Reptiles are tetrapod animals in the class Reptilia, comprising today's turtles, snakes, lizards and their extinct relatives. The study of these traditional reptile orders combined with that of modern amphibians, is called herpetology; because some reptiles are more related to birds than they are to other reptiles, the traditional groups of "reptiles" listed above do not together constitute a monophyletic grouping or clade. For this reason, many modern scientists prefer to consider the birds part of Reptilia as well, thereby making Reptilia a monophyletic class, including all living Diapsids; the earliest known proto-reptiles originated around 312 million years ago during the Carboniferous period, having evolved from advanced reptiliomorph tetrapods that became adapted to life on dry land. Some early examples include Casineria. In addition to the living reptiles, there are many diverse groups that are now extinct, in some cases due to mass extinction events. In particular, the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event wiped out the pterosaurs, plesiosaurs and sauropods, as well as many species of theropods, including troodontids, dromaeosaurids and abelisaurids, along with many Crocodyliformes, squamates.
Modern non-avian reptiles inhabit all the continents except Antarctica, although some birds are found on the periphery of Antarctica. Several living subgroups are recognized: Testudines, 350 species. Reptiles are tetrapod vertebrates, creatures that either have four limbs or, like snakes, are descended from four-limbed ancestors. Unlike amphibians, reptiles do not have an aquatic larval stage. Most reptiles are oviparous, although several species of squamates are viviparous, as were some extinct aquatic clades – the fetus develops within the mother, contained in a placenta rather than an eggshell; as amniotes, reptile eggs are surrounded by membranes for protection and transport, which adapt them to reproduction on dry land. Many of the viviparous species feed their fetuses through various forms of placenta analogous to those of mammals, with some providing initial care for their hatchlings. Extant reptiles range in size from a tiny gecko, Sphaerodactylus ariasae, which can grow up to 17 mm to the saltwater crocodile, Crocodylus porosus, which can reach 6 m in length and weigh over 1,000 kg.
In the 13th century the category of reptile was recognized in Europe as consisting of a miscellany of egg-laying creatures, including "snakes, various fantastic monsters, assorted amphibians, worms", as recorded by Vincent of Beauvais in his Mirror of Nature. In the 18th century, the reptiles were, from the outset of classification, grouped with the amphibians. Linnaeus, working from species-poor Sweden, where the common adder and grass snake are found hunting in water, included all reptiles and amphibians in class "III – Amphibia" in his Systema Naturæ; the terms "reptile" and "amphibian" were interchangeable, "reptile" being preferred by the French. Josephus Nicolaus Laurenti was the first to formally use the term "Reptilia" for an expanded selection of reptiles and amphibians similar to that of Linnaeus. Today, the two groups are still treated under the same heading as herptiles, it was not until the beginning of the 19th century that it became clear that reptiles and amphibians are, in fact, quite different animals, Pierre André Latreille erected the class Batracia for the latter, dividing the tetrapods into the four familiar classes of reptiles, amphibians and mammals.
The British anatomist Thomas Henry Huxley made Latreille's definition popular and, together with Richard Owen, expanded Reptilia to include the various fossil "antediluvian monsters", including dinosaurs and the mammal-like Dicynodon he helped describe. This was not the only possible classification scheme: In the Hunterian lectures delivered at the Royal College of Surgeons in 1863, Huxley grouped the vertebrates into mammals and ichthyoids, he subsequently proposed the names of Ichthyopsida for the latter two groups. In 1866, Haeckel demonstrated that vertebrates could be divided based on their reproductive strategies, that reptiles and mammals were united by the amniotic egg; the terms "Sauropsida" and "Theropsida" were used again in 1916 by E. S. Goodrich to distinguish between lizards and their relatives on the one hand and mammals and their extinct relatives on the other. Goodrich supported this division by the nature of the hearts and blood vessels in each group, other features, such as the structure of the forebrain.
