Wikispecies is a wiki-based online project supported by the Wikimedia Foundation. Its aim is to create a comprehensive free content catalogue of all species. Jimmy Wales stated that editors are not required to fax in their degrees, but that submissions will have to pass muster with a technical audience. Wikispecies is available under the GNU Free Documentation License and CC BY-SA 3.0. Started in September 2004, with biologists across the world invited to contribute, the project had grown a framework encompassing the Linnaean taxonomy with links to Wikipedia articles on individual species by April 2005. Benedikt Mandl co-ordinated the efforts of several people who are interested in getting involved with the project and contacted potential supporters in early summer 2004. Databases were evaluated and the administrators contacted, some of them have agreed on providing their data for Wikispecies. Mandl defined two major tasks: Figure out how the contents of the data base would need to be presented—by asking experts, potential non-professional users and comparing that with existing databases Figure out how to do the software, which hardware is required and how to cover the costs—by asking experts, looking for fellow volunteers and potential sponsorsAdvantages and disadvantages were discussed by the wikimedia-I mailing list.
The board of directors of the Wikimedia Foundation voted by 4 to 0 in favor of the establishment of a Wikispecies. The project is hosted at species.wikimedia.org. It was merged to a sister project of Wikimedia Foundation on September 14, 2004. On October 10, 2006, the project exceeded 75,000 articles. On May 20, 2007, the project exceeded 100,000 articles with a total of 5,495 registered users. On September 8, 2008, the project exceeded 150,000 articles with a total of 9,224 registered users. On October 23, 2011, the project reached 300,000 articles. On June 16, 2014, the project reached 400,000 articles. On January 7, 2017, the project reached 500,000 articles. On October 30, 2018, the project reached 600,000 articles, a total of 1.12 million pages. Wikispecies comprises taxon pages, additionally pages about synonyms, taxon authorities, taxonomical publications, institutions or repositories holding type specimen. Wikispecies asks users to use images from Wikimedia Commons. Wikispecies does not allow the use of content.
All Species Foundation Catalogue of Life Encyclopedia of Life Tree of Life Web Project List of online encyclopedias The Plant List Wikispecies, The free species directory that anyone can edit Species Community Portal The Wikispecies Charter, written by Wales
Animals are multicellular eukaryotic organisms that form the biological kingdom Animalia. With few exceptions, animals consume organic material, breathe oxygen, are able to move, can reproduce sexually, grow from a hollow sphere of cells, the blastula, during embryonic development. Over 1.5 million living animal species have been described—of which around 1 million are insects—but it has been estimated there are over 7 million animal species in total. Animals range in length from 8.5 millionths of a metre to 33.6 metres and have complex interactions with each other and their environments, forming intricate food webs. The category includes humans, but in colloquial use the term animal refers only to non-human animals; the study of non-human animals is known as zoology. Most living animal species are in the Bilateria, a clade whose members have a bilaterally symmetric body plan; the Bilateria include the protostomes—in which many groups of invertebrates are found, such as nematodes and molluscs—and the deuterostomes, containing the echinoderms and chordates.
Life forms interpreted. Many modern animal phyla became established in the fossil record as marine species during the Cambrian explosion which began around 542 million years ago. 6,331 groups of genes common to all living animals have been identified. Aristotle divided animals into those with those without. Carl Linnaeus created the first hierarchical biological classification for animals in 1758 with his Systema Naturae, which Jean-Baptiste Lamarck expanded into 14 phyla by 1809. In 1874, Ernst Haeckel divided the animal kingdom into the multicellular Metazoa and the Protozoa, single-celled organisms no longer considered animals. In modern times, the biological classification of animals relies on advanced techniques, such as molecular phylogenetics, which are effective at demonstrating the evolutionary relationships between animal taxa. Humans make use of many other animal species for food, including meat and eggs. Dogs have been used in hunting, while many aquatic animals are hunted for sport.
