India, officially the Republic of India, is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by area, the second-most populous country, and it is bounded by the Indian Ocean on the south, the Arabian Sea on the southwest, and the Bay of Bengal on the southeast. It shares land borders with Pakistan to the west, China and Bhutan to the northeast, in the Indian Ocean, India is in the vicinity of Sri Lanka and the Maldives. Indias Andaman and Nicobar Islands share a border with Thailand. The Indian subcontinent was home to the urban Indus Valley Civilisation of the 3rd millennium BCE, in the following millennium, the oldest scriptures associated with Hinduism began to be composed. Social stratification, based on caste, emerged in the first millennium BCE, early political consolidations took place under the Maurya and Gupta empires, the peninsular Middle Kingdoms influenced cultures as far as southeast Asia. In the medieval era, Zoroastrianism and Islam arrived, much of the north fell to the Delhi sultanate, the south was united under the Vijayanagara Empire.
The economy expanded in the 17th century in the Mughal empire, in the mid-18th century, the subcontinent came under British East India Company rule, and in the mid-19th under British crown rule. A nationalist movement emerged in the late 19th century, which later, under Mahatma Gandhi, was noted for nonviolent resistance, in 2015, the Indian economy was the worlds seventh largest by nominal GDP and third largest by purchasing power parity. Following market-based economic reforms in 1991, India became one of the major economies and is considered a newly industrialised country. However, it continues to face the challenges of poverty, malnutrition, a nuclear weapons state and regional power, it has the third largest standing army in the world and ranks sixth in military expenditure among nations. India is a constitutional republic governed under a parliamentary system. It is a pluralistic and multi-ethnic society and is home to a diversity of wildlife in a variety of protected habitats. The name India is derived from Indus, which originates from the Old Persian word Hindu, the latter term stems from the Sanskrit word Sindhu, which was the historical local appellation for the Indus River.
The ancient Greeks referred to the Indians as Indoi, which translates as The people of the Indus, the geographical term Bharat, which is recognised by the Constitution of India as an official name for the country, is used by many Indian languages in its variations. Scholars believe it to be named after the Vedic tribe of Bharatas in the second millennium B. C. E and it is traditionally associated with the rule of the legendary emperor Bharata. Gaṇarājya is the Sanskrit/Hindi term for republic dating back to the ancient times, hindustan is a Persian name for India dating back to the 3rd century B. C. E. It was introduced into India by the Mughals and widely used since and its meaning varied, referring to a region that encompassed northern India and Pakistan or India in its entirety
The term Danish Realm refers to the relationship between Denmark proper, the Faroe Islands and Greenland—three countries constituting the Kingdom of Denmark. The legal nature of the Kingdom of Denmark is fundamentally one of a sovereign state. The Faroe Islands and Greenland have been part of the Crown of Denmark since 1397 when the Kalmar Union was ratified, legal matters in The Danish Realm are subject to the Danish Constitution. Beginning in 1953, state law issues within The Danish Realm has been governed by The Unity of the Realm, a less formal name for The Unity of the Realm is the Commonwealth of the Realm. In 1978, The Unity of The Realm was for the first time referred to as rigsfællesskabet. The name caught on and since the 1990s, both The Unity of The Realm and The Danish Realm itself has increasingly been referred to as simply rigsfællesskabet in daily parlance. The Danish Constitution stipulates that the foreign and security interests for all parts of the Danish Realm are the responsibility of the Danish government, the Faroes received home rule in 1948 and Greenland did so in 1979.
In 2005, the Faroes received a self-government arrangement, and in 2009 Greenland received self rule, the Danish Realms unique state of internal affairs is acted out in the principle of The Unity of the Realm. This principle is derived from Article 1 of the Danish Constitution which specifies that constitutional law applies equally to all areas of the Danish Realm, the Constitutional Act specifies that sovereignty is to continue to be exclusively with the authorities of the Realm. The language of Denmark is Danish, and the Danish state authorities are based in Denmark, the Kingdom of Denmarks parliament, with its 179 members, is located in the capital, Copenhagen. Two of the members are elected in each of Greenland and the Faroe Islands. The Government ministries are located in Copenhagen, as is the highest court, in principle, the Danish Realm constitutes a unified sovereign state, with equal status between its constituent parts. Devolution differs from federalism in that the powers of the subnational authority ultimately reside in central government.
