Conch is a common name applied to a number of different medium to large-sized shells. The term applies to large snails whose shell has a high spire and a noticeable siphonal canal. In North America, a conch is identified as a queen conch, indigenous to the waters of the Bahamas. Queen conchs are valued for seafood, are used as fish bait; the group of conchs that are sometimes referred to as "true conchs" are marine gastropod molluscs in the family Strombidae in the genus Strombus and other related genera. For example, see Lobatus gigas, the queen conch, Laevistrombus canarium, the dog conch. Many other species are often called "conch", but are not at all related to the family Strombidae, including Melongena species, the horse conch Triplofusus papillosus. Species referred to as conchs include the sacred chank or more shankha shell and other Turbinella species in the family Turbinellidae; the English word "conch" is attested in Middle English, coming from Latin concha, which in turn comes from Greek konchē from Proto-Indo-European root *konkho-, cognate with Sanskrit śaṅkha.
The meat of conchs is eaten raw in salads, or cooked, as in burgers, chowders and gumbos. All parts of the conch meat are edible. Conch is most indigenous to the Bahamas, is served in fritter and soup forms. Conch is eaten in the West Indies. Restaurants all over the islands serve this particular meat. In the Dominican Republic and Haiti, conch is eaten in curries or in a spicy soup, it is locally referred to as lambi. In the Turks and Caicos Islands, the Annual Conch Festival is held in November each year, located at the Three Queens Bar/Restaurant in Blue Hills. Local restaurateurs compete for the best and most original conch dishes, which are judged by international chefs. Free sampling of the dishes follows the judging. In Puerto Rico, conch is served as a ceviche called ensalada de carrucho, consisting of raw conch marinated in lime juice, olive oil, garlic, green peppers, onions, it is used to fill empanadas. In Panama, conch is known as cambombia and is served as ceviche de cambombia consisting of raw conch marinated in lime juice, chopped onions, finely chopped habaneros, vinegar.
Conch is popular in Italy and among Italian Americans. Called scungille, it is eaten in a variety of ways, but most in salads or cooked in a sauce for pasta, it is included as one of the dishes prepared for the Feast of the Seven Fishes. In East Asian cuisines, this seafood is cut into thin slices and steamed or stir-fried. Eighty-percent of the queen conch meat in international trade is imported into the United States; the Florida Keys were a major source of queen conchs until the 1970s, but the conchs are now scarce and all harvesting of them in Florida waters is prohibited. Conch shells can be used as wind instruments, they are prepared by cutting a hole in the spire of the shell near the apex, blowing into the shell as if it were a trumpet, as in blowing horn. Sometimes, a mouthpiece is used. Pitch is adjusted by moving one's hand out of the aperture. Various species of large marine gastropod shells can be turned into "blowing shells", but some of the best-known species used are the sacred chank or shankha Turbinella pyrum, the Triton's trumpet Charonia tritonis, the queen conch Strombus gigas.
Many different kinds of mollusks can produce pearls. Pearls from the queen conch, S. gigas, are rare and have been collectors' items since Victorian times. Conch pearls occur in a range of hues, including white and orange, with many intermediate shades, but pink is the colour most associated with the conch pearl, such that these pearls are sometimes referred to as "pink pearls". In some gemological texts, non-nacreous gastropod pearls used to be referred to as "calcareous concretions" because they were "porcellaneous", rather than "nacreous", sometimes known as "orient"; the GIA and CIBJO now use the term "pearl"—or, where appropriate, the more descriptive term "non-nacreous pearl"—when referring to such items, under Federal Trade Commission rules, various mollusc pearls may be referred to as "pearls" without qualification. Although not nacreous, the surfaces of fine conch pearls have a unique and attractive appearance of their own; the microstructure of conch pearls comprises aligned bundles of microcrystalline fibres that create a shimmering iridescent effect known as "flame structure".