Non-human animals have appeared in art from the earliest times and are featured in mythology and religion. The word "animal" comes from the Latin animalis, having soul or living being; the biological definition includes all members of the kingdom Animalia. In colloquial usage, as a consequence of anthropocentrism, the term animal is sometimes used nonscientifically to refer only to non-human animals. Animals have several characteristics. Animals are eukaryotic and multicellular, unlike bacteria, which are prokaryotic, unlike protists, which are eukaryotic but unicellular. Unlike plants and algae, which produce their own nutrients animals are heterotrophic, feeding on organic material and digesting it internally. With few exceptions, animals breathe oxygen and respire aerobically. All animals are motile during at least part of their life cycle, but some animals, such as sponges, corals and barnacles become sessile; the blastula is a stage in embryonic development, unique to most animals, allowing cells to be differentiated into specialised tissues and organs.
All animals are composed of cells, surrounded by a characteristic extracellular matrix composed of collagen and elastic glycoproteins. During development, the animal extracellular matrix forms a flexible framework upon which cells can move about and be reorganised, making the formation of complex structures possible; this may be calcified, forming structures such as shells and spicules. In contrast, the cells of other multicellular organisms are held in place by cell walls, so develop by progressive growth. Animal cells uniquely possess the cell junctions called tight junctions, gap junctions, desmosomes. With few exceptions—in particular, the sponges and placozoans—animal bodies are differentiated into tissues; these include muscles, which enable locomotion, nerve tissues, which transmit signals and coordinate the body. There is an internal digestive chamber with either one opening or two openings. Nearly all animals make use of some form of sexual reproduction, they produce haploid gametes by meiosis.
These fuse to form zygotes, which develop via mitosis into a hollow sphere, called a blastula. In sponges, blastula larvae swim to a new location, attach to the seabed, develop into a new sponge. In most other groups, the blastula undergoes more complicated rearrangement, it first invaginates to form a gastrula with a digestive chamber and two separate germ layers, an external ectoderm and an internal endoderm. In most cases, a third germ layer, the mesoderm develops between them; these germ layers differentiate to form tissues and organs. Repeated instances of mating with a close relative during sexual reproduction leads to inbreeding depression within a population due to the increased prevalence of harmful recessive traits. Animals have evolved numerous mechanisms for avoiding close inbreeding. In some species, such as the splendid fairywren, females benefit by mating with multiple males, thus producing more offspring of higher genetic quality; some animals are capable of asexual reproduction, which results
The mouse lemurs are nocturnal lemurs of the genus Microcebus. Like all lemurs, mouse lemurs are native to Madagascar. Mouse lemurs have a combined head and tail length of less than 27 centimetres, making them the smallest primates. Lemurs and Mouse Lemurs were announced by the IUCN as the most endangered of all vertebrates. There were 2 known mouse lemur species in 1992, it was estimated that the 24 mouse lemur species evolved from a common ancestor 10 million years ago. Evolution of mouse lemurs is an example for adaptive radiation. Mouse lemurs are omnivorous. Mouse lemurs are considered cryptic species - with little morphological differences between the various species, but with high genetic diversity. Recent evidence points to differences in their mating calls, diverse. Since mouse lemurs are nocturnal, they might not have evolved to look differently, but had evolved various auditory and vocal systems. Mouse lemurs have the smallest known brain of any primate, at just 0.004 pounds. As written in Genetics, mouse lemurs help to provide a more extensive understanding of the biology and health of primates.