According to Goodrich, both lineages evolved from an earlier stem group, Protosauria in which he included some animals today considered reptile-like amphibians, as well as early reptiles. In 1956, D. M. S. Watson observed that the first two groups diverged early in reptilian history, so he divided Goodrich's Protosauria between them, he reinterpreted Sauropsida and Theropsida to exclude birds and mammals, respectively. Thus his Sauropsida included Procolophonia, Millerosauria, Squamata, Rhynchocephalia
Edward Drinker Cope
Edward Drinker Cope was an American paleontologist and comparative anatomist, as well as a noted herpetologist and ichthyologist. He was a founder of the Neo-Lamarckism school of thought. Born to a wealthy Quaker family, Cope distinguished himself as a child prodigy interested in science. Though his father tried to raise Cope as a gentleman farmer, he acquiesced to his son's scientific aspirations. Cope had one child. Cope had little formal scientific training, he eschewed a teaching position for field work, he made regular trips to the American West, prospecting in the 1870s and 1880s as a member of United States Geological Survey teams. A personal feud between Cope and paleontologist Othniel Charles Marsh led to a period of intense fossil-finding competition now known as the Bone Wars. Cope's financial fortunes soured after failed mining ventures in the 1880s, forcing him to sell off much of his fossil collection, he experienced a resurgence in his career toward the end of his life before dying on April 12, 1897.
Though Cope's scientific pursuits nearly bankrupted him, his contributions helped to define the field of American paleontology. He was a prodigious writer, with 1,400 papers published over his lifetime, although his rivals debated the accuracy of his published works, he discovered and named more than 1,000 vertebrate species, including hundreds of fishes and dozens of dinosaurs. His proposal for the origin of mammalian molars is notable among his theoretical contributions. "Cope's rule", the hypothesis that mammalian lineages grow larger over geologic time, while named after him, is "neither explicit nor implicit" in his work. Edward Drinker Cope was born on the eldest son of Alfred and Hanna Cope; the death of his mother when he was three years old seemed to have had little effect on young Edward, as he mentioned in his letters that he had no recollection of her. His stepmother, Rebecca Biddle, filled the maternal role. Alfred, an orthodox member of the Religious Society of Friends or Quakers, operated a lucrative shipping business started by his father, Thomas P. Cope, in 1821.
He was a philanthropist who gave money to the Society of Friends, the Philadelphia Zoological Gardens, the Institute for Colored Youth. Edward was born and raised in a large stone house called "Fairfield", whose location is now within the boundaries of Philadelphia; the 8 acres of pristine and exotic gardens of the house offered a landscape that Edward was able to explore. The Copes began teaching their children to read and write at a young age, took Edward on trips across New England and to museums and gardens. Cope's interest in animals became apparent at a young age. Alfred intended to give his son the same education he himself had received. At age nine, Edward was sent to a day school in Philadelphia and in 1853 at the age of 12, Edward was sent to the Friends' Boarding School at Westtown, near West Chester, Pennsylvania; the school was founded in 1799 with fundraising by members of the Society of Friends, provided much of the Cope family's education. The prestigious school was expensive, costing Alfred $500 in tuition each year, in his first year, Edward studied algebra, scripture, grammar and Latin.
Edward's letters home requesting a larger allowance show he was able to manipulate his father, he was, according to author and Cope biographer Jane Davidson, "a bit of a spoiled brat". His letters suggest he was lonely at the school—it was the first time he had been away from his home for an extended period. Otherwise, Edward's studies progressed much like a typical boy—he had "less than perfect" or "not quite satisfactory" marks for conduct from his teachers, did not work hard on his penmanship lessons, which may have contributed to his illegible handwriting as an adult. Edward returned to Westtown in 1855. Biology began to interest him more that year, he studied natural history texts in his spare time. While at the school, he visited the Academy of Natural Sciences. Edward obtained bad marks due to quarreling and bad conduct, his letters to his father show he chafed at farm work and betrayed flashes of the temper for which he would become well known. After sending Edward back to the farm for summer break in 1854 and 1855, Alfred did not return Edward to school after spring 1856.
