Vertebrate paleontology is the subfield of paleontology that seeks to discover, through the study of fossilized remains, the behavior and appearance of extinct animals with vertebrae or a notochord. It tries to connect, by using the evolutionary timeline, the animals of the past and their modern-day relatives; the fossil record shows aspects of the meandering evolutionary path from early aquatic vertebrates to mammals, with a host of transitional fossils, though there are still large blank areas. The earliest known fossil vertebrates were armored fish discovered in rocks from the Ordovician Period about 500 to 430 Ma; the Devonian Period brought in the changes that allowed primitive air-breathing fish to remain on land as long as they wished, thus becoming the first terrestrial vertebrates, the amphibians. Amphibians developed forms of reproduction and locomotion and a metabolism better suited for life on land, becoming more reptilian. Full-fledged reptiles appeared in the Carboniferous Period.
The reptilian changes and adaptations to diet and geography are chronicled in the fossil record of the varying forms of therapsida. True mammals showed up in the Triassic Period around the same time as the dinosaurs, which sprouted from the reptilian line. Birds first diverged from dinosaurs between 60 Ma. One of the people who helped figure out the vertebrate progression was French zoologist Georges Cuvier, who realized that fossils found in older rock strata differed from more recent fossils or modern animals, he published his findings in 1812 and, although he steadfastly refuted evolution, his work proved the contested theory of extinction of species. Thomas Jefferson is credited with initiating the science of vertebrate paleontology in the United States with the reading of a paper to the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia in 1797. Jefferson presented fossil bones of a ground sloth found in a cave in western Virginia and named the genus; the species was named Megalonyx jeffersonii in his honor.
Jefferson corresponded with Cuvier, including sending him a shipment of desirable bones of the American mastodon and the woolly mammoth. Paleontology got started though, with the publication of Recherches sur les poissons fossiles by Swiss naturalist Louis Agassiz, he studied and listed hundreds of species of fossil fish, beginning the serious study into the lives of extinct animals. With the publication of the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin in 1849, the field got a theoretical framework. Much of the subsequent work has been to map the relationship between fossil and extant organisms, as well as their history through time. In modern times, Alfred Romer wrote what has been termed the definitive textbook on the subject, called Vertebrate Paleontology, it shows the progression of evolution in fossil fish, amphibians and reptiles through comparative anatomy, including a list of all the known fossil vertebrate genera. Romer became the first president of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology in 1940, alongside co-founder Howard Chiu.
An updated work that carried on the tradition from Romer, by many considered definitive book on the subject was written by Robert L. Carroll of McGill University, the 1988 text Vertebrate Paleontology and Evolution. Carroll was president of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology in 1983; the Society keeps its members informed on the latest discoveries through newsletters and the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. The "traditional" vertebrate classification scheme employ evolutionary taxonomy where several of the taxa listed are paraphyletic, i.e. have given rise to another taxa that have been given the same rank. For instance, birds are considered to be the descendants of reptiles, but in this system both are listed as separate classes. Under phylogenetic nomenclature, such an arrangement is unacceptable, though it offers excellent overview; this classical scheme is still used in works where systematic overview is essential, e.g. Benton and Goslow and Knobill and Neill. While seen in general works, it is still used in some specialist works like Fortuny & al..
