Moths comprise a group of insects related to butterflies, belonging to the order Lepidoptera. Most lepidopterans are moths, there are thought to be 160,000 species of moth, many of which have yet to be described. Most species of moth are nocturnal, but there are crepuscular and diurnal species. While the butterflies form a monophyletic group, the moths, comprising the rest of the Lepidoptera, do not. Many attempts have been made to group the superfamilies of the Lepidoptera into natural groups, most of which fail because one of the two groups is not monophyletic: Microlepidoptera and Macrolepidoptera and Rhopalocera, Jugatae and Frenatae and Ditrysia. Although the rules for distinguishing moths from butterflies are not well established, one good guiding principle is that butterflies have thin antennae and have small balls or clubs at the end of their antennae. Moth antennae are feathery with no ball on the end; the divisions are named by this principle: "club-antennae" or "varied-antennae". The modern English word "moth" comes from Old English "moððe" from Common Germanic.
Its origins are related to the Old English "maða" meaning "maggot" or from the root of "midge" which until the sixteenth century was used to indicate the larva in reference to devouring clothes. Moth larvae, or caterpillars, make cocoons from which they emerge as grown moths with wings; some moth caterpillars dig holes in the ground, where they live until they are ready to turn into adult moths. Moths evolved long before butterflies, with fossils having been found that may be 190 million years old. Both types of Lepidoptera are thought to have evolved along with flowering plants because most modern species feed on flowering plants, both as adults and larvae. One of the earliest species thought to be a moth-ancestor is Archaeolepis mane, whose fossil fragments show scaled wings similar to caddisflies in their veining; some moths their caterpillars, can be major agricultural pests in many parts of the world. Examples include corn bollworms; the caterpillar of the gypsy moth causes severe damage to forests in the northeastern United States, where it is an invasive species.
In temperate climates, the codling moth causes extensive damage to fruit farms. In tropical and subtropical climates, the diamondback moth is the most serious pest of brassicaceous crops. In sub-Saharan Africa, the African sugarcane borer is a major pest of sugarcane and sorghum. Several moths in the family Tineidae are regarded as pests because their larvae eat fabric such as clothes and blankets made from natural proteinaceous fibers such as wool or silk, they are less to eat mixed materials containing some artificial fibers. There are some reports that they may be repelled by the scent of wood from juniper and cedar, by lavender, or by other natural oils. Naphthalene is considered more effective. Moth larvae may be killed by freezing the items which they infest for several days at a temperature below −8 °C. Despite being notorious for eating clothing, most moth adults do not eat at all. Many, like the Luna, Atlas, Promethea and other large moths do not have mouth parts. While there are many species of adult moths that do eat, there are many.
Some moths are farmed for their economic value. The most notable of these is the larva of the domesticated moth Bombyx mori, it is farmed for the silk. As of 2002, the silk industry produces more than 130 million kilograms of raw silk, worth about 250 million U. S. dollars, each year. Not all silk is produced by Bombyx mori. There are several species of Saturniidae that are farmed for their silk, such as the ailanthus moth, the Chinese oak silkmoth, the Assam silkmoth, the Japanese silk moth; the larvae of many species are used as food in Africa, where they are an important source of nutrition. The mopane worm, the caterpillar of Gonimbrasia belina, from the family Saturniidae, is a significant food resource in southern Africa. Another saturniid used. In one country alone, more than 30 species of moth larvae are harvested; some are sold not only in the local village markets, but are shipped by the ton from one country to another. Nocturnal insectivores feed on moths. Moths are eaten by some species of lizards, dogs and some bears.
