In evolutionary biology, mimicry is an evolved resemblance between an organism and another object an organism of another species. Mimicry may evolve between individuals of the same species. Mimicry functions to protect a species from predators, making it an antipredator adaptation. Mimicry evolves if a receiver perceives the similarity between a mimic and a model and as a result changes its behaviour in a way that provides a selective advantage to the mimic; the resemblances that evolve in mimicry can be visual, chemical, tactile, or electric, or combinations of these sensory modalities. Mimicry may be to the advantage of both organisms that share a resemblance, in which case it is a form of mutualism; the evolutionary convergence between groups is driven by the selective action of a signal-receiver or dupe. Birds, for example, use whilst avoiding the noxious ones. Over time, palatable insects may evolve to resemble noxious ones, making them mimics and the noxious ones models. In the case of mutualism, sometimes both groups are referred to as "co-mimics".
It is thought that models must be more abundant than mimics, but this is not so. Mimicry may involve numerous species. Mimicry between prey species and their predators involves three or more species. In its broadest definition, mimicry can include non-living models; the specific terms masquerade and mimesis are sometimes used. For example, animals such as flower mantises, planthoppers and geometer moth caterpillars resemble twigs, leaves, bird droppings or flowers. Many animals bear eyespots, they may not resemble any specific organism's eyes, whether or not animals respond to them as eyes is unclear. Nonetheless, eyespots are the subject of a rich contemporary literature; the model is another species, except in automimicry, where members of the species mimic other members, or other parts of their own bodies, in inter-sexual mimicry, where members of one sex mimic members of the other. Mimicry can result in an evolutionary arms race if mimicry negatively affects the model, the model can evolve a different appearance from the mimic.p161 Mimicry should not be confused with other forms of convergent evolution that occurs when species come to resemble each other by adapting to similar lifestyles that have nothing to do with a common signal receiver.
Mimics may have different models for different life cycle stages, or they may be polymorphic, with different individuals imitating different models, such as in Heliconius butterflies. Models themselves may have more than one mimic, though frequency dependent selection favours mimicry where models outnumber mimics. Models tend to be closely related organisms, but mimicry of vastly different species is known. Most known mimics are insects, though many other examples including vertebrates are known. Plants and fungi may be mimics, though less research has been carried out in this area. Use of the word mimicry dates to 1637, it derives from the Greek term mimetikos, "imitative", in turn from mimetos, the verbal adjective of mimeisthai, "to imitate". Used to describe people, "mimetic" was used in zoology from 1851, "mimicry" from 1861. Many types of mimicry have been described. An overview of each follows, highlighting the similarities and differences between the various forms. Classification is based on function with respect to the mimic.
Some cases may belong to more than one class, e.g. automimicry and aggressive mimicry are not mutually exclusive, as one describes the species relationship between model and mimic, while the other describes the function for the mimic. The terminology used is not without debate and attempts to clarify have led to new terms being included; the term "masquerade" is sometimes used when the model is inanimate but it is differentiated from "crypsis" in its strict sense by the potential response of the signal receiver. In crypsis the receiver is assumed to not respond while a masquerader confuses the recognition system of the receiver that would otherwise seek the signaller. In the other forms of mimicry, the signal is not filtered out by the sensory system of the receiver; these are not mutually exclusive and in the evolution of wasp-like appearance, it has been argued that insects evolve to masquerade wasps since predatory wasps do not attack each other but this mimetic resemblance deters vertebrate predators.
