The mangrove swallow is a passerine bird in the swallow family that breeds in coastal regions from Mexico through Central America to Panama. It has blue-green upperparts, blackish flight feathers, a white rump, a black tail, white underparts, it can be identified by the supraloral white streak, the white line near its eye, which only occurs in two other species of Tachycineta: the violet-green swallow and the white-rumped swallow. The sexes, although similar in plumage, differ in size; the juveniles have white-washed underparts. This swallow's song is described as a soft trilling, with a rolled jeerrt call, a sharp alarm note; the mangrove swallow is territorial when breeding, much like the related tree swallow. Its nest is built in a hole or crevice near water and less than 2 metres above the ground; this species feeds alone when breeding, but will feed in groups when not. It forages closer to the nest when hunting for its chicks, but will go much further when foraging for itself. In between foraging attempts, it is seen perching near water.
It eats unusually large prey for its size. With an estimated population of at least 500,000 individuals, the mangrove swallow is classified as a species of least concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, its numbers are decreasing for it to be classified as vulnerable. Little is known about the predation of this species, although it is a host of Sternostoma hirundinis, a type of nasal mite, it has been known to lose nests both to termites and black flies. The mangrove swallow was formally described in 1863 as Petrochelidon albilinea by American amateur ornithologist George Newbold Lawrence, its current genus, was described in 1850 by the German ornithologist Jean Cabanis. The genus name Tachycineta is from Ancient Greek takhukinetos, "moving quickly", the specific albilinea is from Latin albus, "white", linea, "line"; the Tachycineta species are members of the swallow family of birds, are placed in the Hirundininae subfamily, which comprises all swallows and martins except the distinctive river martins.
DNA sequence studies suggest that there are three major groupings within the Hirundininae, broadly correlating with the type of nest built. These groups are the "core martins", including burrowing species like the sand martin, the "nest-adopters", which are birds that utilise natural cavities, the "mud nest builders" such as the Delichon house martins; the Tachycineta species belong to the "nest-adopter" group. All nine Tachycineta species have glossy blue or green backs and white underparts, but the five species with white rumps – the mangrove swallow, Tumbes swallow, white-winged swallow, white-rumped swallow and Chilean swallow – are closely related, the first three and the last two forming two superspecies; the Tumbes swallow of coastal Peru was considered to be a subspecies of the mangrove swallow, but its calls and cytochrome b data indicate that it should be considered as a separate species. It is differentiated from the mangrove swallow by its lack of a supraloral white line and by its slight difference in size.
A small swallow, the mangrove swallow is 11–12 centimetres long and weighs about 14 grams. The adult has iridescent blue-green upperparts, white underparts and undertail- and wing-coverts, blackish tail and flight feathers; the feathers are greener when fresh and bluer when worn. The white underparts sometimes have dark shaft streaks; the bill is black, about 11 millimetres long. The iris is a dark brown, the tarsus and toes range in colour from black to fuscous-brown; the lores have a thin white line above them. Two other species of Tachycineta have this distinctive feature: the violet-green swallow and the white-rumped swallow; the adult's tail is only forked. The sexes are similar, although they differ in size. Compared to the male, the female has a longer tail and shorter wings; the juvenile is dull grey-brown grey-brown washed white below. The juvenile's upperparts have a subtle, greenish gloss; the call of the mangrove swallow is a rolled "jeerrrt", or a "chriet". The song is described as a soft trilling.
It uses a short sharp alarm note. This swallow is native to all of Central America, it is found near low-lying bodies of water and mangrove forests, which gave rise to the common name. It has been recorded in intertidal zones. In Mexico, it is not found above 600 metres. In Costa Rica, it has been found to occur as high as 1,000 metres, but it occurs between 500 metres and sea level, it is found in the highlands. The mangrove swallow is vagrant to the United States, where it was first recorded in 2002, in Florida. Although the mangrove swallow is a full-time resident of its range, there are some post-breeding movements; the mangrove swallow is associated with still, open water, is found in small flocks over rivers or lakes when not breeding. Its flight path is direct and low over water, it flies with some gliding. In between foraging attempts, it can be seen to perch; the mangrove swallow is a solitary bird. The nest itself is built in natural or artificial cavities near water in a tree stump or dead t
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
Africa is the world's second largest and second most-populous continent, being behind Asia in both categories. At about 30.3 million km2 including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of Earth's total surface area and 20% of its land area. With 1.2 billion people as of 2016, it accounts for about 16% of the world's human population. The continent is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, the Isthmus of Suez and the Red Sea to the northeast, the Indian Ocean to the southeast and the Atlantic Ocean to the west; the continent includes various archipelagos. It contains 54 recognised sovereign states, nine territories and two de facto independent states with limited or no recognition; the majority of the continent and its countries are in the Northern Hemisphere, with a substantial portion and number of countries in the Southern Hemisphere. Africa's average population is the youngest amongst all the continents. Algeria is Africa's largest country by area, Nigeria is its largest by population. Africa central Eastern Africa, is accepted as the place of origin of humans and the Hominidae clade, as evidenced by the discovery of the earliest hominids and their ancestors as well as ones that have been dated to around 7 million years ago, including Sahelanthropus tchadensis, Australopithecus africanus, A. afarensis, Homo erectus, H. habilis and H. ergaster—the earliest Homo sapiens, found in Ethiopia, date to circa 200,000 years ago.
