The Biografisch Portaal is an initiative based at the Huygens Institute for Dutch History in The Hague, with the aim of making biographical texts of the Netherlands more accessible. The project was started in February 2010 with material for 40,000 digitized biographies, with the goal to grant digital access to all reliable information about people of the Netherlands from the earliest beginnings of history up to modern times; the Netherlands as a geographic term includes former colonies, the term "people" refers both to people born in the Netherlands and its former colonies, to people born elsewhere but active in the Netherlands and its former colonies. As of 2011, only biographical information about deceased people is included; the system used is based on the standards of the Text Encoding Initiative. Access to the Biografisch Portaal is available free through a web-based interface; the project is a cooperative undertaking by ten scientific and cultural bodies in the Netherlands with the Huygens Institute as main contact.
The other bodies are: The Biografie Instituut The Centraal Bureau voor Genealogie The Digital Library for Dutch Literature Data Archiving and Networked Services The International Institute of Social History The Onderzoekscentrum voor Geschiedenis en Cultuur, The Parlementair Documentatie Centrum The Netherlands Institute for Art History Besides ongoing digital projects, Dutch biographical dictionaries published in book form that have been digitized and incorporated into the indexes of the Biografisch Portaal are: The work of Abraham van der Aa, the first Dutch biographical dictionary The BWN, or Biografisch Woordenboek van Nederland The NNBW, or Nieuw Nederlandsch Biografisch Woordenboek The work of Johan Engelbert Elias on the Amsterdam regency known as Vroedschap van Amsterdam The work of Barend Glasius known as Godgeleerd Nederland The work of Roeland van Eynden and Adriaan van der Willigen, known as Geschiedenis der vaderlandsche schilderkunst The work of Jan van Gool known as Nieuwe Schouburg The work of Jacob Campo Weyerman known as The Lives of Dutch painters and paintresses The BLNP, or Biografisch lexicon voor de geschiedenis van het Nederlands protestantismeAs of November 2012 the Biografisch Portaal contained 80,206 persons in 125,592 biographies.
In February 2012, a new project was started called "BiographyNed" to build an analytical tool for use with the Biografisch Portaal that will link biographies to events in time and space. The main goal of the three-year project is to formulate ‘the boundaries of the Netherlands’. List of Dutch people Official website
Natural history is a domain of inquiry involving organisms including animals and plants in their environment. A person who studies natural history is called natural historian. Natural history is not limited to it, it involves the systematic study of any category of natural organisms. So while it dates from studies in the ancient Greco-Roman world and the mediaeval Arabic world, through to European Renaissance naturalists working in near isolation, today's natural history is a cross discipline umbrella of many specialty sciences; the meaning of the English term "natural history" has narrowed progressively with time. In antiquity, "natural history" covered anything connected with nature, or which used materials drawn from nature, such as Pliny the Elder's encyclopedia of this title, published circa 77 to 79 AD, which covers astronomy, geography and their technology and superstition, as well as animals and plants. Medieval European academics considered knowledge to have two main divisions: the humanities and divinity, with science studied through texts rather than observation or experiment.
The study of nature revived in the Renaissance, became a third branch of academic knowledge, itself divided into descriptive natural history and natural philosophy, the analytical study of nature. In modern terms, natural philosophy corresponded to modern physics and chemistry, while natural history included the biological and geological sciences; the two were associated. During the heyday of the gentleman scientists, many people contributed to both fields, early papers in both were read at professional science society meetings such as the Royal Society and the French Academy of Sciences – both founded during the seventeenth century. Natural history had been encouraged by practical motives, such as Linnaeus' aspiration to improve the economic condition of Sweden; the Industrial Revolution prompted the development of geology to help find useful mineral deposits. Modern definitions of natural history come from a variety of fields and sources, many of the modern definitions emphasize a particular aspect of the field, creating a plurality of definitions with a number of common themes among them.
