The Arecaceae are a botanical family of perennial plants. Their growth form can be climbers, shrubs and stemless plants, all known as palms; those having a tree form are colloquially called palm trees. They are flowering a family in the monocot order Arecales. 181 genera with around 2600 species are known, most of them restricted to tropical and subtropical climates. Most palms are distinguished by their large, evergreen leaves, known as fronds, arranged at the top of an unbranched stem. However, palms exhibit an enormous diversity in physical characteristics and inhabit nearly every type of habitat within their range, from rainforests to deserts. Palms are among the most extensively cultivated plant families, they have been important to humans throughout much of history. Many common products and foods are derived from palms. In contemporary times, palms are widely used in landscaping, making them one of the most economically important plants. In many historical cultures, because of their importance as food, palms were symbols for such ideas as victory and fertility.
For inhabitants of cooler climates today, palms symbolize the vacations. Whether as shrubs, trees, or vines, palms have two methods of growth: solitary or clustered; the common representation is that of a solitary shoot ending in a crown of leaves. This monopodial character may be exhibited by prostrate and trunk-forming members; some common palms restricted to solitary growth include Roystonea. Palms may instead grow in sparse though dense clusters; the trunk develops an axillary bud at a leaf node near the base, from which a new shoot emerges. The new shoot, in turn, produces a clustering habit results. Sympodial genera include many of the rattans and Rhapis. Several palm genera have both solitary and clustering members. Palms which are solitary may grow in clusters and vice versa; these aberrations suggest. Palms have large, evergreen leaves that are either palmately or pinnately compound and spirally arranged at the top of the stem; the leaves have a tubular sheath at the base that splits open on one side at maturity.
The inflorescence is a spadix or spike surrounded by one or more bracts or spathes that become woody at maturity. The flowers are small and white, radially symmetric, can be either uni- or bisexual; the sepals and petals number three each, may be distinct or joined at the base. The stamens number six, with filaments that may be separate, attached to each other, or attached to the pistil at the base; the fruit is a single-seeded drupe but some genera may contain two or more seeds in each fruit. Like all monocots, palms do not have the ability to increase the width of a stem via the same kind of vascular cambium found in non-monocot woody plants; this explains the cylindrical shape of the trunk, seen in palms, unlike in ring-forming trees. However, many palms, like some other monocots, do have secondary growth, although because it does not arise from a single vascular cambium producing xylem inwards and phloem outwards, it is called "anomalous secondary growth"; the Arecaceae are notable among monocots for their height and for the size of their seeds and inflorescences.
Ceroxylon quindiuense, Colombia's national tree, is the tallest monocot in the world, reaching up to 60 m tall. The coco de mer has the largest seeds of 40 -- 50 cm in diameter and weighing 15 -- 30 kg each. Raffia palms have the largest leaves of any plant, up to 25 m long and 3 m wide; the Corypha species have the largest inflorescence of any plant, up to 7.5 m tall and containing millions of small flowers. Calamus stems. Most palms are native to subtropical climates. Palms can be found in a variety of different habitats, their diversity is highest in lowland forests. South America, the Caribbean, areas of the south Pacific and southern Asia are regions of concentration. Colombia may have the highest number of palm species in one country. There are some palms that are native to desert areas such as the Arabian peninsula and parts of northwestern Mexico. Only about 130 palm species grow beyond the tropics in humid lowland subtropical climates, in highlands in southern Asia, along the rim lands of the Mediterranean Sea.
The northernmost native palm is Chamaerops humilis, which reaches 44°N latitude along the coast of southern France. In the southern hemisphere, the southernmost palm is the Rhopalostylis sapida, which reaches 44°S on the Chatham Islands where an oceanic climate prevails. Cultivation of palms is possible north of subtropical climates, some higher latitude locals such as Ireland, Scotland and the Pacific Northwest feature a few palms in protected locations. Palms inhabit a variety of ecosystems. More than two-thirds of palm species live in humid moist forests, where some species grow tall enough to form part of the canopy and shorter ones form part of the understory; some species form pure stands in areas with poor drainage or regular flooding, including Raphia hookeri, common in coastal freshwater swamps in West Africa. Other palms live in tropical mountain habitats above 1000 m, such as those in the genus Ceroxylon native to the Andes. Palms may live in grasslands and scrublands associated with a water source, in desert oases such as the date palm.