Due to their fascinating genetic similarities to both humans and mice, mouse lemurs are categorized as prosimian primates. They are among the smallest and most developing primates and are becoming more abundant in Madagascar and around the world; these tiny creatures are helping to prove valuable information about the biology and evolution of primates through the analysis of their phenotypes and mutations. Mouse lemurs are known for their sperm competition. During breeding seasons, the testicles of male mouse lemurs increase in size to about 130% of their normal size; this was speculated to increase the sperm production thereby conferring an advantage for the individual to bear more offspring. There are various hypotheses relating the rapid evolution of mouse lemur species to this sperm competition. In sexually inactive females the vulva is sealed, during the reproductive cycle; the vaginal morphology is based on the time of day. Genus Microcebus: mouse lemursGray mouse lemur, Microcebus murinus Reddish-gray mouse lemur, M. griseorufus Golden-brown mouse lemur, M. ravelobensis Northern rufous mouse lemur, M. tavaratra Sambirano mouse lemur, M. sambiranensis Simmons' mouse lemur, M. simmonsi Pygmy mouse lemur, M. myoxinus Brown mouse lemur, M. rufus Madame Berthe's mouse lemur, M. berthae Goodman's mouse lemur, M. lehilahytsara Jolly's mouse lemur, M. jollyae MacArthur's mouse lemur, M. macarthurii Mittermeier's mouse lemur, M. mittermeieri Claire's mouse lemur, M. mamiratra, synonymous to M. lokobensis Bongolava mouse lemur M. bongolavensis Danfoss' mouse lemur M. danfossi Arnhold's mouse lemur, M. arnholdi Margot Marsh's mouse lemur, M. margotmarshae Gerp's mouse lemur.
M. gerpi Anosy mouse lemur. M. tanosi Marohita mouse lemur. M. marohita Ganzhorn's mouse lemur. M. ganzhorni Boraha mouse lemur Microcebus boraha Microcebus manitatra Mouse lemur skeleton – Skeleton from the University of Texas at Austin BBC video clips and news articles
International Union for Conservation of Nature
The International Union for Conservation of Nature is an international organization working in the field of nature conservation and sustainable use of natural resources. It is involved in data gathering and analysis, field projects and education. IUCN's mission is to "influence and assist societies throughout the world to conserve nature and to ensure that any use of natural resources is equitable and ecologically sustainable". Over the past decades, IUCN has widened its focus beyond conservation ecology and now incorporates issues related to sustainable development in its projects. Unlike many other international environmental organisations, IUCN does not itself aim to mobilize the public in support of nature conservation, it tries to influence the actions of governments and other stakeholders by providing information and advice, through building partnerships. The organization is best known to the wider public for compiling and publishing the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, which assesses the conservation status of species worldwide.
IUCN has a membership of over 1400 non-governmental organizations. Some 16,000 scientists and experts participate in the work of IUCN commissions on a voluntary basis, it employs 1000 full-time staff in more than 50 countries. Its headquarters are in Switzerland. IUCN has observer and consultative status at the United Nations, plays a role in the implementation of several international conventions on nature conservation and biodiversity, it was involved in establishing the World Wide Fund for Nature and the World Conservation Monitoring Centre. In the past, IUCN has been criticized for placing the interests of nature over those of indigenous peoples. In recent years, its closer relations with the business sector have caused controversy. IUCN was established in 1948, it was called the International Union for the Protection of Nature and the World Conservation Union. Establishment IUCN was established on 5 October 1948, in Fontainebleau, when representatives of governments and conservation organizations signed a formal act constituting the International Union for the Protection of Nature.
The initiative to set up the new organisation came from UNESCO and from its first Director General, the British biologist Julian Huxley. The objectives of the new Union were to encourage international cooperation in the protection of nature, to promote national and international action and to compile and distribute information. At the time of its founding IUPN was the only international organisation focusing on the entire spectrum of nature conservation Early years: 1948–1956 IUPN started out with 65 members, its secretariat was located in Brussels. Its first work program focused on saving species and habitats and applying knowledge, advancing education, promoting international agreements and promoting conservation. Providing a solid scientific base for conservation action was the heart of all activities. IUPN and UNESCO were associated, they jointly organized the 1949 Conference on Protection of Nature. In preparation for this conference a list of gravely endangered species was drawn up for the first time, a precursor of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
In the early years of its existence IUCN depended entirely on UNESCO funding and was forced to temporarily scale down activities when this ended unexpectedly in 1954. IUPN was successful in engaging prominent scientists and identifying important issues such as the harmful effects of pesticides on wildlife but not many of the ideas it developed were turned into action; this was caused by unwillingness to act on the part of governments, uncertainty about the IUPN mandate and lack of resources. In 1956, IUPN changed its name to International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. Increased profile and recognition: 1956–1965 In the 1950s and 1960s Europe entered a period of economic growth and formal colonies became independent. Both developments had impact on the work of IUCN. Through the voluntary involvement of experts in its Commissions IUCN was able to get a lot of work done while still operating on a low budget, it established links with the Council of Europe. In 1961, at the request of United Nations Economic and Social Council, the United Nations Economic and Social Council, IUCN published the first global list of national parks and protected areas which it has updated since.