For example, while natural history is most defined as a type of observation and a subject of study, it can be defined as a body of knowledge, as a craft or a practice, in which the emphasis is placed more on the observer than on the observed. Definitions from biologists focus on the scientific study of individual organisms in their environment, as seen in this definition by Marston Bates: "Natural history is the study of animals and Plants – of organisms.... I like to think of natural history as the study of life at the level of the individual – of what plants and animals do, how they react to each other and their environment, how they are organized into larger groupings like populations and communities" and this more recent definition by D. S. Wilcove and T. Eisner: "The close observation of organisms—their origins, their evolution, their behavior, their relationships with other species"; this focus on organisms in their environment is echoed by H. W. Greene and J. B. Losos: "Natural history focuses on where organisms are and what they do in their environment, including interactions with other organisms.
It encompasses changes in internal states insofar as they pertain to what organisms do". Some definitions go further, focusing on direct observation of organisms in their environment, both past and present, such as this one by G. A. Bartholomew: "A student of natural history, or a naturalist, studies the world by observing plants and animals directly; because organisms are functionally inseparable from the environment in which they live and because their structure and function cannot be adequately interpreted without knowing some of their evolutionary history, the study of natural history embraces the study of fossils as well as physiographic and other aspects of the physical environment". A common thread in many definitions of natural history is the inclusion of a descriptive component, as seen in a recent definition by H. W. Greene: "Descriptive ecology and ethology". Several authors have argued for a more expansive view of natural history, including S. Herman, who defines the field as "the scientific study of plants and animals in their natural environments.
It is concerned with levels of organization from the individual organism to the ecosystem, stresses identification, life history, distribution and inter-relationships. It and appropriately includes an esthetic component", T. Fleischner, who defines the field more broadly, as "A practice of intentional, focused attentiveness and receptivity to the more-than-human world, guided by honesty and accuracy"; these definitions explicitly include the arts in the field of natural history, are aligned with the broad definition outlined by B. Lopez, who defines the field as the "Patient interrogation of a landscape" while referring to the natural history knowledge of the Eskimo. A different framework for natural history, covering a similar range of themes, is implied in the scope of work encompassed by many leading natural history museums, which include elements of anthropology, geology and astronomy along with botany and zoology, or include both cultural and natural components of the world; the pl
Zoology is the branch of biology that studies the animal kingdom, including the structure, evolution, classification and distribution of all animals, both living and extinct, how they interact with their ecosystems. The term is derived from Ancient Greek ζῷον, zōion, i.e. "animal" and λόγος, logos, i.e. "knowledge, study". The history of zoology traces the study of the animal kingdom from ancient to modern times. Although the concept of zoology as a single coherent field arose much the zoological sciences emerged from natural history reaching back to the biological works of Aristotle and Galen in the ancient Greco-Roman world; this ancient work was further developed in the Middle Ages by Muslim physicians and scholars such as Albertus Magnus. During the Renaissance and early modern period, zoological thought was revolutionized in Europe by a renewed interest in empiricism and the discovery of many novel organisms. Prominent in this movement were Vesalius and William Harvey, who used experimentation and careful observation in physiology, naturalists such as Carl Linnaeus, Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, Buffon who began to classify the diversity of life and the fossil record, as well as the development and behavior of organisms.
Microscopy revealed the unknown world of microorganisms, laying the groundwork for cell theory. The growing importance of natural theology a response to the rise of mechanical philosophy, encouraged the growth of natural history. Over the 18th, 19th, 20th centuries, zoology became an professional scientific discipline. Explorer-naturalists such as Alexander von Humboldt investigated the interaction between organisms and their environment, the ways this relationship depends on geography, laying the foundations for biogeography and ethology. Naturalists began to reject essentialism and consider the importance of extinction and the mutability of species. Cell theory provided a new perspective on the fundamental basis of life; these developments, as well as the results from embryology and paleontology, were synthesized in Charles Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection. In 1859, Darwin placed the theory of organic evolution on a new footing, by his discovery of a process by which organic evolution can occur, provided observational evidence that it had done so.