A few palms are adapted to basic lime soils, while others are ada
The Paraná River is a river in south Central South America, running through Brazil and Argentina for some 4,880 kilometres. It is second in length only to the Amazon River among South American rivers; the name Paraná is an abbreviation of the phrase "para rehe onáva", which comes from the Tupi language and means "like the sea". It merges first with the Paraguay River and farther downstream with the Uruguay River to form the Río de la Plata and empties into the Atlantic Ocean; the first European to go up the Paraná River was the Venetian explorer Sebastian Cabot, in 1526, while working for Spain. The course is formed at the confluence of the Rio Grande rivers in southern Brazil. From the confluence the river flows in a southwestern direction for about 619 km before encountering the city of Saltos del Guaira, Paraguay; this was once the location of the Guaíra Falls (Sete Quedas waterfalls, where the Paraná fell over a series of seven cascades. This natural feature was said to rival the world-famous Iguazu Falls to the south.
The falls were flooded, however, by the construction of the Itaipu Dam, which began operating in 1984. For the next 200 km the Paraná flows southward and forms a natural boundary between Paraguay and Brazil until the confluence with the Iguazu River. Shortly upstream from this confluence, the river is dammed by the Itaipu Dam, the second largest hydroelectric power plant in the world, creating a massive, shallow reservoir behind it. After merging with the Iguazu, the Paraná becomes the natural border between Paraguay and Argentina. Overlooking the Paraná River from Encarnación, across the river, is downtown Posadas, Argentina; the river continues its general southward course for about 468 km before making a gradual turn to the west for another 820 km, encounters the Paraguay River, the largest tributary along the course of the river. Before this confluence the river passes through a second major hydroelectric project, the Yaciretá Dam, a joint project between Paraguay and Argentina; the massive reservoir formed by the project has been the source of a number of problems for people living along the river, most notably the poorer merchants and residents in the low-lying areas of Encarnación, a major city on the southern border of Paraguay.
River levels rose upon completion of the dam, flooding out large sections of the city's lower areas. From the confluence with the Paraguay River, the Paraná again turns to the south for another 820 km through Argentina, making a slow turn back to the east near the city of Rosario for the final stretch of less than 500 km before merging with the Uruguay River to form the Río de la Plata; this flows into the Atlantic Ocean. During the part of its course downstream from the city of Diamante, Entre Ríos, it splits into several arms and it forms the Paraná Delta. Together with its tributaries, the Rio Paraná forms a massive drainage basin that encompasses much of the southcentral part of South America including all of Paraguay, much of southern Brazil, northern Argentina, the southeastern part of Bolivia. If the Uruguay River is counted as a tributary to the Paraná, this watershed extends to cover most of Uruguay as well; the volume of water flowing into the Atlantic Ocean through the Río de la Plata equals the volume at the Mississippi River delta.
This watershed contains a number of large cities, including São Paulo, Buenos Aires, Asunción, Brasília, La Plata. The Paraná and its tributaries provide a source of income and of daily sustenance for fishermen who live along its banks; some of the species of fish are commercially important, they are exploited for heavy internal consumption or for export. The Parana River delta ranks as one of the world's greatest bird-watching destinations. Much of the length of the Paraná is navigable, the river serves as an important waterway linking inland cities in Argentina and Paraguay with the ocean, providing deepwater ports in some of these cities; the construction of enormous hydroelectric dams along the river's length has blocked its use as a shipping corridor to cities further upstream, but the economic impact of those dams offsets this. The Yacyretá Dam and the Itaipu Dam on the Paraguay border have made the small undeveloped nation of Paraguay the world's largest exporter of hydroelectric power.
Due to its use for oceangoing ships, measurements of the water tables extend back to 1904. The data correlates with the solar cycle; the course of the Paraná is crossed by the following bridges, beginning upstream: Tributaries of the Río de la Plata Paraná River steamers Information and a map of the Paraná's watershed "Paraná". New International Encyclopedia. 1905
Patagonia is a sparsely populated region at the southern end of South America, shared by Chile and Argentina. The region comprises the southern section of the Andes mountains and the deserts and grasslands to the east. Patagonia is one of the few regions with coasts on three oceans, with the Pacific Ocean to the west, the Atlantic Ocean to the east, the Southern Ocean to the south; the Colorado and Barrancas rivers, which run from the Andes to the Atlantic, are considered the northern limit of Argentine Patagonia. The archipelago of Tierra del Fuego is sometimes included as part of Patagonia. Most geographers and historians locate the northern limit of Chilean Patagonia at Huincul Fault, in Araucanía Region; the name Patagonia comes from the word patagón, used by Magellan in 1520 to describe the native tribes of the region, whom his expedition thought to be giants. It is now believed that the people he called the Patagons were Tehuelches, who tended to be taller than Europeans of the time; the Argentine researcher Miguel Doura observed that the name Patagonia derives from the ancient Greek region of modern Turkey called Paphlagonia, possible home of the patagon personage in the chivalric romances Primaleon printed in 1512, ten years before Magellan arrived in these southern lands.
