Rimini is a city of 150.590 inhabitants in the Emilia-Romagna region of northern Italy and capital city of the Province of Rimini. It is located on the coast between the rivers Marecchia and Ausa, it is one of the most famous seaside resorts in Europe, thanks to its 15-kilometre-long sandy beach, over 1,000 hotels, thousands of bars and discos. The first bathing establishment opened in 1843. An art city with ancient Roman and Renaissance monuments, Rimini is the hometown of the famous film director Federico Fellini as well. Founded by the Romans in 268 BC, throughout their period of rule Rimini was a key communications link between the north and south of the peninsula, on its soil Roman emperors erected monuments like the Arch of Augustus and the Tiberius Bridge that they mark the beginning and the end of the Decumanus of Rimini and, while during the Renaissance, the city benefited from the court of the House of Malatesta, which hosted artists like Leonardo da Vinci and produced works such as the Tempio Malatestiano.
The main monuments in Rimini are: the Arch of Augustus. In the 19th century, Rimini was one of the most active cities in the revolutionary front, hosting many of the movements aimed at Italian unification. In the course of World War II, the city was the scene of clashes and bombings, but of a fierce partisan resistance that earned it the honour of a gold medal for civic valor. In recent years it has become one of the most important sites for trade fairs and conferences in Italy; the total approximate population of the Rimini urban area is 225,000 and the provincial population is 330,000. Rimini is the most populous centre of the Romagna Riviera, the second largest city by the number of inhabitants in the entire region, the twenty-eighth largest city in Italy. For ecclesiastical history, see Roman Catholic Diocese of Rimini The area was part of the Etruscan civilization until the arrival of the Celts, who held it from the 6th century BC until their defeat by the Umbri in 283 BC. In 268 BC at the mouth of the Ariminus, the Roman Republic founded the colonia of Ariminum.
The city was involved in the civil wars but remained faithful to the popular party and to its leaders, firstly Gaius Marius, Julius Caesar. After crossing the Rubicon, the latter made his legendary appeal to the legions in the Forum of Rimini. Ariminum was seen as a bastion against invaders from Celts and as a springboard for conquering the Padana plain; as the terminus of the Via Flaminia, which ended here in the surviving prestigious Arch of Augustus, Rimini was a road junction connecting central and northern Italy by the Via Aemilia that led to Piacenza and the Via Popilia that extended northwards. Remains of the amphitheater that could seat 12000 people, a five-arched bridge of Istrian stone completed by Tiberius are still visible. Galla Placidia built the church of Santo Stefano. It's understood that Rimini is of roman origins from the fact, divided by two main streets, the Cardo and the Decumanus. Crisis in the Roman world was marked by destruction caused by invasions and wars, but by the testimony of the palaces of the Imperial officers and the first churches, the symbol of the spread of Christianity that held an important Council of Ariminum in 359.
When the Ostrogoths conquered Rimini in 493, besieged in Ravenna, had to capitulate. During the Gothic War, Rimini was retaken many times. In its vicinity the Byzantine general Narses overthrew the Alamanni. Under the Byzantine rule, it belonged to part of the Exarchate of Ravenna. In 728, it was taken with many other cities by Liutprand, King of the Lombards but returned to the Byzantines about 735. Pepin the Short gave it to the Holy See, but during the wars of the popes and the Italian cities against the emperors, Rimini sided with the latter. In the 13th century, it suffered from the discords of the Ansidei families; the city became a municipality in the 14th century, with the arrival of the religious orders, numerous convents and churches were built, providing work for many illustrious artists. In fact, Giotto inspired the 14th-century School of Rimini, the expression of original cultural ferment; the House of Malatesta emerged from the struggles between municipal factions with Malatesta da Verucchio, who in 1239 was named podestà of the city.