Defensive or protective mimicry takes place when organisms are able to avoid harmful encounters by deceiving enemies into treating them as something else. The first three such cases discussed here entail mimicry of animals protected by warning coloration: Batesian mimicry, where a harmless mimic poses as harmful. Müllerian mimicry, where two or more harmful species mutually advertise themselves as harmful. Mertensian mimicry, where a deadly mimic resembles a less harmful but lesson-teaching model; the fourth case, Vavilovian mimicry, where weeds resemble crops, involves humans as the agent of selection. In Batesian mimicry the mimic shares signals similar to the model, but does not have the attribute that makes it unprofitable to predators. In other words, a Batesian mimic is a sheep in wolf's clothing, it is named after Henry Walter Bates, an English naturalist whose
Galliformes is an order of heavy-bodied ground-feeding birds that includes turkey, chicken, New World quail and Old World quail, partridge, francolin and the Cracidae. The name derives from "gallus", Latin for "cock" or "rooster". Common names are gamefowl or gamebirds, gallinaceous birds, or galliforms. "Wildfowl" or just "fowl" are often used for the Galliformes, but these terms refer to waterfowl, to other hunted birds. This group has about 290 species, one or more of which are found in every part of the world's continents, they are rarer on islands, in contrast to the related waterfowl, are absent from oceanic islands—unless introduced there by humans. Several species have been domesticated during their extensive relationships with humans; this order contains five families: Phasianidae, Numididae and Megapodiidae. They are important as seed dispersers and predators in the ecosystems they inhabit, are reared as game birds by humans for their meat and eggs and for recreational hunting. Many gallinaceous species are skilled runners and escape predators by running rather than flying.
Males of most species are more colorful than the females. Males have elaborate courtship behaviors that include strutting, fluffing of tail or head feathers, vocal sounds, they are nonmigratory. The living Galliformes were once divided into seven or more families. Despite their distinctive appearance and turkeys do not warrant separation as families due to their recent origin from partridge- or pheasant-like birds; the turkeys became larger after their ancestors colonized temperate and subtropical North America, where pheasant-sized competitors were absent. The ancestors of grouse, adapted to harsh climates and could thereby colonize subarctic regions; the Phasianidae are expanded in current taxonomy to include the former Tetraonidae and Meleagrididae as subfamilies. The Anseriformes and the Galliformes together make up the Galloanserae, they are basal among the living neognathous birds, follow the Paleognathae in modern bird classification systems. This was first proposed in the Sibley-Ahlquist taxonomy and has been the one major change of that proposed scheme, universally adopted.
However, the Galliformes as they were traditionally delimited are called Gallomorphae in the Sibley-Ahlquist taxonomy, which splits the Cracidae and Megapodiidae as an order "Craciformes". This is not a natural group, but rather an erroneous result of the now-obsolete phenetic methodology employed in the Sibley-Ahlquist taxonomy. Phenetic studies do not distinguish between plesiomorphic and apomorphic characters, which leads to basal lineages appearing as monophyletic groups; the buttonquails and the hoatzin were placed in the Galliformes, too. The former are now known to be shorebirds adapted to an inland lifestyle, whereas the mesites are closely related to pigeons and doves; the relationships of the hoatzin are obscure, it is treated as a monotypic order Opisthocomiformes to signify this. Galliform-like birds were one of the main survivors of the K-T Event that killed off the rest of the dinosaurs, they were a niche group that were toothless and ground-dwelling, unlike the dominant birds of the era called the enantiornithes, which had teeth and dominated the trees and skies.
Fossils of these galliform-like birds originate in the Late Cretaceous, most notably those of Austinornis lentus. Its partial left tarsometatarsus was found in the Austin Chalk near Fort McKinney, dating to about 85 million years ago; this bird was quite closely related to Galliformes, but whether it was a part of these or belongs elsewhere in the little-known galliform branch of Galloanserae is not clear. However, in 2004, Clarke classified it as a member of the larger group Pangalliformes, more related to chickens than to ducks, but not a member of the crown group that includes all modern galliformes. Another specimen, PVPH 237, from the Late Cretaceous Portezuelo Formation in the Sierra de Portezuelo has been suggested to be an early galliform relative; this is a partial coracoid of a neornithine bird, which in its general shape and the wide and deep attachment for the muscle joining the coracoid and the humerus bone resembles the more basal lineages of galliforms. It is believed that an asteroid impact killed off all dinosaurs, including the dominant birds, during the K-T event, destroying all creatures that lived in trees and on open ground.
