The Pallas's cat called manul, is a small wild cat with a broad but fragmented distribution in the grasslands and montane steppes of Central Asia. It is negatively affected by habitat degradation, prey base decline and hunting, has therefore been classified as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List since 2002; the Pallas's cat was first described in 1776 by the German naturalist Peter Simon Pallas. The Pallas's cat is about the size of a domestic cat, its body is its tail 21 to 31 cm. It weighs 2.5 to 4.5 kg. The combination of its stocky posture and long, dense fur makes it appear plush, its fur is ochre with dark vertical bars on forelegs. The winter coat is greyer and less patterned than the summer coat. There are dark spots on the forehead; the cheeks are white with narrow black stripes running from the corners of the eyes. The chin and throat are white, merging into the greyish, silky fur of the underparts. Concentric white and black rims around the eyes accentuate their rounded shape; the legs are proportionately shorter than those of other cats, the ears are set low and wide apart, the claws are unusually short.
The face is shortened compared with other cats, giving it a flattened look. The pupils are circular rather than vertical slits; the short jaw has fewer teeth than is typical among cats, with the first pair of upper premolars missing, but the canine teeth are large. The Pallas's cat is native to the steppe regions of Central Asia, where it inhabits elevations of up to 5,050 m in the Tibetan Plateau, it is found in parts of Iran, Mongolia, Kyrgyzstan, India and Pakistan, occur across much of western China. In the south of Russia it occurs in the Transbaikal Krai, less in the Altai and Buryatia Republics. In 1997, it was reported for the first time as being present in the eastern Sayan Mountains; until the early 1970s, only two Pallas's cats were recorded in the Transcaucasus, both encountered near the Aras River in northwestern Iran. Populations in the Caspian Sea region, in Afghanistan and Pakistan, are thought to be declining and becoming isolated. In recent years, several Pallas' cats were photographed for the first time during camera trapping surveys: in Iran's Khojir National Park in 2008.
In Ladakh's Changthang Wildlife Sanctuary, Pallas's cats were sighted near Hanle River at an altitude of 4,202 m in 2013, at 4,160 m in 2015. Pallas's cats are solitary. Both males and females scent mark their territory, they spend the day in caves, rock crevices, or marmot burrows, emerge in the late afternoon to begin hunting. They are not fast runners, hunt by ambush or stalking, using low vegetation and rocky terrain for cover, they feed on diurnally active prey species such as gerbils, pikas and chukar partridges, sometimes catch young marmots. The breeding season is short due to the extreme climate in the cat's native range. Estrus lasts between 26 and 42 hours, shorter than in many other felids. Pallas's cats give birth to a litter of around two to six kittens after a gestation period of 66 to 75 days in April or May; such large litters may compensate for a high rate of infant mortality in the harsh environment. The young are born in sheltered dens lined with dried vegetation and fur; the kittens weigh around 90 g at birth, have a thick coat of fuzzy fur, replaced by the adult coat after around two months.
They are able to begin hunting at four months, reach adult size at six months. Pallas's cats have been reported to live up to 11 years in captivity; the Pallas's cat has been hunted for its fur in large numbers in China and Russia. About 1,000 hunters of Pallas's cats remain in Mongolia, with a mean estimated take of 2,000 cats per year. Cats are shot when mistaken for the hunted marmot, trapped incidentally in both legholds set for wolves and foxes and snares set for marmots and hares, they are killed by herding dogs. Their fat and organs are used as medicine in Russia. While Mongolia has not recorded any trophy exports, pelt exports have grown since 2000, with 143 reported exported in 2007; the Pallas's cat is listed in CITES Appendix II. Hunting is prohibited in all range countries except Mongolia, where the species has no legal protection despite being classified as Near Threatened in the country. Since 2009, it is protected in Afghanistan, where all hunting and trade in its parts is banned.
