Colombia, officially the Republic of Colombia, is a transcontinental country largely situated in the northwest of South America, with territories in Central America. Colombia shares a border to the northwest with Panama, to the east with Venezuela and Brazil and to the south with Ecuador and it shares its maritime limits with Costa Rica, Honduras, Jamaica and the Dominican Republic. It is a unitary, constitutional republic comprising thirty-two departments, the territory of what is now Colombia was originally inhabited by indigenous peoples including the Muisca, the Quimbaya and the Tairona. The Spanish arrived in 1499 and initiated a period of conquest and colonization ultimately creating the Viceroyalty of New Granada, independence from Spain was won in 1819, but by 1830 the Gran Colombia Federation was dissolved. What is now Colombia and Panama emerged as the Republic of New Granada, the new nation experimented with federalism as the Granadine Confederation, and the United States of Colombia, before the Republic of Colombia was finally declared in 1886.
Since the 1960s the country has suffered from an asymmetric low-intensity armed conflict, Colombia is one of the most ethnically and linguistically diverse countries in the world, and thereby possesses a rich cultural heritage. Cultural diversity has influenced by Colombias varied geography. The urban centres are located in the highlands of the Andes mountains. Colombian territory encompasses Amazon rainforest, tropical grassland and both Caribbean and Pacific coastlines, ecologically, it is one of the worlds 17 megadiverse countries, and the most densely biodiverse of these per square kilometer. Colombia is a power and a regional actor with the fourth-largest economy in Latin America, is part of the CIVETS group of six leading emerging markets and is an accessing member to the OECD. Colombia has an economy with macroeconomic stability and favorable growth prospects in the long run. The name Colombia is derived from the last name of Christopher Columbus and it was conceived by the Venezuelan revolutionary Francisco de Miranda as a reference to all the New World, but especially to those portions under Spanish and Portuguese rule.
The name was adopted by the Republic of Colombia of 1819. When Venezuela and Cundinamarca came to exist as independent states, New Granada officially changed its name in 1858 to the Granadine Confederation. In 1863 the name was changed, this time to United States of Colombia. To refer to country, the Colombian government uses the terms Colombia. Owing to its location, the present territory of Colombia was a corridor of early human migration from Mesoamerica, the oldest archaeological finds are from the Pubenza and El Totumo sites in the Magdalena Valley 100 km southwest of Bogotá. These sites date from the Paleoindian period, at Puerto Hormiga and other sites, traces from the Archaic Period have been found
Pleistocene megafauna is the set of large animals that lived on Earth during the Pleistocene epoch and became extinct during the Quaternary extinction event. Megafauna is a used to describe an animal with an adult body weight of over 44 kg. The Ice Age reached its peak during the last glacial maximum, a vast mammoth steppe stretched from the Iberian peninsula across Eurasia and over the Bering land bridge into Alaska and the Yukon where it was stopped by the Wisconsin glaciation. This land bridge existed because more of the water was locked up in glaciation than now. When the sea began to rise this bridge was inundated around 11,000 years BP. During the last glacial maximum, the continent of Europe was much colder and drier than it is today, with polar desert in the north and woodland was almost non-existent, except for isolated pockets in the mountain ranges of southern Europe. The fossil evidence from many points to the extinction mainly of large animals at or near the end of the last glaciation.
These animals have been termed Pleistocene megafauna, the most common definition of megafauna is an animal with an adult body weight of over 44 kg. Across Eurasia, the elephant became extinct between 100, 000–50,000 years BP. The hippopotamus, interglacial rhinoceros, cave bear, and heavy-bodied Asian antelope died out between 50, 000-16,000 years BP, the spotted hyena, woolly rhinoceros and mammoths died out between 16, 000-11,500 years BP. The musk ox died out after 11,500 BP, as did the giant deer with the last pocket having survived until about 7,700 years BP in western Siberia, a pocket of mammoths survived on Wrangel Island until 4,500 years BP. As some species became extinct, so too did their predators, among the top predators, the sabre-toothed cat died out 28,000 years BP, the cave lion 11,900 years BP, and the leopard in Europe died out 27,000 years BP. The Late Pleistocene was characterized by a series of severe and rapid climate oscillations with regional temperature changes of up to 16 °C, there is no evidence of megafaunal extinctions at the height of the LGM, indicating that increasing cold and glaciation were not factors.