Kingdom Animalia Phylum Chordata Class Agnatha Subclass Cyclostomata Subclass Ostracodermi † Class Chondrichthyes Subclass Elasmobranchii Subclass Holocephali Class Placodermi † Class Acanthodii † Class Osteichthyes Subclass Actinopterygii Subclass Sarcopterygii Class Amphibia Subclass Labyrinthodontia † Subclass Lepospondyli † Subclass Lissamphibia Class Reptilia Subclass Anapsida Order Cotylosauria † Order Testudines Subclass Synapsida Order Pelycosauria † Order Therapsida † Subclass Euryapsida Order Sauropterygia † Order Ichthyosauria † Subclass Diapsida Order Crocodilia Order Sphenodontia Order Squamata Order Thecodonts † Order Pterosauria † Order Saurischia † Order Ornithischia † Class Aves Subclass Archaeornithes † Subclass Neornithes Superorder Odontognathae † Superorder Palaeognathae Superorder Neognathae Class Mammalia Subclass Prototheria Order Monotremata Subclass Theria Infraclass Metatheria
Dan David Prize
The Dan David Prize grants annually three prizes of US$1 million each for outstanding achievement. Fields are chosen for Past and Future; the Dan David Prize is awarded for interdisciplinary research. Prize laureates donate 10 percent of their prize money to doctoral scholarships for outstanding Ph. D. students and postdoctoral scholarships for outstanding researchers in their own field from around the world. The Dan David Foundation was founded in 2000 with a $100 million endowment by Romanian-born Israeli businessman and philanthropist Dan David; the Founding Director was Professor Gad Barzilai. The foundation and Tel Aviv University award the prizes; the first awards ceremony took place at Tel Aviv University on May 2002. In 2016, Catherine Hall of University College London rejected the Dan David Prize, her prize money was donated to fund scholarships at Tel Aviv University. Official website – includes complete list of all laureates by year
Yves Coppens is a French anthropologist and co-discoverer of the fossil known as "Lucy". A graduate from the University of Rennes, he has studied ancient hominids and has had multiple published works on this topic, has produced a film. On Saturday, 18 October 2014, Professor Coppens was named an Ordinary Member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences by Pope Francis. Coppens is one of the co-discoverers of Lucy along with Maurice Taieb. However, Richard Dawkins makes the following observation in The Ancestor's Tale: "Incidentally, I don't know what to make of the fact that in his native France, Yves Coppens is cited as the discoverer of Lucy as the'father' of Lucy. In the English-speaking world, this important discovery is universally attributed to Donald Johanson"; this confusion is. Donald Johanson, who lead the 1974 expedition, was the one; the "Rift Valley theory", proposed and supported by the Dutch primatologist Adriaan Kortlandt, became better known when it was espoused and renamed by Coppens as the "East Side Story".
However, this paradigm has been challenged by the discovery of Australopithecus bahrelghazali and Sahelanthropus tchadensis by Michel Brunet's team in Toumaï in Chad (2,500 km to west Rift Valley The main-belt asteroid 172850 Coppens was named in his honour. The official naming citation was published by the Minor Planet Center on 21 March 2008. Yves Coppens chaired the commission which wrote the French Charter for the Environment of 2004. A Species Odyssey Lexnews Magazine interview with Yves Coppens
Collège de France
The Collège de France, founded in 1530, is a higher education and research establishment in France. It is located in Paris, in the 5th arrondissement, or Latin Quarter, across the street from the historical campus of La Sorbonne; the Collège is considered to be France's most prestigious research establishment. As of 2017, 21 Nobel Prize winners and 8 Fields Medalists have been affiliated with the Collège, it does not grant degrees. Each professor is required to give lectures where attendance is open to anyone. Professors, about 50 in number, are chosen by the professors themselves, from a variety of disciplines, in both science and the humanities; the motto of the Collège is Docet Omnia, Latin for "It teaches everything". The Collège has research laboratories and one of the best research libraries of Europe, with sections focusing on history with rare books, social sciences and chemistry and physics; as of June 2009, over 650 audio podcasts of Collège de France lectures are available on iTunes.
Some are available in English and Chinese. The Collège de France's website hosts several videos of classes; the classes are followed by various students, from senior researchers to PhD or master students, or bachelor students. Moreover, the "leçons inaugurales" are important events in Paris intellectual and social life and attract a large public of curious Parisians; the Collège was established by King Francis I of France, modeled after the Collegium Trilingue in Louvain, at the urging of Guillaume Budé. Of humanist inspiration, the school was established as an alternative to the Sorbonne to promote such disciplines as Hebrew, Ancient Greek and Mathematics. Called Collège Royal, Collège des Trois Langues, Collège National, Collège Impérial, it was named Collège de France in 1870. In 2010, it became a founding associate of PSL Research University; the faculty of the Collège de France comprises fifty-two Professors, elected by the Professors themselves from among Francophone scholars in subjects including mathematics, chemistry, history, linguistics, oriental studies, the social sciences and other fields.