The cat is being studied in the Daursky Nature Reserve in Russia to obtain new information about habitats and migrations, to estimate the survival rate of kittens and adult cats. As of 2010, there were 47 Pallas's cats in 19 member institutions of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. No births and three deaths occurred in 2009; the 30-day mortality of 44.9% is the highest mortality rate of any small wild cat. The seasonality of its reproduction makes it difficult to control reproductive cycles. Keeping Pallas's cats healthy in captivity is difficult, they breed well, but survival rates are low owing to infections, which are attributed to an underdeveloped immune system and exposure to viruse
Jean Léopold Nicolas Frédéric, Baron Cuvier, known as Georges Cuvier, was a French naturalist and zoologist, sometimes referred to as the "founding father of paleontology". Cuvier was a major figure in natural sciences research in the early 19th century and was instrumental in establishing the fields of comparative anatomy and paleontology through his work in comparing living animals with fossils. Cuvier's work is considered the foundation of vertebrate paleontology, he expanded Linnaean taxonomy by grouping classes into phyla and incorporating both fossils and living species into the classification. Cuvier is known for establishing extinction as a fact—at the time, extinction was considered by many of Cuvier's contemporaries to be controversial speculation. In his Essay on the Theory of the Earth Cuvier proposed that now-extinct species had been wiped out by periodic catastrophic flooding events. In this way, Cuvier became the most influential proponent of catastrophism in geology in the early 19th century.
His study of the strata of the Paris basin with Alexandre Brongniart established the basic principles of biostratigraphy. Among his other accomplishments, Cuvier established that elephant-like bones found in the USA belonged to an extinct animal he would name as a mastodon, that a large skeleton dug up in Paraguay was of Megatherium, a giant, prehistoric ground sloth, he named the pterosaur Pterodactylus, described the aquatic reptile Mosasaurus, was one of the first people to suggest the earth had been dominated by reptiles, rather than mammals, in prehistoric times. Cuvier is remembered for opposing theories of evolution, which at the time were proposed by Jean-Baptiste de Lamarck and Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire. Cuvier believed there was no evidence for evolution, but rather evidence for cyclical creations and destructions of life forms by global extinction events such as deluges. In 1830, Cuvier and Geoffroy engaged in a famous debate, said to exemplify the two major deviations in biological thinking at the time – whether animal structure was due to function or morphology.
Cuvier rejected Lamarck's thinking. His most famous work is Le Règne Animal. In 1819, he was created a peer for life in honor of his scientific contributions. Thereafter, he was known as Baron Cuvier, he died in Paris during an epidemic of cholera. Some of Cuvier's most influential followers were Louis Agassiz on the continent and in the United States, Richard Owen in Britain, his name is one of the 72 names inscribed on the Eiffel Tower. Cuvier was born in Montbéliard, where his Protestant ancestors had lived since the time of the Reformation, his mother was Anne Clémence Chatel. At the time, the town, annexed to France on 10 October 1793, belonged to the Duchy of Württemberg, his mother, much younger than his father, tutored him diligently throughout his early years, so he surpassed the other children at school. During his gymnasium years, he had little trouble acquiring Latin and Greek, was always at the head of his class in mathematics and geography. According to Lee, "The history of mankind was, from the earliest period of his life, a subject of the most indefatigable application.
At the age of 10, soon after entering the gymnasium, he encountered a copy of Conrad Gessner's Historiae Animalium, the work that first sparked his interest in natural history. He began frequent visits to the home of a relative, where he could borrow volumes of the Comte de Buffon's massive Histoire Naturelle. All of these he read and reread, retaining so much of the information, that by the age of 12, "he was as familiar with quadrupeds and birds as a first-rate naturalist." He remained at the gymnasium for four years. Cuvier spent an additional four years at the Caroline Academy in Stuttgart, where he excelled in all of his coursework. Although he knew no German on his arrival, after only nine months of study, he managed to win the school prize for that language. Cuvier's German education exposed him to the work of the geologist Abraham Gottlob Werner, whose Neptunism and emphasis on the importance of rigorous, direct observation of three-dimensional, structural relationships of rock formations to geological understanding provided models for Cuvier's scientific theories and methods.