The Self-Government Arrangements devolves political competence and responsibility from the Danish political authorities to the Faroese, the Faroese and Greenlandic authorities administer the tasks taken over from the state, enact legislation in these specific fields and have the economic responsibility for solving these tasks. The Danish government provides a grant to the Faroese and the Greenlandic authorities to cover the costs of these devolved areas. The 1948 Home Rule Act of the Faroe Islands sets out the terms of Faroese home rule, the Act states. the Faroe Islands shall constitute a self-governing community within the State of Denmark. It establishes the government of the Faroe Islands and the Faroese parliament. The Faroe Islands were previously administered as a Danish county, the Home Rule Act abolished the post of Amtmand and these powers were expanded in a 2005 Act, which named the Faroese home government as an equal partner with the Danish government
The Dalmatian pelican is a massive member of the pelican family. It breeds from southeastern Europe to India and China in swamps, the nest is a crude heap of vegetation. This huge bird is by a slight margin the largest of the pelican species and it measures 160 to 183 cm in length,7. 25–15 kg in weight and 245 to 351 cm in wingspan. A mean estimated body mass for the Dalmatian pelican of 10.9 kg was published, around the mass as the afforementioned largest swan. It appears to have one of the largest wingspans of any living bird, rivaling those of the great albatrosses, the Dalmatian differs from this other very large species in that it has curly nape feathers, grey legs and silvery-white plumage. In winter, adult Dalmatian pelicans go from silvery-grey to a dingier brownish-grey cream colour, immature birds are grey and lack the pink facial patch of immature white pelicans. The loose feathers around the forehead of the Dalmatian pelican can form a W-like-shape on the right above the bill. In the breeding season it has a lower mandible and pouch against a yellow upper mandible.
In winter, the bill is a somewhat dull yellow. The bill, at 36 to 45 cm long, is the second largest of any bird, the bare skin around the eye can vary from yellow to purplish in colour. When the Dalmatian pelican is in flight, unlike other pelicans and it is an elegant soaring bird. When a whole flock of Dalmatian pelicans is in flight, all its members move in graceful synchrony, the Dalmatian pelican is found in lakes, rivers and estuaries. Compared to the white pelican, the Dalmatian is not as tied to lowland areas. It is less opportunistic in breeding habitat selection than the great white, during the winter, Dalmatian pelicans usually stay on ice-free lakes in Europe or jheels in India. They visit, typically during winter, inshore areas along sheltered coasts for feeding and this pelican usually migrates short distances. It is dispersive in Europe, based on feeding opportunities, with most western birds staying through the winter in the Mediterranean region, in the Danube Delta, Dalmatian pelicans arrive in March and leave by the end of August.
The pelicans who breed in Mongolia winter along the east coast of China and this pelican feeds almost entirely on fish. Preferred prey species can include common carp, European perch, common rudd, catfish and northern pike, in the largest remnant colony, located in Greece, the preferred prey is reportedly the native Alburnus belvica
Turtles are reptiles of the order Testudines characterised by a special bony or cartilaginous shell developed from their ribs and acting as a shield. Turtle may refer to the order as a whole or to fresh-water, the order Testudines includes both extant and extinct species. The earliest known members of this date from 157 million years ago, making turtles one of the oldest reptile groups. Of the 327 known species alive today, some are highly endangered, turtles are ectotherms—animals commonly called cold-blooded—meaning that their internal temperature varies according to the ambient environment. However, because of their metabolic rate, leatherback sea turtles have a body temperature that is noticeably higher than that of the surrounding water. Turtles are classified as amniotes, along with reptiles, birds. Like other amniotes, turtles breathe air and do not lay eggs underwater, Chelonia is based on the Greek word χελώνη chelone tortoise, denoting armor or interlocking shields, testudines, on the other hand, is based on the Latin word testudo tortoise.