Moth larvae are vulnerable to being parasitized by Ichneumonidae. Baculoviruses are parasite double-stranded DNA insect viruses that are used as biological control agents, they are members of the Baculoviridae, a family, restricted to insects. Most baculovirus isolates have been obtained in particular from Lepidoptera. There is evidence that ultrasound in the range emitted by bats causes flying moths to make evasive maneuvers because bats eat moths. Ultrasonic frequencies trigger a reflex action in the noctuid moth that causes it to drop a few inches in its flight to evade attack. Tiger moths emit clicks which can foil bats' echolocation; the fungus Ophiocordyceps sinensis infects the larvae of many different species of moths. Some studies indicate that ce
Guatemala the Republic of Guatemala, is a country in Central America bordered by Mexico to the north and west and the Caribbean to the northeast, Honduras to the east, El Salvador to the southeast and the Pacific Ocean to the south. With an estimated population of around 16.6 million, it is the most populated country in Central America. Guatemala is a representative democracy; the territory of modern Guatemala once formed the core of the Maya civilization, which extended across Mesoamerica. Most of the country was conquered by the Spanish in the 16th century, becoming part of the viceroyalty of New Spain. Guatemala attained independence in 1821 as part of the Federal Republic of Central America, which dissolved by 1841. From the mid to late 19th century, Guatemala experienced civil strife. Beginning in the early 20th century, it was ruled by a series of dictators backed by the United Fruit Company and the United States government. In 1944, authoritarian leader Jorge Ubico was overthrown by a pro-democratic military coup, initiating a decade-long revolution that led to sweeping social and economic reforms.
A U. S.-backed military coup in 1954 installed a dictatorship. From 1960 to 1996, Guatemala endured a bloody civil war fought between the US-backed government and leftist rebels, including genocidal massacres of the Maya population perpetrated by the military. Since a United Nations-negotiated peace accord, Guatemala has witnessed both economic growth and successful democratic elections, though it continues to struggle with high rates of poverty, drug trade, instability; as of 2014, Guatemala ranks 31st of 33 Latin American and Caribbean countries in terms of the Human Development Index. Guatemala's abundance of biologically significant and unique ecosystems includes a large number of endemic species and contributes to Mesoamerica's designation as a biodiversity hotspot; the name "Guatemala" comes from the Nahuatl word Cuauhtēmallān, or "place of many trees", a derivative of the K'iche' Mayan word for "many trees" or more for the Cuate/Cuatli tree Eysenhardtia. This was the name the Tlaxcaltecan soldiers who accompanied Pedro de Alvarado during the Spanish Conquest gave to this territory.
The first evidence of human habitation in Guatemala dates back to 12,000 BC. Evidence, such as obsidian arrowheads found in various parts of the country, suggests a human presence as early as 18,000 BC. There is archaeological proof. Pollen samples from Petén and the Pacific coast indicate that maize cultivation had developed by 3500 BC. Sites dating back to 6500 BC have been found in the Quiché region in the Highlands, Sipacate and Escuintla on the central Pacific coast. Archaeologists divide the pre-Columbian history of Mesoamerica into the Preclassic period, the Classic period, the Postclassic period; until the Preclassic was regarded as a formative period, with small villages of farmers who lived in huts, few permanent buildings. However, this notion has been challenged by recent discoveries of monumental architecture from that period, such as an altar in La Blanca, San Marcos, from 1000 BC; the Classic period of Mesoamerican civilization corresponds to the height of the Maya civilization, is represented by countless sites throughout Guatemala, although the largest concentration is in Petén.
This period is characterized by urbanisation, the emergence of independent city-states, contact with other Mesoamerican cultures. This lasted until 900 AD, when the Classic Maya civilization collapsed; the Maya abandoned many of the cities of the central lowlands or were killed off by a drought-induced famine. The cause of the collapse is debated, but the drought theory is gaining currency, supported by evidence such as lakebeds, ancient pollen, others. A series of prolonged droughts, among other reasons such as overpopulation, in what is otherwise a seasonal desert is thought to have decimated the Maya, who relied on regular rainfall; the Post-Classic period is represented by regional kingdoms, such as the Itza, Kowoj and Kejache in Petén, the Mam, Ki'che', Chajoma, Tz'utujil, Poqomchi', Q'eqchi' and Ch'orti' in the highlands. Their cities preserved many aspects of Maya culture; the Maya civilization shares many features with other Mesoamerican civilizations due to the high degree of interaction and cultural diffusion that characterized the region.