Upon graduation, he had no money on. So in July 1788, he took a job at Fiquainville chateau in Normandy as tutor to the only son of the Comte d'Héricy, a Protestant noble. There, during the early 1790s, he began his comparisons of fossils with extant forms. Cuvier attended meetings held at the nearby town of Valmont for the discussion of agricultural topics. There, he became acquainted with Henri Alexandre Tessier, he had been a physician and well-known agronomist, who had fled the Terror in Paris. After hearing Tessier speak on agricultural matters, Cuvier recognized him as the author of certain articles on agriculture in the Encyclopédie Méthodique and addressed him as M. Tessier. Tessier replied in dismay, "I am known and lost."—"Lost!" Replied M. Cuvier, "no, they soon became intimate and Tessier introduced Cuvier to his colleagues in Paris—"I have just found a pearl in the dungh
Siberia is an extensive geographical region spanning much of Eurasia and North Asia. Siberia has been a part of modern Russia since the 17th century; the territory of Siberia extends eastwards from the Ural Mountains to the watershed between the Pacific and Arctic drainage basins. The Yenisei River conditionally divides Siberia into two parts and Eastern. Siberia stretches southwards from the Arctic Ocean to the hills of north-central Kazakhstan and to the national borders of Mongolia and China. With an area of 13.1 million square kilometres, Siberia accounts for 77% of Russia's land area, but it is home to 36 million people—27% of the country's population. This is equivalent to an average population density of about 3 inhabitants per square kilometre, making Siberia one of the most sparsely populated regions on Earth. If it were a country by itself, it would still be the largest country in area, but in population it would be the world's 35th-largest and Asia's 14th-largest. Worldwide, Siberia is well known for its long, harsh winters, with a January average of −25 °C, as well as its extensive history of use by Russian and Soviet administrations as a place for prisons, labor camps, exile.
The origin of the name is unknown. Some sources say that "Siberia" originates from the Siberian Tatar word for "sleeping land". Another account sees the name as the ancient tribal ethnonym of the Sirtya, an ethnic group which spoke a Paleosiberian language; the Sirtya people were assimilated into the Siberian Tatars. The modern usage of the name was recorded in the Russian language after the Empire's conquest of the Siberian Khanate. A further variant claims; the Polish historian Chyliczkowski has proposed that the name derives from the proto-Slavic word for "north", but Anatole Baikaloff has dismissed this explanation. He said that the neighbouring Chinese and Mongolians, who have similar names for the region, would not have known Russian, he suggests that the name might be a combination of two words with Turkic origin, "su" and "bir". The region has paleontological significance, as it contains bodies of prehistoric animals from the Pleistocene Epoch, preserved in ice or in permafrost. Specimens of Goldfuss cave lion cubs and another woolly mammoth from Oymyakon, a woolly rhinoceros from the Kolyma River, bison and horses from Yukagir have been found.
The Siberian Traps were formed by one of the largest-known volcanic events of the last 500 million years of Earth's geological history. Their activity continued for a million years and some scientists consider it a possible cause of the "Great Dying" about 250 million years ago, – estimated to have killed 90% of species existing at the time. At least three species of human lived in Southern Siberia around 40,000 years ago: H. sapiens, H. neanderthalensis, the Denisovans. In 2010 DNA evidence identified the last as a separate species. Siberia was inhabited by different groups of nomads such as the Enets, the Nenets, the Huns, the Scythians and the Uyghurs; the Khan of Sibir in the vicinity of modern Tobolsk was known as a prominent figure who endorsed Kubrat as Khagan of Old Great Bulgaria in 630. The Mongols conquered a large part of this area early in the 13th century. With the breakup of the Golden Horde, the autonomous Khanate of Sibir was established in the late 15th century. Turkic-speaking Yakut migrated north from the Lake Baikal region under pressure from the Mongol tribes during the 13th to 15th century.
