Gulls or seagulls are seabirds of the family Laridae in the suborder Lari. They are most related to the terns and only distantly related to auks and more distantly to the waders; until the 21st century, most gulls were placed in the genus Larus, but this arrangement is now considered polyphyletic, leading to the resurrection of several genera. An older name for gulls is mews, cognate with German Möwe, Danish måge, Dutch meeuw, French mouette. Gulls are medium to large birds grey or white with black markings on the head or wings, they have harsh wailing or squawking calls. Most gulls are ground-nesting carnivores which take live food or scavenge opportunistically the Larus species. Live food includes crabs and small fish. Gulls have unhinging jaws. Gulls are coastal or inland species venturing far out to sea, except for the kittiwakes; the large species take up to four years to attain full adult plumage, but two years is typical for small gulls. Large white-headed gulls are long-lived birds, with a maximum age of 49 years recorded for the herring gull.
Gulls nest in large, densely packed, noisy colonies. They lay three speckled eggs in nests composed of vegetation; the young are precocial, mobile upon hatching. Gulls are resourceful and intelligent, the larger species in particular, demonstrating complex methods of communication and a developed social structure. For example, many gull colonies display mobbing behavior and harassing predators and other intruders. Certain species have exhibited tool-use behavior, such as the herring gull, using pieces of bread as bait with which to catch goldfish, for example. Many species of gulls have learned to coexist with humans and have thrived in human habitats. Others rely on kleptoparasitism to get their food. Gulls have been observed preying on live whales, landing on the whale as it surfaces to peck out pieces of flesh. Gulls range in size from the little gull, at 120 g and 29 cm, to the great black-backed gull, at 1.75 kg and 76 cm. They are uniform in shape, with heavy bodies, long wings, moderately long necks.
The tails of all but three species are rounded. Gulls have moderately long legs when compared to the similar terns, with webbed feet; the bill is heavy and hooked, with the larger species having stouter bills than the smaller species. The bill colour is yellow with a red spot for the larger white-headed species and red, dark red or black in the smaller species; the gulls are generalist feeders. Indeed, they are the least specialised of all the seabirds, their morphology allows for equal adeptness in swimming and walking, they are more adept walking on land than most other seabirds, the smaller gulls tend to be more manoeuvrable while walking. The walking gait of gulls includes a slight side to side motion, something that can be exaggerated in breeding displays. In the air, they are able to hover and they are able to take off with little space; the general pattern of plumage in adult gulls is a white body with a darker mantle. A few species vary in this, the ivory gull is white, some like the lava gull and Heermann's gull have or grey bodies.
The wingtips of most species are black, which improves their resistance to wear and tear with a diagnostic pattern of white markings. The head of a gull may be covered by a dark hood or be white; the plumage of the head varies by breeding season. The gulls have a worldwide cosmopolitan distribution, they breed on every continent, including the margins of Antarctica, are found in the high Arctic, as well. They are less common on tropical islands, although a few species do live on islands such as the Galapagos and New Caledonia. Many species breed in coastal colonies, with a preference for islands, one species, the grey gull, breeds in the interior of dry deserts far from water. Considerable variety exists in the family and species may breed and feed in marine, freshwater, or terrestrial habitats. Most gull species are migratory, with birds moving to warmer habitats during the winter, but the extent to which they migrate varies by species; some migrate long distances, like Franklin's gull, which migrates from Canada to wintering grounds in the south of South America.
Other species move much shorter distances and may disperse along the coasts near their breeding sites. Charadriiform birds drink salt water, as well as fresh water, as they possess exocrine glands located in supraorbital grooves of the skull by which salt can be excreted through the nostrils to assist the kidneys in maintaining electrolyte balance. Gulls are adaptable feeders that opportunistically take a wide range of prey; the food taken by gulls includes fish and marine and freshwater invertebrates, both alive and dead, terrestrial arthropods and invertebrates such as insects and earthworms, eggs, offal, amphibians, plant items such as seeds and fruit, human refuse and other birds. No gull species is a single-prey specialist, no gull species forages using only a single method; the type of food depe
Coots are small water birds that are members of the rail family, Rallidae. They constitute the genus Fulica, the name being the Latin for "coot". Coots have predominantly black plumage, and—unlike many rails—they are easy to see swimming in open water, they are close relatives of the moorhen. A group of coots may cover. Fulica newtonii Milne-Edwards, 1867 – Mascarene coot Fulica chathamensis Forbes, 1892 – Chatham Island coot Fulica prisca Hamilton, 1893 – New Zealand coot Fulica infelix Brodkorb, 1961 – Fulica shufeldti – a subspecies of Fulica americana. Many, but not all, have white on the under tail; the featherless shield gave rise to the expression "as bald as a coot," which the Oxford English Dictionary cites in use as early as 1430. Like other rails, they have lobed toes that are well adapted to soft, uneven surfaces. Coots can walk and run vigorously, they tend to have short, rounded wings and are weak fliers, though northern species can cover long distances. The greatest species variety occurs in South America, the genus originated there.
