Ungulates are any members of a diverse group of large mammals that includes odd-toed ungulates such as horses and rhinoceroses, even-toed ungulates such as cattle, giraffes, camels and hippopotamuses. Most terrestrial ungulates use the tips of their toes hoofed, to sustain their whole body weight while moving; the term means "being hoofed" or "hoofed animal". As a descriptive term, "ungulate" excludes cetaceans, as they do not possess most of the typical morphological characteristics of ungulates, but recent discoveries indicate that they are descended from early artiodactyls. Ungulates are herbivorous, many employ specialized gut bacteria to allow them to digest cellulose, as in the case of ruminants, they inhabit a wide range of habitats, including jungles and rivers. Ungulata, which used to be considered an order, has been split into the following: Perissodactyla, Tubulidentata, Sirenia and Cetacea. However, in 2009 morphological and molecular work has found that aardvarks, sea cows, elephants are more related to sengis and golden moles than to the perissodactyls and artiodactyls, form Afrotheria.
Elephants, sea cows, hyraxes are grouped together in the clade Paenungulata, while the aardvark has been considered as either a close relative to them or a close relative to sengis in the clade Afroinsectiphilia. This is a striking example of convergent evolution. There is now some dispute as to whether this smaller Ungulata is a cladistic group, or a phenetic group or folk taxon; some studies have indeed found the mesaxonian ungulates and paraxonian ungulates to form a monophyletic lineage related to either the Ferae in the clade Fereuungulata or to the bats. Other studies found the two orders not that related, as some place the perissodactyls as close relatives to bats and Ferae in Pegasoferae and others place the artiodactyls as close relatives to bats. Below is a simplified taxonomy with the extant families, in order of the relationships. Keep in mind that there are still some grey areas of conflict, such as the case with relationship of the pecoran families and the baleen whale families.
See each family for the relationships of the species as well as the controversies in their respective article. Ungulata Perissodactyla Hippomorpha Equidae: Horses and zebras Ceratomorpha Tapiridae: Tapirs Rhinocerotidae: Rhinoceroses Artiodactyla Tylopoda Camelidae: Camels and Llamas Artiofabula Suina Tayassuidae: Peccaries Suidae: Pigs Cetruminantia Ruminantia Tragulidae: Chevrotains Cervoidea Antilocapridae: Pronghorn Giraffidae: Giraffes and okapi Cervidae: Deer Moschidae: Musk deer Bovidae: Oxen and antelopes Whippomorpha Hippopotamidae: Hippopotamuses Cetacea Mysticeti Balaenidae: Bowhead and right whales Cetotheriidae: Pygmy right whale Eschrichtiidae: Gray Whale Balaenopteridae: Rorquals Odontoceti Physeteroidea Physeteridae: Sperm whale Kogiidae: Lesser sperm whales Platanistoidea Platanistidae: Indian river dolphins Ziphioidea Ziphiidae: Beaked whales Lipotoidea Lipotidae: Baiji Inioidea Iniidae: Amazonian river dolphins Pontoporiidae: La Plata dolphin Delphinoidea Monodontidae: Beluga and narwhal Phocoenidae: Porpoises Delphinidae: Oceanic dolphins Below is the general consensus of the phylogeny of the ungulate families.
Perissodactyla and Artiodactyla include the majority of large land mammals. These two groups first appeared during the late Paleocene spreading to a wide variety of species on numerous continents, have developed in parallel since that time; some scientists believed that modern ungulates are descended from an evolutionary grade of mammals known as the condylarths. The enigmatic dinoceratans were among the first large herbivorous mammals, although their exact relationship with other mammals is still debated with one of the theories being that they might just be distant relatives to living ungulates. In Australia, the marsupial Chaeropus developed hooves, convergent those of artiodactyls. Perissodactyls are said to have evolved from the Phenacodontidae, sheep-sized animals that were showing signs of anatomical features that their descendants would inherit. By the start of the Eocene, 55 million years ago, they had diversified and spread out to occupy several continents. Horses and tapirs both evolved in North America.
