Bracken is a genus of large, coarse ferns in the family Dennstaedtiaceae. Ferns are vascular plants that have alternating generations, large plants that produce spores and small plants that produce sex cells. Brackens are noted for their large divided leaves, they are found on all continents except Antarctica and in all environments except deserts, though their typical habitat is moorland. The genus has the widest distribution of any fern in the world. In the past, the genus was treated as having only one species, Pteridium aquilinum, but the recent trend is to subdivide it into about ten species. Like other ferns, brackens do not have seeds or fruits, but the immature fronds, known as fiddleheads, are sometimes eaten, although some are thought to be carcinogenic; the word bracken is of Old Norse origin, related to Swedish bräken and Danish bregne, both meaning fern. Evolutionarily, bracken may be considered one of the most successful ferns. Bracken, like heather, is found in moorland environments, is referred to by local populations in the north of England as'Moorland Scrub'.
It is one of the oldest ferns, with fossil records over 55 million years old having been found. The plant sends up large, triangular fronds from a wide-creeping underground rootstock, may form dense thickets; this rootstock may travel a metre or more underground between fronds. The fronds may grow up to 2.5 m long or longer with support, but are in the range of 0.6–2 m high. In cold environments, bracken is deciduous and, as it requires well-drained soil, is found growing on the sides of hills. Fern spores are contained in structures found on the underside of the leaf called sori; the linear, leaf-edge pattern of these in bracken is different from that in most other ferns, where the sori are circular and occur towards the centre of the leaf. Pteridium aquilinum is the most common species with a cosmopolitan distribution, occurring in temperate and subtropical regions throughout much of the world, it is a prolific and abundant plant in the moorlands of Great Britain, where it is limited to altitudes of below 600 metres.
It does not like poorly drained fen. It has been observed growing in soils from pH 2.8 to 8.6. Exposure to cold or high pH inhibits its growth, it causes such a problem of invading pastureland that at one time the British government had an eradication programme. Special filters have been used on some British water supplies to filter out the bracken spores. NBN distribution map for the United Kingdom Bracken is a characteristic moorland plant in the UK which over the last decades has out-competed characteristic ground-cover plants such as moor grasses, cowberry and heathers and now covers a considerable part of upland moorland. Once valued and gathered for use in animal bedding, tanning and glass making and as a fertiliser, bracken is now seen as a pernicious and opportunistic plant, taking over from the plants traditionally associated with open moorland and reducing easy access by humans, it is toxic to cattle, sheep and horses and is linked to cancers in humans. It can harbour high levels of sheep ticks.
Grazing provided some control by stock trampling, but this has ceased since the 2007 foot-and-mouth disease outbreak reduced commercial livestock production. Global climatic changes have suited bracken well and contributed to its rapid increase in land coverage. Bracken is a well-adapted pioneer plant which can colonise land with the potential to extend its area by as much as 1–3% per year; this ability to expand is at the expense of other plants and wildlife, can cause major problems for land users and managers. It colonises ground with an open vegetation structure but is slow to colonise healthy, well managed heather stands. Bracken presents a threat to biodiversity. Many species occur only on upland moorland, tied to features unique to the habitat; the loss and degradation of such areas due to the dominance of bracken has caused many species to become rare and isolated. Species Woodland fungi such as Mycena epipterygia can be found growing under the bracken canopy. Both Camarographium stephensii and Typhula quisquiliaris grow from dead bracken stems.
Bracken fern is known to produce and release allelopathic chemicals, an important factor in its ability to dominate other vegetation in regrowth after fire. Its chemical emissions, shady canopy and thick litter inhibit other plant species from establishing themselves – with the occasional exception of plants which support rare butterflies. Herb and tree seedling growth may be inhibited after bracken fern is removed because active plant toxins remain in the soil. Brackens substitute the characteristics of a woodland canopy, are important for giving shade to European plants such as common bluebell and wood anemone where the woodland does not exist; these plants are intolerant to stock trampling. Dead bracken provides a warm microclimate for development of the immature stages. Climbing corydalis, wild gladiolus and chickweed wintergreen seem to benefit from the conditions found under bracken stands; the high humidity helps mosses survive underneath, including Campylopus flexuosus, Hypnum cupressiforme, Polytrichum commune, Pseudoscelopodium purum and Rhytidiadelphus squarrosus.