Turtle may either refer to the order as a whole, or to particular turtles that make up a form taxon that is not monophyletic, the meaning of the word turtle differs from region to region. In North America, all chelonians are commonly called turtles, including terrapins, in Great Britain, the word turtle is used for sea-dwelling species, but not for tortoises. The term tortoise usually refers to any land-dwelling, non-swimming chelonian, most land-dwelling chelonians are in the Testudinidae family, only one of the 14 extant turtle families. Terrapin is used to describe several species of small, hard-shell turtles, typically found in brackish waters. Some languages do not have this distinction, as all of these are referred to by the same name, for example, in Spanish, the word tortuga is used for turtles and terrapins. A sea-dwelling turtle is tortuga marina, a freshwater species tortuga de río, the largest living chelonian is the leatherback sea turtle, which reaches a shell length of 200 cm and can reach a weight of over 900 kg.
Freshwater turtles are generally smaller, but with the largest species, the Asian softshell turtle Pelochelys cantorii, a few individuals have been reported up to 200 cm. This dwarfs even the better-known alligator snapping turtle, the largest chelonian in North America and they became extinct at the same time as the appearance of man, and it is assumed humans hunted them for food. The only surviving giant tortoises are on the Seychelles and Galápagos Islands and can grow to over 130 cm in length, the largest ever chelonian was Archelon ischyros, a Late Cretaceous sea turtle known to have been up to 4.6 m long. The smallest turtle is the speckled padloper tortoise of South Africa and it measures no more than 8 cm in length and weighs about 140 g. Two other species of turtles are the American mud turtles
Eagle is a common name for many large birds of prey of the family Accipitridae, it belongs to several groups of genera that are not necessarily closely related to each other. Most of the 60 species of eagles are from Eurasia and Africa, outside this area, just 14 species can be found – two in North America, nine in Central and South America, and three in Australia. Eagles are large, powerfully built birds of prey, with heavy heads, most eagles are larger than any other raptors apart from some vultures. The smallest species of eagle is the South Nicobar serpent eagle, the largest species are discussed below. Like all birds of prey, eagles have large, hooked beaks for ripping flesh from their prey, muscular legs. The beak is typically heavier than that of most other birds of prey, Eagles eyes are extremely powerful, having up to 3.6 times human acuity for the martial eagle, which enables them to spot potential prey from a very long distance. This keen eyesight is primarily attributed to their extremely large pupils which ensure minimal diffraction of the incoming light, the female of all known species of eagles is larger than the male.
Eagles normally build their nests, called eyries, in trees or on high cliffs. Many species lay two eggs, but the older, larger chick frequently kills its younger sibling once it has hatched, the dominant chick tends to be a female, as they are bigger than the male. The parents take no action to stop the killing, due to the size and power of many eagle species, they are ranked at the top of the food chain as apex predators in the avian world. The type of prey varies by genus, the snake and serpent eagles of the genera Circaetus and Spilornis predominantly prey on the great diversity of snakes found in the tropics of Africa and Asia. The eagles of the genus Aquila are often the top birds of prey in open habitats, where Aquila eagles are absent, other eagles, such as the buteonine black-chested buzzard-eagle of South America, may assume the position of top raptorial predator in open areas. Many other eagles, including the species-rich Spizaetus genus, live predominantly in woodlands and these eagles often target various arboreal or ground-dwelling mammals and birds, which are often unsuspectingly ambushed in such dense, knotty environments.
