Swedish Museum of Natural History
The Swedish Royal Museum of Natural History, in Stockholm, is one of two major museums of natural history in Sweden, the other one being located in Gothenburg. The museum was founded in 1819 by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, but goes back to the collections acquired through donations by the academy since its foundation in 1739; these collections had first been made available to the public in 1786. The museum was separated from the Academy in 1965. One of the keepers of the collections of the academy during its earlier history was Anders Sparrman, a student of Carl Linnaeus and participant in the voyages of Captain James Cook. Another important name in the history of the museum is the zoologist and archaeologist Sven Nilsson, who brought the disorganised zoological collections of the museum into order during his time as keeper before returning to Lund as professor; the present buildings for the museum in Frescati, was designed by the architect Axel Anderberg and completed in 1916, topped with a dome.
As of 2014 it is the largest museum building in Sweden. The main campus of Stockholm University was built next to the museum; the museum has an IMAX cinema called Cosmonova. The cinema is the largest planetarium in Sweden. Swedish Museum of Natural History official website
The aardvark is a medium-sized, nocturnal mammal native to Africa. It is the only living species of the order Tubulidentata, although other prehistoric species and genera of Tubulidentata are known. Unlike other insectivores, it has a long pig-like snout, used to sniff out food, it roams over most of the southern two-thirds of the African continent, avoiding areas that are rocky. A nocturnal feeder, it subsists on ants and termites, which it will dig out of their hills using its sharp claws and powerful legs, it digs to create burrows in which to live and rear its young. It receives a "least concern" rating from the IUCN; the aardvark is sometimes colloquially called "African ant bear", "anteater", or the "Cape anteater" after the Cape of Good Hope. The name "aardvark" comes from earlier Afrikaans and means "earth pig" or "ground pig", because of its burrowing habits; the name Orycteropus means burrowing foot, the name afer refers to Africa. The name of the aardvarks's order, comes from the tubule-style teeth.
The aardvark is not related to the pig. The aardvark is not related to the South American anteater, despite sharing some characteristics and a superficial resemblance; the similarities are based on convergent evolution. The closest living relatives of the aardvark are the elephant shrews and golden moles. Along with the sirenians, hyraxes and their extinct relatives, these animals form the superorder Afrotheria. Studies of the brain have shown the similarities with Condylarthra, given the clade's status as a wastebasket taxon it may mean some species traditionally classified as "condylarths" are stem-aardvarks. Based on fossils, Bryan Patterson has concluded that early relatives of the aardvark appeared in Africa around the end of the Paleocene; the ptolemaiidans, a mysterious clade of mammals with uncertain affinities, may be stem-aardvarks, either as a sister clade to Tubulidentata or as a grade leading to true tubulidentates. The first unambiguous tubulidentate was Myorycteropus africanus from Kenyan Miocene deposits.
The earliest example from the genus Orycteropus was Orycteropus mauritanicus, found in Algeria in deposits from the middle Miocene, with an old version found in Kenya. Fossils from the aardvark have been dated to 5 million years, have been located throughout Europe and the Near East; the mysterious Pleistocene Plesiorycteropus from Madagascar was thought to be a tubulidentate, descended from ancestors that entered the island during the Eocene. However, a number of subtle anatomical differences coupled with recent molecular evidence now lead researchers to believe that Plesiorycteropus is a relative of golden moles and tenrecs that achieved an aardvark-like appearance and ecological niche through convergent evolution; the aardvark has seventeen poorly defined subspecies listed: Orycteropus afer afer O. a. adametzi Grote, 1921 O. a. aethiopicus Sundevall, 1843 O. a. angolensis Zukowsky & Haltenorth, 1957 O. a. erikssoni Lönnberg, 1906 O. a. faradjius Hatt, 1932 O. a. haussanus Matschie, 1900 O. a. kordofanicus Rothschild, 1927 O. a. lademanni Grote, 1911 O. a. leptodon Hirst, 1906 O. a. matschiei Grote, 1921 O. a. observandus Grote, 1921 O. a. ruvanensis Grote, 1921 O. a. senegalensis Lesson, 1840 O. a. somalicus Lydekker, 1908 O. a. wardi Lydekker, 1908 O. a. wertheri Matschie, 1898The 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica mentions O. a. capensis or Cape ant-bear from South Africa.
