National Museum of Natural History (France)
The French National Museum of Natural History, known in French as the Muséum national d'histoire naturelle, is the national natural history museum of France and a grand établissement of higher education part of Sorbonne Universities. The main museum is located in France, on the left bank of the River Seine, it was founded in 1793 during the French Revolution, but was established earlier in 1635. As of 2017, the museum has 14 sites throughout France, with four in Paris, including the original location at the royal botanical garden, the Jardin des Plantes, which remains one of the seven departments of MNHN; the museum was formally founded on 10 June 1793, during the French Revolution. Its origins lie, however, in the Jardin royal des plantes médicinales created by King Louis XIII in 1635, directed and run by the royal physicians; the royal proclamation of the boy-king Louis XV on 31 March 1718, removed the purely medical function, enabling the garden—which became known as the Jardin du Roi —to focus on natural history.
For much of the 18th century, the garden was under the direction of Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon, one of the leading naturalists of the Enlightenment, bringing international fame and prestige to the establishment. The royal institution remarkably survived the French Revolution by being reorganized in 1793 as a republican Muséum national d'histoire naturelle with twelve professorships of equal rank; some of its early professors included eminent comparative anatomist Georges Cuvier and evolutionary pioneers Jean-Baptiste de Lamarck and Étienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire. The museum's aims were to instruct the public, put together collections and conduct scientific research, it continued to flourish during the 19th century, under the direction of chemist Michel Eugène Chevreul, became a rival to the University of Paris in scientific research. For example, during the period that Henri Becquerel held the chair for Applied Physics at the Muséum he discovered the radiation properties of uranium.
A decree of 12 December 1891 ended this phase, returning the museum to an emphasis on natural history. After receiving financial autonomy in 1907, it began a new phase of growth, opening facilities throughout France during the interwar years. In recent decades, it has directed its research and education efforts at the effects on the environment of human exploitation. In French public administration, the Muséum is classed as a grand établissement of higher education. In the 19th century Argentine naturalist Francisco Javier Muñiz developed a collection that he intended to be used to create a natural history museum; the artifacts were sent to Juan Manuel de Rosas, the dictator of the Argentine Federation, whose support was required to establish a museum. Rosas, in an attempt to build alliances overseas, sent collected fossils to Jean Henri Dupotet, Rear Admiral of the French Navy. Dupotet sent them to Paris. In France, the Muñiz collection ended up in the National Museum of Natural History where they were studied by Paul Gervais.
In 1762 Jean Baptiste Christophore Fusée Aublet was sent to Cayenne in French Guiana, where he assembled a vast herbarium which allowed him to prepare his Histoire des plantes de la Guiane françoise, published in 1775 and including 400 copperplate engravings. When Fusée Aublet died at Paris in 1778, he left his herbarium to Jean-Jacques Rousseau, though the latter possessed it for only two months before he too died, it was acquired by the Muséum national d'histoire naturelle in 1953. During the French Revolution the Museum expanded its collection by claiming objects from the cabinets of the aristocracy and from other institutions, such as the Royal Academy of Sciences and the École Royale Vétérinaire d'Alfort; the museum has as its mission both public diffusion of knowledge. It is organized into three diffusion departments; the research departments are: Classification and Evolution Regulation and Molecular Diversity Aquatic Environments and Populations Ecology and Biodiversity Management History of Earth Men and Societies, PrehistoryThe diffusion departments are: The Galleries of the Jardin des Plantes Botanical Parks and Zoos, The Museum of Man The museum developed higher education, now delivers a master's degree.
The museum comprises fourteen sites throughout France with four in Paris, including the original location at the Jardin des Plantes in the 5th arrondissement. The galleries open to the public are the Gallery of Mineralogy and Geology, the Gallery of Paleontology and Comparative Anatomy, the Gallery of Botany, the famous Gallery of Evolution; the Paleontology and comparative Anatomy Gallery is a 540 million year journey and one of the highlights of the museum. It starts with the famous fossils from the Paleozoic Era from 540 to 250 million years ago, such as the gigantic Dunkleosteus; the Mesozoic Era, 250 to 65 million years ago, marks the golden age of the dinosaurs such as the Diplodocus, Carnotaurus, Triceratops. One contemporary of these animals was a giant crocodile with terrifying teeth; the Muséum's Menagerie is located in the Jardin des plantes. The current Gallery of Botany, erected in 1935, is intended to preserve the vast herbarium of the museum. Referred to by code P, the herbarium includes a large number of important collections amongst its 8 million plant specimens.