While the more successful enantiornithes were wiped out, the ancestors of galliformes were small and lived in the ground or water. This protected them from the destruction. Additional galliform-like pangalliformes are represented by extinct families from the Paleogene, namely the Gallinuloididae and Quercymegapodiidae. In the early Cenozoic, some additional birds may or may not be early Galliformes, though if they are, they are unlikely to belong to extant families: †Argillipes †Coturnipes †Paleophasianus †Percolinus †Amitabha (Bridger middle Eocene
Victoria is a state in south-eastern Australia. Victoria is Australia's smallest mainland state and its second-most populous state overall, thus making it the most densely populated state overall. Most of its population lives concentrated in the area surrounding Port Phillip Bay, which includes the metropolitan area of its state capital and largest city, Australia's second-largest city. Victoria is bordered by Bass Strait and Tasmania to the south,New South Wales to the north, the Tasman Sea to the east, South Australia to the west; the area, now known as Victoria is the home of many Aboriginal people groups, including the Boon wurrung, the Bratauolung, the Djadjawurrung, the Gunai/Kurnai, the Gunditjmara, the Taungurong, the Wathaurong, the Wurundjeri, the Yorta Yorta. There were more than 30 Aboriginal languages spoken in the area prior to the European settlement of Australia; the Kulin nation is an alliance of five Aboriginal nations which makes up much of the central part of the state. With Great Britain having claimed the half of the Australian continent, east of the 135th meridian east in 1788, Victoria formed part of the wider colony of New South Wales.
The first European settlement in the area occurred in 1803 at Sullivan Bay, much of what is now Victoria was included in 1836 in the Port Phillip District, an administrative division of New South Wales. Named in honour of Queen Victoria, who signed the division's separation from New South Wales, the colony was established in 1851 and achieved self government in 1855; the Victorian gold rush in the 1850s and 1860s increased both the population and wealth of the colony, by the time of the Federation of Australia in 1901, Melbourne had become the largest city and leading financial centre in Australasia. Melbourne served as federal capital of Australia until the construction of Canberra in 1927, with the Federal Parliament meeting in Melbourne's Parliament House and all principal offices of the federal government being based in Melbourne. Politically, Victoria has 37 seats in the Australian House of Representatives and 12 seats in the Australian Senate. At state level, the Parliament of Victoria consists of the Legislative Assembly and the Legislative Council.
The Labor Party led Daniel Andrews as premier has governed Victoria since 2014. The personal representative of the Queen of Australia in the state is the Governor of Victoria Linda Dessau. Victoria is divided into 79 municipal districts, including 33 cities, although a number of unincorporated areas still exist, which the state administers directly; the economy of Victoria is diversified, with service sectors including financial and property services, education, retail and manufacturing constitute the majority of employment. Victoria's total gross state product ranks second in Australia, although Victoria ranks fourth in terms of GSP per capita because of its limited mining activity. Culturally, Melbourne hosts a number of museums, art galleries, theatres, is described as the world's sporting capital; the Melbourne Cricket Ground, the largest stadium in Australia and the Southern Hemisphere, hosted the 1956 Summer Olympics and the 2006 Commonwealth Games. The ground is considered the "spiritual home" of Australian cricket and Australian rules football, hosts the grand final of the Australian Football League each year, drawing crowds of 100,000.