Despite interruptions, his family held authority until 1528. In 1312 he was succeeded by Malatestino Malatesta, first signore of the city and Pandolfo I Malatesta, the latter's brother, named by Louis IV, Holy Roman Emperor, as imperial vicar of Romagna. Ferrantino, son of Malatesta II, was opposed by his cousin Ramberto and by Cardinal Bertrand du Pouget, legate of Pope John XXII. Malatesta II was lord of Pesaro, he was succeeded by Malatesta Ungaro and Galeotto I Malatesta, uncle of the former, lord of Fano and Cesena. His son Carlo I Malatesta, one of the most respected condottieri of the time, enlarged the Riminese possessions and restored the port. Carlo died childless in 1429, the lordship was divided into three parts, Rimini going to Galeotto Roberto Malatesta, a Catholic zealot who turned out to be inadequate for the role; the Pesarese line of the Malatestas tried, in fact, to take advantage of his weakness and to capture the city, but Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta, Carlo's nephew, only 14 at the time, intervened to save it.
Galeotto retired to a convent, Sigismondo obtain
Owls are birds from the order Strigiformes, which includes about 200 species of solitary and nocturnal birds of prey typified by an upright stance, a large, broad head, binocular vision, binaural hearing, sharp talons, feathers adapted for silent flight. Exceptions include the gregarious burrowing owl. Owls hunt small mammals and other birds, although a few species specialize in hunting fish, they are found in all regions of the Earth except some remote islands. Owls are divided into two families: the true owl family and the barn-owl family, Tytonidae. Owls possess large, forward-facing eyes and ear-holes, a hawk-like beak, a flat face, a conspicuous circle of feathers, a facial disc, around each eye; the feathers making up this disc can be adjusted to focus sounds from varying distances onto the owls' asymmetrically placed ear cavities. Most birds of prey have eyes on the sides of their heads, but the stereoscopic nature of the owl's forward-facing eyes permits the greater sense of depth perception necessary for low-light hunting.
Although owls have binocular vision, their large eyes are fixed in their sockets—as are those of most other birds—so they must turn their entire heads to change views. As owls are farsighted, they are unable to see anything within a few centimeters of their eyes. Caught prey can be felt by owls with the use of filoplumes—hairlike feathers on the beak and feet that act as "feelers", their far vision in low light, is exceptionally good. Owls can rotate their heads and necks as much as 270°. Owls have 14 neck vertebrae compared to seven in humans, they have adaptations to their circulatory systems, permitting rotation without cutting off blood to the brain: the foramina in their vertebrae through which the vertebral arteries pass are about 10 times the diameter of the artery, instead of about the same size as the artery as in humans. Other anastomoses between the carotid and vertebral arteries support this effect; the smallest owl—weighing as little as 31 g and measuring some 13.5 cm —is the elf owl.
Around the same diminutive length, although heavier, are the lesser known long-whiskered owlet and Tamaulipas pygmy owl. The largest owls are two sized eagle owls; the largest females of these species are 71 cm long, have 54 cm long wings, weigh 4.2 kg. Different species of owls produce different sounds; as noted above, their facial discs help owls to funnel the sound of prey to their ears. In many species, these discs are placed asymmetrically, for better directional location. Owl plumage is cryptic, although several species have facial and head markings, including face masks, ear tufts, brightly coloured irises; these markings are more common in species inhabiting open habitats, are thought to be used in signaling with other owls in low-light conditions. Sexual dimorphism is a physical difference between females of a species. Reverse sexual dimorphism, when females are larger than males, has been observed across multiple owl species; the degree of size dimorphism varies across multiple populations and species, is measured through various traits, such as wing span and body mass.
Overall, female owls tend to be larger than males. The exact explanation for this development in owls is unknown. However, several theories explain the development of sexual dimorphism in owls. One theory suggests that selection has led males to be smaller because it allows them to be efficient foragers; the ability to obtain more food is advantageous during breeding season. In some species, female owls stay at their nest with their eggs while it is the responsibility of the male to bring back food to the nest. However, if food is scarce, the male first feeds himself before feeding the female. Small birds, which are agile, are an important source of food for owls. Male burrowing owls have been observed to have longer wing chords than females, despite being smaller than females. Furthermore, owls have been observed to be the same size as their prey; this has been observed in other predatory birds, which suggests that owls with smaller bodies and long wing chords have been selected for because of the increased agility and speed that allows them to catch their prey.