The hypothesis was published in a 2011 New Review of Spanish Philology report. Argentine Patagonia is for the most part a region of steppelike plains, rising in a succession of 13 abrupt terraces about 100 metres at a time, covered with an enormous bed of shingle bare of vegetation. In the hollows of the plains are ponds or lakes of fresh and brackish water. Towards Chilean territory the shingle gives place to porphyry and basalt lavas, animal life becomes more abundant and vegetation more luxuriant, consisting principally of southern beech and conifers; the high rainfall against the western Andes and the low sea surface temperatures offshore give rise to cold and humid air masses, contributing to the ice-fields and glaciers, the largest ice-fields in the Southern hemisphere outside of Antarctica. Among the depressions by which the plateau is intersected transversely, the principal ones are the Gualichu, south of the Río Negro, the Maquinchao and Valcheta, the Senguerr, the Deseado River. Besides these transverse depressions, there are others which were occupied by more or less extensive lakes, such as the Yagagtoo and Colhue Huapi, others situated to the south of Puerto Deseado, in the centre of the country.
In the central region volcanic eruptions, which have taken part in the formation of the plateau during the Cenozoic, cover a large part of the land with basaltic lava-caps. There, caused principally by the sudden melting and retreat of ice aided by tectonic changes, has scooped out a deep longitudinal depression, best in evidence where in contact with folded Cretaceous rocks which are uplifted by the Cenozoic granite, it separates the plateau from the first lofty hills, whose ridges are called the pre-Cordillera. To the west of these, a similar longitudinal depression extends all along the foot of the snowy Andean Cordillera; this latter depression contains the richest and most fertile land of Patagonia. Lake basins along the Cordillera were excavated by ice-streams, including Lake Argentino and Lake Fagnano, as well as coastal bays such as Bahía Inútil; the geological limit of Patagonia has been proposed to be Huincul Fault which forms a major discontinuity. The fault truncates various structures including the Pampean orogen found further north.
The ages of base arocks change abruptly across the fault. There have been discrepancies among geologists on the origin of the Patagonian landmass. Víctor Ramos has proposed that the Patagonian landmass originated as an allochthonous terrane that separated from Antarctica and docked in South America 250 to 270 Ma in the Permian era. A 2014 study by R. J. Pankhurst and coworkers rejects any idea of a far-travelled Patagonia claiming it is of parautochtonous origin; the Mesozoic and Cenozoic deposits have revealed a most interesting vertebrate fauna. This, together with the discovery of the perfect cranium of a chelonian of the genus Niolamia, identical with Ninjemys oweni of the Pleistocene age in Queensland, forms an evident proof of the connection between the Australian and South American continents; the Patagonian Niolamia belongs to the Sarmienti Formation. Fossils of the mid-Cretaceous Argentinosaurus, which may be the largest of all dinosaurs, have been found in Patagonia, a model of the mid-Jurassic Piatnitzkysaurus graces the concourse of the Trelew airport.
Of more than paleontological interest, the middle Jurassic Los Molles Formation and the still richer late Jurassic and early Cretaceous Vaca Muerta formation above it in the Neuquén basin are reported to contain huge hydrocarbon reserves accessible through hydraulic fracturing. Other specimens of the interesting fauna of Patagonia, belonging to the Middle Cenozoic, are the gigantic wingless birds, exceeding in size any hitherto known, the singular mammal Pyrotherium of large dimensions. In
Tobacco is a product prepared from the leaves of the tobacco plant by curing them. The plant is part of the genus Nicotiana and of the Solanaceae family. While more than 70 species of tobacco are known, the chief commercial crop is N. tabacum. The more potent variant N. rustica is used around the world. Tobacco contains the alkaloid nicotine, a stimulant, harmala alkaloids. Dried tobacco leaves are used for smoking in cigarettes, pipe tobacco, flavored shisha tobacco, they can be consumed as snuff, chewing tobacco, dipping tobacco and snus. Tobacco use is a risk factor for many diseases. In 2008, the World Health Organization named tobacco as the world's single greatest preventable cause of death; the English word "tobacco" originates from the Spanish and Portuguese word "tabaco". The precise origin of this word is disputed, but it is thought to have derived at least in part, from Taino, the Arawakan language of the Caribbean. In Taino, it was said to mean either a roll of tobacco leaves or to tabago, a kind of L-shaped pipe used for sniffing tobacco smoke.