Africa encompasses numerous climate areas. Africa hosts a large diversity of ethnicities and languages. In the late 19th century, European countries colonised all of Africa. African nations cooperate through the establishment of the African Union, headquartered in Addis Ababa. Afri was a Latin name used to refer to the inhabitants of then-known northern Africa to the west of the Nile river, in its widest sense referred to all lands south of the Mediterranean; this name seems to have referred to a native Libyan tribe, an ancestor of modern Berbers. The name had been connected with the Phoenician word ʿafar meaning "dust", but a 1981 hypothesis has asserted that it stems from the Berber word ifri meaning "cave", in reference to cave dwellers; the same word may be found in the name of the Banu Ifran from Algeria and Tripolitania, a Berber tribe from Yafran in northwestern Libya. Under Roman rule, Carthage became the capital of the province it named Africa Proconsularis, following its defeat of the Carthaginians in the Third Punic War in 146 BC, which included the coastal part of modern Libya.
The Latin suffix -ica can sometimes be used to denote a land. The Muslim region of Ifriqiya, following its conquest of the Byzantine Empire's Exarchatus Africae preserved a form of the name. According to the Romans, Africa lay to the west of Egypt, while "Asia" was used to refer to Anatolia and lands to the east. A definite line was drawn between the two continents by the geographer Ptolemy, indicating Alexandria along the Prime Meridian and making the isthmus of Suez and the Red Sea the boundary between Asia and Africa; as Europeans came to understand the real extent of the continent, the idea of "Africa" expanded with their knowledge. Other etymological hypotheses have been postulated for the ancient name "Africa": The 1st-century Jewish historian Flavius Josephus asserted that it was named for Epher, grandson of Abraham according to Gen. 25:4, whose descendants, he claimed, had invaded Libya. Isidore of Seville in his 7th-century Etymologiae XIV.5.2. Suggests "Africa comes from the Latin aprica, meaning "sunny".
Massey, in 1881, stated that Africa is derived from the Egyptian af-rui-ka, meaning "to turn toward the opening of the Ka." The Ka is the energetic double of every person and the "opening of the Ka" refers to a womb or birthplace. Africa would be, for the Egyptians, "the birthplace." Michèle Fruyt in 1976 proposed linking the Latin word with africus "south wind", which would be of Umbrian origin and mean "rainy wind". Robert R. Stieglitz of Rutgers University in 1984 proposed: "The name Africa, derived from the Latin *Aphir-ic-a, is cognate to Hebrew Ophir." Ibn Khallikan and some other historians claim that the name of Africa came from a Himyarite king called Afrikin ibn Kais ibn Saifi called "Afrikus son of Abrahah" who subdued Ifriqiya. Africa is considered by most paleoanthropologists to be the oldest inhabited territory on Earth, with the human species originating from the continent. During the mid-20th century, anthropologists discovered many fossils and evidence of human occupation as early as 7 million years ago.