Another popular theory suggests that females have not been selected to be smaller like male owls because of their sexual roles. In many species, female owls may not leave the nest. Therefore, females may have a larger mass to allow them to go for a longer period of time without starving. For example, one hypothesized sexual role is that larger females are more capable of dismembering prey and feeding it to their young, hence female owls are larger than their male counterparts. A different theory suggests that the size difference between male and females is due to sexual selection: since large females can choose their mate and may violently reject a male's sexual advances, smaller male owls that have the ability to escape unreceptive females are more to have been selected. All owls are carnivorous bi
The tawny owl or brown owl is a stocky, medium-sized owl found in woodlands across much of Eurasia. Its underparts are pale with dark streaks, the upperparts are either brown or grey. Several of the eleven recognised; the nest is in a tree hole where it can protect its eggs and young against potential predators. This owl is non-migratory and territorial. Many young birds starve; this nocturnal bird of prey hunts rodents by dropping from a perch to seize its prey, which it swallows whole. Vision and hearing adaptations and silent flight aid its night hunting; the tawny owl is capable of catching smaller owls, but is itself vulnerable to the eagle owl or northern goshawk. Although many people believe this owl has exceptional night vision, its retina is no more sensitive than a human's and its asymmetrically placed ears are key to its hunting by giving it excellent directional hearing, its nocturnal habits and eerie imitated call, have led to a mythical association of the tawny owl with bad luck and death.
The tawny owl is 37 -- 46 cm in length, with an 81 -- 105 cm wingspan. Weight can range from 385 to 800 g, its large rounded head lacks ear tufts, the facial disc surrounding the dark brown eyes is rather plain. The nominate race has two morphs which differ in their plumage colour, one form having rufous brown upperparts and the other greyish brown, although intermediates occur; the underparts of both morphs streaked with brown. Feathers are moulted between June and December; this species is sexually dimorphic. The tawny owl flies with long glides on rounded wings, less undulating and with fewer wingbeats than other Eurasian owls, at a greater height; the flight of the tawny owl is rather heavy and slow at takeoff. As with most owls, its flight is silent because of its feathers' soft, furry upper surfaces and a fringe on the leading edge of the outer primaries, its size, squat shape and broad wings distinguish it from other owls found within its range. An owl's eyes are placed at the front of the head and have a field overlap of 50–70%, giving it better binocular vision than diurnal birds of prey.
The tawny owl's retina has about 56,000 light-sensitive rod cells per square millimetre. However, the experimental basis for this claim is inaccurate by at least a factor of 10; the owl's actual visual acuity is only greater than that of humans, any increased sensitivity is due to optical factors rather than to greater retinal sensitivity. Adaptations to night vision include the large size of the eye, its tubular shape, large numbers of packed retinal rods, an absence of cone cells, since rod cells have superior light sensitivity. There are few coloured oil drops. Unlike diurnal birds of prey, owls have only one fovea, and, poorly developed except in daytime hunters like the short-eared owl. Hearing is important for a nocturnal bird of prey, as with other owls, the tawny owl's two ear openings differ in structure and are asymmetrically placed to improve directional hearing. A passage through the skull links the eardrums, small differences in the time of arrival of a sound at each ear enables its source to be pinpointed.
The left ear opening is higher on the head than the larger right ear and tilts downward, improving sensitivity to sounds from below. Both ear openings are hidden under the facial disk feathers, which are structurally specialized to be transparent to sound, are supported by a movable fold of skin; the internal structure of the ear, which has large numbers of auditory neurons, gives an improved ability to detect low-frequency sounds at a distance, which could include rustling made by prey moving in vegetation. The tawny owl's hearing is ten times better than a human's, it can hunt using this sense alone in the dark of a woodland on an overcast night, but the patter of raindrops makes it difficult to detect faint sounds, prolonged wet weather can lead to starvation if the owl cannot hunt effectively; the heard female contact call is a shrill, kew-wick but the male has a quavering advertising song hoo...ho, ho, hoo-hoo-hoo-hoo. William Shakespeare used this owl's song in Love's Labour's Lost as "Then nightly sings the staring owl, Tu-whit.