IUCN's best known publication, the Red Data Book on the conservation status of species, was first published in 1964. IUCN began to play a part in the development of international treaties and conventions, starting with the African Convention on the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. Environmental law and policy making became a new area of expertise. Africa was the focus of many of the early IUCN conservation field projects. IUCN supported the ‘Yellowstone model’ of protected area management, which restricted human presence and activity in order to protect nature. IUCN and other conservation organisations were criticized for protecting nature against people rather than with people; this model was also applied in Africa and played a role in the decision to remove the Maasai people from Serengeti National Park and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. To establish a stable financial basis for its work, IUCN participated in setting up the World Wildlife Fund
Madagascar dry deciduous forests
The Madagascar dry deciduous forests represent a tropical dry forest ecoregion situated in the western and northern part of Madagascar. The area has high numbers of endemic plant and animal species but has suffered large-scale clearance for agriculture, they are among the world's richest and most distinctive dry forests and included in the Global 200 ecoregions by the World Wide Fund. The area is home to distinctive limestone karst formations known as tsingy, including the World Heritage Site of Bemaraha. There are two separate areas within the ecoregion: the western side of Madagascar from the Ampasindava peninsula in the north to Belo-sur-Tsiribihina and Maromandia in the south. Geological substrate includes the tsingy limestone massifs; these dry deciduous forests span the coastal plain with its limestone plateaus emanating at sea level to higher altitudes to 600 metres. The area includes wetlands and grasslands as well as dry forests characterized by a deciduous canopy extending to a height of 10 to 15 metres.
Climate is tropical, with summer daytime temperatures exceeding 30 °C, a wet season between October and April. Rainfall, ranging from 1,000 to 1,500 mm, is more abundant than in the spiny thickets and succulent woodlands, but lower than in the eastern lowland rainforests. While the absolute number of plant species is lower than in the eastern rainforests of the island, the dry deciduous forests of Madagascar have a higher ratio of endemic species. Trees have adapted to the dry climate by shedding leaves in the dry winter season to limit evapotranspiration. Moreover, some species like baobabs and Moringa have adapted by evolving the ability to store copious water in their large bulbous trunks. Four species of baobabs, including three endemics occur in this ecoregion. Other notable tree species include flamboyant tree, Pachypodium species, several Fabaceae and Rubiaceae. Forest understory plants include Lissochilus orchids such as Oeceoclades calcarata, a large, cool growing, terrestrial orchid which grows at medium elevation in western Madagascar.
Its habitat is semi-arid and it is found growing in sandy or rocky soils in dry moss and lichen forests. One characteristic in common with other tropical and subtropical dry broadleaf forests is the presence of high densities of mammalian biomass. Several of Madagascar's characteristic lemur species are found here including the fat-tailed dwarf lemur, five subspecies of Propithecus, three species of Lepilemur, five species of Microcebus. Endemic mammals include three endangered species, golden-crowned sifaka and Perrier's sifaka and western forest rat as well as mongoose lemur, golden-brown mouse lemur, northern rufous mouse lemur, pygmy mouse lemur, Milne-Edwards' sportive lemur, greater big-footed mouse; as well as lemurs the dry forests are home to the island's largest predator, the fossa and some smaller carnivorans. The lakes and rivers of the dry forest region are homes to most of Madagascar's bird species. Among reptiles, many chameleon and gecko species occur here, as well as the Madagascar sideneck turtle and the critically endangered ploughshare tortoise.