The historical collections incorporated into the herbarium, each with its P prefix
Atractus is a genus of colubrid ground snakes in the subfamily Dipsadinae. The genus includes more than 140 distinct species. Snakes of the genus Atractus are endemic to South America; this snake's maxilla is short, with 8–12 teeth. The head is not distinct from the neck, its body is cylindrical. The tail can be rather long; the following species are recognized as being valid. Nota bene: A binomial authority in parentheses indicates that the species was described in a genus other than Atractus. Freiberg M. Snakes of South America. Hong Kong: T. F. H. Publications. 189 pp. ISBN 0-87666-912-7.. Wagler. "Auszüge aus seinem Systema Amphibiorum". Isis von Oken 21: 740-744
Paris is the capital and most populous city of France, with an area of 105 square kilometres and an official estimated population of 2,140,526 residents as of 1 January 2019. Since the 17th century, Paris has been one of Europe's major centres of finance, commerce, fashion and the arts; the City of Paris is the centre and seat of government of the Île-de-France, or Paris Region, which has an estimated official 2019 population of 12,213,364, or about 18 percent of the population of France. The Paris Region had a GDP of €681 billion in 2016, accounting for 31 percent of the GDP of France, was the 5th largest region by GDP in the world. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit Worldwide Cost of Living Survey in 2018, Paris was the second most expensive city in the world, after Singapore, ahead of Zurich, Hong Kong and Geneva. Another source ranked Paris as most expensive, on a par with Singapore and Hong-Kong, in 2018; the city is a major rail and air-transport hub served by two international airports: Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Paris-Orly.
Opened in 1900, the city's subway system, the Paris Métro, serves 5.23 million passengers daily, is the second busiest metro system in Europe after Moscow Metro. Gare du Nord is the 24th busiest railway station in the world, the first located outside Japan, with 262 million passengers in 2015. Paris is known for its museums and architectural landmarks: the Louvre was the most visited art museum in the world in 2018, with 10.2 million visitors. The Musée d'Orsay and Musée de l'Orangerie are noted for their collections of French Impressionist art, the Pompidou Centre Musée National d'Art Moderne has the largest collection of modern and contemporary art in Europe; the historical district along the Seine in the city centre is classified as a UNESCO Heritage Site. Popular landmarks in the centre of the city include the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris and the Gothic royal chapel of Sainte-Chapelle, both on the Île de la Cité. Paris received 23 million visitors in 2017, measured by hotel stays, with the largest numbers of foreign visitors coming from the United States, the UK, Germany and China.
It was ranked as the third most visited travel destination in the world in 2017, after Bangkok and London. The football club Paris Saint-Germain and the rugby union club Stade Français are based in Paris; the 80,000-seat Stade de France, built for the 1998 FIFA World Cup, is located just north of Paris in the neighbouring commune of Saint-Denis. Paris hosts the annual French Open Grand Slam tennis tournament on the red clay of Roland Garros. Paris will host the 2024 Summer Olympics; the 1938 and 1998 FIFA World Cups, the 2007 Rugby World Cup, the 1960, 1984, 2016 UEFA European Championships were held in the city and, every July, the Tour de France bicycle race finishes there. The name "Paris" is derived from the Celtic Parisii tribe; the city's name is not related to the Paris of Greek mythology. Paris is referred to as the City of Light, both because of its leading role during the Age of Enlightenment and more because Paris was one of the first large European cities to use gas street lighting on a grand scale on its boulevards and monuments.
Gas lights were installed on the Place du Carousel, Rue de Rivoli and Place Vendome in 1829. By 1857, the Grand boulevards were lit. By the 1860s, the boulevards and streets of Paris were illuminated by 56,000 gas lamps. Since the late 19th century, Paris has been known as Panam in French slang. Inhabitants are known in French as Parisiens, they are pejoratively called Parigots. The Parisii, a sub-tribe of the Celtic Senones, inhabited the Paris area from around the middle of the 3rd century BC. One of the area's major north–south trade routes crossed the Seine on the île de la Cité; the Parisii minted their own coins for that purpose. The Romans began their settlement on Paris' Left Bank; the Roman town was called Lutetia. It became a prosperous city with a forum, temples, an amphitheatre. By the end of the Western Roman Empire, the town was known as Parisius, a Latin name that would become Paris in French. Christianity was introduced in the middle of the 3rd century AD by Saint Denis, the first Bishop of Paris: according to legend, when he refused to renounce his faith before the Roman occupiers, he was beheaded on the hill which became known as Mons Martyrum "Montmartre", from where he walked headless to the north of the city.