The effect is a form of chatoyancy, caused by the interaction of light rays with the microcrystals in the pearl's surface, it somewhat resembles moiré silk. Conch shells are sometimes used as decoration, as decorative planters, in cameo making. In classic Maya art, conchs are shown being used in many ways, including as paint and ink holders for elite scribes, as bugles or trumpets, as hand weapons. Conch shells have been used as shell money in several cultures; some American Aboriginals used cylindrical conch columella beads as part of breastplates and other personal adornment. In India, the Bengali bride-to-be is adorned with conch shell and coral bangles
Opuntia called prickly pear, is a genus in the cactus family, Cactaceae. Prickly pears are known as tuna, nopal from the Nahuatl word nōpalli for the pads, or nostle, from the Nahuatl word nōchtli for the fruit; the genus is named for the Ancient Greek city of Opus, according to Theophrastus, an edible plant grew and could be propagated by rooting its leaves. The most common culinary species is the Indian fig opuntia. O. ficus-indica is a large trunk-forming segmented cactus which may grow to 5–7 metres with a crown of 3 metres in diameter and a trunk diameter of 1 metre. Cladodes may be spineless. Prickly pears grow with flat, rounded cladodes containing large, fixed spines and small, hairlike prickles called glochids that adhere to skin or hair detach from the plant; the flowers are large, solitary and epiperigynous, with a perianth consisting of distinct, spirally arranged tepals and a hypanthium. The stamens are numerous and in spiral or whorled clusters, the gynoecium has numerous inferior ovaries per carpel.
Placentation is parietal, the fruit is a berry with arillate seeds. Prickly pear species can vary in habit. O. ficus-indica thrives in regions with mild winters having a prolonged dry spell followed by hot summers with occasional rain and low humidity. A mean annual rainfall of 350–500 millimetres provides good growth rates. O. ficus-indica proliferates in various soils ranging from sub-acid to sub-alkaline, with clay content not exceeding 15-20% and the soil well-drained. The shallow root system enables the plant to grow in shallow, loose soils, such as on mountain slopes. Opuntia spreads into large clonal colonies, which contribute to its being considered a noxious weed in some places. Animals that eat Opuntia include Cyclura rock iguanas; the fruit are relished by many arid land animals, chiefly birds, which thus help distribute the seeds. Opuntia pathogens include the sac fungus Sammons' Opuntia virus; the ant Crematogaster opuntiae and the spider Theridion opuntia are named because of their association with prickly pear cacti.
Like most true cactus species, prickly pears are native only to the Americas. Through human actions, they have since been introduced to many other areas of the world. Prickly pear species are found in abundance in Mexico in the central and western regions, in the Caribbean islands. In the United States, prickly pears are native to many areas of the arid, semi-arid, drought-prone Western and South Central United States, including the lower elevations of the Rocky Mountains and southern Great Plains, where species such as Opuntia phaeacantha and Opuntia polyacantha become dominant, to the desert Southwest, where several types are endemic. Prickly pear cactus is native to sandy coastal beach scrub environments of the East Coast from Florida to southern Connecticut. Opuntia species are the most cold-tolerant of the lowland cacti, extending into western and southern Canada. Prickly pears produce a fruit eaten in Mexico and in the Mediterranean region, known as tuna; the fruit can be wine-red, green, or yellow-orange.
In the Galápagos Islands, six different species are found: O. echios, O. galapageia, O. helleri, O. insularis, O. saxicola, O. megasperma. These species are divided into 14 different varieties. For this reason, they have been described as "an excellent example of adaptive radiation". On the whole, islands with tall, trunked varieties have giant tortoises, islands lacking tortoises have low or prostrate forms of Opuntia. Prickly pears are a prime source of food for the common giant tortoises in the Galápagos islands so they are important in the food web. Charles Darwin was the first to note that these cacti have thigmotactic anthers: when the anthers are touched, they curl over, depositing their pollen; this movement can be seen by poking the anthers of an open Opuntia flower. The same trait has evolved convergently in other cacti; the first introduction of prickly pears into Australia is ascribed to Governor Philip and the earliest colonists in 1788. Brought from Brazil to Sydney, prickly pear grew in Sydney, New South Wales, where they were rediscovered in a farmer's garden in 1839.
They appear to have spread from New South Wales and caused great ecological damage in the eastern states. They are found in the Mediterranean region of Northern Africa in Tunisia, where they grow all over the countryside, in parts of southern Europe Spain, where they grow in the east, south-east and south of the country, in Malta, where they grow all over the islands, they can be found in enormous numbers in parts of South Africa, where they were introduced from South America. Prickly pears are considered an invasive species in Australia, South Africa, Hawaii, among other locations. Prickly pears were imported into Europe during the 1500s and Australia in the 18th century for gardens, were used as a natural agricultural fencing and in an attempt to establish a cochineal dye industry. They
Catfish are a diverse group of ray-finned fish. Named for their prominent barbels, which resemble a cat's whiskers, catfish range in size and behavior from the three largest species alive, the Mekong giant catfish from Southeast Asia, the wels catfish of Eurasia and the piraíba of South America, to detritivores, to a tiny parasitic species called the candiru, Vandellia cirrhosa. There are armour-plated types and there are naked types, neither having scales. Despite their name, not all catfish have prominent barbels. Members of the Siluriformes order are defined by features of the swimbladder. Catfish are of considerable commercial importance. Many of the smaller species the genus Corydoras, are important in the aquarium hobby. Many catfish are nocturnal. Extant catfish species live in coastal waters of every continent except Antarctica. Catfish have inhabited all continents at another. Catfish are most diverse in tropical South America and Africa with one family native to North America and one family in Europe.