However coincidentally, similar words in Spanish and Italian were used from 1410 to define medicinal herbs believed to have originated from the Arabic طُبّاق ṭubbāq, a word dating to the 9th century, as a name for various herbs. Tobacco has long been used in the Americas, with some cultivation sites in Mexico dating back to 1400–1000 BC. Many Native American tribes have traditionally used tobacco. Eastern North American tribes carried tobacco in pouches as a accepted trade item, as well as smoking it, both and ceremonially, such as to seal a peace treaty or trade agreement. In some populations, tobacco is seen as a gift from the Creator, with the ceremonial tobacco smoke carrying one's thoughts and prayers to the Creator. Following the arrival of the Europeans to the Americas, tobacco became popular as a trade item. Hernández de Boncalo, Spanish chronicler of the Indies, was the first European to bring tobacco seeds to the Old World in 1559 following orders of King Philip II of Spain; these seeds were planted in the outskirts of Toledo, more in an area known as "Los Cigarrales" named after the continuous plagues of cicadas.
Before the development of the lighter Virginia and white burley strains of tobacco, the smoke was too harsh to be inhaled. Small quantities were smoked at a time, using a pipe like the midwakh or kiseru or smoking newly invented waterpipes such as the bong or the hookah. Tobacco became so popular that the English colony of Jamestown used it as currency and began exporting it as a cash crop; the alleged benefits of tobacco account for its considerable success. The astronomer Thomas Harriot, who accompanied Sir Richard Grenville on his 1585 expedition to Roanoke Island, explains that the plant "openeth all the pores and passages of the body" so that the natives’ "bodies are notably preserved in health, know not many grievous diseases, wherewithal we in England are times afflicted." Tobacco smoking and snuffing became a major industry in Europe and its colonies by 1700. Tobacco has been a major cash crop in Cuba and in other parts of the Caribbean since the 18th century. Cuban cigars are world-famous.
In the late 19th century, cigarettes became popular. James Bonsack created a machine that automated cigarette production; this increase in production allowed tremendous growth in the tobacco industry until the health revelations of the late-20th century. Following the scientific revelations of the mid-20th century, tobacco became condemned as a health hazard, became encompassed as a cause for cancer, as well as other respiratory and circulatory diseases. In the United States, this led to the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement, which settled the lawsuit in exchange for a combination of yearly payments to the states and voluntary restrictions on advertising and marketing of tobacco products. In the 1970s, Brown & Williamson cross-bred a strain of tobacco to produce Y1; this strain of tobacco contained an unusually high amount of nicotine, nearly doubling its content from 3.2-3.5% to 6.5%. In the 1990s, this prompted the Food and Drug Administration to use this strain as evidence that tobacco companies were intentionally manipulating the nicotine content of cigarettes.
In 2003, in response to growth of tobacco use in developing countries, the World Health Organization rallied 168 countries to sign the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. The convention is designed to push for effective legislation and its enforcement in all countries to reduce the harmful effects of tobacco; this led to the development of tobacco cessation products. Many species of tobacco are in the genus of herbs Nicotiana, it is part of the nightshade family indigenous to North and South America, south west Africa, the South Pacific. Most nightshades contain varying amounts of a powerful neurotoxin to insects. However, tobaccos tend to contain a much higher concentration of nicotine than the others. Unlike many other Solanaceae species, they do not contain tropane alkaloids, which are poisonous to humans and other animals. Despite containing enough nicotine and other compounds such as germacrene and anabasine and other piperidine alkaloids to deter most herbivores, a number of such animals have evolved
Iraq the Republic of Iraq, is a country in Western Asia, bordered by Turkey to the north, Iran to the east, Kuwait to the southeast, Saudi Arabia to the south, Jordan to the southwest and Syria to the west. The capital, largest city, is Baghdad. Iraq is home to diverse ethnic groups including Arabs, Assyrians, Shabakis, Armenians, Mandeans and Kawliya. Around 95% of the country's 37 million citizens are Muslims, with Christianity, Yarsan and Mandeanism present; the official languages of Iraq are Kurdish. Iraq has a coastline measuring 58 km on the northern Persian Gulf and encompasses the Mesopotamian Alluvial Plain, the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range and the eastern part of the Syrian Desert. Two major rivers, the Tigris and Euphrates, run south through Iraq and into the Shatt al-Arab near the Persian Gulf; these rivers provide Iraq with significant amounts of fertile land. The region between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers known as Mesopotamia, is referred to as the cradle of civilisation.