Hunting techniques differ among the species and genera, with some individual eagles having engaged in quite varied techniques based their environment, most eagles grab prey without landing and take flight with it, so the prey can be carried to a perch and torn apart. The bald eagle is noted for having flown with the heaviest load verified to be carried by any flying bird and crowned eagles have killed ungulates weighing up to 30 kg and a martial eagle even killed a 37 kg duiker, 7–8 times heavier than the preying eagle. It has been observed that most birds of prey look back over their shoulders before striking prey, all hawks seem to have this habit, from the smallest kestrel to the largest Ferruginous – but not the Eagles. Among the eagles are some of the largest birds of prey, only the condors and it is regularly debated which should be considered the largest species of eagle. They could be measured variously in total length, body mass, different lifestyle needs among various eagles result in variable measurements from species to species
The lion is one of the big cats in the genus Panthera and a member of the family Felidae. The commonly used term African lion collectively denotes the several subspecies in Africa, with some males exceeding 250 kg in weight, it is the second-largest living cat after the tiger. Wild lions currently exist in sub-Saharan Africa and in India, in ancient historic times, their range was in most of Africa, including North Africa, and across Eurasia from Greece and southeastern Europe to India. Lion populations are untenable outside designated reserves and national parks, although the cause of the decline is not fully understood, habitat loss and conflicts with humans are the greatest causes of concern. Within Africa, the West African lion population is particularly endangered, in the wild, males seldom live longer than 10 to 14 years, as injuries sustained from continual fighting with rival males greatly reduce their longevity. In captivity they can more than 20 years. They typically inhabit savanna and grassland, although they may take to bush, Lions are unusually social compared to other cats. A pride of lions consists of related females and offspring and a number of adult males.
Groups of female lions typically hunt together, preying mostly on large ungulates, Lions are apex and keystone predators, although they are expert scavengers obtaining over 50 percent of their food by scavenging as opportunity allows. While lions do not typically hunt humans, some have, sleeping mainly during the day, lions are active primarily at night, although sometimes at twilight. Highly distinctive, the lion is easily recognised by its mane. It has been depicted in sculptures, in paintings, on national flags. Lions have been kept in menageries since the time of the Roman Empire, Zoos are cooperating worldwide in breeding programs for the endangered Asiatic subspecies. The lions name, similar in many Romance languages, is derived from the Latin leo, the Hebrew word לָבִיא may be related. It was one of the originally described by Linnaeus, who gave it the name Felis leo, in his eighteenth-century work. The lions closest relatives are the species of the genus Panthera, the tiger, the snow leopard, the jaguar. P.
leo evolved in Africa between 1 million and 800,000 years ago, before spreading throughout the Holarctic region and it appeared in the fossil record in Europe for the first time 700,000 years ago with the subspecies Panthera leo fossilis at Isernia in Italy. From this lion derived the cave lion, which appeared about 300,000 years ago, Lions died out in northern Eurasia at the end of the last glaciation, about 10,000 years ago, this may have been secondary to the extinction of Pleistocene megafauna
The Humboldt penguin is a South American penguin that breeds in coastal Chile and Peru. Its nearest relatives are the African penguin, the Magellanic penguin, the penguin is named after the cold water current it swims in, which is itself named after Alexander von Humboldt, an explorer. The species is listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN, Humboldt penguins are medium-sized penguins, growing to 56–70 cm long and a weight of 3. 6-5.9 kg. They have a head with a white border that runs from behind the eye, around the black ear-coverts and chin. They have blackish-grey upperparts and whitish underparts, with a black breast-band that extends down the flanks to the thigh and they have a fleshy-pink base to the bill. Juveniles have dark heads and no breast-band and they have spines on their tongue which they use to hold their prey. Humboldt penguins nest on islands and rocky coasts, burrowing holes in guano, in South America the Humboldt penguin is found only along the Pacific coast, and the range of the Humboldt penguin overlaps that of the Magellanic penguin on the central Chilean coast.
It is vagrant in Ecuador and Colombia, due to a declining population caused in part by over-fishing, climate change, and ocean acidification, the current status of the Humboldt penguin is threatened. Historically it was the victim of guano over-exploitation, penguins are declining in numbers due to habitat destruction including by invasive species. The current population is estimated at between 3,300 and 12,000, in August 2010 the Humboldt penguin of Chile and Peru, was granted protection under the U. S. In 2009 at a zoo in Bremerhaven, two adult male Humboldt penguins adopted an egg that had abandoned by its biological parents. After the egg hatched, the two penguins raised, cared for, and fed the chick in the manner that heterosexual penguin couples raise their own offspring. One of the 135 Humboldt penguins from Tokyo Sea Life Park thrived in Tokyo Bay for 82 days after apparently scaling the 13 foot high wall, the penguin, known only by its number, was recaptured by the zoo keepers in late May 2012.