More than half of all catfish species live in the Americas. They are the only ostariophysans that have entered freshwater habitats in Madagascar and New Guinea, they are found in freshwater environments. Representatives of at least eight families are hypogean with three families that are troglobitic. One such species is Phreatobius cisternarum, known to live underground in phreatic habitats. Numerous species from the families Ariidae and Plotosidae, a few species from among the Aspredinidae and Bagridae, are found in salt water. In the Southern United States, catfish species may be known by a variety of slang names, such as "mud cat", "polliwogs", or "chuckleheads"; these nicknames are not standardized, so one area may call a bullhead catfish by the nickname "chucklehead", while in another state or region, that nickname refers to the blue catfish. Representatives of the genus Ictalurus have been introduced into European waters in the hope of obtaining a sporting and food resource. However, the European stock of American catfishes has not achieved the dimensions of these fish in their native waters, have only increased the ecological pressure on native European fauna.
Walking catfish have been introduced in the freshwaters of Florida, with the voracious catfish becoming a major alien pest there. Flathead catfish, Pylodictis olivaris, is a North American pest on Atlantic slope drainages. Pterygoplichthys species, released by aquarium fishkeepers, have established feral populations in many warm waters around the world. Most catfish are bottom feeders. In general, they are negatively buoyant, which means that they will sink rather than float due to a reduced gas bladder and a heavy, bony head. Catfish have a variety of body shapes, though most have a cylindrical body with a flattened ventrum to allow for benthic feeding. A flattened head allows for digging through the substrate as well as serving as a hydrofoil; some contains no incisiform teeth. However, some families, notably Loricariidae and Astroblepidae, have a suckermouth that allows them to fasten themselves to objects in fast-moving water. Catfish have a maxilla reduced to a support for barbels. Catfish may have up to four pairs of barbels: nasal and two pairs of chin barbels though pairs of barbels may be absent depending on the species.
Catfish barbels always come as pairs. Many larger catfish have chemoreceptors across their entire bodies, which means they "taste" anything they touch and "smell" any chemicals in the water. "In catfish, gustation plays a primary role in the orientation and location of food". Because their barbels and chemoreception are more important in detecting food, the eyes on catfish are small. Like other ostariophysans, they are characterized by the presence of a Weberian apparatus, their well-developed Weberian apparatus and reduced gas bladder allow for improved hearing as well as sound production. Catfish do not have scales. In some species, the mucus-covered skin is used in cutaneous respiration, where the fish breathes through its skin. In some catfish, the skin is covered in bony plates called scutes. In loricarioids and in the Asian genus Sisor, the armor is made up of one or more rows of free dermal plates. Similar plates are found in large specimens of Lithodoras; these plates may be supported by vertebral processes, as in scoloplacids and in Sisor, but the processes never fuse to the plates or form any external armor.
By contrast, in the subfamily Doumeinae and in hoplomyzontines, the armor is formed by expanded vertebral processes that form plates. The lateral armor of doradids and hoplomyzontines consists of hypertrophied lateral line ossicles with dorsal and ventral lamina. All catfish, except members of Malapteruridae, possess a strong, bony leading spine-like ray on their dorsal and pectoral fins; as a defense, these spines may be locked into place so that they stick outwards, which can inflict severe wounds. In several species catfish can use these f
Coccoloba uvifera is a species of flowering plant in the buckwheat family, native to coastal beaches throughout tropical America and the Caribbean, including southern Florida, the Bahamas, the Greater and Lesser Antilles, Bermuda. Common names include baygrape. In late summer, it bears about 2 cm diameter, in large, grape-like clusters; the fruit ripens to a purplish color. Each contains a large pit. Capable of surviving down to about 2 °C, the tree is unable to survive frost; the leaves turn reddish before withering. Its seeds must be planted for unlike most plants, they cannot withstand being stored for future planting. C. uvifera is wind resistant, moderately tolerant of shade, tolerant of salt, so it is planted to stabilize beach edges. The fruit is tasty, can be used for jam or eaten directly from the tree. Sea grape is a dioecious species, that is, male and female flowers are borne on separate plants, cross-pollination is necessary for fruit to develop. Honey bees and other insects help pollinate these plants.