It was here that mankind first began to read, create laws and live in cities under an organised government—notably Uruk, from which "Iraq" is derived. The area has been home to successive civilisations since the 6th millennium BC. Iraq was the centre of the Akkadian, Sumerian and Babylonian empires, it was part of the Median, Hellenistic, Sassanid, Rashidun, Abbasid, Mongol, Safavid and Ottoman empires. The country today known as Iraq was a region of the Ottoman Empire until the partition of the Ottoman Empire in the 20th century, it was made up of three provinces, called vilayets in the Ottoman language: Mosul Vilayet, Baghdad Vilayet, Basra Vilayet. In April 1920 the British Mandate of Mesopotamia was created under the authority of the League of Nations. A British-backed monarchy joining these vilayets into one Kingdom was established in 1921 under Faisal I of Iraq; the Hashemite Kingdom of Iraq gained independence from the UK in 1932. In 1958, the monarchy was overthrown and the Iraqi Republic created.
Iraq was controlled by the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party from 1968 until 2003. After an invasion by the United States and its allies in 2003, Saddam Hussein's Ba'ath Party was removed from power, multi-party parliamentary elections were held in 2005; the US presence in Iraq ended in 2011, but the Iraqi insurgency continued and intensified as fighters from the Syrian Civil War spilled into the country. Out of the insurgency came a destructive group calling itself ISIL, which took large parts of the north and west, it has since been defeated. Disputes over the sovereignty of Iraqi Kurdistan continue. A referendum about the full sovereignty of Iraqi Kurdistan was held on 25 September 2017. On 9 December 2017, then-Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared victory over ISIL after the group lost its territory in Iraq. Iraq is a federal parliamentary republic consisting of one autonomous region; the country's official religion is Islam. Culturally, Iraq has a rich heritage and celebrates the achievements of its past in both pre-Islamic as well as post-Islamic times and is known for its poets.
Its painters and sculptors are among the best in the Arab world, some of them being world-class as well as producing fine handicrafts, including rugs and carpets. Iraq is a founding member of the UN as well as of the Arab League, OIC, Non-Aligned Movement and the IMF; the Arabic name العراق al-ʿIrāq has been in use since before the 6th century. There are several suggested origins for the name. One dates to the Sumerian city of Uruk and is thus of Sumerian origin, as Uruk was the Akkadian name for the Sumerian city of Urug, containing the Sumerian word for "city", UR. An Arabic folk etymology for the name is "well-watered. During the medieval period, there was a region called ʿIrāq ʿArabī for Lower Mesopotamia and ʿIrāq ʿAjamī, for the region now situated in Central and Western Iran; the term included the plain south of the Hamrin Mountains and did not include the northernmost and westernmost parts of the modern territory of Iraq. Prior to the middle of the 19th century, the term Eyraca Arabic was used to describe Iraq.