Advances such as writing and the calendar did not originate with the Maya. Maya influence can be detected from Honduras, Northern El Salvador to as far north as central Mexico, more than 1,000 km from the Maya area. Many outside influences are found in Maya art and architecture, which are thought to be the result of trade and cultural exchange rather than direct external conquest. After they arrived in the New World, the Spanish started several expeditions to Guatemala, beginning in 1519. Before long, Spanish contact resulted in an epidemic. Hernán Cortés, who had led the Spanish conquest of Mexico, granted a permit to Captains Gonzalo de Alvarado and his brother, Pedro de Alvarado, to conquer this land. Alvarado at first allied himself with the Kaqchikel nation to fight against their traditional rivals the K'iche' nation
Insects or Insecta are hexapod invertebrates and the largest group within the arthropod phylum. Definitions and circumscriptions vary; as used here, the term Insecta is synonymous with Ectognatha. Insects have a chitinous exoskeleton, a three-part body, three pairs of jointed legs, compound eyes and one pair of antennae. Insects are the most diverse group of animals; the total number of extant species is estimated at between ten million. Insects may be found in nearly all environments, although only a small number of species reside in the oceans, which are dominated by another arthropod group, crustaceans. Nearly all insects hatch from eggs. Insect growth is constrained by the inelastic exoskeleton and development involves a series of molts; the immature stages differ from the adults in structure and habitat, can include a passive pupal stage in those groups that undergo four-stage metamorphosis. Insects that undergo three-stage metamorphosis lack a pupal stage and adults develop through a series of nymphal stages.
The higher level relationship of the insects is unclear. Fossilized insects of enormous size have been found from the Paleozoic Era, including giant dragonflies with wingspans of 55 to 70 cm; the most diverse insect groups appear to have coevolved with flowering plants. Adult insects move about by walking, flying, or sometimes swimming; as it allows for rapid yet stable movement, many insects adopt a tripedal gait in which they walk with their legs touching the ground in alternating triangles, composed of the front & rear on one side with the middle on the other side. Insects are the only invertebrates to have evolved flight, all flying insects derive from one common ancestor. Many insects spend at least part of their lives under water, with larval adaptations that include gills, some adult insects are aquatic and have adaptations for swimming; some species, such as water striders, are capable of walking on the surface of water. Insects are solitary, but some, such as certain bees and termites, are social and live in large, well-organized colonies.
Some insects, such as earwigs, show maternal care, guarding their eggs and young. Insects can communicate with each other in a variety of ways. Male moths can sense the pheromones of female moths over great distances. Other species communicate with sounds: crickets stridulate, or rub their wings together, to attract a mate and repel other males. Lampyrid beetles communicate with light. Humans regard certain insects as pests, attempt to control them using insecticides, a host of other techniques; some insects damage crops by feeding on sap, fruits, or wood. Some species are parasitic, may vector diseases; some insects perform complex ecological roles. Insect pollinators are essential to the life cycle of many flowering plant species on which most organisms, including humans, are at least dependent. Many insects are considered ecologically beneficial as predators and a few provide direct economic benefit. Silkworms produce silk and honey bees produce honey and both have been domesticated by humans.
Insects are consumed as food in 80% of the world's nations, by people in 3000 ethnic groups. Human activities have effects on insect biodiversity; the word "insect" comes from the Latin word insectum, meaning "with a notched or divided body", or "cut into", from the neuter singular perfect passive participle of insectare, "to cut into, to cut up", from in- "into" and secare "to cut". A calque of Greek ἔντομον, "cut into sections", Pliny the Elder introduced the Latin designation as a loan-translation of the Greek word ἔντομος or "insect", Aristotle's term for this class of life in reference to their "notched" bodies. "Insect" first appears documented in English in 1601 in Holland's translation of Pliny. Translations of Aristotle's term form the usual word for "insect" in Welsh, Serbo-Croatian, etc; the precise definition of the taxon Insecta and the equivalent English name "insect" varies. In the broadest circumscription, Insecta sensu lato consists of all hexapods. Traditionally, insects defined in this way were divided into "Apterygota" —the wingless insects—and Pterygota—the winged insects.