Instead, Alfred attempted to turn his son into a gentleman farmer, which he considered a wholesome profession that would yield enough profit to lead a comfortable life, improve the undersized Edward's health. Until 1863, Cope's letters to his father continually expressed his yearning for a more professional scientific career than that of a farmer, which he called "dreadfully boring". While working on farms, Edward continued his education on his own. In 1858, he began working part-time at the Academy of Natural Sciences and cataloguing specimens, published his first series of research results in January 1859. Cope began taking German classes with a former Westtown teacher. Though Alfred resisted his son's pursuit of a science career, he paid for his son's private studies. Instead of working the farm his father bought for him, Edward rented out the land and used the income to further his scientific endeavors. Alfred gave in to Edward's wishes and paid for university cl
The Caribbean Sea is a sea of the Atlantic Ocean in the tropics of the Western Hemisphere. It is bounded by Mexico and Central America to the west and south west, to the north by the Greater Antilles starting with Cuba, to the east by the Lesser Antilles, to the south by the north coast of South America; the entire area of the Caribbean Sea, the numerous islands of the West Indies, adjacent coasts, are collectively known as the Caribbean. The Caribbean Sea is one of the largest seas and has an area of about 2,754,000 km2; the sea's deepest point is the Cayman Trough, between the Cayman Islands and Jamaica, at 7,686 m below sea level. The Caribbean coastline has many gulfs and bays: the Gulf of Gonâve, Gulf of Venezuela, Gulf of Darién, Golfo de los Mosquitos, Gulf of Paria and Gulf of Honduras; the Caribbean Sea has the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef. It runs 1,000 km along the coasts of Mexico, Belize and Honduras; the name "Caribbean" derives from the Caribs, one of the region's dominant Native American groups at the time of European contact during the late 15th century.
After Christopher Columbus landed in the Bahamas in 1492, the Spanish term Antillas applied to the lands. During the first century of development, Spanish dominance in the region remained undisputed. From the 16th century, Europeans visiting the Caribbean region identified the "South Sea" as opposed to the "North Sea"; the Caribbean Sea had been unknown to the populations of Eurasia until 1492, when Christopher Columbus sailed into Caribbean waters on a quest to find a sea route to Asia. At that time the Western Hemisphere in general was unknown to most Europeans, although it had been discovered between the years 800 and 1000 by the vikings. Following the discovery of the islands by Columbus, the area was colonized by several Western cultures. Following the colonization of the Caribbean islands, the Caribbean Sea became a busy area for European-based marine trading and transports, this commerce attracted pirates such as Samuel Bellamy and Blackbeard; as of 2015 the area is home to borders 12 continental countries.
The International Hydrographic Organization defines the limits of the Caribbean Sea as follows: On the North. In the Windward Channel – a line joining Caleta Point and Pearl Point in Haïti. In the Mona Passage – a line joining Cape Engaño and the extreme of Agujereada in Puerto Rico. Eastern limits. From Point San Diego Northward along the meridian thereof to the 100-fathom line, thence Eastward and Southward, in such a manner that all islands and narrow waters of the Lesser Antilles are included in the Caribbean Sea as far as Galera Point. From Galera Point through Trinidad to Galeota Point and thence to Baja Point in Venezuela. Note that, although Barbados is an island on the same continental shelf, it is considered to be in the Atlantic Ocean rather than the Caribbean Sea; the Caribbean Sea is an oceanic sea situated on the Caribbean Plate. The Caribbean Sea is separated from the ocean by several island arcs of various ages; the youngest stretches from the Lesser Antilles to the Virgin Islands to the north east of Trinidad and Tobago off the coast of Venezuela.