Two chairs are reserved for foreign scholars. Notable faculty members include Serge Haroche, awarded with Nobel Prize in Physics in 2012. Notably, 8 Fields medal winners have been affiliated with the College. Past faculty include: Institut de France Raymond Couvègnes Collège de France website, English home page Alphabetic list of all professors since establishment in 1530
Pakistan the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, is a country in South Asia. It is the world’s sixth-most populous country with a population exceeding 212,742,631 people. In area, it is the 33rd-largest country. Pakistan has a 1,046-kilometre coastline along the Arabian Sea and Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by India to the east, Afghanistan to the west, Iran to the southwest, China in the far northeast, it is separated narrowly from Tajikistan by Afghanistan's Wakhan Corridor in the northwest, shares a maritime border with Oman. The territory that now constitutes Pakistan was the site of several ancient cultures and intertwined with the history of the broader Indian subcontinent; the ancient history involves the Neolithic site of Mehrgarh and the Bronze Age Indus Valley Civilisation, was home to kingdoms ruled by people of different faiths and cultures, including Hindus, Indo-Greeks, Turco-Mongols and Sikhs. The area has been ruled by numerous empires and dynasties, including the Persian Achaemenid Empire, Alexander III of Macedon, the Seleucid Empire, the Indian Maurya Empire, the Gupta Empire, the Arab Umayyad Caliphate, the Delhi Sultanate, the Mongol Empire, the Mughal Empire, the Afghan Durrani Empire, the Sikh Empire and, most the British Empire.
Pakistan is the only country to have been created in the name of Islam. It is an ethnically and linguistically diverse country, with a diverse geography and wildlife. A dominion, Pakistan adopted a constitution in 1956, becoming an Islamic republic. An ethnic civil war and Indian military intervention in 1971 resulted in the secession of East Pakistan as the new country of Bangladesh. In 1973, Pakistan adopted a new constitution which stipulated that all laws are to conform to the injunctions of Islam as laid down in the Quran and Sunnah. A regional and middle power, Pakistan has the sixth-largest standing armed forces in the world and is a nuclear power as well as a declared nuclear-weapons state, the second in South Asia and the only nation in the Muslim world to have that status. Pakistan has a semi-industrialised economy with a well-integrated agriculture sector and a growing services sector, it is ranked among the emerging and growth-leading economies of the world, is backed by one of the world's largest and fastest-growing middle class.
Pakistan's political history since independence has been characterized by periods of military rule, political instability and conflicts with India. The country continues to face challenging problems, including overpopulation, poverty and corruption. Pakistan is a member of the UN, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, the OIC, the Commonwealth of Nations, the SAARC and the Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition; the name Pakistan means "land of the pure" in Urdu and Persian. It alludes to the word pāk meaning pure in Pashto; the suffix ـستان is a Persian word meaning the place of, recalls the synonymous Sanskrit word sthāna स्थान. The name of the country was coined in 1933 as Pakstan by Choudhry Rahmat Ali, a Pakistan Movement activist, who published it in his pamphlet Now or Never, using it as an acronym referring to the names of the five northern regions of British India: Punjab, Kashmir and Baluchistan; the letter i was incorporated to ease pronunciation. Some of the earliest ancient human civilisations in South Asia originated from areas encompassing present-day Pakistan.
The earliest known inhabitants in the region were Soanian during the Lower Paleolithic, of whom stone tools have been found in the Soan Valley of Punjab. The Indus region, which covers most of present day Pakistan, was the site of several successive ancient cultures including the Neolithic Mehrgarh and the Bronze Age Indus Valley Civilisation at Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro; the Vedic period was characterised by an Indo-Aryan culture. Multan was an important Hindu pilgrimage centre; the Vedic civilisation flourished in the ancient Gandhāran city of Takṣaśilā, now Taxila in the Punjab, founded around 1000 BCE. Successive ancient empires and kingdoms ruled the region: the Persian Achaemenid Empire, Alexander the Great's empire in 326 BCE and the Maurya Empire, founded by Chandragupta Maurya and extended by Ashoka the Great, until 185 BCE; the Indo-Greek Kingdom founded by Demetrius of Bactria included Gandhara and Punjab and reached its greatest extent under Menander, prospering the Greco-Buddhist culture in the region.
