Korea, it shares maritime borders with Japan by the Sea of Okhotsk and the U. S. state of Alaska across the Bering Strait. However, Russia recognises two more countries that border it, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, both of which are internationally recognized as parts of Georgia.
The East Slavs emerged as a recognizable group in Europe between the 3rd and 8th centuries AD. Founded and ruled by a Varangian warrior elite and their descendants, the medieval state of Rus arose in the 9th century. In 988 it adopted Orthodox Christianity from the Byzantine Empire, beginning the synthesis of Byzantine and Slavic cultures that defined Russian culture for the next millennium. Rus' disintegrated into a number of smaller states; the Grand Duchy of Moscow reunified the surrounding Russian principalities and achieved independence from the Golden Horde. By the 18th century, the nation had expanded through conquest and exploration to become the Russian Empire, the third largest empire in history, stretching from Poland on the west to Alaska on the east. Following the Russian Revolution, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic became the largest and leading constituent of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the world's first constitutionally socialist state; the Soviet Union played a decisive role in the Allied victory in World War II, emerged as a recognized superpower and rival to the United States during the Cold War.
The Soviet era saw some of the most significant technological achievements of the 20th century, including the world's first human-made satellite and the launching of the first humans in space. By the end of 1990, the Soviet Union had the world's second largest economy, largest standing military in the world and the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction. Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, twelve independent republics emerged from the USSR: Russia, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and the Baltic states regained independence: Estonia, Lithuania, it is governed as a federal semi-presidential republic. Russia's economy ranks as the twelfth largest by nominal GDP and sixth largest by purchasing power parity in 2018. Russia's extensive mineral and energy resources are the largest such reserves in the world, making it one of the leading producers of oil and natural gas globally; the country is one of the five recognized nuclear weapons states and possesses the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction.
Russia is a great power as well as a regional power and has been characterised as a potential superpower. It is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council and an active global partner of ASEAN, as well as a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, the G20, the Council of Europe, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the World Trade Organization, as well as being the leading member of the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Collective Security Treaty Organization and one of the five members of the Eurasian Economic Union, along with Armenia, Belarus and Kyrgyzstan; the name Russia is derived from Rus', a medieval state populated by the East Slavs. However, this proper name became more prominent in the history, the country was called by its inhabitants "Русская Земля", which can be translated as "Russian Land" or "Land of Rus'". In order to distinguish this state from other states derived from it, it is denoted as Kievan Rus' by modern historiography.
The name Rus itself comes from the early medieval Rus' people, Swedish merchants and warriors who relocated from across the Baltic Sea and founded a state centered on Novgorod that became Kievan Rus. An old Latin version of the name Rus' was Ruthenia applied to the western and southern regions of Rus' that were adjacent to Catholic Europe; the current name of the country, Россия, comes from the Byzantine Greek designation of the Rus', Ρωσσία Rossía—spelled Ρωσία in Modern Greek. The standard way to refer to citizens of Russia is rossiyane in Russian. There are two Russian words which are commonly
Raffia palms are a genus of about twenty species of palms native to tropical regions of Africa, Madagascar, with one species occurring in Central and South America. R. taedigera is the source of raffia fibers, which are the veins of the leaves, this species produces a fruit called "brazilia pods", "uxi nuts" or "uxi pods". They grow up to 16 m tall and are remarkable for their compound pinnate leaves, the longest in the plant kingdom; the plants are monocarpic, meaning that they flower once and die after the seeds are mature. Some species have individual stems which die after fruiting, but have a root system which remains alive and sends up new stems which fruit. Raphia africana Otedoh – Nigeria, Cameroon Raphia australis Oberm. & Strey – Mozambique, South Africa Raphia farinifera Hyl. – Africa from Senegal to Tanzania, south to Mozambique and Zimbabwe Raphia gentiliana De Wild. – Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic Raphia hookeri G. Mann & H. Wendl. – western and central Africa from Liberia to Angola Raphia laurentii De Wild.
– Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic Raphia longiflora G. Mann & H. Wendl. – from Nigeria to Democratic Republic of Congo Raphia mambillensis Otedoh – Nigeria, Central African Republic, Sudan Raphia mannii Becc. – Nigeria, Bioko Raphia matombe De Wild. – Cabinda, Democratic Republic of Congo Raphia monbuttorum Drude – Nigeria, Chad, Central African Republic, South Sudan Raphia palma-pinus Hutch. – western Africa from Liberia to Cabinda Raphia regalis Becc. – central Africa from Nigeria to Angola Raphia rostrata Burret – Cabinda, Democratic Republic of Congo Raphia ruwenzorica Otedoh – eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi Raphia sese De Wild. – Democratic Republic of Congo Raphia sudanica A. Chev. – western Africa from Senegal to Cameroon Raphia taedigera Mart. – Nigeria, Central America, South America Raphia textilis Welw. – Cabinda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola Raphia vinifera P. Beauv. – western Africa from Democratic Republic of Congo to Benin Raffia fibre is used throughout the world.
It is used in twine, baskets, hats and textile. The fiber is produced from the membrane on the underside of each individual frond leaf; the membrane is taken off to create a long thin fiber which can be dyed and woven as a textile into products ranging from hats to shoes to decorative mats. Plain raffia fibers are used as garden ties or as a "natural" string in many countries; when one wishes to graft trees, raffia is used to hold plant parts together as a more "natural" rope. Raffia fibers have many uses in the area of textiles and in construction. In their local environments, they are used for ropes and supporting beams, various roof coverings are made out of its fibrous branches and leaves. A strand of raffia has a maximum length of an irregular width; when presented on spool or hank with a length of more than one meter and a half and regular width is not raffia, it can be synthetic raffia, produced from a plastic material, or artificial, just like viscose. The first company in the world to design and build plants for the production of polypropylene raffia was the Covema of Milan founded by the brothers Dino and Marco Terragni.
Covema collaborated with the Swiss company Sulzer, manufacturer of flat weaving looms for natural fibers, to adapt their looms to process polypropylene raffia woven products. Polypropylene raffia fabrics are still used to make carpet backing, protective sheets, rice bags, citrus fruit, etc. Covema developed coating lines to cover the raffia fabric with a thin film of polyethylene in order to make the fabric waterproof. Raffia palm provides an important cultural drink; the sap contains sugars. It is traditionally collected by cutting a box in the top of the palm and suspending a large gourd to collect the milky white liquid. Unlike oil palms, this process kills the tree. Sap from both the raffia and oil palms can be allowed to ferment over a few days; when first collected from the tree, it is sweet and appears carbonated. As it ages more sugar is converted; the sap is called wine. The raffia wine tends to be sweeter at any age. Both kinds of palm wine can be distilled into strong liquors, such as Ogogoro.
Traditionally in some cultures where raffia and/or oil palm are locally available and spirits are offered these drinks from the palm trees. The raffia palm is important in societies such as that of the Province of Bohol in the Philippines, Kuba of Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nso of Cameroon, the Igbo and Ibibio/Annang of Southeastern Nigeria, the Tiv of Northcentral Nigeria and Southwestern Cameroons, the Urhobo and Ijaw people of Niger delta Nigeria and the Yoruba of southwestern Nigeria, among several other West African ethnic nations; the people of Ogba kingdom in Rivers State, other southern Nigerian has no alternative to raffia palm frond as fishing pole. The raffia palm frond is cut from young raffia palm tree, removing the leaves and drying the stake which becomes light after drying and the hook attached to a line is tied to it making it a finishing pole. Kew palms checklist: Raphia Sorting Raphia names PACSOA: Raphia South Africa plants: Raphia australis Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden: Raphia Raphia articles Palm Pedia
In biology, moulting, or molting known as sloughing, shedding, or in many invertebrates, ecdysis, is the manner in which an animal casts off a part of its body, either at specific times of the year, or at specific points in its life cycle. Moulting can involve shedding pelage, or other external layer. In some groups, other body parts may be shed, for example, wings in some insects or the entire exoskeleton in arthropods. In birds, moulting is the periodic replacement of feathers by shedding old feathers while producing new ones. Feathers are dead structures at maturity which are abraded and need to be replaced. Adult birds moult at least once a year, although a few three times each year, it is a slow process as birds shed all their feathers at any one time. The number and area of feathers that are shed varies. In some moulting periods, a bird may renew only the feathers on the head and body, shedding the wing and tail feathers during a moulting period; some species of bird become flightless during an annual "wing moult" and must seek a protected habitat with a reliable food supply during that time.