This arc was formed by the collision of the South American Plate with the Caribbean Plate and includes active and extinct volcanoes such as Mount Pelee, the Quill on Sint Eustatius in the Caribbean Netherlands and Morne Trois Pitons on Dominica. The larger islands in the northern part of the sea Cuba, Hispaniola and Puerto Rico lie on an older island arc; the geological age of the Caribbean Sea is estimated to be between 160 and 180 million years and was formed by a horizontal fracture that split the supercontinent called Pangea in the Mesozoic Era. It is assumed the proto-caribbean basin existed in the Devonian period. In the early Carboniferous movement of Gondwana to the north and its convergence with the Euramerica basin decreased in size; the next stage of the Caribbean Sea's formation began in the Triassic. Powerful rifting led to the formation of narrow troughs, stretching from modern Newfoundland to the west coast of the Gulf of Mexico which formed siliciclastic sedimentary rocks. In the early Jurassic due to powerful marine transgression, water broke into the present area of the Gulf of Mexico creating a vast shallow pool.
The emergence of deep basins in the Caribbean occurred during the Middle Jurassic rifting. The emergence of these basins marked the beginning of the Atlantic Ocean and contributed to the destruction of Pangaea at the end of the late Jurassic. During the Cretaceous the Caribbean acquired the shape close to that seen today. In the early Paleogene due to Marine regression the Caribbean became separated from the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean by the land of Cuba and Haiti; the Caribbean remained like this for most of the Cenozoic until the Holocene when rising water levels of the oceans restored communication with the Atlantic Ocean. The Caribbean's floor is composed of sub-oceanic sediments of deep red clay in the deep basins and troughs. On continental slopes and ridges calcareous silts are found. Clay minerals having been deposited by the mainland river Orinoco and the Magdalena River. Deposits on th
Hispaniola is an island in the Caribbean island group known as the Greater Antilles. It is the second largest island in the Caribbean after Cuba, the most populous island in the Caribbean; the 76,192-square-kilometre island is divided between two separate, sovereign nations: the Spanish-speaking Dominican Republic to the east, French / French Creole-speaking Haiti to the west. The only other shared island in the Caribbean is Saint Martin, shared between France and the Netherlands. Hispaniola is the site of the first permanent European settlement in the Americas, founded by Christopher Columbus on his voyages in 1492 and 1493; the island was called by various names by the Taíno Amerindians. No known Taíno texts exist, historical evidence for those names comes to us through three European historians: the Italian Pietro Martyr d‘Anghiera, the Spaniards Bartolomé de las Casas and Gonzalo Fernández de Oviedo. Fernández de Oviedo and de las Casas both recorded that the island was called Quizqueia by the Taíno.
D'Anghiera added another name, but research shows that the word does not seem to derive from the original Arawak Taíno language. Although the Taínos' use of Quizqueia is verified, the name was used by all three historians, evidence suggests that it was the Taíno name of the whole island, for a region in the northeastern section of the present-day Dominican Republic; when Columbus took possession of the island in 1492, he named it Insula Hispana in Latin and La Isla Española in Spanish, with both meaning "the Spanish island". De las Casas shortened the name to "Española", when d‘Anghiera detailed his account of the island in Latin, he rendered its name as Hispaniola. In the oldest documented map of the island, created by Andrés de Morales, Los Haitises is labeled Montes de Haití, de las Casas named the whole island Haiti on the basis of that particular region, as d'Anghiera states that the name of one part was given to the whole island. Due to Taíno, Spanish and French influences on the island the whole island was referred to as Haiti, Santo Domingo, St. Domingue, or San Domingo.