Fossil remains of several species of early apelike humans thought to have evolved into modern man, such as Australopithecus afarensis (radiometrically dated to 3.9–3.0 million years BP, Paranthropus boisei and Homo ergaster have been discovered. After the evolution of Homo sapiens sapiens 150,000 to 100,000 years BP in Africa, the continent was populated by groups of hunter-gatherers; these first modern humans left Africa and populated the rest of the globe during the Out of Africa II migration dated to 50,000 years BP, exiting the continent eith
Riparia is a small genus of passerine birds in the swallow family. The genus means "of the riverbank"; these are medium-sized swallows, ranging from 11 -- 17 cm in length. They are brown above and white below, all have a dark breast band; these species are associated with water. They nest in tunnels excavated by the birds themselves in a natural sand bank or earth mound, they lay white eggs, which are incubated by both parents, in a nest of straw and feathers in a chamber at the end of the burrow. Some species breed colonially; the cosmopolitan sand martin is completely migratory, breeding across temperate Eurasia and North America and wintering in the tropics. The other species are resident. Riparia martins, like other swallows, take insects in flight over water, grassland, or other open country. There are six species. In taxonomic order, they are: Riparia minor
The square-tailed saw-wing known as the square-tailed rough-winged swallow is a species of bird in the family Hirundinidae. It is found in Angola, Central African Republic, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ivory Coast, Equatorial Guinea, Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leone
Phedina is a small genus of passerine birds in the swallow family. It has two members, the Mascarene martin, Phedina borbonica, which has two subspecies in Madagascar and the Mascarene Islands and Brazza's martin, P. brazzae, which breeds in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Republic of the Congo, northern Angola. The nearest relative of the Phedina martins is the banded martin, Riparia cincta, which resembles Brazza's martin in nesting habits and vocalisations. Both Phedina martins have grey-brown upperparts and paler streaked underparts. Adult Mascarene martins are 15 cm in length, Brazza's martin is smaller at 12 cm long. Both species have dark brown eyes and a black bill and legs. Juvenile birds have more diffuse breast streaking and pale edges to the feathers of the back and wings than the adults. Both species can be distinguished from most other swallows in their breeding or wintering ranges by the streaking on the underparts and lack of a forked tail; the Mascarene martin has a warbled siri-liri siri-liri song given in flight, but Brazza's martin has quite different vocalisations, its song consisting of a series of short notes followed by a complex buzz and sometimes some final clicks.
Both species breed in small groups: the Mascarene martin builds a shallow cup nest of twigs and coarse plant material with a soft inner lining, whereas Brazza's martin makes a small heap of soft material such as feathers or dry grass at the end of a 50-cm tunnel in a riverbank. The normal clutch is three eggs for Brazza's martin, two for Mascarene martins on Madagascar and Mauritius, two or three for those on Réunion; as with other swallows, both martins feed on flying insects, hunting in single-species groups or with other swallows and swifts. Brazza's martin may be hunted by humans, both species may be infected with a variety of parasites; these swallows may be affected by poor weather when breeding, but neither appears to be under serious threat. The small islands which are the home of the Mascarene martin subspecies P. b. borbonica may be devastated by cyclones, which have the potential to cause severe temporary losses to the populations on Mauritius and Réunion. The legal protection afforded to the Phedina martins varies with jurisdiction, ranges from none for Mascarene martins on Réunion to special protection for the same species on Madagascar.
The Brazza's martin is not a protected species anywhere in its range. The French biologist Charles Lucien Bonaparte created the genus Phedina in 1855 to accommodate the Mascarene martin Hirundo borbonica, which he considered to be sufficiently different from other Hirundo species to merit its own genus; the only other member of the genus is the Brazza's martin, P. brazzae, first described by French zoologist Émile Oustalet in 1886. The genus name is derived from the Greek phaios "brown" and the Italian rondine "swallow"; the species name for the Mascarene martin refers to the Île de Bourbon, that for Brazza's martin commemorates Italian-born French explorer Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza to become governor-general of the French Congo, who collected the type specimen. The Phedina species are members of the swallow family of birds, are classed as members of the Hirundininae subfamily, which comprises all swallows and martins except the distinctive river martins. DNA sequence studies suggest that there are three major groupings within the Hirundininae, broadly correlating with the type of nest built.
These groups are the "core martins", including burrowing species like the sand martin. Based on the DNA analysis, the Phedina species are placed in the "core martins"; the genus Phedina is thought to be an early offshoot from the main swallow lineage, although their striped plumage suggests a distant relationship with several streaked African Hirundo species. In the past it has sometimes been suggested that Brazza's martin should be moved to its own genus Phedinopsis due to the significant differences in vocalisations and nest type from its relative; the nearest relative of the Phedina martins is the banded martin, Riparia cincta, which appears not to be related to the other members of its current genus and resembles Brazza's martin in nesting habits and vocalisations. The current Association of European Rarities Committees -recommended practice is to move the banded martin to its own genus as Neophedina cincta, rather than to merge it into Phedina, since the banded martin's larger size, different bill and nostril shape and non-colonial nesting are differences from the other Phedina species.
Both Phedina martins have grey-brown upperparts and paler streaked underparts. Adult Mascarene martins of the nominate subspecies are 15 cm long with wings averaging 116.6 mm and weigh 23.9 g. The tail is forked and the wings are blackish-brown; the Madagascan subspecies is overall larger-billed than the nominate form. It has denser streaking on the breast, but only fine lines on the lower abdomen and on the white undertail, it is distinctly smaller than the nominate subspecies, 12–14 cm in length with an average weight of 20.6 g. The Brazza's martin is 12 cm long with dark brown wings averaging 100.5 mm. It has a brownish tint to a square tail. Both species have a black bill and legs. Juvenile birds have more diffuse breast streaking, white tips or buff edges to the feathers of the back and wings. Both species can be distinguished from most other swallows in their breeding or