While the plumage may appear thin or uneven during the moult, the bird's general shape is maintained despite the loss of many feathers. Some birds will drop feathers tail feathers, in what is called a "fright moult"; the process of moulting in birds is as follows: First, the bird begins to shed some old feathers pin feathers grow in to replace the old feathers. As the pin feathers become full feathers, other feathers are shed; this is a cyclical process. It is symmetrical, with feather loss equal on each side of the body; because feathers make up 4–12% of a bird's body weight, it takes a large amount of energy to replace them. For this reason, moults occur after the breeding season, but while food is still abundant; the plumage produced during this time is called postnuptial plumage. Prenuptial moulting occurs in red-collared widowbirds where the males replace their nonbreeding plumage with breeding plumage, it is thought that large birds can advance the moult of damaged feathers. Determining the process birds go through during moult can be useful in understanding breeding and foraging strategies.
One non-invasive method of studying moult in birds is through using field photography. The evolutionary and ecological forces driving moult can be investigated using intrinsic markers such as stable hydrogen isotope analysis. In some countries, flocks of commercial layer hens are force-moulted to reinvigorate egg-laying; this involves complete withdrawal of their food and sometimes water for 7–14 days or up to 28 days under experimental conditions, which reflect standard farming practice in some countries. This causes a body weight loss of 25 to 35%, which stimulates the hen to lose her feathers, but reinvigorates egg-production; some flocks may be force-moulted several times. In 2003, more than 75% of all flocks were force-moulted in the US. Other methods of inducing a moult include low-density diets or dietary manipulation to create an imbalance of a particular nutrient; the most important among these include manipulation of minerals including sodium, calcium and zinc, with full or reduced dietary intakes.
The most familiar example of moulting in reptiles is when snakes "shed their skin". This is achieved by the snake rubbing its head against a hard object, such as a rock or piece of wood, causing the stretched skin to split. At this point, the snake continues to rub its skin on objects, causing the end nearest the head to peel back on itself, until the snake is able to crawl out of its skin turning the moulted skin inside-out; this is similar to how one might remove a sock from one's foot by grabbing the open end and pulling it over itself. The snake's skin is left in one piece after the moulting process, including the discarded brille, so that the moult is vital for maintaining the animal's quality of vision; the skins of lizards, in contrast fall off in pieces. In arthropods, such as insects and crustaceans, moulting is the shedding of the exoskeleton to let the organism grow; this process is called ecdysis. It is said that ecdysis is necessary because the exoskeleton is rigid and cannot grow like skin, but this is simplistic, ignoring the fact that most Arthropoda with soft, flexible skins undergo ecdysis.
Among other things, ecdysis permits metamorphosis, the sometimes radical difference between the morphology of successive instars, the fact that a new skin can replace structures, such as by providing new external lenses for eyes. The new exoskeleton is soft but hardens after the moulting of the old exoskeleton; the old exoskeleton is called an exuviae. While moulting, insects can't breathe. Most dogs moult twice each year, in the spring and autumn, depending on the breed and temperature. Dogs shedding much more than usual is known as "blow coat" or "blowing coat". Both frogs and salamanders moult and consume the skin, with some species moulting in pieces and others in one piece. Crayfish Moulting Video on
The Bactrian camel is a large, even-toed ungulate native to the steppes of Central Asia. The Bactrian camel has two humps on its back, in contrast to the single-humped dromedary camel, its population of two million exists in the domesticated form. Their name comes from the ancient historical region of Bactria. Domesticated Bactrian camels have served as pack animals in inner Asia since ancient times. With its tolerance for cold and high altitudes, it enabled the travel of caravans on the Silk Road. A small number of feral Bactrian camels still roam the Mangystau Province of southwest Kazakhstan and the Nubra Valley in India. Bactrian camels, whether domesticated or feral, are a separate species from the wild Bactrian camel, the only wild species of camel in the world; the Bactrian camel shares the genus Camelus with the wild Bactrian camel. The Bactrian camel belongs to the family Camelidae; the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle was the first to describe the species of Camelus: in his 4th-century-BC History of Animals he identified the one-humped Arabian camel and the two-humped Bactrian camel.