Clovis the Frank, the first king of the Merovingian dynasty, made the city his capital from 508. As the Frankish domination of Gaul began, there was a gradual immigration by the Franks to Paris and the Parisian Francien dialects were born. Fortification of the Île-de-la-Citie failed to avert sacking by Vikings in 845, but Paris' strategic importance—with its bridges prevent
Natural History Museum, London
The Natural History Museum in London is a natural history museum that exhibits a vast range of specimens from various segments of natural history. It is one of three major museums on Exhibition Road in South Kensington, the others being the Science Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum; the Natural History Museum's main frontage, however, is on Cromwell Road. The museum is home to life and earth science specimens comprising some 80 million items within five main collections: botany, mineralogy and zoology; the museum is a centre of research specialising in taxonomy and conservation. Given the age of the institution, many of the collections have great historical as well as scientific value, such as specimens collected by Charles Darwin; the museum is famous for its exhibition of dinosaur skeletons and ornate architecture—sometimes dubbed a cathedral of nature—both exemplified by the large Diplodocus cast that dominated the vaulted central hall before it was replaced in 2017 with the skeleton of a blue whale hanging from the ceiling.
The Natural History Museum Library contains extensive books, journals and artwork collections linked to the work and research of the scientific departments. The museum is recognised as the pre-eminent centre of natural history and research of related fields in the world. Although referred to as the Natural History Museum, it was known as British Museum until 1992, despite legal separation from the British Museum itself in 1963. Originating from collections within the British Museum, the landmark Alfred Waterhouse building was built and opened by 1881 and incorporated the Geological Museum; the Darwin Centre is a more recent addition designed as a modern facility for storing the valuable collections. Like other publicly funded national museums in the United Kingdom, the Natural History Museum does not charge an admission fee; the museum is an exempt charity and a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Culture and Sport. Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge is a patron of the museum.
There are 850 staff at the Museum. The two largest strategic groups are Science Group; the foundation of the collection was that of the Ulster doctor Sir Hans Sloane, who allowed his significant collections to be purchased by the British Government at a price well below their market value at the time. This purchase was funded by a lottery. Sloane's collection, which included dried plants, animal and human skeletons, was housed in Montagu House, Bloomsbury, in 1756, the home of the British Museum. Most of the Sloane collection had disappeared by the early decades of the nineteenth century. Dr George Shaw sold many specimens to the Royal College of Surgeons and had periodic cremations of material in the grounds of the museum, his successors applied to the trustees for permission to destroy decayed specimens. In 1833 the Annual Report states that, of the 5,500 insects listed in the Sloane catalogue, none remained; the inability of the natural history departments to conserve its specimens became notorious: the Treasury refused to entrust it with specimens collected at the government's expense.
Appointments of staff were bedevilled by gentlemanly favoritism. J. E. Gray complained of the incidence of mental illness amongst staff: George Shaw threatened to put his foot on any shell not in the 12th edition of Linnaeus' Systema Naturae; the huge collection of the conchologist Hugh Cuming was acquired by the museum, Gray's own wife had carried the open trays across the courtyard in a gale: all the labels blew away. That collection is said never to have recovered; the Principal Librarian at the time was Antonio Panizzi. The general public was not encouraged to visit the Museum's natural history exhibits. In 1835 to a Select Committee of Parliament, Sir Henry Ellis said this policy was approved by the Principal Librarian and his senior colleagues. Many of these faults were corrected by the palaeontologist Richard Owen, appointed Superintendent of the natural history departments of the British Museum in 1856, his changes led Bill Bryson to write that "by making the Natural History Museum an institution for everyone, Owen transformed our expectations of what museums are for".
Owen saw that the natural history departments needed more space, that implied a separate building as the British Museum site was limited. Land in South Kensington was purchased, in 1864 a competition was held to design the new museum; the winning entry was submitted by the civil engineer Captain Francis Fowke, who died shortly afterwards. The scheme was taken over by Alfred Waterhouse who revised the agreed plans, designed the façades in his own idiosyncratic Romanesque style, inspired by his frequent visits to the Continent; the original plans included wings on either side of the main building, but these plans were soon abandoned for budgetary reasons. The space these would have occupied are now taken by the Earth Galleries and Darwin Centre. Work began in 1873 and was completed in 1880; the new museum opened in 1881, although the move from the old museum was not completed until 1883. Both the interiors and exteriors of the Waterhouse building make extensive use of
Leopold II of Belgium
Leopold II was King of the Belgians from 1865 to 1909. Born in Brussels as the second but eldest surviving son of Leopold I and Louise of Orléans, he succeeded his father to the Belgian throne in 1865 and reigned for 44 years until his death – the longest reign of any Belgian monarch, he died without surviving male heirs. The current Belgian king descends from his nephew and successor, Albert I. Leopold was the founder and sole owner of the Congo Free State, a private project undertaken on his own behalf, he used Henry Morton Stanley to help him lay claim to the Congo, the present-day Democratic Republic of the Congo. At the Berlin Conference of 1884–1885, the colonial nations of Europe authorized his claim by committing the Congo Free State to improving the lives of the native inhabitants. From the beginning, Leopold ignored these conditions, he ran the Congo using the mercenary Force Publique for his personal enrichment. He extracted a fortune from the territory by the collection of ivory, after a rise in the price of rubber in the 1890s, by forced labour from the native population to harvest and process rubber.