Brackens of the Northern Hemisphere are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including dark green fritillary, dot moth, high brown fritillary, gold swift, map-winged swift, pearl-bordered fritillary, orange swift, small angle shades, small pearl-bordered fritillary. They form an i
Status Quo (band)
Status Quo are an English rock band who play boogie rock. The group originated in The Spectres, founded by Francis Rossi and Alan Lancaster in 1962, while still schoolboys. After a number of lineup changes, which included the introduction of Rick Parfitt in 1967, the band became The Status Quo in 1967 and Status Quo in 1969, they have had over 60 chart hits in the UK, more than any other rock band, including "Pictures of Matchstick Men" in 1968, "Whatever You Want" in 1979 and "In the Army Now" in 1986 and 2010. Twenty-two of these reached the Top 10 in the UK Singles Chart. In July 1985 the band opened Live Aid at Wembley Stadium with "Rockin' All Over the World". In 1991, Status Quo received a Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music. Status Quo starred in their first feature film, Bula Quo!, released to cinemas in July 2013. The film coincided with the release of the soundtrack album Bula Quo!, which peaked at number 10 in the UK Albums Chart. The first single from the album, "Bula Bula Quo" was released in June 2013, is Status Quo's one hundredth single release.
Status Quo was formed in 1962 under the name "the Spectres" by Francis Rossi and Alan Lancaster at Sedgehill Comprehensive School, along with classmates Jess Jaworski and Alan Key. Rossi and Lancaster played their first gig at the Samuel Jones Sports Club in London. In 1963, Key was replaced by John Coghlan and the band changed name to "The Spectres". In 1965, when Rossi and Jaworski had reached the end of their school education, Jaworski opted to leave the band, was replaced by Roy Lynes, they began writing their own material and that year met Rick Parfitt, playing with a cabaret band called The Highlights. By the end of 1965, Rossi and Parfitt, who had become close friends after meeting at Butlins, made a commitment to continue working together. On 18 July 1966, The Spectres signed a five-year deal with Piccadilly Records, releasing two singles that year, "I" and "Hurdy Gurdy Man", one the next year called " Nothin' Yet". All three singles failed to make an impact on the charts. By 1967, the group had discovered psychedelia and named themselves Traffic, but were soon forced to change it to "Traffic Jam" to avoid confusion with Steve Winwood's Traffic, following an argument over who had registered the name first.
The band secured an appearance on BBC Radio's Saturday Club, but in June their next single, "Almost But Not Quite There", underperformed. The following month saw Parfitt, at the request of manager Pat Barlow, joining the band as rhythm guitarist and vocalist. Shortly after Parfitt's recruitment, in August 1967, the band became The Status Quo. In January 1968 the group released the psychedelic-flavoured "Pictures of Matchstick Men". Rick Parfitt was invited to join the band just as the song hit the UK Singles Chart, reaching number seven. Although Status Quo's albums have been released in the United States throughout their career, they never achieved the same level of success as they have in their home country. Though the follow-up was the unsuccessful single, "Black Veils of Melancholy", they had a hit again the same year with a pop song penned by Marty Wilde and Ronnie Scott, "Ice in the Sun", which climbed to number eight. After the breakthrough, the band management hired Bob Young as a tour manager.
Over the years Young became one of the most important songwriting partners for Status Quo, in addition to playing harmonica with them on stage and on record. After their second album Spare Parts failed commercially, the band abandoned psychedelia and Carnaby Street fashions in favour of a hard rock/boogie sound, faded denims and T-shirts, an image, to become their trademark throughout the 1970s. Lynes left the band in 1970 and was replaced in the studio by guests including keyboard player Jimmy Horowitz and Tom Parker. By 1976, ex-The Herd, Judas Jump and Peter Frampton Band member Andy Bown was brought in to cover keyboards although as he was contracted as a solo artist with EMI he was not credited as an official member of Status Quo until 1982. After two poor-selling albums, Ma Kelly's Greasy Spoon and Dog of Two Head in 1970 and 1971, their major breakthrough came when they signed with the heavy rock and progressive label Vertigo, their first album for Vertigo, was released in 1972 and heralded an heavier, self-produced sound.