Of the 15 families, only three survive. These families were diverse in form and size; the largest perissodactyl, an Asian rhinoceros called Paraceratherium, reached 15 tonnes, more than twice the weight of an elephant. It has been found
The horse is one of two extant subspecies of Equus ferus. It is an odd-toed ungulate mammal belonging to the taxonomic family Equidae; the horse has evolved over the past 45 to 55 million years from a small multi-toed creature, into the large, single-toed animal of today. Humans began domesticating horses around 4000 BC, their domestication is believed to have been widespread by 3000 BC. Horses in the subspecies caballus are domesticated, although some domesticated populations live in the wild as feral horses; these feral populations are not true wild horses, as this term is used to describe horses that have never been domesticated, such as the endangered Przewalski's horse, a separate subspecies, the only remaining true wild horse. There is an extensive, specialized vocabulary used to describe equine-related concepts, covering everything from anatomy to life stages, colors, breeds and behavior. Horses' anatomy enables them to make use of speed to escape predators and they have a well-developed sense of balance and a strong fight-or-flight response.
Related to this need to flee from predators in the wild is an unusual trait: horses are able to sleep both standing up and lying down, with younger horses tending to sleep more than adults. Female horses, called mares, carry their young for 11 months, a young horse, called a foal, can stand and run shortly following birth. Most domesticated horses begin training in harness between the ages of two and four, they reach full adult development by age five, have an average lifespan of between 25 and 30 years. Horse breeds are loosely divided into three categories based on general temperament: spirited "hot bloods" with speed and endurance. There are more than 300 breeds of horse in the world today, developed for many different uses. Horses and humans interact in a wide variety of sport competitions and non-competitive recreational pursuits, as well as in working activities such as police work, agriculture and therapy. Horses were used in warfare, from which a wide variety of riding and driving techniques developed, using many different styles of equipment and methods of control.
Many products are derived from horses, including meat, hide, hair and pharmaceuticals extracted from the urine of pregnant mares. Humans provide domesticated horses with food and shelter, as well as attention from specialists such as veterinarians and farriers. Specific terms and specialized language are used to describe equine anatomy, different life stages and breeds. Depending on breed and environment, the modern domestic horse has a life expectancy of 25 to 30 years. Uncommonly, a few animals live into their 40s and beyond; the oldest verifiable record was "Old Billy", a 19th-century horse that lived to the age of 62. In modern times, Sugar Puff, listed in Guinness World Records as the world's oldest living pony, died in 2007 at age 56. Regardless of a horse or pony's actual birth date, for most competition purposes a year is added to its age each January 1 of each year in the Northern Hemisphere and each August 1 in the Southern Hemisphere; the exception is in endurance riding, where the minimum age to compete is based on the animal's actual calendar age.
The following terminology is used to describe horses of various ages: Foal: A foal of either sex less than one year old. A nursing foal is sometimes called a suckling and a foal, weaned is called a weanling. Most domesticated foals are weaned at five to seven months of age, although foals can be weaned at four months with no adverse physical effects. Yearling: A horse of either sex, between one and two years old. Colt: A male horse under the age of four. A common terminology error is to call any young horse a "colt", when the term only refers to young male horses. Filly: A female horse under the age of four. Mare: A female horse four years old and older. Stallion: A non-castrated male horse four years old and older; the term "horse" is sometimes used colloquially to refer to a stallion. Gelding: A castrated male horse of any age. In horse racing, these definitions may differ: For example, in the British Isles, Thoroughbred horse racing defines colts and fillies as less than five years old. However, Australian Thoroughbred racing defines fillies as less than four years old.
The height of horses is measured at the highest point of the withers. This point is used because it is a stable point of the anatomy, unlike the head or neck, which move up and down in relation to the body of the horse. In English-speaking countries, the height of horses is stated in units of hands and inches: one hand is equal to 4 inches; the height is expressed as the number of full hands, followed by a point the number of additional inches, ending with the abbreviation "h" or "hh". Thus, a horse described; the size of horses varies by breed, but is influenced by nutrition. Light riding horses range in height from 14 to 16 hands and can weigh from 380 to 550 kilograms. Larger riding horses start at about 15.2 hands and are as tall as 17 hands, weighing from 500 to 600 kilograms. Heavy or draft horses are at least 16 hands (64 inches, 16
In biology, altricial species are those in which the young are incapable of moving around on their own soon after hatching or being born. The word is derived from the Latin root alere, meaning "to nurse, to rear, or to nourish" and indicates the need for young to be fed and taken care of for a long duration. Species whose young are or mobile are called precocial. In bird and mammal biology, altricial species are those species whose newly hatched or born young are immobile, lack hair or down, are not able to obtain food on their own, must be cared for by adults. Altricial young require care for a length of time. Among birds, these include herons, woodpeckers, owls and most passerines. Among mammals and most rodents are altricial. Domestic cats and humans are some of the best-known altricial organisms. For example, newborn domestic cats cannot see, maintain their own body temperature, or gag, require external stimulation to defecate and urinate; the larvae of some insects may be considered altricial as well.