The aardvark is vaguely pig-like in appearance. Its body is stout with a prominently is sparsely covered with coarse hairs; the limbs are with the rear legs being longer than the forelegs. The front feet have lost the pollex; each toe bears a large, robust nail, somewhat flattened and shovel-like, appears to be intermediate between a claw and a hoof. Whereas the aardvark is considered digitigrade, it appears at time to be plantigrade; this confusion happens because. A contributing characteristic to the burrow digging capabilities of aardvarks is an endosteal tissue called compacted coarse cancellous bone; the stress and strain resistance provided by CCCB allows aardvarks to create their burrows leading to a favorable environment for plants and a variety of animals. An aardvark's weight is between 60 and 80 kilograms. An aardvark's length is between 105 and 130 centimetres, can reach lengths of 2.2 metres when its tail is taken into account. It is 60 centimetres tall at the shoulder, has a girth of about 100 centimetres.
It is the largest member of the proposed clade Afroinsectiphilia. The aardvark is pale yellowish-gray in color and stained reddish-brown by soil; the aardvark's coat is thin, the animal's primary protection is its tough skin. Its hair is short on its tail; the hair on the majority of its body is grouped in clusters of 3-4 hairs. The hair surrounding its nostrils is dense to help filter particulate matter out, its tail is thick at the base and tapers. The elongated head is set on a shor
Ibis, subtitled the International Journal of Avian Science, is the peer-reviewed scientific journal of the British Ornithologists' Union. Topics covered include ecology, behaviour and taxonomy of birds; the editor-in-chief is Paul F. Donald; the journal is published by Wiley-Blackwell in online. It is available free on the internet for institutions in the developing world through the OARE scheme. List of ornithology journals Official website Out of copyright volumes of The Ibis at Internet Archive
Central Africa is the core region of the African continent which includes Burundi, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda. Middle Africa is an analogous term that includes Angola, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, the Republic of the Congo, São Tomé and Príncipe. All of the states in the UN subregion of Middle Africa, plus those otherwise reckoned in Central Africa, constitute the Economic Community of Central African States. Since its independence in 2011, South Sudan has been included in the region; the Central African Federation called the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, was made up of what are now the nations of Malawi and Zimbabwe. The Anglican Church of the Province of Central Africa covers dioceses in Botswana, Malawi and Zimbabwe, while the Church of Central Africa, Presbyterian has synods in Malawi and Zimbabwe; these states are now considered part of East or Southern Africa. The basin of Lake Chad has been ecologically significant to the populations of Central Africa, with the Lake Chad Basin Commission serving as an important supra-regional organization in Central Africa.
Archeological finds in Central Africa have been discovered dating back over 100,000 years. According to Zangato and Holl, there is evidence of iron-smelting in the Central African Republic and Cameroon that may date back to 3000 to 2500 BCE. Extensive walled settlements have been found in Northeast Nigeria 60 km southwest of Lake Chad dating to the first millennium BCE. Trade and improved agricultural techniques supported more sophisticated societies, leading to the early civilizations of Sao, Bornu, Shilluk and Wadai. Around 1000 BCE, Bantu migrants had reached the Great Lakes Region in Central Africa. Halfway through the first millennium BCE, the Bantu had settled as far south as what is now Angola; the Sao civilization flourished from ca. the sixth century BCE to as late as the sixteenth century CE in northern Central Africa. The Sao lived by the Chari River south of Lake Chad in territory that became part of Cameroon and Chad, they are the earliest people to have left clear traces of their presence in the territory of modern Cameroon.
