Komodo dragon

The Komodo dragon known as the Komodo monitor, is a species of lizard found in the Indonesian islands of Komodo, Rinca and Gili Motang. A member of the monitor lizard family Varanidae, it is the largest extant species of lizard, growing to a maximum length of 3 metres in rare cases and weighing up to 70 kilograms, its unusually large size has been attributed to island gigantism, since no other carnivorous animals fill the niche on the islands where it lives. However, recent research suggests the large size of Komodo dragons may be better understood as representative of a relict population of large varanid lizards that once lived across Indonesia and Australia, most of which, along with other megafauna, died out after the Pleistocene as a result of human activity. Fossils similar to V. komodoensis dating to more than 3.8 million years ago have been found in Australia, its body size has remained stable on Flores over the last 900,000 years, "a time marked by major faunal turnovers, extinction of the island's megafauna, the arrival of early hominids by 880 ka."As a result of their size, these lizards dominate the ecosystems in which they live.

Komodo dragons hunt and ambush prey including invertebrates and mammals. It has been claimed; the biological significance of these proteins is disputed, but the glands have been shown to secrete an anticoagulant. Komodo dragons' group behaviour in hunting is exceptional in the reptile world; the diet of big Komodo dragons consists of Timor deer, though they eat considerable amounts of carrion. Komodo dragons occasionally attack humans. Mating begins between May and August, the eggs are laid in September; the eggs are incubated for seven to eight months, hatching in April, when insects are most plentiful. Young Komodo dragons are vulnerable and therefore dwell in trees, safe from predators and cannibalistic adults, they take 8 to 9 years to mature, are estimated to live up to 30 years. Komodo dragons were first recorded by Western scientists in 1910, their large size and fearsome reputation make them popular zoo exhibits. In the wild, their range has contracted due to human activities, they are listed as vulnerable by the IUCN.

They are protected under Indonesian law, Komodo National Park was founded in 1980 to aid protection efforts. Komodo dragons were first documented by Europeans in 1910, when rumors of a "land crocodile" reached Lieutenant van Steyn van Hensbroek of the Dutch colonial administration. Widespread notoriety came after 1912, when Peter Ouwens, the director of the Zoological Museum at Bogor, published a paper on the topic after receiving a photo and a skin from the lieutenant, as well as two other specimens from a collector; the first two live Komodo dragons to arrive in Europe were exhibited in the Reptile House at London Zoo when it opened in 1927. Joan Beauchamp Procter made some of the earliest observations of these animals in captivity and she demonstrated their behaviour at a Scientific Meeting of the Zoological Society of London in 1928; the Komodo dragon was the driving factor for an expedition to Komodo Island by W. Douglas Burden in 1926. After returning with 12 preserved specimens and two live ones, this expedition provided the inspiration for the 1933 movie King Kong.

It was Burden who coined the common name "Komodo dragon". Three of his specimens were stuffed and are still on display in the American Museum of Natural History; the Dutch, realizing the limited number of individuals in the wild, soon outlawed sport hunting and limited the number of individuals taken for scientific study. Collecting expeditions ground to a halt with the occurrence of World War II, not resuming until the 1950s and 1960s, when studies examined the Komodo dragon's feeding behavior and body temperature. At around this time, an expedition was planned in which a long-term study of the Komodo dragon would be undertaken; this task was given to the Auffenberg family, who stayed on Komodo Island for 11 months in 1969. During their stay, Walter Auffenberg and his assistant Putra Sastrawan captured and tagged more than 50 Komodo dragons; the research from the Auffenberg expedition would prove to be enormously influential in raising Komodo dragons in captivity. Research after that of the Auffenberg family has shed more light on the nature of the Komodo dragon, with biologists such as Claudio Ciofi continuing to study the creatures.