In particular, the larvae of eusocial insects such as ants and wasps are immobile and helpless grubs that are dependent on the workers tending to them. At the opposite end of the spectrum are precocial animals in which the young have open eyes, have hair or down, have large brains, are mobile and somewhat able to flee from, or defend themselves against, predators. For example, with ground-nesting birds such as ducks or turkeys, the young are ready to leave the nest in one or two days. Among mammals, most ungulates are precocial, being able to walk immediately after birth. Beyond the precocial are the superprecocial animals, such as the megapode birds, which hatch with full flight feathers. Different animals employ different altricial strategies; the ability of the parents to obtain nutrition and contribute to the pre-natal and post-natal development of their young appears to be associated. Precocial birds are able to provide protein-rich eggs and thus their young hatch in the fledgling stage – able to protect themselves from predators and the females have less post-natal involvement.
Altricial birds are less able to contribute nutrients in the pre-natal stage. This may be related to r/K selection. In birds, altricial young grow faster than precocial young; this is hypothesized to occur so that exposure to predators during the nestling stage of development can be minimized. In the case of mammals it has been suggested that large adult body sizes favor production of large, precocious young, which develop with a long gestation period. Large young may be associated with long lifespan, extended reproductive period, reduced litter size, it has been suggested that altricial strategies in mammals may be favoured if there is a selective advantage to mothers that are capable of resorbing embryos in early stages of development. Some ecological niches require young to be precocial for survival, such as cetaceans: restricted to water, immobile, their helpless young would drown. In birds, the terms Aves altrices and Aves precoces was introduced by Carl Jakob Sundevall and the terms nidifugous and nidicolous by Lorenz Oken in 1816.
The two classifications were considered identical in early times, but the meanings are different, in that "altricial" and "precocial" refer to developmental stage, while "nidifugous" and "nidicolous" refer to leaving or staying at the nest. The two strategies result in different brain sizes of the newborns compared to adults. Precocial animals' brains are large at birth relative to their body size, hence their ability to fend for themselves. However, as adults, their brains are not more able. Altricial animals' brains are small at birth, thus their need for care and protection, but their brains continue to grow; as adults, altricial animals end up with comparatively larger brains than their precocial counterparts. Thus the altricial species have a wider skill set at maturity. Precocial Parental investment The altricial-precocial spectrum in birds
Incubation refers to the process by which certain oviparous animals hatch their eggs. Multiple and various factors are vital to the incubation of various species of animal. In many species of reptile for example, no fixed temperature is necessary, but the actual temperature determines the sex ratio of the offspring. In birds in contrast, the sex of offspring is genetically determined, but in many species a constant and particular temperature is necessary for successful incubation. In poultry, the act of sitting on eggs to incubate them is called brooding; the action or behavioral tendency to sit on a clutch of eggs is called broodiness, most egg-laying breeds of poultry have had this behavior selectively bred out of them to increase production. A wide range of incubation habits is displayed among birds. In warm-blooded species such as bird species body heat from the brooding parent provides the constant temperature, though several groups, notably the megapodes, instead use heat generated from rotting vegetable material creating a giant compost heap while crab plovers make partial use of heat from the sun.
The Namaqua sandgrouse of the deserts of southern Africa, needing to keep its eggs cool during the heat of the day, stands over them drooping its wings to shade them. The humidity is critical, because if the air is too dry the egg will lose too much water to the atmosphere, which can make hatching difficult or impossible; as incubation proceeds, an egg will become lighter, the air space within the egg will become larger, owing to evaporation from the egg. In the species that incubate, the work is divided differently between the sexes; the most common pattern is that the female does all the incubation, as in the Atlantic canary and the Indian robin, or most of it, as is typical of falcons. In some species, such as the whooping crane, the male and the female take turns incubating the egg. In others, such as the cassowaries, only the male incubates; the male mountain plover incubates the female's first clutch, but if she lays a second, she incubates it herself. In hoatzins, some birds help their parents incubate broods.
The incubation period, the time from the start of uninterrupted incubation to the emergence of the young, varies from 11 days to 85 days. In these latter, the incubation is interrupted. In general smaller birds tend to hatch faster, but there are exceptions, cavity nesting birds tend to have longer incubation periods, it can be an energetically demanding process, with adult albatrosses losing as much as 83 g of body weight a day. Megapode eggs take from 49 to 90 days depending on the ambient temperature. In other birds, ambient temperatures can lead to variation in incubation period; the egg is incubated outside the body. However, in one recorded case, the egg incubation occurred within a chicken; the chick hatched inside and emerged from its mother without the shell, leading to internal wounds that killed the mother hen. Embryo development remains suspended until the onset of incubation; the freshly laid eggs of domestic fowl and several other species can be stored for about two weeks when maintained under 5 C.