The call is imitated by blowing into cupped hands through parted thumbs, a study in Cambridgeshire found that this mimicry produced a response from the owl within 30 minutes in 94% of trials. A male's response to a broadcast song appears to be indicative of his vigour. Although both colour morphs occur in much of the European range, brown birds predominate in the more humid climate of western Europe, with the g
Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea and one of the 20 regions of Italy. It is one of the five Italian autonomous regions, in Southern Italy along with surrounding minor islands referred to as Regione Siciliana. Sicily is located in the central Mediterranean Sea, south of the Italian Peninsula, from which it is separated by the narrow Strait of Messina, its most prominent landmark is Mount Etna, the tallest active volcano in Europe, one of the most active in the world 3,329 m high. The island has a typical Mediterranean climate; the earliest archaeological evidence of human activity on the island dates from as early as 12,000 BC. By around 750 BC, Sicily had three Phoenician and a dozen Greek colonies and, for the next 600 years, it was the site of the Sicilian Wars and the Punic Wars. After the fall of the Roman Empire in the 5th century AD, Sicily was ruled during the Early Middle Ages by the Vandals, the Ostrogoths, the Byzantine Empire, the Emirate of Sicily; the Norman conquest of southern Italy led to the creation of the Kingdom of Sicily, subsequently ruled by the Hohenstaufen, the Capetian House of Anjou and the House of Habsburg.
It was unified under the House of Bourbon with the Kingdom of Naples as the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. It became part of Italy in 1860 following the Expedition of the Thousand, a revolt led by Giuseppe Garibaldi during the Italian unification, a plebiscite. Sicily was given special status as an autonomous region on 15th May 1946, 18 days before the Italian constitutional referendum of 1946. Albeit, much of the autonomy still remains unapplied financial autonomy, because the autonomy-activating laws have been deferred to be approved by the parithetic committee, since 1946. Sicily has a rich and unique culture with regard to the arts, literature and architecture, it is home to important archaeological and ancient sites, such as the Necropolis of Pantalica, the Valley of the Temples and Selinunte. Sicily has a triangular shape, earning it the name Trinacria. To the east, it is separated from the Italian mainland by the Strait of Messina, about 3 km wide in the north, about 16 km wide in the southern part.
The northern and southern coasts are each about 280 km long measured as a straight line, while the eastern coast measures around 180 km. The total area of the island is 25,711 km2, while the Autonomous Region of Sicily has an area of 27,708 km2; the terrain of inland Sicily is hilly and is intensively cultivated wherever possible. Along the northern coast, the mountain ranges of Madonie, 2,000 m, Nebrodi, 1,800 m, Peloritani, 1,300 m, are an extension of the mainland Apennines; the cone of Mount Etna dominates the eastern coast. In the southeast lie the lower Hyblaean Mountains, 1,000 m; the mines of the Enna and Caltanissetta districts were part of a leading sulphur-producing area throughout the 19th century, but have declined since the 1950s. Sicily and its surrounding small islands have some active volcanoes. Mount Etna is the largest active volcano in Europe and still casts black ash over the island with its ever-present eruptions, it stands 3,329 metres high, though this varies with summit eruptions.
It is the highest mountain in Italy south of the Alps. Etna covers an area of 1,190 km2 with a basal circumference of 140 km; this makes it by far the largest of the three active volcanoes in Italy, being about two and a half times the height of the next largest, Mount Vesuvius. In Greek mythology, the deadly monster Typhon was trapped under the mountain by Zeus, the god of the sky. Mount Etna is regarded as a cultural symbol and icon of Sicily; the Aeolian Islands in the Tyrrhenian Sea, to the northeast of mainland Sicily form a volcanic complex, include Stromboli. The three volcanoes of Vulcano and Lipari are currently active, although the latter is dormant. Off the southern coast of Sicily, the underwater volcano of Ferdinandea, part of the larger Empedocles volcano, last erupted in 1831, it is located between the island of Pantelleria. The autonomous region includes several neighbouring islands: the Aegadian Islands, the Aeolian Islands and Lampedusa; the island is drained by several rivers, most of which flow through the central area and enter the sea at the south of the island.