This album was the stylistic template for each album they released up until Blue for You in 1976. Quo's more popular songs from this era include "Paper Plane", "Caroline", "Break The Rules", "Down Down", "Rain", "Mystery Song", "Rockin' All Over the World" and "Whatever You Want". "Down Down" topped the UK Singles Chart in January 1975. In 1976, they signed a pioneering sponsorship deal with Levi's. Quo have now sold 118 million records worldwide. From 1977 onwards, the band's sound became more polished; these included Pip Williams, Roger Glover, John Eden. Glover was the first outside producer to work with Quo since Pye's John Schroeder in the early 1970s, produced "Wild Side of Life" and its B-side "All Through The Night" in 1976. 1977's Rockin' All Over the World's title track, a minor hit for its writer John Fogerty
The Katyn massacre was a series of mass executions of Polish military officers and intelligentsia carried out by the Soviet Union the NKVD in April and May 1940. Though the killings took place at several places, the massacre is named after the Katyn Forest, where some of the mass graves were first discovered; the massacre was prompted by NKVD chief Lavrentiy Beria's proposal to execute all captive members of the Polish officer corps, dated 5 March 1940, approved by the Politburo of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, including its leader, Joseph Stalin. The number of victims is estimated at about 22,000; the victims were executed in the Katyn Forest in Russia, the Kalinin and Kharkiv prisons, elsewhere. Of the total killed, about 8,000 were officers imprisoned during the 1939 Soviet invasion of Poland, another 6,000 were police officers, the rest were Polish intelligentsia the Soviets deemed to be "intelligence agents, landowners, factory owners, lawyers and priests"; as the Polish Army officer class was representative of the multi-ethnic Polish state, the killed included Ukrainians and Polish Jews including the Chief Rabbi of the Polish Army, Baruch Steinberg.
The government of Nazi Germany announced the discovery of mass graves in the Katyn Forest in April 1943. When the London-based Polish government-in-exile asked for an investigation by the International Committee of the Red Cross, Stalin severed diplomatic relations with it; the USSR claimed the Nazis had killed the victims in 1941 and it continued to deny responsibility for the massacres until 1990, when it acknowledged and condemned the perpetration of the killings by the NKVD, as well as the subsequent cover-up by the Soviet government. An investigation conducted by the office of the Prosecutors General of the Soviet Union and the Russian Federation confirmed Soviet responsibility for the massacres but refused to classify this action as a war crime or an act of genocide; the investigation was closed on the grounds the perpetrators were dead, since the Russian government would not classify the dead as victims of the Great Purge, formal posthumous rehabilitation was deemed inapplicable. In November 2010, the Russian State Duma approved a declaration blaming Stalin and other Soviet officials for ordering the massacre.
On 1 September 1939, the invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany began. Britain and France, obligated by the Anglo-Polish military alliance and Franco-Polish alliance to attack Germany in the case of such an invasion, demanded Germany withdraw. On 3 September 1939, after Germany failed to comply, Britain and most countries of the British Empire declared war on Germany, but provided little military support to Poland, they took minimal military action during. The Soviet invasion of Poland began on 17 September in accordance with the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact; the Red Army advanced and met little resistance, as Polish forces facing them were under orders not to engage the Soviets. About 250,000 to 454,700 Polish soldiers and policemen were captured and interned by the Soviet authorities; some were freed or escaped but 125,000 were imprisoned in camps run by the NKVD. Of these, 42,400 soldiers of Ukrainian and Belarusian ethnicity serving in the Polish army, who lived in the territories of Poland annexed by the Soviet Union, were released in October.