The term Sawad was used in early Islamic times for the region of the alluvial plain of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, contrasting it with the arid Arabian desert. As an Arabic word, عراق means "hem", "shore", "bank", or "edge", so that the name by folk etymology came to be interpreted as "the escarpment", viz. at the south and east of the Jazira Plateau, which forms the northern and western edge of the "al-Iraq arabi" area. The Arabic pronunciation is. In English, it is either or, the American Heritage Dictionary, the Random House Dictionary; the pronunciation is heard in US media. In accordance with the 2005 Constitution, the official name of the state is the "Republic of Iraq". Between 65,000 BC and 35,000 BC northern Iraq was home to a Neanderthal culture, archaeological remains of which have been discovered at Shanidar Cave This same region is the location of a number of pre-Neolithic cemeteries, dating from 11,000 BC. Since 10,000 BC, Iraq was one of centres of a Caucasoid Neolithic culture (k
Mesopotamia is a historical region of Western Asia situated within the Tigris–Euphrates river system, in modern days corresponding to most of Iraq, parts of Northern Saudi Arabia, the eastern parts of Syria, Southeastern Turkey, regions along the Turkish–Syrian and Iran–Iraq borders. The Sumerians and Akkadians dominated Mesopotamia from the beginning of written history to the fall of Babylon in 539 BC, when it was conquered by the Achaemenid Empire, it fell to Alexander the Great in 332 BC, after his death, it became part of the Greek Seleucid Empire. Around 150 BC, Mesopotamia was under the control of the Parthian Empire. Mesopotamia became a battleground between the Romans and Parthians, with western parts of Mesopotamia coming under ephemeral Roman control. In AD 226, the eastern regions of Mesopotamia fell to the Sassanid Persians; the division of Mesopotamia between Roman and Sassanid Empires lasted until the 7th century Muslim conquest of Persia of the Sasanian Empire and Muslim conquest of the Levant from Byzantines.
A number of neo-Assyrian and Christian native Mesopotamian states existed between the 1st century BC and 3rd century AD, including Adiabene and Hatra. Mesopotamia is the site of the earliest developments of the Neolithic Revolution from around 10,000 BC, it has been identified as having "inspired some of the most important developments in human history including the invention of the wheel, the planting of the first cereal crops and the development of cursive script, mathematics and agriculture". The regional toponym Mesopotamia comes from the ancient Greek root words μέσος "middle" and ποταμός "river" and translates to " between two/the rivers", it is used throughout the Greek Septuagint to translate the Aramaic equivalent Naharaim. An earlier Greek usage of the name Mesopotamia is evident from The Anabasis of Alexander, written in the late 2nd century AD, but refers to sources from the time of Alexander the Great. In the Anabasis, Mesopotamia was used to designate the land east of the Euphrates in north Syria.
The Aramaic term biritum/birit narim corresponded to a similar geographical concept. The term Mesopotamia was more applied to all the lands between the Euphrates and the Tigris, thereby incorporating not only parts of Syria but almost all of Iraq and southeastern Turkey; the neighbouring steppes to the west of the Euphrates and the western part of the Zagros Mountains are often included under the wider term Mesopotamia. A further distinction is made between Northern or Upper Mesopotamia and Southern or Lower Mesopotamia. Upper Mesopotamia known as the Jazira, is the area between the Euphrates and the Tigris from their sources down to Baghdad. Lower Mesopotamia is the area from Baghdad to the Persian Gulf and includes Kuwait and parts of western Iran. In modern academic usage, the term Mesopotamia also has a chronological connotation, it is used to designate the area until the Muslim conquests, with names like Syria and Iraq being used to describe the region after that date. It has been argued that these euphemisms are Eurocentric terms attributed to the region in the midst of various 19th-century Western encroachments.
Mesopotamia encompasses the land between the Euphrates and Tigris rivers, both of which have their headwaters in the Taurus Mountains. Both rivers are fed by numerous tributaries, the entire river system drains a vast mountainous region. Overland routes in Mesopotamia follow the Euphrates because the banks of the Tigris are steep and difficult; the climate of the region is semi-arid with a vast desert expanse in the north which gives way to a 15,000-square-kilometre region of marshes, mud flats, reed banks in the south. In the extreme south, the Euphrates and the Tigris empty into the Persian Gulf; the arid environment which ranges from the northern areas of rain-fed agriculture to the south where irrigation of agriculture is essential if a surplus energy returned on energy invested is to be obtained. This irrigation is aided by a high water table and by melting snows from the high peaks of the northern Zagros Mountains and from the Armenian Highlands, the source of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers that give the region its name.