Darwin gave a new direction to morphology and physiology, by uniting them in a common biological theory: the theory of organic evolution. The result was a reconstruction of the classification of animals upon a genealogical basis, fresh investigation of the development of animals, early attempts to determine their genetic relationships; the end of the 19th century saw the fall of spontaneous generation and the rise of the germ theory of disease, though the mechanism of inheritance remained a mystery. In the early 20th century, the rediscovery of Mendel's work led to the rapid development of genetics, by the 1930s the combination of population genetics and natural selection in the modern synthesis created evolutionary biology. Cell biology studies the structural and physiological properties of cells, including their behavior and environment; this is done on both the microscopic and molecular levels, for single-celled organisms such as bacteria as well as the specialized cells in multicellular organisms such as humans.
Understanding the structure and function of cells is fundamental to all of the biological sciences. The similarities and differences between cell types are relevant to molecular biology. Anatomy considers the forms of macroscopic structures such as organs and organ systems, it focuses on how organs and organ systems work together in the bodies of humans and animals, in addition to how they work independently. Anatomy and cell biology are two studies that are related, can be categorized under "structural" studies. Physiology studies the mechanical and biochemical processes of living organisms by attempting to understand how all of the structures function as a whole; the theme of "structure to function" is central to biology. Physiological studies have traditionally been divided into plant physiology and animal physiology, but some principles of physiology are universal, no matter what particular organism is being studied. For example, what is learned about the physiology of yeast cells can apply to human cells.
The field of animal physiology extends the tools and methods of human physiology to non-human species. Physiology studies how for example nervous, endocrine and circulatory systems and interact. Evolutionary research is concerned with the origin and descent of species, as well as their change over time, includes scientists from many taxonomically oriented disciplines. For example, it involves scientists who have special training in particular organisms such as mammalogy, herpetology, or entomology, but use those organisms as systems to answer general questions about evolution. Evolutionary biology is based on paleontology, which uses the fossil record to answer questions about the mode and tempo of evolution, on the developments in areas such as population genetics and evolutionary theory. Following the development of DNA fingerprinting techniques in the late 20th century, the application of these techniques in zoology has increased the understanding of animal populations. In the 1980s, developmental biology re-entered evolutionary biology from its initial exclusion from the modern synthesis through the study of evolutionary developmental biology.
Related fields considered part of evolutionary biology are phylogenetics and taxonomy. Scientific classification in zoology, is a method by which
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
The giant squid is a deep-ocean dwelling squid in the family Architeuthidae. Giant squid can grow to a tremendous size due to deep-sea gigantism: recent estimates put the maximum size at 13 m for females and 10 m for males from the posterior fins to the tip of the two long tentacles; the mantle is about 2 m long, the length of the squid excluding its tentacles exceeds 5 m. Claims of specimens measuring 20 m or more have not been scientifically documented; the number of different giant squid species has been debated, but recent genetic research suggests that only one species exists. In 2004, Japanese researchers took the first images of a live giant squid in its natural habitat, in July 2012, a live adult was first filmed in its natural habitat off Chichijima. Like all squid, a giant squid has a mantle, eight arms, two longer tentacles; the arms and tentacles account for much of the squid's great length, making it much lighter than its chief predator, the sperm whale. Scientifically documented specimens have masses of hundreds, rather than thousands, of kilograms.