Most dry forests have been destroyed by human action near the Central Highlands. The remaining forest is fragmented. Burning and logging are the major threats, siltation and invasive species impact the wetlands; some species such as lemurs suffer from hunting. Protected areas of dry deciduous forest include: Ankarafantsika National Park Tsingy de Bemaraha Strict Nature Reserve Tsingy de Namoroka Strict Nature Reserve Ankarana Special Reserve Analamerana Reserve Bemarivo Reserve Maningoza Reserve Ambohijanahary Reserve Manongarivo Reserve Bora Reserve The Ankarana Massif consists of a limestone shelf which imposes a picturesque land-form on the few adventurers who find this remote forest; as the limestone has weathered over geologic time, this karst formation exhibits spiry pinnacles, called "tsingy" locally. The name derives from the Malagasy word which means "walk on tiptoe", used by the earliest settlers from around 1500 years ago to describe the sharpness of the rugged limestone shelves. There are an abundance of limestone caves and virgin forests that shelter the diverse wildlife of the Ankarana region.
In places the cave roofs have collapsed to form isolated forests and the vegetation of the gorges is protected by the topography. Subterranean rivers provide a natural perennial irrigation system; the Ankarana Special Reserve is one of the northernmost reaches of the Madagascar dry deciduous forests, is hot from December through March with this equatorial proximity. Access to wildlife viewing is through strenuous hiking, given the elevation differences, complex terrain and heat, but four-wheel drive vehicles can reach most of the actual campsites. Below the massif, to the west, is a grassy savannah-with-palms that leads to the Indian Ocean. Within the massif, Lac Vert is found among tsingy formations. Mammals found in this forest include the apex predator fossa, the fanaloka, northern ring-tailed mongoose and numerous bat species. Lemurs occurring here include the crowned lemur, northern sportive lemur, gray mouse lemur, Sanford's brown lemur and the aye-aye. Numero
Alfred Grandidier was a French naturalist and explorer. From a wealthy family, at the age of 20, he and his brother, Ernest Grandidier, undertook a voyage around the world. At first they were led by the astronomer and physicist Pierre Jules César Janssen, but when Janssen fell sick and had to return to France after about six months, the brothers continued the journey, they visited South America in 1858 and 1859 and in particular the Andes, Chile, Bolivia and Brazil. During this voyage they gathered a significant collection of specimens which were analyzed, in 1860, by Ernest; the two brothers parted ways after this. Ernest Grandidier went to China and collected a vast number of specimens which are now in the Louvre and the Guimet museum. Alfred travelled to India, reaching it in 1863, he was prevented by a severe attack of fever. Grandidier travelled to Zanzibar to recuperate, remaining some time and making important collections and publishing an account of his findings, he visited the island of Réunion and in 1865 made his first visit to Madagascar.
He became devoted to the study of the island, revisiting in 1866 and 1868. He returned permanently to France in 1870. During his explorations he crossed the island three times, travelling 3000 kilometers in the interior and 2500 along the coast, he made observations which resulted in the production of a map of the island used in future expeditions. After returning to France he began to work on his great work, L'Histoire physique, naturelle et politique de Madagascar; this work was undertaken in cooperation with others such as Alphonse Milne-Edwards and Leon Vaillant. This work ran to 40 volumes, the final volumes published posthumously by his son Guillaume Grandidier, he described about 50 new species of amphibians. Alfred Grandidier's work drew the attention of the French government to Madagascar, which it would annex at the end of 1890, he was elected to the French Academy of Sciences in 1885 and was the president of the French Geographical Society from 1901 to 1905. The Royal Geographical Society awarded him their Founder's Gold Medal in 1906.