The Bactrian camel was given its current binomial name Camelus bactrianus by Swedish zoologist Carl Linnaeus in his 1758 publication Systema Naturae. In 2007, Peng Cui and colleagues carried out a phylogenetic study of the evolutionary relationships between the two tribes of Camelidae: Camelini — consisting of the three Camelus species — and Lamini — consisting of the alpaca, the guanaco, the llama and the vicuña; the study revealed that the two tribes had diverged 25 million years ago, notably earlier than what had been estimated from North American fossils. Speciation began first in Lamini. Nearly two million years the Bactrian camel and the dromedary emerged as two independent species; the Bactrian camel and the dromedary interbreed to produce fertile offspring. Where the ranges of the two species overlap, such as in northern Punjab and Afghanistan, the phenotypic differences between them tend to decrease as a result of extensive crossbreeding between them; the fertility of their hybrid has given rise to speculation that the Bactrian camel and the dromedary should be merged into a single species with two varieties.
However, a 1994 analysis of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene revealed that the species display 10.3% divergence in their sequences. The wild Bactrian camel was first described by Nikolay Przhevalsky in the late 19th century and has now been established as a distinct species from the Bactrian camel. Zoological opinion nowadays tends to favour the idea that C. bactrianus and C. dromedarius are descendants of two different subspecies of C. ferus and there is no evidence to suggest that the original range of C. ferus included those parts of Central Asia and Iran where some of the earliest Bactrian remains have been found. In particular, a population of wild Bactrian camel has been discovered to live within a part of the Gashun Gobi region of the Gobi Desert; this population is distinct from domesticated herds both in behavior. As many as three regions in the genetic makeup are distinctly different from Bactrian camels, with up to a 3% difference in the base genetic code. However, with so few wild camels, what the natural genetic diversity within a population would have been is not clear.
Another difference is the ability of these wild camels to drink saltwater slush, although whether the camel can extract useful water from it is not yet certain. Domesticated camels are unable to drink such salty water; the Bactrian camel is the largest living camel. Shoulder height is from 180 to 230 cm, head-and-body length is 225–350 cm, the tail length is 35–55 cm. At the top of the humps, the average height is 213 cm. Body mass can range from 300 to 1,000 kg, with males being much larger and heavier than females, its long, wooly coat varies in colour from dark brown to sandy beige. A mane and beard of long hair occurs with hairs measuring up to 25 cm long; the shaggy winter coat is shed rapidly, with huge sections peeling off at once, appearing as if sloppily shorn. The two humps on the back are composed of fat; the face is typical of a camelid, being somewhat triangular, with a split upper lip. The long eyelashes, along with the sealable nostrils, help to keep out dust in the frequent sandstorms which occur in their natural range.
The two broad toes on each foot have undivided soles and are able to spread as an adaptation to walking on sand. The feet are tough, as befits an animal of extreme environments; these camels are migratory, their habitat ranges from rocky mountain massifs to flat arid desert, stony plains, sand dunes. Conditions are harsh – vegetation is sparse, water sources are limited and temperatures are extreme, ranging from as low as −40 °C in winter to 40 °C in summer; the camels’ distribution is linked to the availability of water, with large groups congregating near rivers after rain or at the foot of the mountains, where water can be obtained from springs in the summer months, in the form of snow during the winter. Bactrian camels are exceptionally adept at withstanding wide variations in temperature, ranging from freezing cold to
Cotton is a soft, fluffy staple fiber that grows in a boll, or protective case, around the seeds of the cotton plants of the genus Gossypium in the mallow family Malvaceae. The fiber is pure cellulose. Under natural conditions, the cotton bolls will increase the dispersal of the seeds; the plant is a shrub native to tropical and subtropical regions around the world, including the Americas, Africa and India. The greatest diversity of wild cotton species is found followed by Australia and Africa. Cotton was independently domesticated in the New Worlds; the fiber is most spun into yarn or thread and used to make a soft, breathable textile. The use of cotton for fabric is known to date to prehistoric times. Although cultivated since antiquity, it was the invention of the cotton gin that lowered the cost of production that led to its widespread use, it is the most used natural fiber cloth in clothing today. Current estimates for world production are about 25 million tonnes or 110 million bales annually, accounting for 2.5% of the world's arable land.