Today, several ethnic groups of northern Cameroon and southern Chad but the Sara people claim descent from the civilization of the Sao. Sao artifacts show that they were skilled workers in bronze and iron. Finds include bronze sculptures and terra cotta statues of human and animal figures, funerary urns, household utensils, jewelry decorated pottery, spears; the largest Sao archaeological finds have been made south of Lake Chad. Note: BCE is the same as BC and CE is the same as AD; the Kanem-Bornu Empire was centered in the Chad Basin. It was known as the Kanem Empire from the 9th century CE onward and lasted as the independent kingdom of Bornu until 1900. At its height it encompassed an area covering not only much of Chad, but parts of modern southern Libya, eastern Niger, northeastern Nigeria, northern Cameroon, parts of South Sudan and the Central African Republic; the history of the Empire is known from the Royal Chronicle or Girgam discovered in 1851 by the German traveller Heinrich Barth.
Kanem rose in the 8th century in the region to the east of Lake Chad. The Kanem empire went into decline, in the 14th century was defeated by Bilala invaders from the Lake Fitri region; the Kanuri people led by the Sayfuwa migrated to the west and south of the lake, where they established the Bornu Empire. By the late 16th century the Bornu empire had expanded and recaptured the parts of Kanem, conquered by the Bulala. Satellite states of Bornu included the Damagaram in the west and Baguirmi to the southeast of Lake Chad; the Shilluk Kingdom was centered in South Sudan from the 15th century from along a strip of land along the western bank of White Nile, from Lake No to about 12° north latitude. The capital and royal residence was in the town of Fashoda; the kingdom was founded during the mid-fifteenth century CE by Nyikang. During the nineteenth century, the Shilluk Kingdom faced decline following military assaults from the Ottoman Empire and British and Sudanese colonization in Anglo-Egyptian Sudan.
The Kingdom of Baguirmi existed as an independent state during the 16th and 17th centuries southeast of Lake Chad in what is now the country of Chad. Baguirmi emerged to the southeast of the Kanem-Bornu Empire; the kingdom's first ruler was Mbang Birni Besse. In his reign, the Bornu Empire conquered and made the state a tributary; the Wadai Empire was centered on the Central African Republic from the 17th century. The Tunjur people founded the Wadai Kingdom to the east of Bornu in the 16th century. In the 17th century there was a revolt of the Maba people. At first Wadai paid tribute to Bornu and Durfur, but by the 18th century Wadai was independent and had become an aggressor against its neighbors. Following the Bantu Migration from Western Africa, Bantu kingdomes and empires began to develop in southern Central Africa. In the 1450s, a Luba from the royal family Ilunga Tshibinda married Lunda queen Rweej and united all Lunda peoples, their son Mulopwe Luseeng expanded the kingdom. His son Naweej expanded the empire further and is known as the first Lunda emperor, with the title Mwata Yamvo, the "Lord of Vipers".
The Luba political system was retained, conquered peoples were integrated into the system. The mwata
A frog is any member of a diverse and carnivorous group of short-bodied, tailless amphibians composing the order Anura. The oldest fossil "proto-frog" appeared in the early Triassic of Madagascar, but molecular clock dating suggests their origins may extend further back to the Permian, 265 million years ago. Frogs are distributed, ranging from the tropics to subarctic regions, but the greatest concentration of species diversity is in tropical rainforests. There are accounting for over 85 % of extant amphibian species, they are one of the five most diverse vertebrate orders. Warty frog species tend to be called toads, but the distinction between frogs and toads is informal, not from taxonomy or evolutionary history. An adult frog has a stout body, protruding eyes, anteriorly-attached tongue, limbs folded underneath, no tail. Frogs have glandular skin, with secretions ranging from distasteful to toxic, their skin varies in colour from well-camouflaged dappled brown and green to vivid patterns of bright red or yellow and black to show toxicity and ward off predators.