Multiple events appear to involve the rapid replacement of one species by one within the same genus, or one population by another within the same species. The ancestors of humans first appeared in East Africa 195,000 years ago. Some migrated out of Africa 60,000 years ago with one group reaching Central Asia 50,000 years ago. From there they reached Europe, with human remains dated 43, 000-45,000 years BP discovered in Italy, another group left Central Asia and reached the Yana River, well above the Arctic circle 27,000 years ago. Remains of mammoth that had been hunted by humans 45,000 YBP have been found at Yenisei Bay in the central Siberian Arctic and these people populated the Americas
The Andes or Andean Mountains are the longest continental mountain range in the world. They are a range of highlands along the western edge of South America. This range is about 7,000 km long, about 200 to 700 km wide, the Andes extend from north to south through seven South American countries, Colombia, Peru, Bolivia and Chile. Along their length, the Andes are split into several ranges, the Andes are the location of several high plateaus – some of which host major cities, such as Quito, Bogotá, Medellín, Sucre, Mérida and La Paz. The Altiplano plateau is the worlds second-highest after the Tibetan plateau and these ranges are in turn grouped into three major divisions based on climate, the Tropical Andes, the Dry Andes, and the Wet Andes. The Andes are the worlds highest mountain range outside of Asia, the highest mountain outside Asia, Mount Aconcagua, rises to an elevation of about 6,961 m above sea level. The peak of Chimborazo in the Ecuadorean Andes is farther from the Earths center than any other location on the Earths surface, the worlds highest volcanoes are in the Andes, including Ojos del Salado on the Chile-Argentina border, which rises to 6,893 m.
The etymology of the word Andes has been debated, the majority consensus is that it derives from the Quechua word anti, which means east as in Antisuyu, one of the four regions of the Inca Empire. In the northern part of the Andes, the isolated Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta range is considered to be part of the Andes. The term cordillera comes from the Spanish word cordel, meaning rope, the Andes range is about 200 km wide throughout its length, except in the Bolivian flexure where it is about 640 kilometres wide. The Andes are the result of plate tectonics processes, caused by the subduction of oceanic crust beneath the South American plate. The main cause of the rise of the Andes is the compression of the rim of the South American Plate due to the subduction of the Nazca Plate. In the south, the Andes share a boundary with the former Patagonia Terrane. To the west, the Andes end at the Pacific Ocean, from a geographical approach, the Andes are considered to have their western boundaries marked by the appearance of coastal lowlands and a less rugged topography.
The Andes Mountains contain large quantities of iron ore located in mountains within the range. The Andean orogen has a series of bends or oroclines, the Bolivian Orocline is a seaward concave bending in the coast of South America and the Andes Mountains at about 18° S. At this point the orientation of the Andes turns from Northwest in Peru to South in Chile, the Andean segment north and south of the orocline have been rotated 15° to 20° counter clockwise and clockwise respectively. The Bolivian Orocline area overlaps with the area of maximum width of the Altiplano Plateau, the specific point at 18° S where the coastline bends is known as the Arica Elbow
Cuvieronius is an extinct New World genus of gomphothere and is named after the French naturalist Georges Cuvier. Alive, species stood, on average, about 2.3 m tall at the shoulder, weighed about 3.5 tonnes, the species now known as Cuvieronius hyodon was among the first fossil animals from the New World to be studied. The first remains of species were recovered from Ecuador by Alexander von Humboldt. It was not until 1824 that Cuvier formally named the species and he referred both to the genus Mastodon, calling them M. andium and M. humboldtii. Unknown to Cuvier, Fischer had, in 1814, already named the two based on Cuviers original description, in the new genus Mastotherium as M. hyodon. The idea of two distinct species continued to be accepted into the 20th century, usually using Cuviers names, in 1923, Henry Fairfield Osborn recognized that these species were distinct from Mastodon, and assigned each to its own new genus, as Cuvieronius humboldtii and Cordillerion andium. However, by the 1930s, general agreement had shifted to regard both forms as representing a single, geographically widespread species, with Cuvieronius humboldtii considered to be the correct name, in 2011, Opinion 2276 of the ICZN ruled to conserve the names.