The colonial terms Saint-Domingue and Santo Domingo are sometimes still applied to the whole island, though these names refer to the colonies that became Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Since Anghiera's literary work was translated into English and French soon after being written, the name Hispaniola became the most used term in English-speaking countries for the island in scientific and cartographic works. In 1918, the United States occupation government, led by Harry Shepard Knapp, obliged the use of the name Hispaniola on the island, recommended the use of that name to the National Geographic Society; the name Haïti was adopted by Haitian revolutionary Jean-Jacques Dessalines in 1804, as the official name of independent Saint-Domingue, as a tribute to the Amerindian predecessors. It was adopted as the official name of independent Santo Domingo, as the Republic of Spanish Haiti, a state that existed from November 1821 until its annexation by Haiti in February 1822; the primary indigenous group on the island of Hispaniola was the Arawak/Taíno people.
The Arawak tribe originated in the Orinoco Delta. They travelled to Hispaniola around 1200 CE; each society on the island was a small independent kingdom with a lead known as a cacique. In 1492, considered the peak of the Taíno, there were five different kingdoms on the island, the Xaragua, Magua and Marien. Many distinct Taíno languages existed in this time period. There is still heated debate over the population of Taíno people on the island of Hispaniola in 1492, but estimates range upwards of 750,000. An Arawak/Taíno home consisted of a circular building with woven palm leaves as covering. Most individuals slept in fashioned hammocks, but grass beds were used; the cacique lived in a different structure with a porch. The Taíno village had a flat court used for ball games and festivals. Religiously, the Arawak/Taíno people were polytheists, their gods were called zemí. Religious worship and dancing were common, medicine men or priests consulted the zemí for advise in public ceremonies. For food, the Arawak/Taíno relied on fish as a primary source for protein.
The Taíno relied on agriculture as a primary food source. The indigenous people of Hispaniola raised crops in a conuco, a large mound packed with leaves and fixed crops to prevent erosion; some common agricultural goods were cassava, squash, peppers, peanuts and tobacco, used as an aspect of social life and religious ceremonies. The Arawak/Taíno people travelled and used hollowed canoes with paddles when on the water for fishing or for migration purposes, upwards of 100 people could fit into a single canoe; the Taíno came in contact with another indigenous tribe, often. The caribs lived in modern day Puerto Rico and northeast Hispaniola and were known to be hostile towards other tribes; the Arawak/Taíno people had to defend themselves using bow and arrows with poisoned tips and s
Predation is a biological interaction where one organism, the predator and eats another organism, its prey. It is one of a family of common feeding behaviours that includes parasitism and micropredation and parasitoidism, it is distinct from scavenging on dead prey, though many predators scavenge. Predators may search for prey or sit and wait for it; when prey is detected, the predator assesses. This may involve pursuit predation, sometimes after stalking the prey. If the attack is successful, the predator kills the prey, removes any inedible parts like the shell or spines, eats it. Predators are adapted and highly specialized for hunting, with acute senses such as vision, hearing, or smell. Many predatory animals, both vertebrate and invertebrate, have sharp claws or jaws to grip and cut up their prey. Other adaptations include aggressive mimicry that improve hunting efficiency. Predation has a powerful selective effect on prey, the prey develop antipredator adaptations such as warning coloration, alarm calls and other signals, mimicry of well-defended species, defensive spines and chemicals.
Sometimes predator and prey find themselves in an evolutionary arms race, a cycle of adaptations and counter-adaptations. Predation has been a major driver of evolution since at least the Cambrian period. At the most basic level, predators eat other organisms. However, the concept of predation is broad, defined differently in different contexts, includes a wide variety of feeding methods. A parasitoid, such as an ichneumon wasp, lays its eggs on its host. Zoologists call this a form of parasitism, though conventionally parasites are thought not to kill their hosts. A predator can be defined to differ from a parasitoid in two ways: it kills its prey immediately. There are other borderline cases. Micropredators are small animals that, like predators, feed on other organisms. However, since they do not kill their hosts, they are now thought of as parasites. Animals that graze on phytoplankton or mats of microbes are predators, as they consume and kill their food organisms. However, when animals eat seeds or eggs, they are consuming entire living organisms, which by definition makes them predators, albeit unconventional ones: for instance, a mouse that eats grass seeds has no adaptations for tracking and subduing prey and its teeth are not adapted to slicing through flesh.