The inside surfaces of the arms and tentacles are lined with hundreds of subspherical suction cups, 2 to 5 cm in diameter, each mounted on a stalk. The circumference of these suckers is lined with sharp, finely serrated rings of chitin; the perforation of these teeth and the suction of the cups serve to attach the squid to its prey. It is common to find circular scars from the suckers on or close to the head of sperm whales that have attacked giant squid; each tentacular club is divided into three regions—the carpus and dactylus. The carpus has seven irregular, transverse rows; the manus is broader, closer to the end of the club, has enlarged suckers in two medial rows. The dactylus is the tip; the bases of all the arms and tentacles are arranged in a circle surrounding the animal's single, parrot-like beak, as in other cephalopods. Giant squid have small fins at the rear of their mantles used for locomotion. Like other cephalopods, they are propelled by jet—by pulling water into the mantle cavity, pushing it through the siphon, in gentle, rhythmic pulses.
They can move by expanding the cavity to fill it with water contracting muscles to jet water through the siphon. Giant squid breathe using two large gills inside the mantle cavity; the circulatory system is closed, a distinct characteristic of cephalopods. Like other squid, they contain dark ink used to deter predators; the giant squid has a sophisticated nervous system and complex brain, attracting great interest from scientists. It has the largest eyes of any living creature except the colossal squid—up to at least 27 cm in diameter, with a 9 cm pupil. Large eyes can better detect light, scarce in deep water; the giant squid cannot see colour, but it can discern small differences in tone, important in the low-light conditions of the deep ocean. Giant squid and some other large squid species maintain neutral buoyancy in seawater through an ammonium chloride solution, found throughout their bodies and is lighter than seawater; this differs from the method of flotation used by most fish, which involves a gas-filled swim bladder.
The solution tastes somewhat like salmiakki and makes giant squid unattractive for general human consumption. Like all cephalopods, giant squid use organs called statocysts to sense their orientation and motion in water; the age of a giant squid can be determined by "growth rings" in the statocyst's statolith, similar to determining the age of a tree by counting its rings. Much of what is known about giant squid age is based on estimates of the growth rings and from undigested beaks found in the stomachs of sperm whales; the giant squid is the second-largest one of the largest of all extant invertebrates. It is only exceeded by the colossal squid, Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni, which may have a mantle nearly twice as long. Several extinct cephalopods, such as the Cretaceous vampyromorphid Tusoteuthis, the Cretaceous coleoid Yezoteuthis, the Ordovician nautiloid Cameroceras may have grown larger. Giant squid size total length, has been exaggerated. Reports of specimens reaching and exceeding 20 m are widespread, but no specimens approaching this size have been scientifically documented.
According to giant squid expert Steve O'Shea, such lengths were achieved by stretching the two tentacles like elastic bands. Based on the examination of 130 specimens and of beaks found inside sperm whales, giant squids' mantles are not known to exceed 2.25 m. Including the head and arms, but excluding the tentacles, the length rarely exceeds 5 m. Maximum total length, when measured relaxed post mortem, is estimated at 13 m for females and 10 m for males from the posterior fins to the tip of the two long tentacles. Giant squid exhibit sexual dimorphism. Maximum weight is estimated at 150 kg for males. Little is known about the reproductive cycle of giant squid, they are thought to reach sexual maturity at about three years old. Females produce large quantities of eggs, sometimes more than 5 kg, that average 0.5 to 1.4 mm (0.020 to 0.0
Charles Robert Darwin, was an English naturalist and biologist, best known for his contributions to the science of evolution. His proposition that all species of life have descended over time from common ancestors is now accepted, considered a foundational concept in science. In a joint publication with Alfred Russel Wallace, he introduced his scientific theory that this branching pattern of evolution resulted from a process that he called natural selection, in which the struggle for existence has a similar effect to the artificial selection involved in selective breeding. Darwin published his theory of evolution with compelling evidence in his 1859 book On the Origin of Species, overcoming scientific rejection of earlier concepts of transmutation of species. By the 1870s, the scientific community and a majority of the educated public had accepted evolution as a fact. However, many favoured competing explanations, it was not until the emergence of the modern evolutionary synthesis from the 1930s to the 1950s that a broad consensus developed in which natural selection was the basic mechanism of evolution.