The usefulness of irrigation depends upon the ability to mobilize sufficient labor for the construction and maintenance of canals, this, from the earliest period, has assisted the development of urban settlements and centralized systems of political authority. Agriculture throughout the region has been supplemented by nomadic pastoralism, where tent-dwelling nomads herded sheep and goats from the river pastures in the dry summer months, out into seasonal grazing lands on the desert fringe in the wet winter season; the area is lacking in building stone, precious metals and timber, so has relied upon long-distance trade of agricultural products to secure these items from outlying areas. In the marshlands to the south of the area, a complex water-borne fishing culture has existed since prehistoric times, has added to the cultural mix. Periodic breakdowns in the cultural system have occurred for a number of reasons; the demands for labor has from time to time led to population increases that push the limits of the ecological carrying capacity, should a period of climatic instability ensue, collapsing central government a
Monkey is a common name that may refer to groups or species of mammals, in part, the simians of infraorder Simiiformes. The term is applied descriptively to groups of primates, such as families of new world monkeys and old world monkeys. Many monkey species are tree-dwelling, although there are species that live on the ground, such as baboons. Most species are active during the day. Monkeys are considered to be intelligent the old world monkeys of Catarrhini. Simians and tarsiers emerged within haplorrhines some 60 million years ago. New World monkeys and catarrhine monkeys emerged within the simians some 35 million years ago. Old World monkeys and Hominoidea emerged within the catarrhine monkeys some 25 million years ago. Extinct basal simians such as Aegyptopithecus or Parapithecus and sometimes the Catarrhini group are considered monkeys by primatologists. Lemurs and galagos are not monkeys. Like monkeys, tarsiers are haplorhine primates. Apes emerged within "monkeys" as sister of the Cercopithecidae in the Catarrhini, so cladistically they are monkeys as well.
There has been some resistance to directly designate apes as monkeys despite the scientific evidence, so "Old World monkey" may be taken to mean the Cercopithecoidea or the Catarrhini. That apes are monkeys was realized by Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon in the 18th century. Monkeys can be distinguished from other primates by having only two pectoral nipples, a pendulous penis, the lack of sensory whiskers. According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, the word "monkey" may originate in a German version of the Reynard the Fox fable, published circa 1580. In this version of the fable, a character named. In English, no clear distinction was made between "ape" and "monkey". Colloquially, the terms "monkey" and "ape" are used interchangeably. A few monkey species have the word "ape" in their common name, such as the Barbary ape. In the first half of the 20th century, the idea developed that there were trends in primate evolution and that the living members of the order could be arranged in a series, leading through "monkeys" and "apes" to humans.
Monkeys thus constituted a "grade" on the path to humans and were distinguished from "apes". Scientific classifications are now more based on monophyletic groups, groups consisting of all the descendants of a common ancestor; the New World monkeys and the Old World monkeys are each monophyletic groups, but their combination was not, since it excluded hominoids. Thus the term "monkey" no longer referred to a recognized scientific taxon; the smallest accepted taxon which contains all the monkeys is the infraorder Simiiformes, or simians. However this contains the hominoids, so that monkeys are, in terms of recognized taxa, non-hominoid simians. Colloquially and pop-culturally, the term is ambiguous and sometimes monkey includes non-human hominoids. In addition, frequent arguments are made for a monophyletic usage of the word "monkey" from the perspective that usage should reflect cladistics. A group of monkeys may be referred to as a tribe or a troop. Two separate groups of primates are referred to as "monkeys": New World monkeys from South and Central America and Old World monkeys from Africa and Asia.
Apes —consisting of gibbons, gorillas and humans—are catarrhines but were classically distinguished from monkeys. Monkeys range in size from the pygmy marmoset, which can be as small as 117 millimetres with a 172-millimetre tail and just over 100 grams in weight, to the male mandrill 1 metre long and weighing up to 36 kilograms; some are arboreal. Some characteristics are shared among the groups. Old World monkeys have trichromatic color vision like that of humans, while New World monkeys may be trichromatic, dichromatic, or—as in the owl monkeys and greater galagos—monochromatic. Although both the New and Old World monkeys, like the apes, have forward-facing eyes, the faces of Old World and New World monkeys look different, though again, each group shares some features such as the types of noses and rumps; the following list shows where the various monkey families are placed in the classification of living primates. ORDER PRIMATES Suborder Strepsirrhini: lemurs and galagos Suborder Haplorhini: tarsiers and apes Infraorder Tarsiiformes Family Tarsiidae: tarsiers Infraorder Simiiformes: simians Parvorder Platyrrhini: New World monkeys Family Callitrichidae: marmosets and tamarins Family Cebidae: capuchins and squirrel monkeys Family Aotidae: night monkeys Family Pitheciidae: titis and uakaris Family Atelidae: howler and woolly monkeys Parvorder Catarrhini Superfamily Cercopithecoidea Family Cercopithec