Hardiness: USDA zone 9B–11 Propagation: seeds and cuttings Culture: partial shade/full sun, drought tolerance Coccoloba uvifera is a popular ornamental plant in south Florida yards. It serves as a dune stabilizer and protective habitat for small animals. Tall sea grape plants behind beaches help prevent sea turtles from being distracted by lights from nearby buildings; the sap has been used for tanning leather. The wood has been used in furniture, as firewood, or for making charcoal; the fruits of the sea grape may be eaten raw, cooked into jellies and jams, or fermented into sea grape wine. The first botanical names of the plant were assigned in 1696 by Hans Sloane, who called it Prunus maritima racemosa, "maritime grape-cluster Prunus", Leonard Plukenet, who named it Uvifera littorea, "grape-bearer of the shore", both of which names reflect the European concept of "sea-grape", expressed in a number of languages by the explorers of the times; the natives viewed it as a large mulberry. The first edition of Linnaeus's Species Plantarum, based on Plukenet, assigned the plant to Polygonum uvifera and noted flores non vidi, "I have not seen the flowers."
Subsequently, Patrick Browne, The Civil and Natural History of Jamaica devised Coccoloba, "red-leaf", for it. Relying on Browne, Linnaeus' second edition, changed the classification to Coccolobus uvifera, citing all the other names. Austin, Daniel F.. Florida Ethnobotany. CRC Press. ISBN 0-8493-2332-0. Preview available, Google Books
Southwest Florida is the region along the southwest Gulf coast of the U. S. state of Florida. The area is known for its sugar white sand beaches, lush tropical landscape, winter resort economy. Definitions of the region vary, though its boundaries are considered to put it south of the Tampa Bay area, west of Lake Okeechobee, north of the Everglades and to include Manatee, Charlotte and Collier counties. For some purposes, the inland counties of DeSoto and Hendry, the thinly populated mainland section of Monroe County, south of Collier, are included; the region includes four metropolitan areas: the North Port-Bradenton-Sarasota MSA, the Cape Coral-Fort Myers MSA, the Naples-Marco Island MSA, the Punta Gorda MSA. The most populous county in the region is Lee County, the region's largest city is Cape Coral with a population of 165,831 as of 2013. With no large cities in its early history, Southwest Florida was ignored by commercial developers until the late 1800s; as a result, the region lacks the heavier development present in other parts of Florida.
In recent years however, there has been a major real estate boom focusing on downtown Fort Myers. Numerous efforts in recent years have been made to reduce development and preserve open space and recreational areas. Inland counties are notably rural, with the primary economic driver being agriculture. Important products grown in this area include tomatoes, beef and citrus products including oranges. Agricultural harvesting in Southwest Florida employs 16,000 seasonal workers, 90 percent of which are thought to be migrants. Southwest Florida Regional Planning Council Each county in the region has its own county government. Within each county, there are self-governing cities and villages; the remaining majority of land in each county is controlled directly by the county government. It is very common for incorporated municipalities to contract county services in order to save costs and avoid redundancy; the region is designated as one of Florida's 4 districts for the Committee of Southern Historic Preservation.
The district has been represented by Tommy Stolly since 2013. Southwest Florida is served by several major highways, including the Tamiami Trail and the Interstate 75 freeway, both of which connect the area to Tampa to the north, Greater Miami–Ft. Lauderdale to the east. Long-term cooperative infrastructure planning is coordinated by the Southwest Florida Regional Planning Council, in populated Lee County, the Metropolitan Planning Organization. Greyhound Lines serves several locations in Southwest Florida, including Bradenton, Fort Myers, Port Charlotte, Punta Gorda and Sarasota. Southwest Florida International Airport, located in South Fort Myers, served over 7.42 million passengers in 2009 and offers non-stop flights to 3 cities in Europe and 2 in Canada, in addition to 36 domestic airports. The area's secondary airport, Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport, served 1.34 million passengers in 2009. The following table shows the airports that serve the Southwest Florida area with commercial flights: The Port of Manatee provides a full range of port services for commercial and cruise ship purposes.