The 43,000 soldiers born in western Poland under German control, were transferred to the Germans. Soviet repressions of Polish citizens occurred as well over this period. Since Poland's conscription system required every nonexempt university graduate to become a military reserve officer, the NKVD was able to round up a significant portion of the Polish educated class. According to estimates by the Institute of National Remembrance 320,000 Polish citizens were deported to the Soviet Union. IPN estimates the number of Polish citizens who died under Soviet rule during World War II at 150,000. Of the group of 12,000 Poles sent to Dalstroy camp in 1940–1941 POWs, only 583 men survived. According to Tadeusz Piotrowski, "during the war and after 1944, 570,387 Polish citizens had been subjected to some form of Soviet political repression"; as early as 19 September, the head of the NKVD, Lavrentiy Beria, ordered the secret police to create the Main Administration for Affairs of Prisoners of War and Internees to manage Polish prisoners.
The NKVD took custody of Polish prisoners from the Red Army, proceeded to organise a network of reception centres and transit camps, to arrange rail transport to prisoner-of-war camps in the western USSR. The largest camps were at Kozelsk and Starobelsk. Other camps were at Jukhnovo, rail station Tyotkino, Oranki and Gryazovets. Kozelsk and Starobelsk were used for military officers, while Ostashkov was used for Polish Scouting, police officers, prison officers; some prisoners were members of other groups of Polish intelligentsia, such
A birch is a thin-leaved deciduous hardwood tree of the genus Betula, in the family Betulaceae, which includes alders and hornbeams. It is related to the beech-oak family Fagaceae; the genus Betula contains 30 to 60 known taxa of which 11 are on the IUCN 2011 Red List of Threatened Species. They are a rather short-lived pioneer species widespread in the Northern Hemisphere in northern areas of temperate climates and in boreal climates. Birch species are small to medium-sized trees or shrubs of northern temperate and boreal climates; the simple leaves are alternate, singly or doubly serrate, feather-veined and stipulate. They appear in pairs, but these pairs are borne on spur-like, two-leaved, lateral branchlets; the fruit is a small samara. They differ from the alders in that the female catkins are not woody and disintegrate at maturity, falling apart to release the seeds, unlike the woody, cone-like female alder catkins; the bark of all birches is characteristically marked with long, horizontal lenticels, separates into thin, papery plates upon the paper birch.
Distinctive colors give the common names gray, black and yellow birch to different species. The buds form early and are full grown by midsummer, all are lateral, no terminal bud is formed; the wood of all the species is close-grained with a satiny texture and capable of taking a fine polish. The flowers are monoecious, opening with or before the leaves and borne once grown these leaves are 3–6 millimetres long on three-flowered clusters in the axils of the scales of drooping or erect catkins or aments. Staminate aments are pendulous, clustered or solitary in the axils of the last leaves of the branch of the year or near the ends of the short lateral branchlets of the year, they remain rigid during the winter. The scales of the staminate aments when mature are broadly ovate, yellow or orange color below the middle, dark chestnut brown at apex; each scale bears two bractlets and three sterile flowers, each flower consisting of a sessile, membranaceous two-lobed, calyx. Each calyx bears four short filaments with one-celled anthers or two filaments divided into two branches, each bearing a half-anther.
Anther cells open longitudinally. The pistillate aments are pendulous, solitary; the pistillate scales are oblong-ovate, three-lobed, pale yellow-green tinged with red, becoming brown at maturity. These scales bear each flower consisting of a naked ovary; the ovary is compressed, two-celled, crowned with two slender styles. Each scale bears a single small, winged nut, oval, with two persistent stigmas at the apex. Betula species are organised into five subgenera. Birches native to Europe and Asia include Betula albosinensis – Chinese red birch Betula alnoides – alder-leaf birch Betula ashburneri – Betula baschkirica – Betula bomiensis – Betula browicziana – Betula calcicola – Betula celtiberica – Betula chichibuensis – Betula chinensis – Chinese dwarf birch Betula coriaceifolia – Betula corylifolia – Betula costata – Betula cylindrostachya – Betula dahurica – Betula delavayi – Betula ermanii – Erman's birch Betula falcata – Betula fargesii – Betula fruticosa – Betula globispica – Betula gmelinii – Betula grossa – Japanese cherry birch Betula gynoterminalis – Betula honanensis – Betula humilis or Betula kamtschatica – Kamchatka birch platyphylla Betula insignis – Betula karagandensis – Betula klokovii – Betula kotulae – Betula litvinovii – Betula luminifera – Betula maximowiczii – monarch birch Betula medwediewii – Caucasian birch Betula megrelica – Betula microphylla – Betula nana – dwarf birch ) Betula pendula – silver birch Betula platyphylla – —Siberian silver birch Betula potamophila – Betula potaninii – Betula psammophila – Betula pubescens – downy birch known as white, European white or hairy birch Betula raddeana – Betula saksaren
A glacial erratic is a piece of rock that differs from the size and type of rock native to the area in which it rests. "Erratics" take their name from the Latin word errare, are carried by glacial ice over distances of hundreds of kilometres. Erratics can range in size from pebbles to large boulders such as Big Rock in Alberta. Geologists identify erratics by studying the rocks surrounding the position of the erratic and the composition of the erratic itself. Erratics are significant because: They can be transported by glaciers, they are thereby one of a series of indicators which mark the path of prehistoric glacier movement, their lithographic origin can be traced to the parent bedrock, allowing for confirmation of the ice flow route. They can be transported by ice rafting; this allows quantification of the extent of glacial flooding resulting from ice dam failure which release the waters stored in proglacial lakes such as Lake Missoula. Erratics released by ice-rafts that were stranded and subsequently melt, dropping their load, allow characterization of the high-water marks for transient floods in areas like temporary Lake Lewis.