Siberia remained a sparsely populated area. Historian John F. Richards wrote: "... it is doubtful that the total early modern Siberian population exceeded 300,000 persons."The growing power of Russia in the West began to undermine the Siberian Khanate in the 16th century. First, groups of traders and Cossacks began to enter the area; the Russian Army was directed to establish forts farther and farther east to protect new settlers from European Russia. Towns such as Mangazeya, Tara and Tobolsk were developed, the last being declared the capital of Siberia. At this time, Sibir was the name of a fortress at Qashlik, near Tobolsk. Gerardus Mercator, in a map published in 1595, marks Sibier both as the name of a settlement and of the surrounding territory along a left tributary of the Ob. Other sources contend that the Xibe, an indigenous Tungusic people, offered fierce resistance to Russian expansion beyond the Urals; some suggest. By the mid-17th century, Russia had established areas of control; some 230,000 Russians had settled in Siberia by 1709.
Siberia was a destination for sending exiles. The first great modern change in Siberia was the Trans-Siberian Railway, constructed during 1891–1916, it linked Siberia more to the industrialising Russia of Nicholas II. Around seven million people moved to Siberia from European Russia between 1801 and 1914. From 1859 to 1917, more than half a million people migrated to the Russian Far East. Siberia has extensive natural resources. During the 20th century, large-scale exploitation of these was developed, industrial towns cropped up throughout the region. At 7:15 a.m. on 30 June 1908, millions of trees were felled near the Podkamennaya Tunguska River in central Siberia in the Tunguska Event. Most scientists believe this resulted from the air burst of a comet. Though no crater has been found, the landscape in the area still bears the scars of this event. In the early decades of the Soviet Union (
The pallasites are a class of stony–iron meteorite. It consists of centimeter-sized olivine crystals of peridot quality in an iron-nickel matrix. Coarser metal areas develop Widmanstätten patterns upon etching. Minor constituents are schreibersite, chromite and phosphates. Using the oxygen isotopic composition, meteoric iron composition and silicate composition pallasites are divided into 4 subgroups: Main group pallasites: Almost all pallasites Eagle Station grouplet: 4 specimens known, they are related to IIF irons. Pyroxene Pallasite grouplet: Counts only Vermillion and Yamato 8451, they take their name from the high orthopyroxene content. Metal matrix shows a fine octahedrite Widmanstätten pattern. Pallasite ungrouped: Specimens that don't fit into any groups or grouplets Pallasites were once thought to originate at the core-mantle boundary of differentiated asteroids that were subsequently shattered through impacts. An alternative recent hypothesis is that they are impact-generated mixtures of core and mantle materials.
A common error is to associate their name with the asteroid 2 Pallas but their actual name is after the German naturalist Peter Pallas, who studied in 1772 a specimen found earlier near Krasnoyarsk in the mountains of Siberia that had a mass of 680 kilograms. The Krasnoyarsk mass described by Pallas in 1776 was one of the examples used by E. F. F. Chladni in the 1790s to demonstrate the reality of meteorite falls on the Earth, which were at his time considered by most scientists as fairytales; this rock mass was dissimilar to all rocks or ores found in this area, but its content of native metal was similar to other finds known from different areas. Pallasites are a rare type of meteorite. Only 61 are known to date, including 10 from Antarctica, with four being observed falls; the following four falls are in chronological order: Mineo, Italy. A luminous meteor was observed and an object seen to fall with a loud roar in May 1826. Only 46 grams are preserved in collections. Zaisho, Japan. 330 g were found on February 1898, after the appearance of a fireball.