Darwin's scientific discovery is the unifying theory of the life sciences, explaining the diversity of life. Darwin's early interest in nature led him to neglect his medical education at the University of Edinburgh. Studies at the University of Cambridge encouraged his passion for natural science, his five-year voyage on HMS Beagle established him as an eminent geologist whose observations and theories supported Charles Lyell's uniformitarian ideas, publication of his journal of the voyage made him famous as a popular author. Puzzled by the geographical distribution of wildlife and fossils he collected on the voyage, Darwin began detailed investigations, in 1838 conceived his theory of natural selection. Although he discussed his ideas with several naturalists, he needed time for extensive research and his geological work had priority, he was writing up his theory in 1858 when Alfred Russel Wallace sent him an essay that described the same idea, prompting immediate joint publication of both of their theories.
Darwin's work established evolutionary descent with modification as the dominant scientific explanation of diversification in nature. In 1871 he examined human evolution and sexual selection in The Descent of Man, Selection in Relation to Sex, followed by The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals, his research on plants was published in a series of books, in his final book, The Formation of Vegetable Mould, through the Actions of Worms, he examined earthworms and their effect on soil. Darwin has been described as one of the most influential figures in human history, he was honoured by burial in Westminster Abbey. Since 2008, a statue of Charles Darwin occupies the place of honour at London's Natural History Museum. Charles Robert Darwin was born in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, on 12 February 1809, at his family's home, The Mount, he was the fifth of six children of wealthy society doctor and financier Robert Darwin and Susannah Darwin. His grandfathers Erasmus Darwin and Josiah Wedgwood were both prominent abolitionists.
Both families were Unitarian, though the Wedgwoods were adopting Anglicanism. Robert Darwin, himself a freethinker, had baby Charles baptised in November 1809 in the Anglican St Chad's Church, but Charles and his siblings attended the Unitarian chapel with their mother; the eight-year-old Charles had a taste for natural history and collecting when he joined the day school run by its preacher in 1817. That July, his mother died. From September 1818, he joined his older brother Erasmus attending the nearby Anglican Shrewsbury School as a boarder. Darwin spent the summer of 1825 as an apprentice doctor, helping his father treat the poor of Shropshire, before going to the University of Edinburgh Medical School with his brother Erasmus in October 1825. Darwin found lectures dull and surgery distressing, so he neglected his studies, he learned taxidermy in around 40 daily hour-long sessions from John Edmonstone, a freed black slave who had accompanied Charles Waterton in the South American rainforest.
In Darwin's second year at the university he joined the Plinian Society, a student natural-history group featuring lively debates in which radical democratic students with materialistic views challenged orthodox religious concepts of science. He assisted Robert Edmond Grant's investigations of the anatomy and life cycle of marine invertebrates in the Firth of Forth, on 27 March 1827 presented at the Plinian his own discovery that black spores found in oyster shells were the eggs of a skate leech. One day, Grant praised Lamarck's evolutionary ideas. Darwin was astonished by Grant's audacity, but had read similar ideas in his grandfather Erasmus' journals. Darwin was rather bored by Robert Jameson's natural-history course, which covered geology—including the debate between Neptunism and Plutonism, he learned the classification of plants, assisted with work on the collections of the University Museum, one of the largest museums in Europe at the time. Darwin's neglect of medical studies annoyed his father, who shrewdly sent him to Christ's College, Cambridge, to study for a Bachelor of Arts degree as the first step towards becoming an Anglican country parson.
As Darwin was unqualified for the Tripos, he joined the ordinary degree course in January 1828. He preferred shooting to studying, his cousin William Darwin Fox introduced him to the popular craze for beetle collecting.