However, modern phylogenetic studies have shown that "Apterygota" is not monophyletic, so does not form a good taxon. A narrower circumscription restricts insects to those hexapods with external mouthparts, comprises only the last three groups in the table. In this sense, Insecta sensu stricto is equivalent to Ectognatha. In the narrowest circumscription, insects are restricted to hexapods that are either winged or descended from winged ancestors. Insecta sensu strictissimo is equivalent to Pterygota. For the purposes of this article, the middle definition is used; the evolutionary relationship of insects to other animal groups remains unclear. Although traditionally grouped with millipedes and centiped
Wikispecies is a wiki-based online project supported by the Wikimedia Foundation. Its aim is to create a comprehensive free content catalogue of all species. Jimmy Wales stated that editors are not required to fax in their degrees, but that submissions will have to pass muster with a technical audience. Wikispecies is available under the GNU Free Documentation License and CC BY-SA 3.0. Started in September 2004, with biologists across the world invited to contribute, the project had grown a framework encompassing the Linnaean taxonomy with links to Wikipedia articles on individual species by April 2005. Benedikt Mandl co-ordinated the efforts of several people who are interested in getting involved with the project and contacted potential supporters in early summer 2004. Databases were evaluated and the administrators contacted, some of them have agreed on providing their data for Wikispecies. Mandl defined two major tasks: Figure out how the contents of the data base would need to be presented—by asking experts, potential non-professional users and comparing that with existing databases Figure out how to do the software, which hardware is required and how to cover the costs—by asking experts, looking for fellow volunteers and potential sponsorsAdvantages and disadvantages were discussed by the wikimedia-I mailing list.
The board of directors of the Wikimedia Foundation voted by 4 to 0 in favor of the establishment of a Wikispecies. The project is hosted at species.wikimedia.org. It was merged to a sister project of Wikimedia Foundation on September 14, 2004. On October 10, 2006, the project exceeded 75,000 articles. On May 20, 2007, the project exceeded 100,000 articles with a total of 5,495 registered users. On September 8, 2008, the project exceeded 150,000 articles with a total of 9,224 registered users. On October 23, 2011, the project reached 300,000 articles. On June 16, 2014, the project reached 400,000 articles. On January 7, 2017, the project reached 500,000 articles. On October 30, 2018, the project reached 600,000 articles, a total of 1.12 million pages. Wikispecies comprises taxon pages, additionally pages about synonyms, taxon authorities, taxonomical publications, institutions or repositories holding type specimen. Wikispecies asks users to use images from Wikimedia Commons. Wikispecies does not allow the use of content.
All Species Foundation Catalogue of Life Encyclopedia of Life Tree of Life Web Project List of online encyclopedias The Plant List Wikispecies, The free species directory that anyone can edit Species Community Portal The Wikispecies Charter, written by Wales
Lepidoptera is an order of insects that includes butterflies and moths. About 180,000 species of the Lepidoptera are described, in 126 families and 46 superfamilies, 10 per cent of the total described species of living organisms, it is one of the most widespread and recognizable insect orders in the world. The Lepidoptera show many variations of the basic body structure that have evolved to gain advantages in lifestyle and distribution. Recent estimates suggest the order may have more species than earlier thought, is among the four most speciose orders, along with the Hymenoptera and Coleoptera. Lepidopteran species are characterized by more than three derived features; the most apparent is the presence of scales that cover the bodies, a proboscis. The scales are modified, flattened "hairs", give butterflies and moths their wide variety of colors and patterns. All species have some form of membranous wings, except for a few that have reduced wings or are wingless. Mating and the laying of eggs are carried out by adults near or on host plants for the larvae.