They are common in North America. Coot species that migrate do so at night; the American coot has been observed in Britain and Ireland, while the Eurasian coot is found across Asia and parts of Africa. In southern Louisiana, the coot is referred to by the French name "poule d'eau", which translates into English as "water hen" or "moorhen". Coots are omnivorous, eating plant material, but small animals and eggs, they are aggressively territorial during the breeding season, but are otherwise found in sizeable flocks on the shallow vegetated lakes they prefer. Chick mortality occurs due to starvation rather than predation as coots have difficulty feeding a large family of hatchlings on the tiny shrimp and insects that they collect. Most chicks die in the first 10 days after hatching, when they are most dependent on adults for food. Coots can be brutal to their own young under pressure such as the lack of food, after about three days they start attacking their own chicks when they beg for food. After a short while, these attacks concentrate on the weaker chicks, who give up begging and die.
The coot may raise only two or three out of nine hatchlings. In this attacking behaviour, the parents are said to "tousle" their young; this can result in the death of the chick. Coot videos on the Internet Bird Collection Beach, Chandler B. ed.. "Coot". The New Student's Reference Work. Chicago: F. E. Compton and Co
ARKive was a global initiative with the mission of "promoting the conservation of the world's threatened species, through the power of wildlife imagery", which it did by locating and gathering films and audio recordings of the world's species into a centralised digital archive. Its priority was the completion of audio-visual profiles for the c. 17,000 species on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The project was an initiative of a UK-registered educational charity, based in Bristol; the technical platform was created by Hewlett-Packard, as part of the HP Labs' Digital Media Systems research programme. ARKive had the backing of leading conservation organisations, including BirdLife International, Conservation International, International Union for Conservation of Nature, the United Nations' World Conservation Monitoring Centre, the World Wide Fund for Nature, as well as leading academic and research institutions, such as the Natural History Museum, it was a member of the Institutional Council of the Encyclopedia of Life.
Two ARKive layers for Google Earth, featuring endangered species and species in the Gulf of Mexico were produced by Google Earth Outreach. The first of these was launched in April 2008 by Sir David Attenborough; the website closed on 15 February 2019. The project formally was launched on 20 May 2003 by its patron, the UK-based natural history presenter, Sir David Attenborough, a long-standing colleague and friend of its chief instigator, the late Christopher Parsons, a former Head of the BBC Natural History Unit. Parsons never lived to see the fruition of the project, succumbing to cancer in November 2002 at the age of 70. Parsons identified a need to provide a centralised safe haven for wildlife films and photographs after discovering that many such records are held in scattered, non-indexed, collections with little or no public access, sometimes in conditions that could lead to loss or damage, he believed the records could be a powerful force in building environmental awareness by bringing scientific names to life.
He saw their preservation as an important educational resource and conservation tool, not least because extinction rates and habitat destruction could mean that images and sounds might be the only legacy of some species’ existence. His vision of a permanent, refuge for audio-visual wildlife material won immediate support from many of the world’s major broadcasters, including the BBC, international state broadcasting corporations and National Geographic magazine; the initial feasibility study for creating ARKive was carried out in the late 1980s by conservationist John Burton, but at the time the costs of the technology needed were too far too high, so it was over a decade after the technology had caught up with Christopher Parson's vision, that the project was able to get off the ground. After capital development funds of £2m were secured from the Heritage Lottery Fund in 1997 and New Opportunities Fund in 2000, work on building ARKive began as part of the UK's Millennium celebrations, using advanced computerised storage and retrieval technology devised for the project by Hewlett-Packard, with an initial capacity of up to 74 terabytes of data, using redundant hardware and multiple copies of media stored at multiple sites.
Media was digitised to the highest available quality without compression and encoded to open standards. A prototype site was online as early as April 1999. There were several design iterations before the formal launch. By the launch date, the project team had researched, copied and authenticated image and fact files of 1,000 animals and fungi, many of them critically endangered. More multi-media profiles are added every month, starting with British flora and fauna and with species included on the Red List – that is, species that are believed to be closest to extinction, according to research by the World Conservation Union. By January 2006, the database had grown to 2,000 species, 15,000 still images and more than 50 hours of video. By 2010, over 5,500 donors had contributed photos of more than 12,000 species. In February 2019, Wildscreen announced that they "...have had to make the hard decision to close the Arkive website on 15 February 2019", due to funding issues. On that date the website was replaced with a short statement, concluding: The complete Arkive collection of over 100,000 images and videos is now being stored securely offline for future generations.