The Salso flows through parts of Enna and Caltanissetta before entering the Mediterranean Sea at the port of Licata. To the east, the Alcantara flows through the province of Messina and enters the sea at Giardini Naxos, the Simeto, which flows into the Ionian Sea south of Catania. Other important rivers on the island are the Platani in the southwest. Sicily has a typical Mediterranean climate with mild and wet winters and hot, dry summers with changeable intermediate seasons. On the coasts the south-western, the climate is affected by the African currents and summers can be scorching. Sicily is seen as an island of warm winters but above all along the Tyrrhenian coast and in the inland areas, winters can be cold, with typical continental climate. Snow falls in abundance above 900–1000 metres, but stronger cold waves can carry it in the hills and in coastal cities on the northern coast of the island; the interi
A hedgehog is any of the spiny mammals of the subfamily Erinaceinae, in the eulipotyphlan family Erinaceidae. There are seventeen species of hedgehog in five genera found through parts of Europe and Africa, in New Zealand by introduction. There are no living species native to the Americas. Hedgehogs share distant ancestry with shrews, with gymnures being the intermediate link, they have changed little over the last 15 million years. Like many of the first mammals, they have adapted to a nocturnal way of life, their spiny protection resembles that of the unrelated porcupines, which are rodents, echidnas, a type of monotreme. The name hedgehog came into use around the year 1450, derived from the Middle English heyghoge, from heyg, because it frequents hedgerows, hoge, from its piglike snout. Other names include urchin and furze-pig. Hedgehogs are recognized by their spines, which are hollow hairs made stiff with keratin, their spines are not poisonous or barbed and unlike the quills of a porcupine, do not detach from their bodies.
However, the immature animal's spines fall out as they are replaced with adult spines. This is called "quilling". Spines can shed when the animal is diseased or under extreme stress. A defense that all species of hedgehogs possess is the ability to roll into a tight ball, causing all of the spines to point outwards; the hedgehog's back contains two large muscles. When the creature is rolled into a ball, the quills on the back protect the tucked face and belly, which are not quilled. Since the effectiveness of this strategy depends on the number of spines, some desert hedgehogs that evolved to carry less weight are more to flee or attack, ramming an intruder with the spines; the various species are prey to different predators: while forest hedgehogs are prey to birds and ferrets, smaller species like the long-eared hedgehog are prey to foxes and mongooses. Hedgehogs are nocturnal, though some species can be active during the day. Hedgehogs sleep for a large portion of the day under bushes, rocks, or most in dens dug in the ground, with varying habits among the species.
All wild hedgehogs can hibernate, though not all do, depending on temperature and abundance of food. Hedgehogs are vocal and communicate through a combination of grunts, snuffles and/or squeals, depending on species. Hedgehogs perform a ritual called anointing; when the animal encounters a new scent, it will lick and bite the source form a scented froth in its mouth and paste it on its spines with its tongue. The purpose of this habit is unknown, but some experts believe anointing camouflages the hedgehog with the new scent of the area and provides a possible poison or source of infection to predators poked by their spines. Anointing is sometimes called anting because of a similar behavior in birds. Like opossums and moles, hedgehogs have some natural immunity against some snake venom through the protein erinacin in the animal's muscular system, although it is available only in small amounts and a viper bite may still be fatal. In addition, hedgehogs are one of four known mammalian groups with mutations that protect against another snake venom, α-neurotoxin.
Pigs, honey badgers and hedgehogs all have mutations in the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor that prevent the snake venom α-neurotoxin from binding, though those mutations developed separately and independently. The olfactory regions have not been studied in the hedgehog. In mammals, the olfactory part of the brain is covered by neopallium; this difficulty is not insurmountable. Tests have suggested. Although traditionally classified in the now abandoned order Insectivora, hedgehogs are omnivorous, they feed on insects, snails and toads, bird eggs, mushrooms, grass roots, berries and watermelons. Berries constitute a major part of an Afghan hedgehog's diet in early spring after hibernation. During hibernation, the body temperature of a hedgehog can decrease to about 2 °C; when the animal awakes from hibernation, the body temperature rises from 2–5 °C back to its normal 30–35 °C body temperature. Depending on the species, the gestation period is 35–58 days; the average litter is 5 -- 6 for smaller ones.