Like most other insects and moths are holometabolous, meaning they undergo complete metamorphosis. The larvae are called caterpillars, are different from their adult moth or butterfly forms, having a cylindrical body with a well-developed head, mandible mouth parts, three pairs of thoracic legs and from none up to five pairs of prolegs; as they grow, these larvae change in appearance, going through a series of stages called instars. Once matured, the larva develops into a pupa. A few butterflies and many moth species spin a silk case or cocoon prior to pupating, while others do not, instead going underground. A butterfly pupa, called a chrysalis, has a hard skin with no cocoon. Once the pupa has completed its metamorphosis, a sexually mature adult emerges; the Lepidoptera have, over millions of years, evolved a wide range of wing patterns and coloration ranging from drab moths akin to the related order Trichoptera, to the brightly colored and complex-patterned butterflies. Accordingly, this is the most recognized and popular of insect orders with many people involved in the observation, collection, rearing of, commerce in these insects.
A person who collects or studies this order is referred to as a lepidopterist. Butterflies and moths play an important role in the natural ecosystem as pollinators and as food in the food chain. In many species, the female may produce from 200 to 600 eggs, while in others, the number may approach 30,000 eggs in one day; the caterpillars hatching from these eggs can cause damage to large quantities of crops. Many moth and butterfly species are of economic interest by virtue of their role as pollinators, the silk they produce, or as pest species; the term was coined by Linnaeus in 1735 and is derived from Greek λεπίς, gen. λεπίδος and πτερόν. Sometimes, the term Rhopalocera is used for the clade of all butterfly species, derived from the Ancient Greek ῥόπαλον and κέρας meaning "club" and "horn" coming from the shape of the antennae of butterflies; the origins of the common names "butterfly" and "moth" are varied and obscure. The English word butterfly is with many variations in spelling. Other than that, the origin is unknown, although it could be derived from the pale yellow color of many species' wings suggesting the color of butter.
The species of Heterocera are called moths. The origins of the English word moth are more clear, deriving from the Old English moððe" from Common Germanic, its origins are related to Old English maða meaning "maggot" or from the root of "midge", which until the 16th century was used to indicate the larva in reference to devouring clothes. The etymological origins of the word "caterpillar", the larval form of butterflies and moths, are from the early 16th century, from Middle English catirpel, catirpeller an alteration of Old North French catepelose: cate, cat + pelose, hairy; the Lepidoptera are among the most successful groups of insects. They are found on all continents, except Antarctica, inhabit all terrestrial habitats ranging from desert to rainforest, from lowland grasslands to mountain plateaus, but always associated with higher plants angiosperms. Among the most northern dwelling species of butterflies and moths is the Arctic Apollo, found in the Arctic Circle in northeastern Yakutia, at an altitude of 1500 m above sea level.
In the Himalayas, various Apollo species such as Parnassius epaphus have been recorded to occur up to an altitude of 6,000 m above sea level. Some lepidopteran species exhibit symbiotic, phoretic, or parasitic lifestyles, inhabiting the bodies of organisms rather than the environment. Coprophagous pyralid moth species, called sloth moths, such as Bradipodicola hahneli and Cryptoses choloepi, are unusual in that they are found inhabiting the fur of sloths, mammals found in Central and South America. Two species of Tinea moths have been recorded as feeding on horny tissue and have been bred from the horns of cattle; the larva of Zenodochium coccivorella is an internal parasite of the coccid Kermes species. Many species have been recorded as breeding in natural materials or refuse such as owl pellets, bat caves, honeycombs or diseased fruit; as of 2007, there was 174,250 lepi
Sugarcane, or sugar cane, are several species of tall perennial true grasses of the genus Saccharum, tribe Andropogoneae, native to the warm temperate to tropical regions of South, Southeast Asia, New Guinea, used for sugar production. It has stout, fibrous stalks that are rich in the sugar sucrose, which accumulates in the stalk internodes; the plant is two to six metres tall. All sugar cane species can interbreed and the major commercial cultivars are complex hybrids. Sugarcane belongs to the grass family Poaceae, an economically important seed plant family that includes maize, wheat and sorghum, many forage crops. Sucrose and purified in specialized mill factories, is used as raw material in the food industry or is fermented to produce ethanol. Sugarcane is the world's largest crop by production quantity, with 1.9 billion tonnes produced in 2016, Brazil accounting for 41% of the world total. In 2012, the Food and Agriculture Organization estimated it was cultivated on about 26 million hectares, in more than 90 countries.