Taxila had one of the earliest universities and centres of higher education in the world, established during the late Vedic period in 6th century BCE. The school consisted of several monasteries without large dormitories or lecture halls where the religious instruction was provided on an individualistic basis; the ancient university was documented by the invading forces of Alexander the Great, "the like of which had not been seen in Greece," and was recorded by Chinese pilgrims in the 4th or 5th century CE. At its zenith, the Rai Dynasty of Sindh ruled the surrounding territories; the Pala Dynasty was the last Buddhist empire, under Dharmapala and Devapala, stretched across South Asia from what is now Bangladesh through Northern India to Pakistan. The Arab conqueror Muhammad bin Qasim conquered Sindh in 711 CE; the Pakistan government's official chronol
Apes are a branch of Old World tailless simians native to Africa and Southeast Asia. They are the sister group of the Old World monkeys, they are distinguished from other primates by a wider degree of freedom of motion at the shoulder joint as evolved by the influence of brachiation. In traditional and non-scientific use, the term "ape" excludes humans, is thus not equivalent to the scientific taxon Hominoidea. There are two extant branches of the superfamily Hominoidea: lesser apes; the family Hylobatidae, the lesser apes, include four genera and a total of sixteen species of gibbon, including the lar gibbon and the siamang, all native to Asia. They are arboreal and bipedal on the ground, they have lighter smaller social groups than great apes. The family Hominidae, the great apes, includes three extant species of orangutans and their subspecies, two extant species of gorillas and their subspecies, two extant species of chimpanzees and their subspecies, one extant species of humans in a single extant subspecies.
Except for gorillas and humans, hominoids are agile climbers of trees. Apes eat a variety of plant and animal foods, with the majority of food being plant foods, which can include fruit, stalks and seeds, including nuts and grass seeds. Human diets are sometimes different to that of other apes due in part to the development of technology and a wide range of habitation. Humans are by far the most numerous of the ape species, in fact outnumbering all other primates by a factor of several thousand to one. Most non-human hominoids are rare or endangered; the chief threat to most of the endangered species is loss of tropical rainforest habitat, though some populations are further imperiled by hunting for bushmeat. The great apes of Africa are facing threat from the Ebola virus. Considered to be the greatest threat to survival of African apes, Ebola is responsible for the death of at least one third of gorillas and chimpanzees since 1990. "Ape", from Old English apa, is a word of uncertain origin. The term has a history of rather imprecise usage -- and of punning usage in the vernacular.
Its earliest meaning was of any non-human anthropoid primate, as is still the case for its cognates in other Germanic languages. After the term "monkey" had been introduced into English, "ape" was specialized to refer to a tailless primate. Thus, the term "ape" obtained two different meanings, as shown in the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica entry: it could be used as a synonym for "monkey" and it could denote the tailless humanlike primate in particular. Some, or all, hominoids are called "apes", but the term is used broadly and has several different senses within both popular and scientific settings. "Ape" has been used as a synonym for "monkey" or for naming any primate with a human-like appearance those without a tail. Biologists have traditionally used the term "ape" to mean a member of the superfamily Hominoidea other than humans, but more to mean all members of Hominoidea. So "ape"—not to be confused with "great ape"—now becomes another word for hominoid including humans; the term hominoid is not to be confused with the family of great apes.
The distinction between apes and monkeys is complicated by the traditional paraphyly of monkeys: Apes emerged as a sister group of Old World Monkeys in the catarhines, which are a sister group of New World Monkeys. Therefore, apes and related contemporary extinct groups such as Parapithecidaea are monkeys as well, for any consistent definition of "monkey". "Old World Monkey" may legitimately be taken to be meant to include all the catarrhines, including apes and extinct species such as Aegyptopithecus, in which case the apes and Aegyptopithecus emerged within the Old World Monkeys. The primates called "apes" today became known to Europeans after the 18th century; as zoological knowledge developed, it became clear that taillessness occurred in a number of different and otherwise distantly related species. Sir Wilfrid Le Gros Clark was one of those primatologists who developed the idea that there were trends in primate evolution and that the extant members of the order could be arranged in an "..
Ascending series", leading from "monkeys" to "apes" to humans. Within this tradition "ape" came to refer to all members of the superfamily Hominoidea except humans; as such, this use of "apes" represented a paraphyletic grouping, meaning that though all species of apes were descended from a common ancestor, this grouping did not include all the descendant species, because humans were excluded from being among the apes. The cladogram of the superfamily Hominoidae shows the descendant relationships of the extant hominoids that are broadly accepted today. For each clade, it is indicated how many million of years ago newer extant clades radiated. Traditionally, humans were considered neither apes nor great apes, but today they are recognized as having emerged deep in the phylogenetic tree of apes. Thus, there are at least three common, or traditional, uses of the term "ape": non-specialists may not distinguish between "monkeys" and "apes", that is, they may use the two terms interchangeably. Modern biologists and primatologists use monophyletic groups for taxonomic classification.