Erratics dropped by icebergs melting in the ocean can be used to track Antarctic and Arctic-region glacial movements for periods prior to record retention. Known as dropstones, these can be correlated with ocean temperatures and levels to better understand and calibrate models of the global climate; the term "erratic" is used to refer to erratic blocks, which Geikie describes as: "large masses of rock as big as a house, that have been transported by glacier-ice, have been lodged in a prominent position in the glacier valleys or have been scattered over hills and plains. And examination of their mineralogical character leads the identification of their sources…". In geology, an erratic is material moved by geologic forces from one location to another by a glacier. Erratics are formed by glacial ice erosion resulting from the movement of ice. Glaciers erode by multiple processes: abrasion/scouring, ice thrusting and glacially-induced spalling. Glaciers crack pieces of bedrock off in the process of producing the larger erratics.
In an abrasion process, debris in the basal ice scrapes along the bed and gouging the underlying rocks, similar to sandpaper on wood, producing smaller glacial till. In ice thrusting, the glacier freezes to its bed as it surges forward, it moves large sheets of frozen sediment at the base along with the glacier. Glacially-induced spalling occurs when ice lens formation with the rocks below the glacier spall off layers of rock, providing smaller debris, ground into the glacial basal material to become till. Evidence supports another option for creation of erratics as well, rock avalanches onto the upper surface of the glacier. Rock avalanche–supraglacial transport occurs when the glacier undercuts a rock face, which fails by avalanche onto the upper surface of the glacier; the characteristics of rock avalanche–supraglacial transport includes: Monolithologic composition – a cluster of boulders of similar composition are found in close proximity. Commingling of the multiple lithologies present throughout the glaciated basin, has not occurred.
Angularity – the supraglacially transported rocks tend to be rough and irregular, with no sign of subglacial abrasion. The sides of boulders are planar, suggesting that some surfaces may be original fracture planes. Great size – the size distribution of the boulders tends to be skewed toward larger boulders than those produced subglacially. Surficial positioning of the boulders – the boulders are positioned on the surface of glacial deposits, as opposed to or buried. Restricted areal extents – the boulder fields tend to have limited areal extent. Orientations – the boulders may be close enough that original fracture planes can be matched. Locations of the boulder trains – the boulders appear in rows, trains or clusters along the lateral moraines as opposed to being located on the terminal moraine or in the general glacial field. Erratics provide an important tool in characterizing the directions of glacier flows, which are reconstructed used on a combination of moraines, drumlins, meltwater channels, similar data.
Erratic distributions and glacial till properties allow for identification of the source rock from which they derive, which confirms the flow direction when the erratic source outcrop is unique to a limited locality. Erratic materials may be transported by multiple glacier flows prior to their deposition, which can complicate the reconstruction of the glacial flow. Glacial ice entrains debris of varying sizes from small particles to large masses of rock; this debris is transported to the coast by glacier ice and released during the production and melting of icebergs. The rate of debris release by ice depends upon the size of the ice mass in which it is carried as well as the temperature of the ocean through which the ice floe passes. Sediments from the late Pleistocene period lying on the floor of the North Atlantic show a series of layers which contain ice-rafted debris, they were formed between 70,000 years before the present. The deposited debris can be traced back to the origin by both the nature of the materials released and the continuous path of debris release.