A microscope is an instrument used to see objects that are too small to be seen by the naked eye. Microscopy is the science of investigating small structures using such an instrument. Microscopic means invisible to the eye. There are many types of microscopes, they may be grouped in different ways. One way is to describe the way the instruments interact with a sample to create images, either by sending a beam of light or electrons to a sample in its optical path, or by scanning across, a short distance from the surface of a sample using a probe; the most common microscope is the optical microscope, which uses light to pass through a sample to produce an image. Other major types of microscopes are the fluorescence microscope, the electron microscope and the various types of scanning probe microscopes. Although objects resembling lenses date back 4000 years and there are Greek accounts of the optical properties of water-filled spheres followed by many centuries of writings on optics, the earliest known use of simple microscopes dates back to the widespread use of lenses in eyeglasses in the 13th century.
The earliest known examples of compound microscopes, which combine an objective lens near the specimen with an eyepiece to view a real image, appeared in Europe around 1620. The inventor is unknown. Several revolve around the spectacle-making centers in the Netherlands including claims it was invented in 1590 by Zacharias Janssen and/or Zacharias' father, Hans Martens, claims it was invented by their neighbor and rival spectacle maker, Hans Lippershey, claims it was invented by expatriate Cornelis Drebbel, noted to have a version in London in 1619. Galileo Galilei seems to have found after 1610 that he could close focus his telescope to view small objects and, after seeing a compound microscope built by Drebbel exhibited in Rome in 1624, built his own improved version. Giovanni Faber coined the name microscope for the compound microscope Galileo submitted to the Accademia dei Lincei in 1625; the first detailed account of the microscopic anatomy of organic tissue based on the use of a microscope did not appear until 1644, in Giambattista Odierna's L'occhio della mosca, or The Fly's Eye.
The microscope was still a novelty until the 1660s and 1670s when naturalists in Italy, the Netherlands and England began using them to study biology. Italian scientist Marcello Malpighi, called the father of histology by some historians of biology, began his analysis of biological structures with the lungs. Robert Hooke's Micrographia had a huge impact because of its impressive illustrations. A significant contribution came from Antonie van Leeuwenhoek who achieved up to 300 times magnification using a simple single lens microscope, he sandwiched a small glass ball lens between the holes in two metal plates riveted together, with an adjustable-by-screws needle attached to mount the specimen. Van Leeuwenhoek re-discovered red blood cells and spermatozoa, helped popularise the use of microscopes to view biological ultrastructure. On 9 October 1676, van Leeuwenhoek reported the discovery of micro-organisms; the performance of a light microscope depends on the quality and correct use of the condensor lens system to focus light on the specimen and the objective lens to capture the light from the specimen and form an image.
Early instruments were limited until this principle was appreciated and developed from the late 19th to early 20th century, until electric lamps were available as light sources. In 1893 August Köhler developed a key principle of sample illumination, Köhler illumination, central to achieving the theoretical limits of resolution for the light microscope; this method of sample illumination produces lighting and overcomes the limited contrast and resolution imposed by early techniques of sample illumination. Further developments in sample illumination came from the discovery of phase contrast by Frits Zernike in 1953, differential interference contrast illumination by Georges Nomarski in 1955. In the early 20th century a significant alternative to the light microscope was developed, an instrument that uses a beam of electrons rather than light to generate an image; the German physicist, Ernst Ruska, working with electrical engineer Max Knoll, developed the first prototype electron microscope in 1931, a transmission electron microscope.
The transmission electron microscope works on similar principles to an optical microscope but uses electrons in the place of light and electromagnets in the place of glass lenses. Use of electrons, instead of light, allows for much higher resolution. Development of the transmission electron microscope was followed in 1935 by the development of the scanning electron microscope by Max Knoll. Although TEMs were being used for research before WWII, became popular afterwards, the SEM was not commercially available until 1965. Transmission electron microscopes became popular following the Second World War. Ernst Ruska, working at Siemens, developed the first commercial transmission electron microscope and, in the 1950s, major scientific conferences on electron microscopy started being held. In 1965, the first commercial scanning electron microscope was developed by Profess