The site was Sunday Times website of the year for 2005. It was a 2010 Webby Award honoree for its outstanding calibre of work, in the'Education' category, a 2010 Association of Educational Publishers'Distinguished Achievement Award' winner, in the category for websites for 9-12 year olds. Catalogue of Life Encyclopedia of Life List of online encyclopedias Nature documentary Official ARKive site Technical specifications from Hewlett-Packard Memorandum of Understanding with Encyclopedia of Life
The term "Old World" is used in the West to refer to Africa and Europe, regarded collectively as the part of the world known to its population before contact with the Americas and Oceania. It is used in the context of, contrasts with, the New World. In the context of archaeology and world history, the term "Old World" includes those parts of the world which were in cultural contact from the Bronze Age onwards, resulting in the parallel development of the early civilizations in the temperate zone between the 45th and 25th parallels, in the area of the Mediterranean, Persian plateau, Indian subcontinent and China; these regions were connected via the Silk Road trade route, they have a pronounced Iron Age period following the Bronze Age. In cultural terms, the Iron Age was accompanied by the so-called Axial Age, referring to cultural and religious developments leading to the emergence of the historical Western, Near Eastern and Far Eastern cultural spheres; the concept of the three continents in the Old World, viz. Asia and Europe, goes back to classical antiquity.
Their boundaries as defined by Ptolemy and other geographers of antiquity were drawn along the Nile and Don rivers. This definition remained influential throughout the Early Modern period; the mainland of Afro-Eurasia has been referred to as the "World Island". The term may have been coined by Sir Halford John Mackinder in The Geographical Pivot of History; the equivalent of the Old World had names in some of its ancient cultures, including Midgard in Germanic cosmology, Oikoumene among the Greeks. Eurocentrism Afro-Eurasia
The mallard is a dabbling duck that breeds throughout the temperate and subtropical Americas and North Africa and has been introduced to New Zealand, Peru, Uruguay, Chile, the Falkland Islands, South Africa. This duck belongs to the subfamily Anatinae of the waterfowl family Anatidae; the male birds have a glossy green head and are grey on their wings and belly, while the females have brown-speckled plumage. Both sexes have an area of white-bordered black or iridescent blue feathers called a speculum on their wings; the mallard is 50 -- 65 cm long. The wingspan is 81–98 cm and the bill is 4.4 to 6.1 cm long. It is slightly heavier than most other dabbling ducks, weighing 0.72–1.58 kg. Mallards live in wetlands, eat water plants and small animals, are social animals preferring to congregate in groups or flocks of varying sizes; this species is the main ancestor of most breeds of domesticated ducks. The female lays eight to thirteen creamy white to greenish-buff spotless eggs, on alternate days. Incubation takes 27 to 28 days and fledging takes 50 to 60 days.
The ducklings are precocial and capable of swimming as soon as they hatch. The mallard is considered to be a species of least concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Unlike many waterfowl, mallards are considered an invasive species in some regions, it is a adaptable species, being able to live and thrive in urban areas which may have supported more localised, sensitive species of waterfowl before development. The non-migratory mallard interbreeds with indigenous wild ducks of related species through genetic pollution by producing fertile offspring. Complete hybridisation of various species of wild duck gene pools could result in the extinction of many indigenous waterfowl; the wild mallard is the ancestor of most domestic ducks, its evolved wild gene pool gets genetically polluted by the domesticated and feral mallard populations. The mallard was one of the many bird species described in the 1758 10th edition of Systema Naturae by Carl Linnaeus, he gave it two binomial names: Anas platyrhynchos and Anas boschas.
The latter was preferred until 1906 when Einar Lönnberg established that A. platyrhynchos had priority as it appeared on an earlier page in the text. The scientific name comes from Latin Anas, "duck" and Ancient Greek πλατυρυγχος, platyrhynchus, "broad-billed"; the genome of Anas platyrhynchos was sequenced in 2013. The name Mallard referred to any wild drake, it is sometimes still used this way, it was derived from the Old French malart or mallart for "wild drake" although its true derivation is unclear. It may be related to, or at least influenced by, an Old High German masculine proper name Madelhart, clues lying in the alternate English forms "maudelard" or "mawdelard". Masle has been proposed as an influence. Mallards interbreed with their closest relatives in the genus Anas, such as the American black duck, with species more distantly related, such as the northern pintail, leading to various hybrids that may be fertile; this is quite unusual among such different species, is because the mallard evolved rapidly and during the Late Pleistocene.