Oplurus grandidieri, a species of lizard, Xenotyphlops grandidieri, a species of snake, were named in his honor by French herpetologist François Mocquard. The mineral grandidierite, discovered in Madagascar was named in his honor. Partial list. Grandidier A. "Description de quatre espèces nouvelles de Lepidopteres decouvertes sur la cote sud-oust de Madagascar ". Revue et Magasin de Zoologie Pure et Appliquee 19: 272–275. Grandidier A. Histoire physique, naturelle et politique de Madagascar. Volumes 18 & 19. Paris: Imprimerie Nationale. Grandidier A. "Histoire naturelle des lepidopteres ". Histoire Physique, Naturelle et Politique de Madagascar 18: i-v, 1–364. Category:Taxa named by Alfred Grandidier Obituary in The Auk 39: 453. Gallica has several digitised on line digitised works by Grandidier. Aluka – Cookies are absent/required at www.aluka.org The Grandidier library and photograph collection
A chordate is an animal constituting the phylum Chordata. During some period of their life cycle, chordates possess a notochord, a dorsal nerve cord, pharyngeal slits, an endostyle, a post-anal tail: these five anatomical features define this phylum. Chordates are bilaterally symmetric; the Chordata and Ambulacraria together form the superphylum Deuterostomia. Chordates are divided into three subphyla: Vertebrata. There are extinct taxa such as the Vetulicolia. Hemichordata has been presented as a fourth chordate subphylum, but now is treated as a separate phylum: hemichordates and Echinodermata form the Ambulacraria, the sister phylum of the Chordates. Of the more than 65,000 living species of chordates, about half are bony fish that are members of the superclass Osteichthyes. Chordate fossils have been found from as early as the Cambrian explosion, 541 million years ago. Cladistically, vertebrates - chordates with the notochord replaced by a vertebral column during development - are considered to be a subgroup of the clade Craniata, which consists of chordates with a skull.
The Craniata and Tunicata compose the clade Olfactores. Chordates form a phylum of animals that are defined by having at some stage in their lives all of the following anatomical features: A notochord, a stiff rod of cartilage that extends along the inside of the body. Among the vertebrate sub-group of chordates the notochord develops into the spine, in wholly aquatic species this helps the animal to swim by flexing its tail. A dorsal neural tube. In fish and other vertebrates, this develops into the spinal cord, the main communications trunk of the nervous system. Pharyngeal slits; the pharynx is the part of the throat behind the mouth. In fish, the slits are modified to form gills, but in some other chordates they are part of a filter-feeding system that extracts particles of food from the water in which the animals live. Post-anal tail. A muscular tail that extends backwards behind the anus. An endostyle; this is a groove in the ventral wall of the pharynx. In filter-feeding species it produces mucus to gather food particles, which helps in transporting food to the esophagus.
It stores iodine, may be a precursor of the vertebrate thyroid gland. There are soft constraints that separate chordates from certain other biological lineages, but are not part of the formal definition: All chordates are deuterostomes; this means. All chordates are based on a bilateral body plan. All chordates are coelomates, have a fluid filled body cavity called a coelom with a complete lining called peritoneum derived from mesoderm; the following schema is from the third edition of Vertebrate Palaeontology. The invertebrate chordate classes are from Fishes of the World. While it is structured so as to reflect evolutionary relationships, it retains the traditional ranks used in Linnaean taxonomy. Phylum Chordata †Vetulicolia? Subphylum Cephalochordata – Class Leptocardii Clade Olfactores Subphylum Tunicata – Class Ascidiacea Class Thaliacea Class Appendicularia Class Sorberacea Subphylum Vertebrata Infraphylum incertae sedis Cyclostomata Superclass'Agnatha' paraphyletic Class Myxini Class Petromyzontida or Hyperoartia Class †Conodonta Class †Myllokunmingiida Class †Pteraspidomorphi Class †Thelodonti Class †Anaspida Class †Cephalaspidomorphi Infraphylum Gnathostomata Class †Placodermi Class Chondrichthyes Class †Acanthodii Superclass Osteichthyes Class Actinopterygii Class Sarcopterygii Superclass Tetrapoda Class Amphibia Class Sauropsida Class Synapsida Craniates, one of the three subdivisions of chordates, all have distinct skulls.
They include the hagfish. Michael J. Benton commented that "craniates are characterized by their heads, just as chordates, or all deuterostomes, are by their tails". Most craniates are vertebrates; these consist of a series of bony or cartilaginous cylindrical vertebrae with neural arches that protect the spinal cord, with projections that link the vertebrae. However hagfish have incomplete braincases and no vertebrae, are therefore not regarded as vertebrates, but as members of the craniates, the group from which vertebrates are thought to have evolved; however the cladistic exclusion of hagfish from the vertebrates is controversial, as they ma