Seminole Gulf Railway provides freight services throughout Southwest Florida. Many of Florida railroads are like the nickname: the Sunshine State. Florida features are interesting and diverse. South Florida's fantastic weather make it a worthwhile journey; the Atlantic Coast Line, Seaboard Air Line, the Florida East Coast provide Florida with a fascinating history since most of the South's classic lines are operated here. Tourism is a major economic driver in the area; the warm winter climate draws tourists from across the United States and Europe. Small towns as well as cultural centres, sea-captains hangouts and small industrial centres, Southwest Florida has more than 25 major tourist meccas. Southwest Florida is a region with a comfortable mixture of Florida's classic and cosmopolitan and fast-paced. A place for everyone. Major attractions/destinations: Beaches in the following locales:Bonita Beach Cape Romano Fort Myers Beach Longboat Key, offshore from Bradenton and Sarasota Marco Island, offshore from Naples Naples Sarasota Sarasota Jungle Gardens in Sarasota Sanibel and Captiva Islands, offshore from Fort Myers and Cape Coral St. Armands Circle on St. Armands Key Attractions including:Edison and Ford Winter Estates in Fort Myers Lake Okeechobee renowned for fishing and ecotourism.
Naples Botanical Garden Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens Brighton Seminole Indian Reservation where the Seminole nation operates a sizable casino. Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota St. Armand's Circle in Sarasota Florida Gulf Coast University is a public university located just south of the Southwest Florida International Airport in South Fort Myers in Lee County, Florida; the university belongs to the 12-campus State University System of Florida. FGCU competes in the Atlantic Sun Conference in NCAA Division I sports. FGCU is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award associate's, 51 different types of bachelor's, 29 different master's, 6 types of doctoral degrees; the following table shows the professional teams and major NCAA Division 1 teams that play in Southwest Florida. Florida is the traditional home for Major League Baseball spring training, with teams informally organized into the "Grapefruit League." As of 2004, Sou
A mound is a heaped pile of earth, sand, rocks, or debris. Most mounds are earthen formations such as hills and mountains if they appear artificial. A mound may be any rounded area of topographically higher elevation on any surface. Artificial mounds have been created for a variety of reasons throughout history, including ceremonial and commemorative purposes. In the archaeology of the United States and Canada, a mound is a deliberately constructed elevated earthen structure or earthwork, intended for a range of potential uses. In European and Asian archaeology, the word "tumulus" may be used as a synonym for an artificial hill if the hill is related to particular burial customs. While the term "mound" may be applied to historic constructions, most mounds in the United States are pre-Columbian earthworks, built by Native American peoples. Native Americans built a variety of mounds, including flat-topped pyramids or cones known as platform mounds, rounded cones, ridge or loaf-shaped mounds; some mounds took such as the outline of cosmologically significant animals.
These are known as effigy mounds. Some mounds, such as a few in Wisconsin, have rock formations, or petroforms within them, on them, or near them. While these mounds are not as famous as burial mounds, like their European analogs, Native American mounds have a variety of other uses. While some prehistoric cultures, like the Adena culture, used mounds preferentially for burial, others used mounds for other ritual and sacred acts, as well as for secular functions; the platform mounds of the Mississippian culture, for example, may have supported temples, the houses of chiefs, council houses, may have acted as a platform for public speaking. Other mounds would have been part of defensive walls to protect a certain area; the Hopewell culture used mounds as markers of complex astronomical alignments related to ceremonies. Mounds and related earthworks are the only significant monumental construction in pre-Columbian Eastern and Central North America. Mounds are given different names depending on, they can be located all across the world in spots such as Asia and the Americas.
"Mound builders" have more been associated with the mounds in the Americas. They all have different meanings and sometimes are constructed as animals and can be seen from aerial views. Kankali Tila is a famous mound located at Mathura in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. A Jain stupa was excavated here in 1890-91 by Dr. Fuhrer. Mound, as a technical term in archaeology, is not in favor in the rest of the world. More specific local terminology is preferred, each of these terms has its own article. Cairn Chambered cairn Effigy mound Kofun Platform mound Subglacial mound Tell Tumulus Bank barrow Bell barrow Bowl barrow Chambered long barrow Kurgan Long barrow Oval barrow List of burial mounds in the United States Fort Ancient Kofun period Kurgan hypothesis Mississippian Period Neolithic Europe Olmec La Venta San Jose Mogote Petroform Pyramid Prehistoric Britain Stupa Woodland Period Crystal River Archaeological State Park ZigguratAnimalsMound-building termites The dictionary definition of mound at Wiktionary "Mound".
Encyclopædia Britannica. 18. 1911