Marjalahti, Russia. After the appearance of a bright meteor and detonations, a large mass was seen to fall and 45 kilograms were recovered in June 1902. At this date the fall site belonged to Finland, the main mass of Marjalahti is now at the Geological Museum of the University of Helsinki. Omolon, Magadan Region, Russia. A reindeer-breeder observed the fall on May 16, 1981, found the 250 kilograms meteorite two years later; the fall was confirmed by a meteorological station. Although pallasites are a rare meteorite type, enough pallasite material is found in museums and meteorite collections and is available for research; this is due to large finds. The following are the largest finds: Brenham, United States. In 1890 the find of about 20 masses with a total weight of 1,000 kilograms around the shallow Haviland Crater were reported. More masses were found including one of 454 kilograms from a depth of 5 feet, the total amounting to about 4.3 tonnes. A piece of 487 kilograms is in the Field Museum of Chicago.
In 2005, Steve Arnold of Arkansas, USA, Phil Mani of Texas, USA, unearthed a large mass of 650 kilograms and in 2006 several new large masses Huckitta, Northern Territory, Australia. A mass of 1,400 kilograms was found in 1937 on a cattle station north-east of Alice Springs. Earlier, in 1924, a transported piece of about 1 kilogram had been found on Burt Plain north of Alice Springs. Fukang, Xinjiang Province, China. A mass of 1,003 kilograms was recovered in 2000. Imilac, Atacama Desert, Chile. Numerous masses up to 200 kilograms were found, the total weight is about 920 kg. Brahin, Gomel Region, known since 1810. Many masses were found strewn with a total weight of about 820 kg. An additional mass of 227 kg was found at a depth of 10 feet in 2002. Esquel, Argentina. A large mass of 755 kg was found embedded in soil before 1951. Pallasovka, Russia. A single mass of 198 kg was found near Pallasovka, Russia in 1990. Coincidentally, both the town of Pallasovka and pallasite meteorites were named after the naturalist, Peter Pallas.
Krasnojarsk, Russia. A mass of about 700 kg was detected in 1749 about 145 miles south of Krasnojarsk, it was transported to Krasnojarsk. The main mass of 515 kg is now in Moscow at the Academy of Sciences. Pallasites are named after Peter Pallas for his study of this meteorite. Seymchan, discovered near the town by the same name, in far eastern Russia in 1967; this main group Pallasite has some areas free of olivine crystals, may have formed near the junction of the core and the mantle of an asteroid. Multiple masses in excess of 1 tonne have been recovered. Glossary of meteoritics Port Orford meteorite hoax Pallasite images from Meteorites Australia - Meteorites.com.au Legend of Glorieta Mountain Discovery of a large pallasite in New Mexico
The Amur River or Heilong Jiang is the world's tenth longest river, forming the border between the Russian Far East and Northeastern China. The largest fish species in the Amur is the kaluga; the river basin is home to a variety of large predatory fish such as northern snakehead, Amur pike, Amur catfish, predatory carp and yellowcheek, as well as the northernmost populations of the Amur softshell turtle and Indian lotus. It was common to refer to a river as "water"; the word for "water" is similar in a number of Asiatic languages: mul in Korean, muren in Mongolian, mizu in Japanese. The name "Amur" may have evolved from a root word for water, coupled with a size modifier for "Big Water"; the Chinese name for the river, Heilong Jiang, means Black Dragon River in Chinese, its Mongolian name, Khar mörön, means Black River. The river rises in the hills in the western part of Northeast China at the confluence of its two major affluents, the Shilka River and the Ergune River, at an elevation of 303 metres.
It flows east forming the border between China and Russia, makes a great arc to the southeast for about 400 kilometres, receiving many tributaries and passing many small towns. At Huma, it is joined by the Huma River. Afterwards it continues to flow south until between the cities of Blagoveschensk and Heihe, it widens as it is joined by the Zeya River, one of its most important tributaries; the Amur arcs to the east and turns southeast again at the confluence with the Bureya River does not receive another significant tributary for nearly 250 kilometres before its confluence with its largest tributary, the Songhua River, at Tongjiang. At the confluence with the Songhua the river turns northeast, now flowing towards Khabarovsk, where it joins the Ussuri River and ceases to define the Russia–China border. Now the river spreads out into a braided character, flowing north-northeast through a wide valley in eastern Russia, passing Amursk and Komsomolsk-on-Amur; the valley narrows after about 200 kilometres and the river again flows north onto plains at the confluence with the Amgun River.