The distinct lineages of this radiation are kept separate due to non-overlapping ranges and behavioural cues, but have not yet reached the point where they are genetically incompatible. Mallards and their domesticated conspecifics are fully interfertile. Genetic analysis has shown that certain mallards appear to be closer to their Indo-Pacific relatives while others are related to their American relatives. Mitochondrial DNA data for the D-loop sequence suggests that mallards may have evolved in the general area of Siberia. Mallard bones rather abruptly appear in food remains of ancient humans and other deposits of fossil bones in Europe, without a good candidate for a local predecessor species; the large ice age palaeosubspecies that made up at least the European and west Asian populations during the Pleistocene has been named Anas platyrhynchos palaeoboschas. Mallards are differentiated in their mitochondrial DNA between North American and Eurasian populations, but the nuclear genome displays a notable lack of genetic structure.
Haplotypes typical of American mallard relatives and spotbills can be found in mallards around the Bering Sea. The Aleutian Islands hold a population of mallards that appear to be evolving towards a subspecies, as gene flow with other populations is limited; the paucity of morphological differences between the Old World mallards and the New World mallard demonstrates the extent to which the genome is shared among them such that birds like the Chinese spot-billed duck are similar to the Old World mallard, birds such as the Hawaiian duck are similar to the New World mallard. The size of the mallard varies clinally; the mallard is a medium-sized waterfowl species, slightly heavier than most other dabbling ducks. It is 50–65 cm long – of which the body makes up around two-thirds – has a wingspan of 81–98 cm,:505 and weighs 0.72–1.58 kg. Among standard measurements, the wing chord is 25.7 to 30.6 cm, the bill is 4.4 to 6.1 cm (
Oxford English Dictionary
The Oxford English Dictionary is the principal historical dictionary of the English language, published by Oxford University Press. It traces the historical development of the English language, providing a comprehensive resource to scholars and academic researchers, as well as describing usage in its many variations throughout the world; the second edition, comprising 21,728 pages in 20 volumes, was published in 1989. Work began on the dictionary in 1857, but it was only in 1884 that it began to be published in unbound fascicles as work continued on the project, under the name of A New English Dictionary on Historical Principles. In 1895, the title The Oxford English Dictionary was first used unofficially on the covers of the series, in 1928 the full dictionary was republished in ten bound volumes. In 1933, the title The Oxford English Dictionary replaced the former name in all occurrences in its reprinting as twelve volumes with a one-volume supplement. More supplements came over the years until 1989.
Since 2000, compilation of a third edition of the dictionary has been underway half of, complete. The first electronic version of the dictionary was made available in 1988; the online version has been available since 2000, as of April 2014 was receiving over two million hits per month. The third edition of the dictionary will most only appear in electronic form: the Chief Executive of Oxford University Press has stated that it is unlikely that it will be printed; as a historical dictionary, the Oxford English Dictionary explains words by showing their development rather than their present-day usages. Therefore, it shows definitions in the order that the sense of the word began being used, including word meanings which are no longer used; each definition is shown with numerous short usage quotations. This allows the reader to get an approximate sense of the time period in which a particular word has been in use, additional quotations help the reader to ascertain information about how the word is used in context, beyond any explanation that the dictionary editors can provide.
The format of the OED's entries has influenced numerous other historical lexicography projects. The forerunners to the OED, such as the early volumes of the Deutsches Wörterbuch, had provided few quotations from a limited number of sources, whereas the OED editors preferred larger groups of quite short quotations from a wide selection of authors and publications; this influenced volumes of this and other lexicographical works. According to the publishers, it would take a single person 120 years to "key in" the 59 million words of the OED second edition, 60 years to proofread them, 540 megabytes to store them electronically; as of 30 November 2005, the Oxford English Dictionary contained 301,100 main entries. Supplementing the entry headwords, there are 157,000 bold-type derivatives; the dictionary's latest, complete print edition was printed in 20 volumes, comprising 291,500 entries in 21,730 pages. The longest entry in the OED2 was for the verb set, which required 60,000 words to describe some 430 senses.