Some paths extend more than 3,000 kilometres distant from the point at which the ice floes broke free. The location and altitude of ice-rafted boulders r
A war memorial is a building, statue or other edifice to celebrate a war or victory, or to commemorate those who died or were injured in a war. The oldest war memorial in the United Kingdom is Oxford University's All Souls College, it was founded in 1438 with the provision that its fellows should pray for those killed in the long wars with France. War memorials for the Franco-Prussian War were the first in Europe to have rank-and-file soldiers commemorated by name; every soldier, killed was granted a permanent resting-place as part of the terms of the Treaty of Frankfurt. To commemorate the millions who died in World War I, war memorials became commonplace in communities large and small around the world. In modern times the main intent of war memorials is not to glorify war, but to honor those who have died. Sometimes, as in the case of the Warsaw Genuflection of Willy Brandt, they may serve as focal points of increasing understanding between previous enemies. Using modern technology an international project is archiving all post-1914 Commonwealth war graves and Commonwealth War Graves Commission memorials to create a virtual memorial.
During the First World War, many nations saw massive loss of life. More people lost their lives in the east than in the west. In the west, in response to the victory there obtained, most of the cities in the countries involved in the conflict erected memorials, with the memorials in smaller villages and towns listing the names of each local soldier, killed in addition to their names being recorded on military headstones against the will of those directly involved, without any opportunity of choice in the British Empire. Massive British monuments commemorating thousands of dead with no identified war grave, such as the Menin Gate at Ypres and the Thiepval memorial on the Somme, were constructed; the Liberty Memorial, located in Kansas City, Missouri, is a memorial dedicated to all Americans who served in the Great War. For various reasons connected with their character, the same may be said to apply to certain governmental memorials in the United Kingdom. In Maryland, in the center of the city of Baltimore facing the Baltimore City Hall to the west is a geometric paved tree-lined plaza with the War Memorial Building to the east with a large marble decorated civic auditorium and historical and veterans museum below, designed by Laurence Hall Fowler, dedicated 1925.
After World War I, some towns in France set up pacifist war memorials. Instead of commemorating the glorious dead, these memorials denounce war with figures of grieving widows and children rather than soldiers; such memorials provoked anger among the military in general. The most famous is at Gentioux-Pigerolles in the department of Creuse. Below the column which lists the name of the fallen stands an orphan in bronze pointing to an inscription'Maudite soit la guerre'. Feelings ran so high that the memorial was not inaugurated until 1990 and soldiers at the nearby army camp were under orders to turn their heads when they walked past. Another such memorial is in the small town of Équeurdreville-Hainneville in the department of Manche. Here the statue is of a grieving widow with two small children. There seems to be no exact equivalent form of a pacifist memorial within the United Kingdom but evidently sentiments were in many cases identical. Thus, although it seems that this has never been recognized, it can be argued that there was throughout the United Kingdom a construction of war memorials with reference to the concept of peace.
In many cases, World War I memorials were extended to show the names of locals who died in the World War II in addition. Since that time memorials to the dead in other conflicts such as the Korean War and Vietnam War have noted individual contributions, at least in the West. In relation to actions which may well in point of fact be connected with the world wars if this happens, for whatever reason, not to be a matter of general discussion similar and architecturally significant memorials are designed and constructed. War memorials can differ in type and composition. Many war memorials take the form of a traditional monument or statue, while others consist of entire buildings containing a museum, while yet others are simple plaques. War memorials can take a variety of other forms, but not limited to, commemorative gardens, eternal flames, urban pl
The Great Dane is a German breed of domestic dog known for its giant size. The record holder for the tallest dog is a Great Dane called Zeus, that measured 111.8 cm from paw to shoulder. The tallest living dog is another Dane named measuring 103.5 cm. Large boarhounds appear in ancient Greece, in frescoes from Tiryns dating back to the 14th–13th centuries BC; these large boarhounds continue to appear throughout ancient Greece in subsequent centuries up to the Hellenistic era. In Austria and Germany the Molossian hound, Suliot dog, specific imports from Greece were used in the 18th century to increase the stature of the boarhounds whereas, in Ireland, it was done for the wolfhounds. Bigger dogs are depicted on numerous runestones in Scandinavia, on Danish coinage from the fifth century AD, in the Poetic Edda; the University of Copenhagen Zoological Museum holds at least seven skeletons of large hunting dogs, dating from the fifth century BC to 1000 AD. In the middle of the 16th century, the nobility in many countries of Europe imported strong, long-legged dogs from England, which were descended from crossbreeds between English Mastiffs and Irish Wolfhounds.