Shortly after, the Amur turns east and into an estuary at Nikolayevsk-on-Amur, about 20 kilometres downstream of which it flows into the Strait of Tartary. In many historical references these two geopolitical entities are known as Outer Manchuria and Inner Manchuria, respectively; the Chinese province of Heilongjiang on the south bank of the river is named after it, as is the Russian Amur Oblast on the north bank. The name Black River was used by the native Manchu people and their Qing Empire of China, who regarded this river as sacred; the Amur River is an important symbol of, geopolitical factor in, Chinese–Russian relations. The Amur was important in the period following the Sino–Soviet political split in the 1960s. For many centuries the Amur Valley was populated by the Tungusic, Mongol people, some Ainu and, near its mouth, by the Nivkhs. For many of them, fishing in the Amur and its tributaries was the main source of their livelihood; until the 17th century, these people were not known to the Europeans, little known to the Han Chinese, who sometimes collectively described them as the Wild Jurchens.
The term Yupi Dazi was used for the Nanais and related groups as well, owing to their traditional clothes made of fish skins. The Mongols, ruling the region as the Yuan dynasty, established a tenuous military presence on the lower Amur in the 13–14th centuries. During the Yongle and Xuande eras, the Ming dynasty reached the Amur as well in their drive to establish control over the lands adjacent to the Ming Empire to the northeast, which were to become known as Manchuria. Expeditions headed by the eunuch Yishiha reached Tyr several times between 1411 and the early 1430s, re-building the Yongning Temple and obtaining at least the nominal allegiance of the lower Amur's tribes to the Ming government; some sources report a Chinese presence during the same period on the middle Amur – a fort existed at Aigun for about 20 years during the Yongle era on the left shore of the Amur downstream from the mouth of the Zeya River. This Ming Dynasty Aigun was located on the opposite bank to the Aigun, relocated during the Qing Dynasty.
In any event, the Ming presence on the Amur was as short-lived. Chinese cultural and religious influence such as Chinese New Year, the "Chinese god", Chinese motifs like the dragon, spirals and material goods like agriculture, heating, iron cooking pots and cotton spread among the Amur natives like the Udeghes and Nanais. Russian Cossack expeditions led by Vassili Poyarkov and Yerofey Khabarov explored the Amur and its tributaries in 1643–44 and 1649–51, respectively; the Cossacks established the fort of Albazin on the upper Amur, at the site of the former capital of the Solons. At the time, the Manchus were busy with conquering the region.
Botany called plant science, plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanist, plant scientist or phytologist is a scientist; the term "botany" comes from the Ancient Greek word βοτάνη meaning "pasture", "grass", or "fodder". Traditionally, botany has included the study of fungi and algae by mycologists and phycologists with the study of these three groups of organisms remaining within the sphere of interest of the International Botanical Congress. Nowadays, botanists study 410,000 species of land plants of which some 391,000 species are vascular plants, 20,000 are bryophytes. Botany originated in prehistory as herbalism with the efforts of early humans to identify – and cultivate – edible and poisonous plants, making it one of the oldest branches of science. Medieval physic gardens attached to monasteries, contained plants of medical importance, they were forerunners of the first botanical gardens attached to universities, founded from the 1540s onwards.