He used great sums of the money from this exploitation for public and private construction projects in Belgium during this period. He donated the private buildings to the state before his death. Leopold's administration of the Congo was marred by murder and other atrocities, his regime was characterized by notorious systematic brutality. The hands of men and children were amputated when the quota of rubber was not met. Thousands were sold into slavery; these and other facts were established at the time by eyewitness testimony and on-site inspection by an international Commission of Inquiry. Millions of the Congolese people died: modern estimates range from one million to 15 million deaths, with a consensus growing around 10 million; some historians argue against this figure due to the absence of reliable censuses, the enormous mortality of diseases such as smallpox or sleeping sickness, the fact that there were only 175 administrative agents in charge of rubber exploitation. In 1908 reports of deaths and abuse in the Congo induced the Belgian government to take over the administration of the Congo, free from Leopold's oversight.
Leopold was born in Brussels on 9 April 1835, the second child of the reigning Belgian monarch, Leopold I, of his second wife, the daughter of King Louis Philippe of France. The French Revolution of 1848 forced Louis Philippe to flee to the United Kingdom; the British monarch, Queen Victoria, was Leopold II's first cousin, as Leopold's father and Victoria's mother were siblings. Louis Philippe died two years in 1850. Leopold's fragile mother was affected by the death of her father, her health deteriorated, she died of tuberculosis that same year. Three years in 1853, at the age of 18, he married Marie Henriette of Austria in Brussels on 22 August. Marie Henriette was a cousin of Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria, granddaughter of Leopold II, Holy Roman Emperor through her father, Austrian archduke Joseph. Marie Henriette was lively and energetic, endeared herself to the people by her character and benevolence, her beauty gained for her the sobriquet of "The Rose of Brabant", she was an accomplished artist and musician.
She was passionate about horseback riding to the point that she would care for her horses personally. Some joked about this "marriage of a stableman and a nun", the shy and withdrawn Leopold referred to as the nun. Four children were born of this marriage, three daughters and one son named Leopold; the younger Leopold died in 1869 at the age of nine from pneumonia after falling into a pond. His death was a source of great sorrow for King Leopold; the marriage became unhappy, the couple separated after a last attempt to have another son, a union that resulted in the birth of their last daughter Clementine. Marie Henriette retreated to Spa in 1895, died there in 1902. Leopold had many mistresses. In 1899, in his sixty-fifth year, Leopold took as a mistress Caroline Lacroix, a sixteen-year-old French prostitute, they remained together for the next decade until his death. Leopold lavished upon her large sums of money, gifts, a noble title, Baroness Vaughan. Owing to these gifts and the unofficial nature of their relationship, Caroline was unpopular among the Belgian people and internationally.
She and Leopold married secretly in a religious ceremony five days before his death. Their failure to perform a civil ceremony rendered the marriage invalid under Belgian law. After the king's death, it was soon discovered that he had left Caroline a large fortune, which the Belgian government and Leopold's three estranged daughters tried to seize as rightfully theirs. Caroline bore two sons who were Leopold's; as Leopold's older brother named Louis Philippe, had died the year before Leopold's birth, Leopold was heir to the throne from his birth. When he was 9 years old, Leopold received the title of Duke of Brabant, was appointed a sub-lieutenant in the army, he served in the army until his accession in 1865, by which time he had reached the rank of lieutenant-general. Leopold's public career began on his attaining the age of majority in 1855, when he became a member of the Belgian Senate, he took an active interest in the senate in matters concerning the development of Belgium and its trade, began to urge Belgium's acquisition of colonies.