Scavengers, organisms that only eat organisms found dead, are not predators, but many predators such as the jackal and the hyena scavenge when the opportunity arises. Among invertebrates, social wasps are both scavengers of other insects. While examples of predators among mammals and birds are well known, predators can be found in a broad range of taxa, they are common among insects, including mantids, dragonflies and scorpionflies. In some species such as the alderfly, only the larvae are predatory. Spiders are predatory, as well as other terrestrial invertebrates such as scorpions. In marine environments, most cnidarians, ctenophora and flatworms are predatory. Among crustaceans, crabs and barnacles are predators, in turn crustaceans are preyed on by nearly all cephalopods. Seed predation is restricted to mammals and insects and is found in all terrestrial ecosystems. Egg predation includes both specialist egg predators such as some colubrid snakes and generalists such as foxes and badgers that opportunistically take eggs when they find them.
Some plants, like the pitcher plant, the Venus fly trap and the sundew, are carnivorous and consume insects. Some carnivorous fungi catch nematodes using either active traps in the form of constricting rings, or passive traps with adhesive structures. Many species of protozoa and bacteria prey on other microorganisms. Among freshwater and marine zooplankton, whether single-celled or multi-cellular, predatory grazing on phytoplankton and smaller zooplankton is common, found in many species of nanoflagellates, ciliates, rotifers, a diverse range of meroplankton animal larvae, two groups of crustaceans, namely copepods and cladocerans. To feed, a predator must search for and kill its prey; these actions form a foraging cycle. The predator must decide. If it chooses pursuit, its physical capabilities determine the mode of pursuit. Having captured the prey, it may need to expend energy handling it (e.g. killing it, removing any shell or
The Reptile Database is a scientific database that collects taxonomic information on all living reptile species. The database focuses on species and has entries for all recognized ~13,000 species and their subspecies, although there is a lag time of up to a few months before newly described species become available online; the database collects scientific and common names, literature references, distribution information, type information and other taxonomically relevant information. The database was founded in 1995 as EMBL Reptile Database when the founder, Peter Uetz, was a graduate student at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg, Germany. Thure Etzold had developed the first web interface for the EMBL DNA sequence database, used as interface for the Reptile Database. In 2006 the database moved to The Institute of Genomic Research and operated as TIGR Reptile Database until TIGR was merged into the J Craig Venter Institute where Uetz was an Associate Professor until 2010.
Since 2010 the database has been maintained on servers in the Czech Republic under the supervision of Peter Uetz and Jirí Hošek, a Czech programmer. As of March 2018, the Reptile Database lists about 10,700 species in about 1180 genera, has about 45,000 literature references and about 11,000 photos; the database has grown since its inception with an average of ~120 new species described per year over the preceding decade. The Reptile Database has been a member of the Species 2000 project that has produced the Catalogue of Life, a meta-database of more than 150 species databases that catalog all living species on the planet; the CoL provides taxonomic information to the Encyclopedia of Life. The Reptile Database collaborates with the World Register of Marine Species, the citizen science project iNaturalist, has links to the IUCN Redlist database; the NCBI taxonomy database links out to the Reptile Database. The Reptile Database—Home Page Reptile Database Search—Search page at Reptarium
The Dominican Republic is a country located in the island of Hispaniola, in the Greater Antilles archipelago of the Caribbean region. It occupies the eastern five-eighths of the island, which it shares with the nation of Haiti, making Hispaniola one of two Caribbean islands, along with Saint Martin, that are shared by two sovereign states; the Dominican Republic is the second-largest Caribbean nation by area at 48,671 square kilometers, third by population with 10 million people, of which three million live in the metropolitan area of Santo Domingo, the capital city. Christopher Columbus landed on the island on December 5, 1492, which the native Taíno people had inhabited since the 7th century; the colony of Santo Domingo became the site of the first permanent European settlement in the Americas, the oldest continuously inhabited city, the first seat of the Spanish colonial rule in the New World. After more than three hundred years of Spanish rule the Dominican people declared independence in November 1821.