The global demand for sugar is the primary driver of sugarcane agriculture. Cane accounts for 79% of sugar produced. Sugarcane predominantly grows in the subtropical regions. Other than sugar, products derived from sugarcane include falernum, rum, cachaça, ethanol. In some regions, people use sugarcane reeds to make pens, mats and thatch; the young, unexpanded inflorescence of Saccharum edule is eaten raw, steamed, or toasted, prepared in various ways in Southeast Asia, including Fiji and certain island communities of Indonesia. Sugarcane was an ancient crop of the Papuan people, it was introduced to Polynesia, Island Melanesia, Madagascar in prehistoric times via Austronesian sailors. It was introduced to southern China and India by Austronesian traders at around 1200 to 1000 BC; the Persians, followed by the Greeks, encountered the famous "reeds that produce honey without bees" in India between the 6th and 4th centuries BC. They adopted and spread sugarcane agriculture. Merchants began to trade in sugar from India, considered a luxury and an expensive spice.
In the 18th century AD, sugarcane plantations began in Caribbean, South American, Indian Ocean and Pacific island nations and the need for laborers became a major driver of large human migrations, both the voluntary in indentured servants. And the involuntary migrations, in the form of slave labor. Sugarcane is a tropical, perennial grass that forms lateral shoots at the base to produce multiple stems three to four m high and about 5 cm in diameter; the stems grow into cane stalk. A mature stalk is composed of 11–16% fiber, 12–16% soluble sugars, 2–3% nonsugars, 63–73% water. A sugarcane crop is sensitive to the climate, soil type, fertilizers, disease control and the harvest period; the average yield of cane stalk is 60–70 tonnes per hectare per year. However, this figure can vary between 30 and 180 tonnes per hectare depending on knowledge and crop management approach used in sugarcane cultivation. Sugarcane is a cash crop, but it is used as livestock fodder. There are two centers of domestication for sugarcane: one for Saccharum officinarum by Papuans in New Guinea and another for Saccharum sinense by Austronesians in Taiwan and southern China.
Papuans and Austronesians primarily used sugarcane as food for domesticated pigs. The spread of both S. officinarum and S. sinense is linked to the migrations of the Austronesian peoples. Saccharum barberi was only cultivated in India after the introduction of S. officinarum. Saccharum officinarum was first domesticated in New Guinea and the islands east of the Wallace Line by Papuans, where it is the modern center of diversity. Beginning at around 6,000 BP they were selectively bred from the native Saccharum robustum. From New Guinea it spread westwards to Island Southeast Asia after contact with Austronesians, where it hybridized with Saccharum spontaneum; the second domestication center is mainland southern China and Taiwan where S. sinense was a primary cultigen of the Austronesian peoples. Words for sugarcane exist in the Proto-Austronesian languages in Taiwan, reconstructed as *təbuS or **CebuS, which became *tebuh in Proto-Malayo-Polynesian, it was one of the original major crops of the Austronesian peoples from at least 5,500 BP.
Introduction of the sweeter S. officinarum may have replaced it throughout its cultivated range in Island Southeast Asia. From Island Southeast Asia, S. officinarum was spread eastward into Polynesia and Micronesia by Austronesian voyagers as a canoe plant by around 3,500 BP. It was spread westward and northward by around 3,000 BP to China and India by Austronesian traders, where it further hybridized with Saccharum sinense and Saccharum barberi. From there it spread further into the Mediterranean; the earliest known production of crystalline sugar began in northern India. The exact date of the first cane sugar production is unclear; the earliest evidence of sugar production comes from ancient Pali texts. Around the 8th century and Arab traders introduced sugar from medieval India to the other parts of the Abbasid Caliphate in the Mediterranean, Egypt, North Africa, Andalusia. By the 10th century, sources state, it was among the early crops brought to the Americas by the Spanish Andalu
Guyana the Co-operative Republic of Guyana, is a country on the northern mainland of South America. It is considered part of the Caribbean region because of its strong cultural and political ties with other Anglo-Caribbean countries and the Caribbean Community. Guyana is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the north, Brazil to the south and southwest, Venezuela to the west, Suriname to the east. With an area of 215,000 square kilometres, Guyana is the third-smallest sovereign state on mainland South America after Uruguay and Suriname; the region known as "the Guianas" consists of the large shield landmass north of the Amazon River and east of the Orinoco River known as the "land of many waters". Major rivers in Guyana include the Essequibo, the Berbice, the Demerara. Inhabited by many indigenous groups, Guyana was settled by the Dutch before coming under British control in the late 18th century, it was governed as British Guiana, with a plantation-style economy until the 1950s. It gained independence in 1966, became a republic within the Commonwealth of Nations in 1970.