As with many animals, it is not unusual for an adult male hedgehog to kill newborn males. Hedgehogs have a long lifespan for their size. Larger species of hedgehogs live 4–7 years in the wild, smaller species live 2–4 years, compared to a mouse at 2 years and a large rat at 3–5 years. Lack of predators and controlled diet contribute to a longer lifespan in captivity. Hedgehogs are born blind with a protective membrane covering their quills, which dries and shrinks over the next several hours; the quills emerge through the skin after they have been cleaned. Hedgehog bones have been found in the pellets of the European eagle owl. In Britain, the main predator is the badger. European hedgehog populations in the United Kingdom are lower in areas where badgers are numerous, British hedgehog rescue societies will not release hedgehogs into known badger territories. Badgers compete with hedgehogs for food; the most common p
Badgers are short-legged omnivores in the families Mustelidae, Mephitidae. They are not a natural taxonomic grouping, but are united by possession of a squat body adapted for fossorial activity. All belong to the caniform suborder of carnivoran mammals; the 11 species of mustelid badgers are grouped in four subfamilies: Melinae, Helictidinae and Taxideinae. Badgers include the most basal mustelids; the two species of Asiatic stink badgers of the genus Mydaus were included within Melinae, but more recent genetic evidence indicates these are members of the skunk family. Badger mandibular condyles connect to long cavities in their skulls, which gives resistance to jaw dislocation and increases their bite grip strength; this in turn limits jaw movement to hinging open and shut, or sliding from side to side, but it does not hamper the twisting movement possible for the jaws of most mammals. Badgers have rather wide bodies, with short legs for digging, they have elongated, weasel-like heads with small ears.
Their tails vary in length depending on species. They have black faces with distinctive white markings, grey bodies with a light-coloured stripe from head to tail, dark legs with light-coloured underbellies, they grow to around 90 cm in length including tail. The European badger is one of the largest. Stink badgers are smaller still, ferret badgers smallest of all, they weigh around 9–11 kg, with some Eurasian badgers around 18 kg. The word "badger" applied to the European badger, comes from earlier bageard referring to the white mark borne like a badge on its forehead. A now archaic synonym was bauson ‘badger’, a variant of bausond ‘striped, piebald’, from Old French bausant, baucent ‘id.’. The less common name brock, is a Celtic loanword meaning "grey"; the Proto-Germanic term was *þahsuz from the PIE root *tek'- "to construct," so the badger would have been named after its digging of setts. A male European badger is a boar, a female is a sow, a young badger is a cub. In North America the young are called kits, while the terms male and female are used for adults.
A collective name suggested for a group of colonial badgers is a cete, but badger colonies are more called clans. A badger's home is called a sett; the following list shows where the various species with the common name of badger are placed in the Mustelidae and Mephitidae classifications. The list is polyphyletic and the species called badgers do not form a valid clade. Family Mustelidae Subfamily MelinaeGenus Arctonyx Hog badger, Arctonyx collaris Genus Meles Japanese badger, Meles anakuma Asian badger, Meles leucurus European badger, Meles meles Subfamily HelictidinaeGenus Melogale Burmese ferret-badger, Melogale personata Javan ferret-badger, Melogale orientalis Chinese ferret-badger, Melogale moschata Bornean ferret-badger, Melogale everetti Vietnam ferret-badger, Melogale cucphuongensis Subfamily Mellivorinae Honey badger, Mellivora capensis Subfamily Taxidiinae: †Chamitataxus avitus †Pliotaxidea nevadensis †Pliotaxidea garberi American badger, Taxidea taxus Family Mephitidae Genus Mydaus Indonesian or Sunda stink badger, Mydaus javanensis Palawan stink badger, Mydaus marchei Badgers are found in much of North America, Great Britain and most of the rest of Europe as far north as southern Scandinavia.
They live as far east as China. The Javan ferret-badger lives in Indonesia, the Bornean ferret-badger lives in Malaysia; the honey badger is found in most of sub-Saharan Africa, the Arabian Desert, southern Levant and India. The behavior of badgers differs by family, but all shelter underground, living in burrows called setts, which may be extensive; some are solitary. Cete size is variable from two to 15. Badgers can gallop at 25 -- 30 km/h for short periods of time. Badgers are nocturnal. In North America, coyotes sometimes eat badgers and vice versa, but the majority of their interactions seem to be mutual or neutral. American badgers and coyotes have been seen hunting together in a cooperative fashion; the diet of the Eurasian badger consists of earthworms, insects and the eggs and young of ground-nesting birds. They eat small mammals, amphibians and birds, as well as roots and fruit. In Britain, they are the main predator of hedgehogs, which have demonstrably lower populations in areas where badgers are numerous, so that hedgehog rescue societies