Nearby Melbourne Park has hosted the Australian Open, one of tennis' four Grand Slam events, annually since 1988. Victoria has eight public universities, with the oldest, the University of Melbourne, dating from 1853. Victoria, like Queensland, was named after Queen Victoria, on the British throne for 14 years when the colony was established in 1851. After the founding of the colony of New South Wales in 1788, Australia was divided into an eastern half named New South Wales and a western half named New Holland, under the administration of the colonial government in Sydney; the first British settlement in the area known as Victoria was established in October 1803 under Lieutenant-Governor David Collins at Sullivan Bay on Port Phillip. It consisted of 402 people, they had been sent from England in HMS Calcutta under the command of Captain Daniel Woodriff, principally out of fear that the French, exploring the area, might establish their own settlement and thereby challenge British rights to the continent.
In 1826, Colonel Stewart, Captain Samuel Wright, Lieutenant Burchell were sent in HMS Fly and the brigs Dragon and Amity, took a number of convicts and a small force composed of detachments of the 3rd and 93rd regiments. The expedition landed at Settlement Point, on the eastern side of Western Port Bay, the headquarters until the abandonment of Western Port at the insistence of Governor Darling about 12 months afterwards. Victoria's next settlement was on the south west coast of what is now Victoria. Edward Henty settled Portland Bay in 1834. Melbourne was founded in 1835 by John Batman, who set up a base in Indented Head, John Pascoe Fawkner. From settlement, the region around Melbourne was known as the Port Phillip District, a separately administered part of New South Wales. Shortly after, the site now known as Geelong was surveyed by Assistant Surveyor W. H. Smythe, three weeks after Melbourne, and in 1838, Geelong was declared a town, despite earlier European settlements dating back to 1826
Dandenong Ranges National Park
The Dandenong Ranges National Park is a national park located in the Greater Melbourne region of Victoria, Australia. The 3,540-hectare national park is situated from 31 kilometres at its westernmost points at Ferntree Gully and Boronia to 45 kilometres at it easternmost point at Silvan, east of the Melbourne City Centre; the park was proclaimed on 13 December 1987, amalgamating the Ferntree Gully National Park, Sherbrooke Forest and Doongalla Estate. In 1997 the Olinda State Forest, Mt. Evelyn and Montrose Reserve were formally added to the national park. Dandenong Ranges National Park is divided into five sections: Doongalla Forest – Containing Mount Dandenong itself, the SkyHigh lookout with panoramic views of Melbourne's east Ferntree Gully – The south western section of the Dandenong Ranges National Park, located between the suburbs of Ferntree Gully and Boronia to the west, Upwey to the south and Sassafras to the east and The Basin to the north; the park contains the Thousands Steps trail leading to One Tree Hill.
The steep walking trail includes over 700 steps over 2.5 kilometres and commemorates the battle for the Kokoda track in Territory of Papua during World War II. The steps are a popular destination for sightseers and fitness enthusiasts alike. During the AFL pre-season a number of Melbourne Australian rules football league and association teams run their players up the steps to promote team fitness. There is no specific creation date of the steps. According to a Tourist Guide published in 1868, all other areas contained thick forest vegetation. A survey of the park found, it is a popular spot for picnics. Mount Evelyn Forest is the most northerly section of the park Olinda Forest occupies the eastern slopes of Mount Dandenong Sherbrooke Forest Because the park is located in an urban area, the park has a long history of major problems with feral and roaming animals. A cat curfew was introduced in the entire Dandenong Ranges area some years ago, since the numbers and variety of lyrebirds and other native species have climbed dramatically.
Protected areas of Victoria Parks Victoria: Dandenong Ranges National Park page
Royal National Park
The Royal National Park is a protected national park, located in Sutherland Shire in the Australian state of New South Wales, just south of Sydney. The 151-square-kilometre national park is about 29 kilometres south of the Sydney central business district near the localities of Loftus and Waterfall, it was the third national park in the world. It was founded by Sir John Robertson, Acting Premier of New South Wales, formally proclaimed on 26 April 1879, its original name was National Park, but it was renamed in 1955 after Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia passed by in the train during her 1954 tour. The park was added to the Australian National Heritage List in December 2006; the park includes the settlements of Audley and Bundeena. There was once a railway line connected to the Eastern Suburbs & Illawarra Line but this closed and was converted to a heritage tramway operated by the Sydney Tramway Museum in Loftus. Audley can be accessed by road, from Loftus, Waterfall or Otford, there are several railway stations on the outskirts of the park.