Leopold traveled extensively abroad from 1854 to 1865, visiting India, China and the countries on the Mediterranean
Fellow of the Royal Society
Fellowship of the Royal Society is an award granted to individuals that the Royal Society of London judges to have made a'substantial contribution to the improvement of natural knowledge, including mathematics, engineering science and medical science'. Fellowship of the Society, the oldest scientific academy in continuous existence, is a significant honour, awarded to many eminent scientists from history including Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Michael Faraday, Ernest Rutherford, Srinivasa Ramanujan, Albert Einstein, Winston Churchill, Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, Dorothy Hodgkin, Alan Turing and Francis Crick. More fellowship has been awarded to Stephen Hawking, Tim Hunt, Elizabeth Blackburn, Tim Berners-Lee, Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, Atta-ur Rahman, Andre Geim, James Dyson, Ajay Kumar Sood, Subhash Khot, Elon Musk and around 8,000 others in total, including over 280 Nobel Laureates since 1900; as of October 2018, there are 1689 living Fellows and Honorary Members, of which over 60 are Nobel Laureates.
Fellowship of the Royal Society has been described by The Guardian newspaper as “the equivalent of a lifetime achievement Oscar” with several institutions celebrating their announcement each year. Up to 60 new Fellows and foreign members are elected annually in late April or early May, from a pool of around 700 proposed candidates each year. New Fellows can only be nominated by existing Fellows for one of the fellowships described below: Every year, up to 52 new Fellows are elected from the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth of Nations which make up around 90% of the society; each candidate is considered on their merits and can be proposed from any sector of the scientific community. Fellows are elected for life on the basis of excellence in science and are entitled to use the post-nominal letters FRS. See Category:Fellows of the Royal Society and Category:Female Fellows of the Royal Society; every year, Fellows elect up to ten new Foreign Members. Like Fellows, Foreign Members are elected for life through peer review on the basis of excellence in science.
As of 2016 there are around 165 Foreign Members, who are entitled to use the post-nominal ForMemRS. See Category:Foreign Members of the Royal Society. Honorary Fellowship is an honorary academic title awarded to candidates who have given distinguished service to the cause of science, but do not have the kind of scientific achievements required of Fellows or Foreign Members. Honorary Fellows include Bill Bryson, Melvyn Bragg, Robin Saxby, David Sainsbury, Baron Sainsbury of Turville and Onora O'Neill. Honorary Fellows are entitled to use the post nominal letters FRS. Others including John Maddox, Patrick Moore and Lisa Jardine were elected as honorary fellows, see Category:Honorary Fellows of the Royal Society. Statute 12 is a legacy mechanism for electing members before official honorary membership existed in 1997. Fellows elected under statute 12 include 4th Earl of Selborne. Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom such as Margaret Thatcher, Neville Chamberlain,Ramsay Macdonald and H. H. Asquith were elected under statute 12, see Category:Fellows of the Royal Society.
The Council of the Royal Society can recommend members of the British Royal Family for election as Royal Fellows of the Royal Society. As of 2016 there are five royal fellows: Charles, Prince of Wales elected 1978 Anne, Princess Royal elected 1987 Prince Edward, Duke of Kent elected 1990 Prince William, Duke of Cambridge elected 2009 Prince Andrew, Duke of York elected 2013Her Majesty the Queen, Elizabeth II is not a Royal Fellow, but provides her patronage to the Society as all reigning British monarchs have done since Charles II of England. Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh was elected under statute 12, not as a Royal Fellow; the election of new fellows is announced annually in May, after their nomination and a period of peer-reviewed selection. Each candidate for Fellowship or Foreign Membership is nominated by two Fellows of the Royal Society, who sign a certificate of proposal. Nominations required at least five fellows to support each nomination by the proposer, criticised for establishing an old-boy network and elitist gentlemen's club.
The certificate of election includes a statement of the principal grounds on which the proposal is being made. There is no limit on the number of nominations made each year. In 2015, there were 654 candidates for election as Fellows and 106 candidates for Foreign Membership; the Council of the Royal Society oversees the selection process and appoints 10 subject area committees, known as Sectional Committees, to recommend the strongest candidates for election to Fellowship. The final list of up to 52 Fellowship candidates and up to 10 Foreign Membership candidates is confirmed by the Council in April and a secret ballot of Fellows is held at a meeting in May. A candidate is elected if she secures two-thirds of votes of those Fellows present and voting. A maximum of 18 Fellowships can be allocated to candidates from Physical Sciences and Biological Sciences. A further maximum of 6 can be ‘Honorary’, ‘General’ or ‘Royal’ Fellows. Nominations for Fellowship are peer reviewed by sectional committees, each with 15 members and a chair.
Members of the 10 sectional committees change every 3 years to mitigate in-group bias, each group covers different
Cnemaspis is a genus of diurnal geckos found in Africa and Asia. With over 100 species, it is one of the most diverse genera of geckos. Species in this genus have clawed digits which are cylindrical or depressed at the base, their bodies are less depressed, granular or tubercular above. Tail not compressed. Pupil circular. Males with or without pre-anal or femoral pores. Data related to Cnemaspis at Wikispecies