The leader of the independence movement José Núñez de Cáceres, intended the Dominican nation to unite with the country of Gran Colombia, but no longer under Spain's custody the newly independent Dominicans were forcefully annexed by Haiti in February 1822. Independence came 22 years after victory in the Dominican War of Independence in 1844. Over the next 72 years the Dominican Republic experienced internal conflicts and a brief return to colonial status before permanently ousting Spanish rule during the Dominican War of Restoration of 1863–1865. A United States occupation lasted eight years between 1916 and 1924, a subsequent calm and prosperous six-year period under Horacio Vásquez was followed by the dictatorship of Rafael Leónidas Trujillo until 1961. A civil war in 1965, the country's last, was ended by U. S. military occupation and was followed by the authoritarian rule of Joaquín Balaguer, the rules of Antonio Guzmán & Salvador Jorge Blanco. Since 1996, the Dominican Republic has moved toward representative democracy and has been led by Leonel Fernández for most of the time since 1996.
Danilo Medina, the Dominican Republic's current president, succeeded Fernandez in 2012, winning 51% of the electoral vote over his opponent ex-president Hipólito Mejía. The Dominican Republic has the ninth-largest economy in Latin America and is the largest economy in the Caribbean and Central American region. Over the last two decades, the Dominican Republic has had one of the fastest-growing economies in the Americas – with an average real GDP growth rate of 5.4% between 1992 and 2014. GDP growth in 2014 and 2015 reached 7.3 and 7.0% the highest in the Western Hemisphere. In the first half of 2016 the Dominican economy grew 7.4% continuing its trend of rapid economic growth. Recent growth has been driven by construction, manufacturing and mining; the country is the site of the second largest gold mine in the Pueblo Viejo mine. Private consumption has been strong, as a result of low inflation, job creation, as well as a high level of remittances; the Dominican Republic is the most visited destination in the Caribbean.
The year-round golf courses are major attractions. A geographically diverse nation, the Dominican Republic is home to both the Caribbean's tallest mountain peak, Pico Duarte, the Caribbean's largest lake and point of lowest elevation, Lake Enriquillo; the island has an average temperature of biological diversity. The country is the site of the first cathedral, castle and fortress built in the Americas, located in Santo Domingo's Colonial Zone, a World Heritage Site. Music and sport are of great importance in the Dominican culture, with Merengue and Bachata as the national dance and music, baseball as the favorite sport; the "Dominican" word comes from the Latin Dominicus. However, the island has this name by Santo Domingo de Guzmán, founder of the Order of the Dominicans; the Dominicans established a house of high studies in the island of Santo Domingo that today is known as the Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo and dedicated themselves to the protection of the native taínos of the island, who were subjected to slavery, to the education of the inhabitants of the island.
For most of its history, up until independence, the country was known as Santo Domingo—the name of its present capital and patron saint, Saint Dominic—and continued to be known as such in English until the early 20th century. The residents were called "Dominicans", the adjective form of "Domingo", the revolutionaries named their newly independent country "Dominican Republic". In the national anthem of the Dominican Republic, the term "Dominicans" does not appear; the author of its lyrics, Emilio Prud'Homme uses the poetic term "Quisqueyans". The word "Quisqueya" derives from a native tongue of the Taino Indians and means "Mother of the lands", it is used in songs as another name for the country. The name of the country is shortened to "the D. R." The Arawakan-speaking Taíno moved into Hispaniola from the north east region of what is now known as South America, displacing earlier inhabitants, c. AD 650, they engaged in hunting and gathering. The fierce Caribs drove the Taíno to the northeastern Caribbean during much of the 15th century.
The estimates of Hispaniola's population in 1492 vary including one hundred thousand, three hundred thousand, an