Bundeena and Maianbar can be accessed by road through the park or by the passenger ferry service from Cronulla. There are barbecue areas and picnic sites throughout the park. Over 100 kilometres of walking tracks take in a wide range of scenery. Cycling is allowed on some fire trails and only on specially marked tracks within the Park; the specially marked mountain biking tracks are bi-directional. A fee of $12.00 applies. The most popular walk is the Coast Walk, which skirts the park's eastern edge and delivers exceptional coastal scenery, it is a 30 kilometre track, involving walking from Bundeena to Otford, or vice versa. It's recommended; this walk is done as part of The Duke of Edinburgh's Award. The Wallumarra Track was constructed in 1975 to meet the growing need for Environmental Education and as a supplement to the park's walking track system; the park is intensely used for environmental education by schools, TAFEs, universities and other groups. The park has been burnt in bushfires on several occasions, most notably in 1939, 1994 and in the 2001 Black Christmas fires.
Australian native bush regenerates after bushfires and as of 2008 few signs of these fires remain visible. In times of extreme fire danger the parks service might close the park to ensure visitor safety. There are camping sites at North Era and Uloola Falls; these are the only places where camping is permitted within the park, they are regulated with a booking/registration system, which requires pre-booking a site. The park is free for people on foot. Royal National Park contains a wide variety of terrain. Landscapes in the park vary from coastal cliffs broken by beaches and small inlets to an ancient high plateau broken by extensive and deep river valleys; the river valleys drain from south to north where they run into Port Hacking, the extensive but shallow harbor inlet which forms the northern border of the park. When looking across the park from east to west the rugged folds of valley after valley fade into the distance; the geology of the site consists of the Triassic Hawkesbury Sandstone with some sections of the park having the more recent richer Wianamatta shale capping.
Deep below the Hawkesbury sandstone belt lies Narrabeen Shales, mixture of shale and sandstone under which and within which are untapped coal seams which run right through Sydney and are mined extensively where they come closer to the surface south of the National Park near Wollongong. Sections of recent alluvium fringes of estuarine watercourse where the endangered ecological communities. Running the full coastal length of the park is a coastal heathland characterised by hardy, low-growing, salt-tolerant shrubs that spread across rocky, hard terrain with little topsoil; the coast itself is composed of high cliffs reaching a height of nearly one hundred metres at the southern end. These cliffs are punctuated by a number of fine, sandy beaches open to the ocean and providing fine swimming and surfing. Several of the beaches can be reached by road, others only by several hours bush walking. There are a small number of rocky coves; the beaches, two of which have volunteer surf life saving clubs and large car parks, are amongst the most visited areas of the park.
These heath lands are a hotspot for many small birds that have forsaken the suburbs of Sydney such as the New Holland honeyeater. Common vegetation on the exposed heaths on the headlands and cliffside paths include Coastal rosemary, bracelet honey-myrtle, she-oak, white kunzea, grass trees, ridged heath-myrtle, snakehood orchids, prostrate forms of coast banksia and long-leaf matrush. Common vegetation on top of the ancient sand dunes above the coastal path include Silver banksia, scrub-oak, silky hakea and pine heath. Sections of rare and threatened clifftop grasslands occur along exposed and windy sites which are dominated by long-leaf mat-rush and kangaroo grass. Many heath specialist birds are present in the heaths which include Lewin's honeyeater, New Holland honeyeater, beautiful firetail, chestnut-rumped heathwren and the southern emu-wre
A chordate is an animal constituting the phylum Chordata. During some period of their life cycle, chordates possess a notochord, a dorsal nerve cord, pharyngeal slits, an endostyle, a post-anal tail: these five anatomical features define this phylum. Chordates are bilaterally symmetric; the Chordata and Ambulacraria together form the superphylum Deuterostomia. Chordates are divided into three subphyla: Vertebrata. There are extinct taxa such as the Vetulicolia. Hemichordata has been presented as a fourth chordate subphylum, but now is treated as a separate phylum: hemichordates and Echinodermata form the Ambulacraria, the sister phylum of the Chordates. Of the more than 65,000 living species of chordates, about half are bony fish that are members of the superclass Osteichthyes. Chordate fossils have been found from as early as the Cambrian explosion, 541 million years ago. Cladistically, vertebrates - chordates with the notochord replaced by a vertebral column during development - are considered to be a subgroup of the clade Craniata, which consists of chordates with a skull.