One of the earliest was the Padua botanical garden. These gardens facilitated the academic study of plants. Efforts to catalogue and describe their collections were the beginnings of plant taxonomy, led in 1753 to the binomial system of Carl Linnaeus that remains in use to this day. In the 19th and 20th centuries, new techniques were developed for the study of plants, including methods of optical microscopy and live cell imaging, electron microscopy, analysis of chromosome number, plant chemistry and the structure and function of enzymes and other proteins. In the last two decades of the 20th century, botanists exploited the techniques of molecular genetic analysis, including genomics and proteomics and DNA sequences to classify plants more accurately. Modern botany is a broad, multidisciplinary subject with inputs from most other areas of science and technology. Research topics include the study of plant structure and differentiation, reproduction and primary metabolism, chemical products, diseases, evolutionary relationships and plant taxonomy.
Dominant themes in 21st century plant science are molecular genetics and epigenetics, which are the mechanisms and control of gene expression during differentiation of plant cells and tissues. Botanical research has diverse applications in providing staple foods, materials such as timber, rubber and drugs, in modern horticulture and forestry, plant propagation and genetic modification, in the synthesis of chemicals and raw materials for construction and energy production, in environmental management, the maintenance of biodiversity. Botany originated as the study and use of plants for their medicinal properties. Many records of the Holocene period date early botanical knowledge as far back as 10,000 years ago; this early unrecorded knowledge of plants was discovered in ancient sites of human occupation within Tennessee, which make up much of the Cherokee land today. The early recorded history of botany includes many ancient writings and plant classifications. Examples of early botanical works have been found in ancient texts from India dating back to before 1100 BC, in archaic Avestan writings, in works from China before it was unified in 221 BC.
Modern botany traces its roots back to Ancient Greece to Theophrastus, a student of Aristotle who invented and described many of its principles and is regarded in the scientific community as the "Father of Botany". His major works, Enquiry into Plants and On the Causes of Plants, constitute the most important contributions to botanical science until the Middle Ages seventeen centuries later. Another work from Ancient Greece that made an early impact on botany is De Materia Medica, a five-volume encyclopedia about herbal medicine written in the middle of the first century by Greek physician and pharmacologist Pedanius Dioscorides. De Materia Medica was read for more than 1,500 years. Important contributions from the medieval Muslim world include Ibn Wahshiyya's Nabatean Agriculture, Abū Ḥanīfa Dīnawarī's the Book of Plants, Ibn Bassal's The Classification of Soils. In the early 13th century, Abu al-Abbas al-Nabati, Ibn al-Baitar wrote on botany in a systematic and scientific manner. In the mid-16th century, "botanical gardens" were founded in a number of Italian universities – the Padua botanical garden in 1545 is considered to be the first, still in its original location.
These gardens continued the practical value of earlier "physic gardens" associated with monasteries, in which plants were cultivated for medical use. They supported the growth of botany as an academic subject. Lectures were given about the plants grown in the gardens and their medical uses demonstrated. Botanical gardens came much to northern Europe. Throughout this period, botany remained subordinate to medicine. German physician Leonhart Fuchs was one of "the three German fathers of botany", along with theologian Otto Brunfels and physician Hieronymus Bock. Fuchs and Brunfels broke away from the tradition of copying earlier works to make original observations of their own. Bock created his own system of plant classification. Physician Valerius Cordus authored a botanically and pharmacologically important herbal Historia Plantarum in 1544 and a pharmacopoeia of lasting importance, the Dispensatorium
Berlin is the capital and largest city of Germany by both area and population. Its 3,748,148 inhabitants make it the second most populous city proper of the European Union after London; the city is one of Germany's 16 federal states. It is surrounded by the state of Brandenburg, contiguous with its capital, Potsdam; the two cities are at the center of the Berlin-Brandenburg capital region, which is, with about six million inhabitants and an area of more than 30,000 km², Germany's third-largest metropolitan region after the Rhine-Ruhr and Rhine-Main regions. Berlin straddles the banks of the River Spree, which flows into the River Havel in the western borough of Spandau. Among the city's main topographical features are the many lakes in the western and southeastern boroughs formed by the Spree and Dahme rivers. Due to its location in the European Plain, Berlin is influenced by a temperate seasonal climate. About one-third of the city's area is composed of forests, gardens, rivers and lakes; the city lies in the Central German dialect area, the Berlin dialect being a variant of the Lusatian-New Marchian dialects.