This animal probably initially evolved in North America, around 5. 3—5.2 million years ago with fossil evidence uncovered at the Tehuichila site in Hidalgo, Mexico. During the Great American Interchange of around 3 million years ago and they were the only proboscid mammals to colonize South America as part of the Great American Biotic Interchange. Living as far south as Chile, with specimens unearthed at the Quereo I site dating to the Late Pleistocene 11, 600—11,400 BP. The oldest fossil remains to date are of Cuvieronius species found in Lincoln County, Nevada and it was found as far east as South Carolina and North Carolinain Pleistocene rocks dating to 1.81 million to 126,000 years ago. In Florida, remains show both Cuvieronius sp. and C. tropicus living from 3.7 to 1.5 million years ago, the most recent findings of Cuvieronius sp. in North America are in Sonora, that date to 13,390 years BP. Remains of Cuvieronius have been found in association with man, and pieces of its hide, the site has yielded 38 small pieces of animal hide and muscle tissue, some still preserved on bones of Cuvieronius.
Pieces of hide were recovered from hearth areas, living floors, some pieces were still attached to wooden poles, possibly suggesting the presence of hide-draped huts. Pathological and other analyses of these pieces suggest that they are of a proboscidean, South American fossils formerly attributed to mastodons are now believed to be Cuvieronius. Fossil remains of Cuvieronius have been discovered at the archeological site Tibitó in the north of the Bogotá savanna on the Altiplano Cundiboyacense and this high plateau in the Eastern Ranges of the Colombian Andes was populated by humans at least from 12,500 years BP. The bones of Cuvieronius at Tibitó have been dated at 11,740 ±110 years old, the climate of the region during this stadial was colder than today, a páramo paleoclimate has been inferred from palynological data. The related Stegomastodon occupied warmer, lower-altitude habitats in South America, while the smaller C. hyodon occupied cooler, Cuvieronius was a mixed feeder, and has been dated at least as recently as 9,100 BP in Monte Verde, Chile
The guinea pig, cavy or domestic guinea pig, or cuy for livestock breeds, is a species of rodent belonging to the family Caviidae and the genus Cavia. Despite their common name, these animals are not in the pig family Suidae, recent studies applying molecular markers, in addition to studying the skull and skeletal morphology of current and mummified animals, revealed that the ancestor is most likely Cavia tschudii. Since the 1960s, efforts have made to increase consumption of the animal outside South America. In Western societies, the guinea pig has enjoyed widespread popularity as a household pet since its introduction by European traders in the 16th century. Their docile nature, even affectionate responsiveness to handling and feeding, biological experimentation on guinea pigs has been carried out since the 17th century. They are still used in research, primarily as models for medical conditions such as juvenile diabetes, scurvy. The guinea pig was first domesticated as early as 5000 BC for food by tribes in the Andean region of South America, statues dating from circa 500 BC to 500 AD that depict guinea pigs have been unearthed in archaeological digs in Peru and Ecuador.
The Moche people of ancient Peru worshipped animals and often depicted the guinea pig in their art, from about 1200 AD to the Spanish conquest in 1532, selective breeding resulted in many varieties of domestic guinea pigs, which form the basis for some of the modern domestic breeds. They continue to be a source in the region, many households in the Andean highlands raise the animal. Folklore traditions involving guinea pigs are numerous, they are exchanged as gifts, used in social and religious ceremonies. They play a role in healing rituals by folk doctors, or curanderos, who use the animals to diagnose diseases such as jaundice, arthritis. They are rubbed against the bodies of the sick, and are seen as a supernatural medium, black guinea pigs are considered especially useful for diagnoses. The animal may be cut open and its entrails examined to determine whether the cure was effective and these methods are widely accepted in many parts of the Andes, where Western medicine is either unavailable or distrusted.