BirdLife species factsheet Humboldt penguins at Marwell
California sea lion
The California sea lion is a coastal eared seal native to western North America. It is one of five species of sea lion and its natural habitat ranges from southeast Alaska to central Mexico, including the Gulf of California. Sea lions are sexually dimorphic, males are larger than females and they mainly haul-out on sandy or rocky beaches, but they frequent manmade environments such as marinas and wharves. Sea lions feed on a number of species of fish and squid, California sea lions have a polygynous breeding pattern. From May to August, males establish territories and try to attract females with which to mate, females are free to move in between territories, and are not coerced by males. Mothers nurse their pups in between foraging trips, sea lions communicate with numerous vocalizations, notably with barks and mother-pup contact calls. Outside of their season, sea lions spend much of their time at sea. Sea lions are particularly intelligent, can be trained to various tasks. Because of this, California sea lions are a choice for public display in zoos and oceanariums.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature lists the species as Least Concern due to its abundance, predation by California sea lions on threatened or endangered salmon species at Bonneville Dam has resulted in more than 50 of them being killed by state officials. The California sea lion was described by René Primevère Lesson, a French naturalist and it is grouped with other sea lions and fur seals in the family Otariidae. Otariids, known as eared seals, differ from true seals in having external ear flaps and this refers to the protruding sagittal crest of the males, which distinguishes members of the genus. Traditionally, the Galapagos sea lion and Japanese sea lion were classified as subspecies of the California sea lion, however, a genetic study in 2007 found that all three are in fact separate species. The lineages of the California and Japanese sea lion appear to have split off 2.2 million years ago during the Pliocene, the California sea lion differs from the Galapagos sea lion in its greater sexual dimorphism.
The Steller sea lion is the closest extant relative of the Zalophus sea lions, being sexually dimorphic, California sea lions differ in size and coloration between the sexes. Males are typically around 2.4 m long and weigh up to 350 kg, while females are typically around 1.8 m, females and juveniles have a tawny brown pelage, although they may be temporarily light gray or silver after molting. The pelage of adult males can be anywhere from light brown to black, the face of adult males may be light tan in some areas. Pups have a black or dark brown pelage at birth, although the species has a slender build, adult males have robust necks and shoulders
The domestic yak is a long-haired domesticated bovid found throughout the Himalaya region of southern Central Asia, the Tibetan Plateau and as far north as Mongolia and Russia. It is descended from the wild yak, the English word yak is a loan originating from Tibetan, གཡག་, Wylie, g. yag. In Tibetan, it only to the male of the species. In English, as in most other languages that have borrowed the word, Yaks belong to the genus Bos and are therefore related to cattle. Mitochondrial DNA analyses to determine the history of yaks have been inconclusive. Except where the wild yak is considered as a subspecies of Bos grunniens, Yaks are heavily built animals with a bulky frame, sturdy legs, and rounded cloven hooves, and extremely dense, long fur that hangs down lower than the belly. While wild yaks are generally dark, blackish to brown, in colouration, domestic yaks can be variable in colour, often having patches of rusty brown. They have small ears and a forehead, with smooth horns that are generally dark in colour.
In males, the horns sweep out from the sides of the head, the horns of females are smaller, only 27 to 64 cm in length, and have a more upright shape. Both sexes have a neck with a pronounced hump over the shoulders, although this is larger. Males weigh 350 to 580 kg, females weigh 225 to 255 kg, wild yaks can be substantially heavier, males reaching weights of up to 1,000 kilograms. Both sexes have long hair with a dense woolly undercoat over the chest, flanks. Especially in males, this may form a skirt that can reach the ground. The tail is long and horselike rather than tufted like the tails of cattle or bison, domesticated yaks have a wide range of coat colours, with some individuals being white, brown, roan or piebald. The udder in females and the scrotum in males are small and hairy, Yaks grunt and, unlike cattle, are not known to produce the characteristic bovine lowing sound, which inspired the scientific names of both yak variants, Bos grunniens and Bos mutus. Conversely, yaks do not thrive at lower altitudes, and begin to suffer from heat exhaustion above about 15 °C, further adaptations to the cold include a thick layer of subcutaneous fat, and an almost complete lack of functional sweat glands.