First documented in the 13th century and situated at the crossing of two important historic trade routes, Berlin became the capital of the Margraviate of Brandenburg, the Kingdom of Prussia, the German Empire, the Weimar Republic, the Third Reich. Berlin in the 1920s was the third largest municipality in the world. After World War II and its subsequent occupation by the victorious countries, the city was divided. East Berlin was declared capital of East Germany. Following German reunification in 1990, Berlin once again became the capital of all of Germany. Berlin is a world city of culture, politics and science, its economy is based on high-tech firms and the service sector, encompassing a diverse range of creative industries, research facilities, media corporations and convention venues. Berlin serves as a continental hub for air and rail traffic and has a complex public transportation network; the metropolis is a popular tourist destination. Significant industries include IT, biomedical engineering, clean tech, biotechnology and electronics.
Berlin is home to world-renowned universities, orchestras and entertainment venues, is host to many sporting events. Its Zoological Garden is one of the most popular worldwide. With the world's oldest large-scale movie studio complex, Berlin is an popular location for international film productions; the city is well known for its festivals, diverse architecture, contemporary arts and a high quality of living. Since the 2000s Berlin has seen the emergence of a cosmopolitan entrepreneurial scene. Berlin lies in northeastern Germany, east of the River Saale, that once constituted, together with the River Elbe, the eastern border of the Frankish Realm. While the Frankish Realm was inhabited by Germanic tribes like the Franks and the Saxons, the regions east of the border rivers were inhabited by Slavic tribes; this is why most of the villages in northeastern Germany bear Slavic-derived names. Typical Germanised place name suffixes of Slavic origin are -ow, -itz, -vitz, -witz, -itzsch and -in, prefixes are Windisch and Wendisch.
The name Berlin has its roots in the language of West Slavic inhabitants of the area of today's Berlin, may be related to the Old Polabian stem berl-/birl-. Since the Ber- at the beginning sounds like the German word Bär, a bear appears in the coat of arms of the city, it is therefore a canting arm. Of Berlin's twelve boroughs, five bear a Slavic-derived name: Pankow, Steglitz-Zehlendorf, Marzahn-Hellersdorf, Treptow-Köpenick and Spandau. Of its ninety-six neighborhoods, twenty-two bear a Slavic-derived name: Altglienicke, Alt-Treptow, Buch, Gatow, Kladow, Köpenick, Lankwitz, Lübars, Marzahn, Prenzlauer Berg, Schmöckwitz, Stadtrandsiedlung Malchow, Steglitz and Zehlendorf; the neighborhood of Moabit bears a French-derived name, Französisch Buchholz is named after the Huguenots. The earliest evidence of settlements in the area of today's Berlin are a wooden beam dated from 1192, remnants of a house foundation dated to 1174, found in excavations in Berlin Mitte; the first written records of towns in the area of present-day Berlin date from the late 12th century.
Spandau is first mentioned in 1197 and Köpenick in 1209, although these areas did not join Berlin until 1920. The central part of Berlin can be traced back to two towns. Cölln on the Fischerinsel is first mentioned in a 1237 document, Berlin, across the Spree in what is now called the Nikolaiviertel, is referenced in a document from 1244. 1237 is considered the founding date of the city. The two towns over time formed close economic and social ties, profited from the staple right on the two important trade routes Via Imperii and from Bruges to Novgorod. In 1307, they formed an alliance with a common external policy, their internal administrations still being separated. In 1415, Frederick I became the elector of the Margraviate of Brandenburg, which he ruled until 1440. During the 15th century, his successors established Berlin-Cölln as capital of the margraviate, subsequent members of the Hohenzol