Adult frogs live on dry land. Frogs lay their eggs in water; the eggs hatch into aquatic larvae called tadpoles that have internal gills. They have specialized rasping mouth parts suitable for herbivorous, omnivorous or planktivorous diets; the life cycle is completed. A few species bypass the tadpole stage. Adult frogs have a carnivorous diet consisting of small invertebrates, but omnivorous species exist and a few feed on fruit. Frog skin has a rich microbiome, important to their health. Frogs are efficient at converting what they eat into body mass, they are an important food source for predators and part of the food web dynamics of many of the world's ecosystems. The skin is semi-permeable, making them susceptible to dehydration, so they either live in moist places or have special adaptations to deal with dry habitats. Frogs produce a wide range of vocalizations in their breeding season, exhibit many different kinds of complex behaviours to attract mates, to fend off predators and to survive.
Frogs are valued as food by humans and have many cultural roles in literature and religion. Frog populations have declined since the 1950s. More than one third of species are considered to be threatened with extinction and over 120 are believed to have become extinct since the 1980s; the number of malformations among frogs is on the rise and an emerging fungal disease, has spread around the world. Conservation biologists are working to resolve them; the use of the common names "frog" and "toad" has no taxonomic justification. From a classification perspective, all members of the order Anura are frogs, but only members of the family Bufonidae are considered "true toads"; the use of the term "frog" in common names refers to species that are aquatic or semi-aquatic and have smooth, moist skins. There are numerous exceptions to this rule; the European fire-bellied toad has a warty skin and prefers a watery habitat whereas the Panamanian golden frog is in the toad family Bufonidae and has a smooth skin.
The origin of the order name Anura — and its original spelling Anoures — is the Ancient Greek "alpha privative" prefix ἀν- "without", οὐρά, meaning "animal tail". It refers to the tailless character of these amphibians; the origins of the word frog are debated. The word is first attested in Old English as frogga, but the usual Old English word for the frog was frosc, it is agreed that the word frog is somehow related to this. Old English frosc remained in dialectal use in English as frosh and frosk into the nineteenth century, is paralleled in other Germanic languages, with examples in the modern languages including German Frosch, Icelandic froskur, Dutch vors; these words allow us to reconstruct a Common Germanic ancestor *froskaz. The third edition of the Oxford English Dictionary finds that the etymology of *froskaz is uncertain, but agrees with arguments that it could plausibly derive from a Proto-Indo-European base along the lines of *preu = "jump". How Old English frosc gave rise to frogga is, uncertain, as the development does not involve a regular sound-change.
Instead, it seems that there was a trend in Old English to coin nicknames for animals ending in -g, with examples—themselves all of uncertain etymology—including dog, pig and wig. Frog appears to have been adapted from frosc as part of this trend. Meanwhile, the word toad, first attested as Old English tādige, is unique to English and is of uncertain etymology, it is the basis for the word tadpole, first attested as Middle English taddepol meaning'toad-head'. About 88% of amphibian species are classified in the order Anura; these include over 7,000 species in 56 families, of which the Craugastoridae, Hylidae and Bufonidae are the richest in species. The Anura include any fossil species that fit within the anuran definition; the characteristics of anuran adults include: 9 or fewer presacral vertebrae, the presence of a urostyle formed of fused vertebrae, no tail, a long and forward-sloping ilium, shorter fore limbs than hind limbs and ulna fused and fibula fused, elongated an
Stockholm is the capital of Sweden and the most populous urban area in the Nordic countries. The city stretches across fourteen islands. Just outside the city and along the coast is the island chain of the Stockholm archipelago; the area has been settled since the Stone Age, in the 6th millennium BC, was founded as a city in 1252 by Swedish statesman Birger Jarl. It is the capital of Stockholm County. Stockholm is the cultural, media and economic centre of Sweden; the Stockholm region alone accounts for over a third of the country's GDP, is among the top 10 regions in Europe by GDP per capita. It is an important global city, the main centre for corporate headquarters in the Nordic region; the city is home to some of Europe's top ranking universities, such as the Stockholm School of Economics, Karolinska Institute and Royal Institute of Technology. It hosts the annual Nobel Prize ceremonies and banquet at the Stockholm Concert Hall and Stockholm City Hall. One of the city's most prized museums, the Vasa Museum, is the most visited non-art museum in Scandinavia.
