Portal:North America

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The North America Portal

Location North America.svg

North America is a continent entirely within the Northern Hemisphere and almost all within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered by some to be a northern subcontinent of the Americas, it is bordered to the north by the Arctic Ocean, to the east by the Atlantic Ocean, to the west and south by the Pacific Ocean, and to the southeast by South America and the Caribbean Sea.

North America covers an area of about 24,709,000 square kilometers (9,540,000 square miles), about 16.5% of the earth's land area and about 4.8% of its total surface. North America is the third largest continent by area, following Asia and Africa, and the fourth by population after Asia, Africa, and Europe. In 2013, its population was estimated at nearly 579 million people in 23 independent states, or about 7.5% of the world's population, if nearby islands (most notably around the Caribbean) are included.

North America was reached by its first human populations during the last glacial period, via crossing the Bering land bridge approximately 40,000 to 17,000 years ago; the so-called Paleo-Indian period is taken to have lasted until about 10,000 years ago (the beginning of the Archaic or Meso-Indian period). The Classic stage spans roughly the 6th to 13th centuries; the Pre-Columbian era ended in 1492, with the beginning of the transatlantic migrations—the arrival of European settlers during the Age of Discovery and the Early Modern period. Present-day cultural and ethnic patterns reflect interactions between European colonists, indigenous peoples, African slaves and their descendants.

Owing to Europe's colonization of the Americas, most North Americans speak European languages such as English, Spanish or French, and their states' cultures commonly reflect Western traditions.

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Cardellina rubra melanauris
Sinaloa, Mexico

The red warbler (Cardellina rubra) is a small passerine bird of the New World warbler family Parulidae endemic to the highlands of Mexico, north of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. It is closely related to, and forms a superspecies with, the pink-headed warbler of southern Mexico and Guatemala. There are three subspecies, found in disjunct populations, which differ primarily in the color of their ear patch and in the brightness and tone of their body plumage; the adult is bright red, with a white or gray ear patch, depending on the subspecies; young birds are pinkish-brown, with a whitish ear patch and two pale wingbars.

Breeding typically occurs between February and May; the female lays three or four eggs in a domed nest, which she builds on the ground. Though she alone incubates the eggs, both sexes feed the young and remove fecal sacs from the nest; the young fledge within 10–11 days of hatching. The red warbler is an insectivore, gleaning primarily in understory shrubs. Although this bird is considered to be a least-concern species according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), its numbers are thought to be declining due to habitat destruction. Read more...

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North American language families north of Mexico
Credit: Ish ishwar
Indigenous languages of the Americas (or Amerindian Languages) are spoken by indigenous peoples from the southern tip of South America to Alaska and Greenland, encompassing the land masses which constitute the Americas. These indigenous languages consist of dozens of distinct language families as well as many language isolates and unclassified languages.

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A black and white photograph of Daniel Lucius Adams with white beard and moustache, showing his head and part of the shoulders.
Adams circa 1870

Daniel Lucius "Doc" Adams (November 1, 1814 – January 3, 1899) was an American baseball player and executive who is regarded by historians as an important figure in the sport's early years. For most of his career he was a member of the New York Knickerbockers, he first played for the New York Base Ball Club in 1840 and started his Knickerbockers career five years later, continuing to play for the club into his forties and to take part in inter-squad practice games and matches against opposing teams. Researchers have called Adams the creator of the shortstop position, which he used to field short throws from outfielders. In addition to his playing career, Adams manufactured baseballs and oversaw bat production; he also occasionally acted as an umpire.

From 1847 to 1861, the Knickerbockers selected Adams as their president six times, and as a vice president, treasurer, or director in six other years; as president of the club, Adams was an advocate of rule changes in baseball that resulted in nine-man teams and nine-inning games. When the National Association of Base Ball Players (NABBP) was formed in 1858, he led the rules and regulations committee of the new organization. In his role, Adams ruled that the fields' bases should be 90 feet (27 m) apart, the modern distance, and supported the elimination of the "bound rule", which allowed for balls caught after one bounce to be recorded as outs, he resigned from his positions with the Knickerbockers and NABBP in 1862. Adams' contributions in creating baseball's rules went largely unrecognized for decades after his 1899 death, but in 1980 a letter about him appeared in The New York Times; by 1993, researcher John Thorn had written about Adams' role. Other historians have given him credit for helping to develop the sport, and Thorn has called Adams "first among the Fathers of Baseball". Read more...

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Azteca horse

The Azteca is a horse breed from Mexico, with a subtype, called the "American Azteca", found in the United States. They are well-muscled horses that may be of any solid color, and the American Azteca may also have Paint coloration. Aztecas are known to compete in many western riding and some English riding disciplines; the Mexican registry for the original Azteca and the United States registries for the American Azteca have registration rules that vary in several key aspects, including ancestral bloodlines and requirements for physical inspections. The Azteca was first developed in Mexico in 1972, from a blend of Andalusian, American Quarter Horse and Mexican Criollo bloodlines. From there, they spread to the United States, where American Paint Horse blood was added. Read more...

Did you know...

  • ...that the Cuban night lizard is less than 4 cm long and lives exclusively in the west corner of the southern-most coast of Cuba?

Vermont coppers

Selected panorama

Southwestern San Juan Mountains
Credit: Debivort
The San Juan Mountains are a rugged mountain range in the Rocky Mountains in southwestern Colorado. The Rio Grande rises on the east side of the range; the San Juan and Uncompahgre National Forest cover a large portion of the San Juan Mountains.

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