China is the world's largest producer of cotton. The United States has been the largest exporter for many years. In the United States, cotton is measured in bales, which measure 0.48 cubic meters and weigh 226.8 kilograms. There are four commercially grown species of cotton, all domesticated in antiquity: Gossypium hirsutum – upland cotton, native to Central America, the Caribbean and southern Florida Gossypium barbadense – known as extra-long staple cotton, native to tropical South America Gossypium arboreum – tree cotton, native to India and Pakistan Gossypium herbaceum – Levant cotton, native to southern Africa and the Arabian Peninsula The two New World cotton species account for the vast majority of modern cotton production, but the two Old World species were used before the 1900s. While cotton fibers occur in colors of white, brown and green, fears of contaminating the genetics of white cotton have led many cotton-growing locations to ban the growing of colored cotton varieties; the word "cotton" has Arabic origins, derived from the Arabic word قطن.
This was the usual word for cotton in medieval Arabic. The word entered the Romance languages in the mid-12th century, English a century later. Cotton fabric was known to the ancient Romans as an import but cotton was rare in the Romance-speaking lands until imports from the Arabic-speaking lands in the medieval era at transformatively lower prices; the earliest evidence of cotton use in the Indian subcontinent has been found at the site of Mehrgarh and Rakhigarhi where cotton threads have been found preserved in copper beads. Cotton cultivation in the region is dated to the Indus Valley Civilization, which covered parts of modern eastern Pakistan and northwestern India between 3300 and 1300 BC; the Indus cotton industry was well-developed and some methods used in cotton spinning and fabrication continued to be used until the industrialization of India. Between 2000 and 1000 BC cotton became widespread across much of India. For example, it has been found at the site of Hallus in Karnataka dating from around 1000 BC.
Cotton bolls discovered in a cave near Tehuacán, have been dated to as early as 5500 BC, but this date has been challenged. More securely dated is the domestication of Gossypium hirsutum in Mexico between around 3400 and 2300 BC. In Peru, cultivation of the indigenous cotton species Gossypium barbadense has been dated, from a find in Ancon, to c. 4200 BC, was the backbone of the development of coastal cultures such as the Norte Chico and Nazca. Cotton was grown upriver, made into nets, traded with fishing villages along the coast for large supplies of fish; the Spanish who came to Mexico and Peru in the early 16th century found the people growing cotton and wearing clothing made of it. The Greeks and the Arabs were not familiar with cotton until the Wars of Alexander the Great, as his contemporary Megasthenes told Seleucus I Nicator of "there being trees on which wool grows" in "Indica"; this may be a reference to "tree cotton", Gossypium arboreum, a native of the Indian subcontinent. According to the Columbia Encyclopedia: Cotton has been spun and dyed since prehistoric times.
It clothed the people of ancient India and China. Hundreds of years before the Christian era, cotton textiles were woven in India with matchless skill, their use spread to the Mediterranean countries. In Iran, the history of cotton dates back to the Achaemenid era; the planting of cotton was common in Merv and Pars of Iran. In Persian poets' poems Ferdowsi's Shahname, there are references to cotton. Marco Polo refers to the major products including cotton. John Chardin, a French traveler of the 17th century who visited Safavid Persia, spoke approvingly of the vast cotton farms of Persia. During the Han dynasty, cotton was grown by Chinese peoples in the southern Chinese province of Yunnan. Egyptians spun cotton in the first seven centuries of the Christian era. Handheld roller cotton gins had been used in India since the 6th century, was introduced to other countries from there. Between the 12th and 14th centuries, dual-roller gins appeared in China; the Indian version of the dual-roller gin was preval