Compared with domestic cattle, the rumen of yaks is unusually large and this likely allows them to consume greater quantities of low-quality food at a time, and to ferment it longer so as to extract more nutrients. Yak consume the equivalent of 1% of their body weight daily while cattle require 3% to maintain condition, contrary to popular belief and their manure have little to no detectable odour when maintained appropriately in pastures or paddocks with adequate access to forage and water
Lizards are a widespread group of squamate reptiles, with over 6,000 species, ranging across all continents except Antarctica, as well as most oceanic island chains. The group is paraphyletic as it excludes the snakes which are squamates, Lizards typically have four legs feet and external ears, though some are legless, while snakes lack both of these characteristics. Lizards and snakes share a movable quadrate bone, distinguishing them from the sphenodonts, Lizards form about 60% of all the species of extant non-avian reptiles. Some extinct varanids reached great size, The giant monitor Megalania is estimated to have reached up to 7 m long, including color vision, is particularly well developed in most lizards. Most lizards communicate using body language, using specific postures and movements to define territory, resolve disputes, some species of lizards use pheromones or bright colors, such as the iridescent patches on the belly of Sceloporus. These colors are visible to predators, so are often hidden on the underside or between scales and only revealed when necessary.
The particular innovation in this respect is the dewlap, a colored patch of skin on the throat. When a display is needed, a lizard can erect the hyoid bone of its throat, anoles are particularly famous for this display, with each species having specific colors, including patterns only visible under ultraviolet light, as many lizards can see UV light. Lizard tails are often a different and dramatically more vivid color than the rest of the body so as to potential predators to strike for the tail first. Many lizards, including geckos and skinks, are capable of shedding part of their tails through a process called autotomy. This is an example of the pars pro toto principle, sacrificing a part for the whole, the detached tail writhes and wiggles, creating a deceptive sense of continued struggle, distracting the predators attention from the fleeing prey animal. The lizard partially regenerates its tail over a period of weeks, a 2014 research identified 326 genes involved in the regeneration of lizard tails.
The new section contains cartilage rather than bone, and the skin may be discolored compared to the rest of the body, most lizards are oviparous, though in some species the eggs are retained until the live young emerge. Parthenogenesis occurs in at least 50 species and may be more widespread in the group. Sexual selection in lizards shows evidence of mate choice, favouring males display fitness indicators. However, doubt has been raised over the age of Tikiguania because it is almost indistinguishable from modern agamid lizards, the Tikiguania remains may instead be late Tertiary or Quaternary in age, having been washed into much older Triassic sediments. Lizards are most closely related to the Rhynchocephalia, which appeared in the Late Triassic, mitochondrial phylogenetics suggest that the first lizards evolved in the late Permian. It had been thought on the basis of data that iguanid lizards diverged from other squamates very early on
The Nordic countries or Nordics are a geographical and cultural region in Northern Europe and the North Atlantic, where they are most commonly known as Norden. They consist of Denmark, Iceland and Sweden, the population of the Nordic countries are mainly Scandinavian or Finnish, with Greenlandic Inuit and the Sami people as minorities. Of todays native languages, Danish, Icelandic, the non-Germanic languages spoken are Finnish and several Sami languages. The main religion is Lutheran Christianity, the Nordic countries have much in common in their way of life, their use of Scandinavian languages and social structure. Politically, Nordic countries do not form an entity. Especially in English, Scandinavia is sometimes used as a synonym for the Nordic countries, Scandinavian Peninsula on the other hand covers mainland Norway and Sweden as well as the northernmost part of Finland. At 3,425,804 square kilometers, the area of the Nordic countries would form the 7th-largest country in the world. Uninhabitable icecaps and glaciers comprise about half of area, mostly in Greenland.