The Craniata and Tunicata compose the clade Olfactores. Chordates form a phylum of animals that are defined by having at some stage in their lives all of the following anatomical features: A notochord, a stiff rod of cartilage that extends along the inside of the body. Among the vertebrate sub-group of chordates the notochord develops into the spine, in wholly aquatic species this helps the animal to swim by flexing its tail. A dorsal neural tube. In fish and other vertebrates, this develops into the spinal cord, the main communications trunk of the nervous system. Pharyngeal slits; the pharynx is the part of the throat behind the mouth. In fish, the slits are modified to form gills, but in some other chordates they are part of a filter-feeding system that extracts particles of food from the water in which the animals live. Post-anal tail. A muscular tail that extends backwards behind the anus. An endostyle; this is a groove in the ventral wall of the pharynx. In filter-feeding species it produces mucus to gather food particles, which helps in transporting food to the esophagus.
It stores iodine, may be a precursor of the vertebrate thyroid gland. There are soft constraints that separate chordates from certain other biological lineages, but are not part of the formal definition: All chordates are deuterostomes; this means. All chordates are based on a bilateral body plan. All chordates are coelomates, have a fluid filled body cavity called a coelom with a complete lining called peritoneum derived from mesoderm; the following schema is from the third edition of Vertebrate Palaeontology. The invertebrate chordate classes are from Fishes of the World. While it is structured so as to reflect evolutionary relationships, it retains the traditional ranks used in Linnaean taxonomy. Phylum Chordata †Vetulicolia? Subphylum Cephalochordata – Class Leptocardii Clade Olfactores Subphylum Tunicata – Class Ascidiacea Class Thaliacea Class Appendicularia Class Sorberacea Subphylum Vertebrata Infraphylum incertae sedis Cyclostomata Superclass'Agnatha' paraphyletic Class Myxini Class Petromyzontida or Hyperoartia Class †Conodonta Class †Myllokunmingiida Class †Pteraspidomorphi Class †Thelodonti Class †Anaspida Class †Cephalaspidomorphi Infraphylum Gnathostomata Class †Placodermi Class Chondrichthyes Class †Acanthodii Superclass Osteichthyes Class Actinopterygii Class Sarcopterygii Superclass Tetrapoda Class Amphibia Class Sauropsida Class Synapsida Craniates, one of the three subdivisions of chordates, all have distinct skulls.
They include the hagfish. Michael J. Benton commented that "craniates are characterized by their heads, just as chordates, or all deuterostomes, are by their tails". Most craniates are vertebrates; these consist of a series of bony or cartilaginous cylindrical vertebrae with neural arches that protect the spinal cord, with projections that link the vertebrae. However hagfish have incomplete braincases and no vertebrae, are therefore not regarded as vertebrates, but as members of the craniates, the group from which vertebrates are thought to have evolved; however the cladistic exclusion of hagfish from the vertebrates is controversial, as they ma
Victoria was Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 20 June 1837 until her death. On 1 May 1876, she adopted the additional title of Empress of India. Victoria was the daughter of Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn, the fourth son of King George III. Both the Duke and the King died in 1820, Victoria was raised under close supervision by her mother, Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, she inherited the throne at the age of 18, after her father's three elder brothers had all died, leaving no surviving legitimate children. The United Kingdom was an established constitutional monarchy, in which the sovereign held little direct political power. Victoria attempted to influence government policy and ministerial appointments. Victoria married her first cousin Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha in 1840, their nine children married into royal and noble families across the continent, tying them together and earning her the sobriquet "the grandmother of Europe". After Albert's death in 1861, Victoria avoided public appearances.