Chad the Republic of Chad, is a landlocked country in north-central Africa. It is bordered by Libya to the north, Sudan to the east, the Central African Republic to the south and Nigeria to the southwest, Niger to the west, it is the second-largest in Central Africa in terms of area. Chad has several regions: a desert zone in the north, an arid Sahelian belt in the centre and a more fertile Sudanian Savanna zone in the south. Lake Chad, after which the country is named, is the largest wetland in Chad and the second-largest in Africa; the capital N'Djamena is the largest city. Chad's official languages are French. Chad is home to over 200 different linguistic groups; the most popular religion of Chad is Islam, followed by Christianity. Beginning in the 7th millennium BC, human populations moved into the Chadian basin in great numbers. By the end of the 1st millennium AD, a series of states and empires had risen and fallen in Chad's Sahelian strip, each focused on controlling the trans-Saharan trade routes that passed through the region.
France incorporated it as part of French Equatorial Africa. In 1960, Chad obtained independence under the leadership of François Tombalbaye. Resentment towards his policies in the Muslim north culminated in the eruption of a long-lasting civil war in 1965. In 1979 the rebels put an end to the south's hegemony. However, the rebel commanders fought amongst themselves, he was overthrown in 1990 by his general Idriss Déby. Since 2003 the Darfur crisis in Sudan has spilt over the border and destabilised the nation, with hundreds of thousands of Sudanese refugees living in and around camps in eastern Chad. An uneven inclusion into the global political economy as a site for colonial resource extraction, a global economic system that does not promote nor encourage the development of Chadian industrialization, the failure to support local agricultural production has meant that the majority of Chadians live in daily uncertainty and hunger. While many political parties are active, power lies in the hands of President Déby and his political party, the Patriotic Salvation Movement.
Chad remains plagued by recurrent attempted coups d'état. Since 2003, crude oil has become the country's primary source of export earnings, superseding the traditional cotton industry. In the 7th millennium BC, ecological conditions in the northern half of Chadian territory favored human settlement, the region experienced a strong population increase; some of the most important African archaeological sites are found in Chad in the Borkou-Ennedi-Tibesti Region. For more than 2,000 years, the Chadian Basin has been inhabited by agricultural and sedentary people; the region became a crossroads of civilizations. The earliest of these were the legendary Sao, descendants of the Hyksos who conquered Ancient Egypt known for skills in designing weapons and artifacts, they are known for their oral histories. After a century of rule, the Sao fell to the Kanem Empire, the first and longest-lasting of the empires that developed in Chad's Sahelian strip by the end of the 1st millennium AD. Two other states in the region, Sultanate of Bagirmi and Wadai Empire emerged in the 16th and 17th centuries.
The power of Kanem and its successors was based on control of the trans-Saharan trade routes that passed through the region. These states, at least tacitly Muslim, never extended their control to the southern grasslands except to raid for slaves. In Kanem, about a third of the population were slaves. French colonial expansion led to the creation of the Territoire Militaire des Pays et Protectorats du Tchad in 1900. By 1920, France had secured full control of the colony and incorporated it as part of French Equatorial Africa. French rule in Chad was characterised by an absence of policies to unify the territory and sluggish modernisation compared to other French colonies; the French viewed the colony as an unimportant source of untrained labour and raw cotton. The colonial administration in Chad was critically understaffed and had to rely on the dregs of the French civil service. Only the Sara of the south was governed effectively; the educational system was affected by this neglect. After World War II, France granted Chad the status of overseas territory and its inhabitants the right to elect representatives to the National Assembly and a Chadian assembly.
The largest political party was the Chadian Progressive Party, based in the southern half of the colony. Chad was granted independence on 11 August 1960 with the PPT's leader, Sara François Tombalbaye, as its first president. Two years Tombalbaye banned opposition parties and established a one-party system. Tombalbaye's autocratic rule and insensitive mismanagement exacerbated inter-ethnic tensions. In 1965, Muslims in the north, led by the National Liberation Front of Chad, began a civil war. Tombalbaye was overthrown and killed in 1975. In 1979 the rebel factions led by Hissène Habré took the capital, all central authority in the country collapsed. Armed factions, many from the north's rebellion, contended for power; the disintegration of Chad caused the collapse of France's position in the country. Libya moved to fill the power vacuum and became involved in Chad