In January 2013, the region had a population of around 26 million people, the Nordic countries cluster near the top in numerous metrics of national performance, including education, economic competitiveness, civil liberties, quality of life, and human development. Although the area is linguistically heterogeneous, with three unrelated groups, the common linguistic heritage is one of the factors making up the Nordic identity. The North Germanic languages Danish and Swedish are considered mutually intelligible and these languages are taught in school throughout the Nordic countries. Swedish, for example, is a subject in Finnish schools. Danish is mandatory in Faroese and Greenlandic schools, as these states are a part of the Danish Realm. Iceland teaches Danish, since Iceland too was a part of the Danish Realm until 1918, there is a high degree of income redistribution and little social unrest. The Nordic countries consists of historical territories of the Scandinavian countries, areas that share a common history and it is meant unambiguously to refer to this larger group, since the term Scandinavia is narrower and sometimes ambiguous.
The Nordic countries are considered to unambiguously refer to Denmark, Iceland and Sweden. The term is derived indirectly from the local term Norden, used in the Scandinavian languages, unlike the Nordic countries, the term Norden is in the singular. The demonym is nordbo, literally meaning northern dweller, especially outside of the Nordic region the term Scandinavia is often used incorrectly as a synonym for the Nordic countries
Norman Foster, Baron Foster of Thames Bank
Norman Robert Foster, Baron Foster of Thames Bank, OM, HonFREng is a British architect whose company, Foster + Partners, maintains an international design practice famous for high-tech architecture. He is one of Britains most prolific architects of his generation, in 1999, he was awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize, often referred to as the Nobel Prize of architecture. In 2009, Foster was awarded the Prince of Asturias Award in the Arts category, in 1994, he received the AIA Gold Medal. Foster was born to Robert Foster and Lilian Smith in 1935 in Reddish and they moved, soon after his birth, two miles to 4 Crescent Grove in Levenshulme, which they rented for fourteen shillings a week, Foster has no recollection of Reddish. He attended Burnage Grammar School for Boys in Burnage, in a Guardian interview in 1999, Foster said he always felt different at school and was bullied and he retired into the world of books. He considered himself quiet and awkward in his early years often making faux pas and he was fascinated with engineering and the process of designing.
He says that caused him to pursue a career designing buildings, specific interests included aircraft, a hobby he maintains today, and trains, generated by viewing passing trains on the railway outside his terraced home during his childhood. Fosters father convinced him to take the exam for Manchester Town Halls trainee scheme which he passed in 1951. A colleague, Mr Cobbs son, was studying architecture and his interest led to Foster considering a career in architecture. After working in the Manchester City Treasurers office, Foster completed his National Service in 1953 serving in the Royal Air Force, Foster returned to Manchester, not wanting to return to the town hall as his parents wished and unsure of which path to follow. Foster was searching for an away from his working-class roots which led to the alienation of his parents. Foster took a job as assistant to a manager with John Bearshaw and Partners. The staff advised him, that if he wished to become an architect, he should prepare a portfolio of drawings using the perspective, Bearshaw was so impressed with the drawings that he promoted the young Foster to the drawing department of the practice.
In 1956 Foster won a place at the University of Manchester School of Architecture and he combined these with self-tuition via visits to the local library in Levenshulme. Foster took a keen interest in the works of Frank Lloyd Wright, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Le Corbusier and Oscar Niemeyer, Foster won the Henry Fellowship to the Yale School of Architecture, where he met future business partner Richard Rogers and earned his masters degree. Vincent Scully encouraged Foster and Rogers to travel in America for a year, after returning to the UK in 1963 he set up an architectural practice as Team 4 with Rogers and the sisters Georgie and Wendy Cheesman. Georgie was the one of the team that had passed her RIBA exams allowing them to set up in practice on their own. Team 4 quickly earned a reputation for industrial design