As entries began to be revised for the OED3 in sequence starting from M, the longest entry became make in 2000 put in 2007 run in 2011. Despite its considerable size, the OED is neither the world's largest nor the earliest exhaustive dictionary of a language. Another earlier large dictionary is the Grimm brothers' dictionary of the German language, begun in 1838 and completed in 1961; the first edition of the Vocabolario degli Accademici della Crusca is the first great dictionary devoted to a modern European language and was published in 1612. The official dictionary of Spanish is the Diccionario de la lengua española, its first edition was published in 1780; the Kangxi dictionary of Chinese was published in 1716. The dictionary began as a Philological Society project of a small group of intellectuals in London: Richard Chenevix Trench, Herbert Coleridge, Frederick Furnivall, who were dissatisfied with the existing English dictionaries; the Society expressed interest in compiling a new dictionary as early as 1844, but it was not until June 1857 that they began by forming an "Unregistered Words Committee" to search for words that were unlisted or poorly defined in current dictionaries.
In November, Trench's report was not a list of unregistered words. The Society realized that the number of unlisted words would be far more than the number of words in the English dictionaries of the 19th century, shifted their idea from covering only words that were not in English diction
Binomial nomenclature called binominal nomenclature or binary nomenclature, is a formal system of naming species of living things by giving each a name composed of two parts, both of which use Latin grammatical forms, although they can be based on words from other languages. Such a name is called a binomen, binominal name or a scientific name; the first part of the name – the generic name – identifies the genus to which the species belongs, while the second part – the specific name or specific epithet – identifies the species within the genus. For example, humans belong within this genus to the species Homo sapiens. Tyrannosaurus rex is the most known binomial; the formal introduction of this system of naming species is credited to Carl Linnaeus beginning with his work Species Plantarum in 1753. But Gaspard Bauhin, in as early as 1623, had introduced in his book Pinax theatri botanici many names of genera that were adopted by Linnaeus; the application of binomial nomenclature is now governed by various internationally agreed codes of rules, of which the two most important are the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature for animals and the International Code of Nomenclature for algae and plants.
Although the general principles underlying binomial nomenclature are common to these two codes, there are some differences, both in the terminology they use and in their precise rules. In modern usage, the first letter of the first part of the name, the genus, is always capitalized in writing, while that of the second part is not when derived from a proper noun such as the name of a person or place. Both parts are italicized when a binomial name occurs in normal text, thus the binomial name of the annual phlox is now written as Phlox drummondii. In scientific works, the authority for a binomial name is given, at least when it is first mentioned, the date of publication may be specified. In zoology "Patella vulgata Linnaeus, 1758"; the name "Linnaeus" tells the reader who it was that first published a description and name for this species of limpet. "Passer domesticus". The original name given by Linnaeus was Fringilla domestica; the ICZN does not require that the name of the person who changed the genus be given, nor the date on which the change was made, although nomenclatorial catalogs include such information.
In botany "Amaranthus retroflexus L." – "L." is the standard abbreviation used in botany for "Linnaeus". "Hyacinthoides italica Rothm. – Linnaeus first named this bluebell species Scilla italica. The name is composed of two word-forming elements: "bi", a Latin prefix for two, "-nomial", relating to a term or terms; the word "binomium" was used in Medieval Latin to mean a two-term expression in mathematics. Prior to the adoption of the modern binomial system of naming species, a scientific name consisted of a generic name combined with a specific name, from one to several words long. Together they formed a system of polynomial nomenclature; these names had two separate functions. First, to designate or label the species, second, to be a diagnosis or description. In a simple genus, containing only two species, it was easy to tell them apart with a one-word genus and a one-word specific name; such "polynomial names" may sometimes look like binomials, but are different. For example, Gerard's herbal describes various kinds of spiderwort: "The first is called Phalangium ramosum, Branched Spiderwort.
The other... is aptly termed Phalangium Ephemerum Virginianum, Soon-Fading Spiderwort of Virginia". The Latin phrases are short descriptions, rather than identifying labels; the Bauhins, in particular Caspar Bauhin, took some important steps towards the binomial system, by pruning the Latin descriptions, in many cases to two words. The adoption by biologists of a system of binomial nomenclature is due to Swedish botanist and physician Carl von Linné, more known by his Latinized name Carl Linnaeus, it was in his 1753 Species Plantarum that he first began using a one-word "trivial name" together with a generic name in a system of binomial nomenclature. This trivial name is what is now known as specific name; the Bauhins' genus names were retained in many of these, but the descriptive part was reduced to a single word. Linnaeus's trivial names introduced an important new idea, namely that the function of a name could be to give a species a unique label; this meant. Thus Gerard's Phalangium ephemerum virginianum became Tradescantia virgi