As a result of her seclusion, republicanism temporarily gained strength, but in the latter half of her reign, her popularity recovered. Her Golden and Diamond Jubilees were times of public celebration, her reign of 63 years and seven months was longer than that of any of her predecessors and is known as the Victorian era. It was a period of industrial, political and military change within the United Kingdom, was marked by a great expansion of the British Empire, she was the last British monarch of the House of Hanover. Her son and successor, Edward VII, initiated the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, the line of his father. Victoria's father was Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn, the fourth son of the reigning King of the United Kingdom, George III; until 1817, Edward's niece, Princess Charlotte of Wales, was the only legitimate grandchild of George III. Her death in 1817 precipitated a succession crisis that brought pressure on the Duke of Kent and his unmarried brothers to marry and have children.
In 1818 he married Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, a widowed German princess with two children—Carl and Feodora —by her first marriage to the Prince of Leiningen. Her brother Leopold was Princess Charlotte's widower; the Duke and Duchess of Kent's only child, was born at 4.15 a.m. on 24 May 1819 at Kensington Palace in London. Victoria was christened by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Charles Manners-Sutton, on 24 June 1819 in the Cupola Room at Kensington Palace, she was baptised Alexandrina after one of her godparents, Emperor Alexander I of Russia, Victoria, after her mother. Additional names proposed by her parents—Georgina and Augusta—were dropped on the instructions of Kent's eldest brother, the Prince Regent. At birth, Victoria was fifth in the line of succession after the four eldest sons of George III: George, the Prince Regent; the Prince Regent had no surviving children, the Duke of York had no children. The Duke of Clarence and the Duke of Kent married on the same day in 1818, but both of Clarence's legitimate daughters died as infants.
The first of these was Princess Charlotte, born and died on 27 March 1819, two months before Victoria was born. Victoria's father died in January 1820. A week her grandfather died and was succeeded by his eldest son as George IV. Victoria was third in line to the throne after York and Clarence. Clarence's second daughter was Princess Elizabeth of Clarence who lived for twelve weeks from 10 December 1820 to 4 March 1821 and, while Elizabeth lived, Victoria was fourth in line; the Duke of York died in 1827. When George IV died in 1830, he was succeeded by his next surviving brother, Clarence, as William IV, Victoria became heir presumptive; the Regency Act 1830 made special provision for Victoria's mother to act as regent in case William died while Victoria was still a minor. King William distrusted the Duchess's capacity to be regent, in 1836 he declared in her presence that he wanted to live until Victoria's 18th birthday, so that a regency could be avoided. Victoria described her childhood as "rather melancholy".
Her mother was protective, Victoria was raised isolated from other children under the so-called "Kensington System", an elaborate set of rules and protocols devised by the Duchess and her ambitious and domineering comptroller, Sir John Conroy, rumoured to be the Duchess's lover. The system prevented the princess from meeting people whom her mother and Conroy deemed undesirable, was designed to render her weak and dependent upon them; the Duchess avoided the court because she was scandalised by the presence of King William's illegitimate children. Victoria shared a bedroom with her mother every night, studied with private tutors to a regular timetable, spent her play-hours with her dolls and her King Charles Spaniel, Dash, her lessons included French, German and Latin, but she spoke only English at home. In 1830, the Duchess of Kent and Conroy took Victoria across the centre of England to visit the Malvern Hills, stopping at towns and great country houses along the way. Similar journeys to oth