The legacy of British rule is reflected in the country's political administration and diverse population, which includes Indian, African and multiracial groups. Guyana is the only South American nation; the majority of the population, speak Guyanese Creole, an English-based creole language, as a first language. Guyana is part of the Anglophone Caribbean. CARICOM, of which Guyana is a member, is headquartered in Guyana's capital and largest city, Georgetown. In 2008, the country joined the Union of South American Nations as a founding member; the name "Guyana" derives from Guiana, the original name for the region that included Guyana, French Guiana, parts of Colombia and Brazil. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, "Guyana" comes from an indigenous Amerindian language and means "land of many waters". There are nine indigenous tribes residing in Guyana: the Wai Wai, Patamona, Kalina, Pemon and Warao; the Lokono and Kalina tribes dominated Guyana. Although Christopher Columbus was the first European to sight Guyana during his third voyage, Sir Walter Raleigh wrote an account in 1596, the Dutch were the first Europeans to establish colonies: Essequibo and Demerara.
After the British assumed control in 1796, the Dutch formally ceded the area in 1814. In 1831 the three separate colonies became a single British colony known as British Guiana. Since its independence in 1824 Venezuela has claimed the area of land to the west of the Essequibo River. Simón Bolívar wrote to the British government warning against the Berbice and Demerara settlers settling on land which the Venezuelans, as assumed heirs of Spanish claims on the area dating to the sixteenth century, claimed was theirs. In 1899 an international tribunal ruled; the British territorial claim stemmed from Dutch involvement and colonization of the area dating to the sixteenth century, ceded to the British. Guyana achieved independence from the United Kingdom on 26 May 1966 and became a republic on 23 February 1970, remaining a member of the Commonwealth; the US State Department and the US Central Intelligence Agency, along with the British government, played a strong role in influencing political control in Guyana during this time.
The American government supported Forbes Burnham during the early years of independence because Cheddi Jagan was identified as a Marxist. They provided secret financial support and political campaign advice to Burnham's People's National Congress, to the detriment of the Jagan-led People's Progressive Party, supported by Guyanese of East Indian background. In 1978, Guyana received international notice when 918 members of the American cult, Peoples Temple, died in a mass murder/suicide drinking cyanide-laced Flavor Aid. However, most of the suicides were by Americans and not Guyanese. More than 300 children were killed. Jim Jones's bodyguards had earlier attacked people taking off at a small remote airstrip close to Jonestown, killing five people, including Leo Ryan, a US congressman. In May 2008, President Bharrat Jagdeo was a signatory to the UNASUR Constitutive Treaty of the Union of South American Nations. Guyana has ratified the treaty; the territory controlled by Guyana lies between latitudes 1° and 9°N, longitudes 56° and 62°W.
The country can be divided into five natural regions. Some of Guyana's highest mountains are Mount Ayanganna, Monte Caburaí and Mount Roraima on the Brazil-Guyana-Venezuela tripoint border, part of the Pakaraima range. Mount Roraima and Guyana's table-top mountains are said to have been the inspiration for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's 1912 novel The Lost World. There are many volcanic escarpments and waterfalls, including Kaieteur Falls, believed to be the largest water drop in the world. No