The Komodo dragon is sometimes known as the Komodo monitor or the Komodo Island monitor in scientific literature, although this name is uncommon. To the natives of Komodo Island, it is referred to buaya darat, or biawak raksasa; the evolutionary development of the Komodo dragon started with the genus Varanus, which originated in Asia about 40 million years ago and migrated to Australia, where it evolved into giant forms, helped by the absence of competing placental carnivorans. Around 15 million years ago, a collision between the continental landmasses of Australia and Southeast Asia allowed these larger varanids to move back into what is now the Indonesian archipelago, extending their range as far east as the island of Timor; the Komodo dragon is believed to have differentiated from its Australian ancestors about 4 million years ago. However, recent fossil evidence from Queensland suggests the Komodo dragon evolved in Australia before spreading to Indonesia. Dramatic lowering of sea level during the last glacial period uncovered extens

William Delaune

William Delaune D. D. was an English clergyman and academic, President of St John's College and chaplain to Queen Anne. Delaune was son of Benjamin Delaune of London, England, by Margaret, daughter of George Coney, born 14 April 1659, he entered Merchant Taylors' School 11 September 1672, proceeded to St John's College, Oxford, in 1675, graduated B. A. in 1679, M. A. in 1683, B. D. in 1688. Having taken holy orders, he became chaplain to Peter Mews, bishop of Winchester, who presented him to the living of Chilbolton, Hampshire, he subsequently held that of Wiltshire. In 1697, he proceeded D. D. and on 14 March 1698 was elected President of St John's. Installed canon of Winchester in 1701, he was appointed Vice-Chancellor of the Oxford University in October of the following year, his tenure of this office, which lasted until October 1706, was more profitable to himself than to the university. Thomas Hearne claims that he was nicknamed "Gallio" by his systematic neglect of his duties, charges him with embezzling the contents of the University Chest.

Delaune made advances to himself out of the university exchequer to the extent of £3,000, which he did not repay. His successor William Lancaster made attempts to recover the money without much success, subsequent vice-chancellors were less exacting, he paid a composition of £300. in full discharge of the debt in 1719. He was a gambler and this was regarded as a scandal. Hearne mentions. Amhurst's own mocking account of his 1719 expulsion from Oxford was dedicated to Delaune, mixes satire inextricably with politics. Delaune was elected Margaret Lecturer in Divinity on 18 February 1715, installed prebendary of Worcester, he was one of Queen Anne's chaplains, acquired some reputation as a preacher. He died on 23 May 1728, was buried without the usual eulogistic epitaph in St John's College Chapel. Delaune published in 1728 Twelve Sermons upon several Subjects and Occasions, dedicated to Montagu Venables-Bertie, 2nd Earl of Abingdon; this article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: "Delaune, William".

Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900. Works by William Delaune at Post-Reformation Digital Library

John of Anjou

John was a Hungarian royal prince of the Capetian House of Anjou. He was the only son of Stephen of Anjou, Duke of Croatia and Slavonia, Margaret of Bavaria, he inherited his father's duchies shortly after his birth. He was regarded the heir to his childless uncle, Louis I of Hungary, who secured John's right to inherit Poland from Casimir III of Poland. Both Louis I and Casimir III survived John. John was the only son of Stephen of Margaret of Bavaria. Stephen was the youngest son of Charles I of Hungary. In Hungary, Stephen was regarded the heir to his childless eldest brother, Louis I of Hungary, but the Polish noblemen forbade Stephen to interfere in Polish affairs when they confirmed, in 1351, Louis's right to inherit Poland from his maternal uncle, Casimir III of Poland. John's mother was the daughter of the Holy Roman Emperor, Louis IV, she came to Hungary in the autumn of 1350. The date and place of John's birth are unknown, his father was staying in Zagreb when John was born, according to his mother's charter of grant to the Zagreb Chapter.

Stephen of Anjou did not visit Zagreb in 1351 and 1352. John's sister, was born most in 1353. John must have been born in late 1353 or in 1354, according to historian Éva B. Halász. Stephen had received Croatia and Slavonia from Louis I. Stephen died on 9 August 1354. John inherited his father's provinces under the guardianship of his mother, he was regarded the heir to Louis I who persuaded Casimir III of Poland to adopt John in 1355. Not independently of the war with Venice, Louis I appointed a lieutenant to rule Slavonia in the spring of 1356, a ban to administer Croatia and Dalmatia in 1357. John was styled duke of Slavonia and Dalmatia in 1358, he died in 1360