Spanish and English traders brought guinea pigs to Europe, the guinea pig was first described in the West in 1554 by the Swiss naturalist Conrad Gessner. Its binomial scientific name was first used by Erxleben in 1777, it is an amalgam of Pallas generic designation, the scientific name of the common species is Cavia porcellus, with porcellus being Latin for little pig. Cavia is New Latin, it is derived from cabiai, the name in the language of the Galibi tribes once native to French Guiana. Cabiai may be an adaptation of the Portuguese çavia, which is derived from the Tupi word saujá. Guinea pigs are called quwi or jaca in Quechua and cuy or cuyo in the Spanish of Ecuador and Bolivia
Cloud forests often exhibit an abundance of mosses covering the ground and vegetation, in which case they are referred to as mossy forests. Mossy forests usually develop on the saddles of mountains, where introduced by settling clouds is more effectively retained. Dependent on local climate, which is affected by the distance to the sea, the exposition and the latitude, there is a relatively small band of altitude in which the atmospheric environment is suitable for cloud forest development. This is characterized by persistent fog at the level, resulting in the reduction of direct sunlight. Within cloud forests, much of the moisture available to plants arrives in the form of fog drip, annual rainfall can range from 500 to 10,000 mm/year and mean temperature between 8 and 20 °C. Only 1% of the global woodland consists of cloud forests, important areas of cloud forest are in Central and South America and Central Africa, Malaysia, the Philippines, Papua-New Guinea, and in the Caribbean. Although far from being accepted as true cloud forests, several forests in temperate regions have strong similarities with tropical cloud forests.
The term is confused by occasional reference to cloud forests in tropical countries as temperate due to the cooler climate associated with these misty forests. Trees in these regions are generally shorter and more heavily stemmed than in forests in the same regions, often with gnarled trunks and branches, forming dense. Their leaves become smaller and harder with increasing altitude, the high moisture promotes the development of a high biomass and biodiversity of epiphyte, particularly bryophytes, ferns and orchids. The number of plants can be very high. An important feature of cloud forests is the tree crowns can intercept the wind-driven cloud moisture and this fog drip occurs when water droplets from the fog adhere to the needles or leaves of trees or other objects, coalesce into larger drops and drop to the ground. It can be an important contribution to the hydrologic cycle, watershed function, Because of the cloud-stripping strategy, the effective rainfall can be doubled in dry seasons and increase the wet season rainfall by about 10%.
Vegetation, Tropical montane cloud forests are not as species-rich as tropical lowland forests, for example, the Cerro de la Neblina, a cloud-covered mountain in the south of Venezuela, accommodates many shrubs and insectivorous plants which are restricted to this mountain only. Fauna, The endemism in animals is very high. In Peru, more than one-third of the 270 endemic birds, one of the best-known cloud forest mammals is the mountain gorilla. Many of those animals have important functions, such as seed dispersal. In 1970, the extent of cloud forests on the Earth was around 50 million hectares
Quartzite is a hard, non-foliated metamorphic rock which was originally pure quartz sandstone. Sandstone is converted into quartzite through heating and pressure related to tectonic compression within orogenic belts. Pure quartzite is usually white to grey, though quartzites often occur in shades of pink. Other colors, such as yellow, green and orange, are due to other minerals, when sandstone is cemented to quartzite, the individual quartz grains recrystallize along with the former cementing material to form an interlocking mosaic of quartz crystals. Most or all of the texture and sedimentary structures of the sandstone are erased by the metamorphism. The grainy, sandpaper-like surface becomes glassy in appearance, minor amounts of former cementing materials, iron oxide, silica and clay, often migrate during recrystallization and metamorphosis. This causes streaks and lenses to form within the quartzite, orthoquartzite is a very pure quartz sandstone composed of usually well-rounded quartz grains cemented by silica.