The Stockholm metro, opened in 1950, is well known for the decor of its stations. Sweden's national football arena is located north of the city centre, in Solna. Ericsson Globe, the national indoor arena, is in the southern part of the city; the city was the host of the 1912 Summer Olympics, hosted the equestrian portion of the 1956 Summer Olympics otherwise held in Melbourne, Australia. Stockholm is the seat of the Swedish government and most of its agencies, including the highest courts in the judiciary, the official residencies of the Swedish monarch and the Prime Minister; the government has its seat in the Rosenbad building, the Riksdag is seated in the Parliament House, the Prime Minister's residence is adjacent at Sager House. Stockholm Palace is the official residence and principal workplace of the Swedish monarch, while Drottningholm Palace, a World Heritage Site on the outskirts of Stockholm, serves as the Royal Family's private residence. After the Ice Age, around 8,000 BC, there were many people living in what is today the Stockholm area, but as temperatures dropped, inhabitants moved south.
Thousands of years as the ground thawed, the climate became tolerable and the lands became fertile, people began to migrate back to the North. At the intersection of the Baltic Sea and lake Mälaren is an archipelago site where the Old Town of Stockholm was first built from about 1000 CE by Vikings, they had a positive trade impact on the area because of the trade routes they created. Stockholm's location appears in Norse sagas as Agnafit, in Heimskringla in connection with the legendary king Agne; the earliest written mention of the name Stockholm dates from 1252, by which time the mines in Bergslagen made it an important site in the iron trade. The first part of the name means log in Swedish, although it may be connected to an old German word meaning fortification; the second part of the name means islet, is thought to refer to the islet Helgeandsholmen in central Stockholm. According to Eric Chronicles the city is said to have been founded by Birger Jarl to protect Sweden from sea invasions made by Karelians after the pillage of Sigtuna on Lake Mälaren in the summer of 1187.
Stockholm's core, the present Old Town was built on the central island next to Helgeandsholmen from the mid-13th century onward. The city rose to prominence as a result of the Baltic trade of the Hanseatic League. Stockholm developed strong economic and cultural linkages with Lübeck, Gdańsk, Visby and Riga during this time. Between 1296 and 1478 Stockholm's City Council was made up of 24 members, half of whom were selected from the town's German-speaking burghers; the strategic and economic importance of the city made Stockholm an important factor in relations between the Danish Kings of the Kalmar Union and the national independence movement in the 15th century. The Danish King Christian II was able to enter the city in 1520. On 8 November 1520 a massacre of opposition figures called the Stockholm Bloodbath took place and set off further uprisings that led to the breakup of the Kalmar Union. With the accession of Gustav Vasa in 1523 and the establishment of a royal power, the population of Stockholm began to grow, reaching 10,000 by 1600.
The 17th century saw Sweden grow into a major European power, reflected in the development of the city of Stockholm. From 1610 to 1680 the population multiplied sixfold. In 1634, Stockholm became the official capital of the Swedish empire. Trading rules were created that gave Stockholm an essential monopoly over trade between foreign merchants and other Swedish and Scandinavian territories. In 1697, Tre Kronor was replaced by Stockholm Palace. In 1710, a plague killed about 20,000 of the population. After the end of the Great Northern War the city stagnated. Population growth halted and economic growth slowed; the city was in shock after having lost its place as the capital of a Great power. However, Stockholm maintained its role as the political centre of Sweden and continued to develop culturally under Gustav III. By the second half of the 19th century, Stockholm had regained its leading economic role. New industries emerged and Stockholm was transformed into an important trade and service centre as well as a key gateway point within Sweden.