They were dog hybrids in different phenotypes with no formal breed. These dogs were called Englische Docke or Englische Tocke – written and spelled: Dogge – or Englischer Hund in Germany; the name meant "English dog." Since the English word "dog" has come to be associated with a molossoid dog in Germany and France. These dogs were bred in the courts of German nobility, independent of the English methods, since the start of the 17th century; the dogs were used for hunting bear and deer at princely courts, with the favorites staying at night in the bedchambers of their lords. These Kammerhunde were outfitted with gilded collars, helped protect the sleeping princes from assassins. While hunting boar or bears, the Englische Dogge was a catch dog used after the other hunting dogs to seize the bear or boar and hold it in place until the huntsman was able to kill it; when the hunting customs changed because of the use of firearms, many of the involved dog types disappeared. The Englische Dogge became rare, was kept only as a dog of hobby or luxury.
In the 19th century, the dog was known as a "German boarhound" in English-speaking countries. Some German breeders tried to introduce the names "German Dogge" and "German Mastiff" on the English market, because they believed the breed should be marketed as a dog of luxury and not as a working dog. However, due to the increasing tensions between Germany and other countries, the dog became referred to as a "Great Dane", after the grand danois in Buffon's Histoire naturelle, générale et particulière in 1755; the Great Dane is a large German domestic dog known for its giant size. As described by the American Kennel Club: The Great Dane combines, in its regal appearance, dignity and elegance with great size and a powerful, well-formed, smoothly muscled body, it is one of the giant working breeds, but is unique in that its general conformation must be so well balanced that it never appears clumsy, shall move with a long reach and powerful drive. The Great Dane is a short-haired breed with a galloping figure.
In the ratio between length and height, the Great Dane should be square. The male dog should not be less than 30 in at a female 28 in. Danes under minimum height are disqualified. From year to year, the tallest living dog is a Great Dane. Previous record holders include Gibson and George, he was the tallest dog on record, beating the previous holder, the aforementioned George that stood 109.2 cm at the shoulder. The minimum weight for a Great Dane over 18 months is 120 lb for 100 lb for females. Unusually, the American Kennel Club dropped the minimum weight requirement from its standard; the male should appear more massive throughout than the female, with a larger frame and heavier bone. Great Danes have floppy, triangular ears. In the past, when Great Danes were used to hunt boars, cropping of the ears was performed to make injuries to the dogs' ears less during hunts. Now that Danes are companion animals, cropping is sometimes still done for traditional and cosmetic reasons. In the 1930s when Great Danes had their ears cropped, after the surgery, two devices called Easter bonnets were fitted to their ears to make them stand up.
Today, the practice is much less common in Europe. In some European countries such as the United Kingdom, Ireland and Germany, parts of Australia and New Zealand, the practice is banned or controlled to only be performed by veterinary surgeons; the three varieties have five to six show-acceptable coat colors: Fawn and brindle Fawn: The colour is yellow gold with a black mask. Black should appear on the eye rims and eyebrows, may appear on the ears. Brindle: The colour is fawn and black in a chevron stripe pattern, they are referred to as having a stripe pattern. Harlequin and black Black: The colour is a glossy black. White markings on the chest and toes are not considered faults. Harlequin: The base colour is pure white with black torn patches irregularly and well distributed over the entire body; the black patches should never be large enough to give the appearance of a blanket, nor so small as to give a s