Orthoquartzite is often 99% SiO2 with only minor amounts of iron oxide and trace resistant minerals such as zircon, rutile. Although few fossils are present, the original texture and sedimentary structures are preserved. The term is traditionally used for quartz-cemented quartz arenites. Quartzite is very resistant to weathering and often forms ridges. The nearly pure silica content of the rock provides little for soil, because of its hardness and angular shape, crushed quartzite is often used as railway ballast. Quartzite is a stone and may be used to cover walls, as roofing tiles, as flooring. Its use for countertops in kitchens is expanding rapidly and it is harder and more resistant to stains than granite. Crushed quartzite is used in road construction. High purity quartzite is used to produce ferrosilicon, industrial silica sand, during the Paleolithic quartzite was used, in addition to flint and other lithic raw materials, for making stone tools. Quartzite is found in the Morenci Copper Mine in Arizona, the town of Quartzsite in western Arizona derives its name from the quartzites in the nearby mountains in both Arizona and Southeastern California.
A glassy vitreous quartzite has been described from the Belt Supergroup in the Coeur d’Alene district of northern Idaho, in the United Kingdom, a craggy ridge of quartzite called the Stiperstones runs parallel with the Pontesford-Linley fault,6 km north-west of the Long Mynd in south Shropshire
A rock shelter is a shallow cave-like opening at the base of a bluff or cliff. In arid areas, wind erosion can be an important factor in rockhouse formation, erosion from moving water is seldom a significant factor. Many rock shelters are found under waterfalls, Rock shelter formation types Rock shelters are often important archaeologically. Because rock shelters form natural shelters from the weather, prehistoric humans often used them as living-places, and left behind debris, tools, in mountainous areas the shelters can be important for mountaineers. In western Connecticut and eastern New York, many shelters are known by the colloquialism leatherman caves. Sandstone can be used as shingles for roof tops when possible, the Cumberland stitchwort is an endangered species of plant which is found only in rock shelters in Kentucky and Tennessee. Gatecliff Rockshelter Kinlock Shelter Mesa Verde Overhang Roc-aux-Sorciers Shelter Rock Walnut Canyon
The Americas, collectively called America, encompass the totality of the continents of North America and South America. Together they make up most of the land in Earths western hemisphere, along with their associated islands, they cover 8% of Earths total surface area and 28. 4% of its land area. The topography is dominated by the American Cordillera, a chain of mountains that runs the length of the west coast. The flatter eastern side of the Americas is dominated by river basins, such as the Amazon, St. Lawrence River / Great Lakes basin, Mississippi. Humans first settled the Americas from Asia between 42,000 and 17,000 years ago, a second migration of Na-Dene speakers followed from Asia. The subsequent migration of the Inuit into the neoarctic around 3500 BCE completed what is regarded as the settlement by the indigenous peoples of the Americas. The first known European settlement in the Americas was by the Norse explorer Leif Ericson, the colonization never became permanent and was abandoned.
The voyages of Christopher Columbus from 1492 to 1502 resulted in permanent contact with European powers, diseases introduced from Europe and Africa devastated the indigenous peoples, and the European powers colonized the Americas. Mass emigration from Europe, including numbers of indentured servants. Decolonization of the Americas began with the American Revolution in 1776, the population is over 1 billion, with over 65% of them living in one of the three most populous countries. As of the beginning of the 2010s, the most populous urban agglomerations are Mexico City, New York, Sao Paulo, Los Angeles, Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro, all of them megacities. The name America was first recorded in 1507 in the Cosmographiae Introductio, apparently written by Matthias Ringmann and it first applied to both North and South America by Gerardus Mercator in 1538. Amerigen means land of Amerigo and derives from Amerigo and gen, America accorded with the feminine names of Asia and Europa. When conceived as a continent, the form is generally the continent of America in the singular.
However, without a context, singular America in English commonly refers to the United States of America. In some countries of the world, America is considered a continent encompassing the North America and South America subcontinents, the first inhabitants migrated into the Americas from Asia. Habitation sites are known in Alaska and the Yukon from at least 20,000 years ago, beyond that, the specifics of the Paleo-Indian migration to and throughout the Americas, including the dates and routes traveled, are subject to ongoing research and discussion. Widespread habitation of the Americas occurred during the glacial maximum