The population grew during this time through immigration. At the end
Reptiles are tetrapod animals in the class Reptilia, comprising today's turtles, snakes, lizards and their extinct relatives. The study of these traditional reptile orders combined with that of modern amphibians, is called herpetology; because some reptiles are more related to birds than they are to other reptiles, the traditional groups of "reptiles" listed above do not together constitute a monophyletic grouping or clade. For this reason, many modern scientists prefer to consider the birds part of Reptilia as well, thereby making Reptilia a monophyletic class, including all living Diapsids; the earliest known proto-reptiles originated around 312 million years ago during the Carboniferous period, having evolved from advanced reptiliomorph tetrapods that became adapted to life on dry land. Some early examples include Casineria. In addition to the living reptiles, there are many diverse groups that are now extinct, in some cases due to mass extinction events. In particular, the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event wiped out the pterosaurs, plesiosaurs and sauropods, as well as many species of theropods, including troodontids, dromaeosaurids and abelisaurids, along with many Crocodyliformes, squamates.
Modern non-avian reptiles inhabit all the continents except Antarctica, although some birds are found on the periphery of Antarctica. Several living subgroups are recognized: Testudines, 350 species. Reptiles are tetrapod vertebrates, creatures that either have four limbs or, like snakes, are descended from four-limbed ancestors. Unlike amphibians, reptiles do not have an aquatic larval stage. Most reptiles are oviparous, although several species of squamates are viviparous, as were some extinct aquatic clades – the fetus develops within the mother, contained in a placenta rather than an eggshell; as amniotes, reptile eggs are surrounded by membranes for protection and transport, which adapt them to reproduction on dry land. Many of the viviparous species feed their fetuses through various forms of placenta analogous to those of mammals, with some providing initial care for their hatchlings. Extant reptiles range in size from a tiny gecko, Sphaerodactylus ariasae, which can grow up to 17 mm to the saltwater crocodile, Crocodylus porosus, which can reach 6 m in length and weigh over 1,000 kg.
In the 13th century the category of reptile was recognized in Europe as consisting of a miscellany of egg-laying creatures, including "snakes, various fantastic monsters, assorted amphibians, worms", as recorded by Vincent of Beauvais in his Mirror of Nature. In the 18th century, the reptiles were, from the outset of classification, grouped with the amphibians. Linnaeus, working from species-poor Sweden, where the common adder and grass snake are found hunting in water, included all reptiles and amphibians in class "III – Amphibia" in his Systema Naturæ; the terms "reptile" and "amphibian" were interchangeable, "reptile" being preferred by the French. Josephus Nicolaus Laurenti was the first to formally use the term "Reptilia" for an expanded selection of reptiles and amphibians similar to that of Linnaeus. Today, the two groups are still treated under the same heading as herptiles, it was not until the beginning of the 19th century that it became clear that reptiles and amphibians are, in fact, quite different animals, Pierre André Latreille erected the class Batracia for the latter, dividing the tetrapods into the four familiar classes of reptiles, amphibians and mammals.
The British anatomist Thomas Henry Huxley made Latreille's definition popular and, together with Richard Owen, expanded Reptilia to include the various fossil "antediluvian monsters", including dinosaurs and the mammal-like Dicynodon he helped describe. This was not the only possible classification scheme: In the Hunterian lectures delivered at the Royal College of Surgeons in 1863, Huxley grouped the vertebrates into mammals and ichthyoids, he subsequently proposed the names of Ichthyopsida for the latter two groups. In 1866, Haeckel demonstrated that vertebrates could be divided based on their reproductive strategies, that reptiles and mammals were united by the amniotic egg; the terms "Sauropsida" and "Theropsida" were used again in 1916 by E. S. Goodrich to distinguish between lizards and their relatives on the one hand and mammals and their extinct relatives on the other. Goodrich supported this division by the nature of the hearts and blood vessels in each group, other features, such as the structure of the forebrain.
According to Goodrich, both lineages evolved from an earlier stem group, Protosauria in which he included some animals today considered reptile-like amphibians, as well as early reptiles. In 1956, D. M. S. Watson observed that the first two groups diverged early in reptilian history, so he divided Goodrich's Protosauria between them, he reinterpreted Sauropsida and Theropsida to exclude birds and mammals, respectively. Thus his Sauropsida included Procolophonia, Millerosauria, Squamata, Rhynchocephalia