Extended periods of suspension have been observed in some marine birds. Some species begin incubation with the first egg; some start to incubate after the last egg of the clutch. Incubation periods for birds Very few mammals lay eggs. In the best known example, the platypus, the eggs develop in utero for about 28 days, with only about 10 days of external incubation. After laying her eggs, the female curls around them; the incubation period is divided into three phases. In the first phase, the embryo relies on the yolk sac for sustenance; the yolk is absorbed by the developing young. During the second phase, the digits develop. In the last phase, the egg tooth appears; the only other egg-laying mammal is the echidna. New science research has been found that eggshells have a nanostructure that has inner and outer layers; the structure of this shell contains a protein known as osteopontin, found in tooth and bone. What reachers found was that the inner layers of the shell were thinner than the outer shells.
This is because in the process of the egg being incubated the chicken embryos are taking the protein from the shell making the chicks skeleton stronger. Methods of incubation vary among the many different kinds of reptiles. Various species of sea turtles bury their eggs on beaches under a layer of sand that provides both protection from predators and a constant temperature for the nest. Snakes may lay eggs in communal burrows, where a large number of adults combine to keep the eggs warm. Alligators and crocodiles either lay their eggs in mounds of decomposing vegetation or lay them in holes they dig in the ground. Fish do not incubate their eggs. However, some species mouthbrood their eggs; some amphibians brood their eggs. The female salamander Ensatina curls around the clutch of eggs and massages individual eggs with her pulsating throat; some aquatic frogs such as the Surinam toad have pouches in their skin into which the eggs ar
The mandarin duck is a perching duck species native to East Asia. It is medium-sized, at 41–49 cm long with a 65–75 cm wingspan, it is related to the North American wood duck, the only other member of the genus Aix. Aix is an Ancient Greek word, used by Aristotle to refer to an unknown diving bird, galericulata is the Latin for a wig, derived from galerum, a cap or bonnet; the adult male has a red bill, large white crescent above the eye and reddish face and "whiskers". The male's breast is purple with two vertical white bars, the flanks ruddy, he has two orange "sails" at the back; the female is similar to the female wood duck, with a white eye-ring and stripe running back from the eye, but is paler below, has a small white flank stripe, a pale tip to its bill. Both the males and females have crests. Like many other species of ducks, the male undergoes a moult after the mating season into eclipse plumage; when in eclipse plumage, the male looks similar to the female, but can be told apart by its bright yellow-orange or red beak, lack of any crest, a less-pronounced eye-stripe.
Mandarin ducklings are identical in appearance to wood ducklings, similar to mallard ducklings. The ducklings can be distinguished from mallard ducklings because the eye-stripe of mandarin ducklings stops at the eye, while in mallard ducklings it reaches all the way to the bill. Various mutations of the mandarin duck are found in captivity; the most common is the white mandarin duck. Although the origin of this mutation is unknown, the constant pairing of related birds and selective breeding is presumed to have led to recessive gene combinations leading to genetic conditions including leucism; the species was once widespread in East Asia, but large-scale exports and the destruction of its forest habitat have reduced populations in eastern Russia and in China to below 1,000 pairs in each country. The Asian populations are migratory, overwintering in southern Japan. Specimens escape from collections, in the 20th century, a large, feral population was established in Great Britain. Now, about 7,000 are in Britain with other populations on the European continent, the largest of, in the region of Berlin.
Isolated populations exist in the United States. The town of Black Mountain, North Carolina, has a limited population, a free-flying feral population of several hundred mandarins exist in Sonoma County, California; this population is the result of several ducks escaping from captivity reproducing in the wild. In 2018, a single bird was seen in New York City's Central Park; the habitats it prefers in its breeding range are the dense, shrubby forested edges of rivers and lakes. It occurs in low-lying areas, but it may breed in valleys at altitudes of up to 1,500 m. In winter, it additionally occurs in marshes, flooded fields, open rivers. While it prefers fresh water, it may be seen wintering in coastal lagoons and estuaries. In its introduced European range, it lives in more open habitat than in its native range, around the edges lakes, water meadows, cultivated areas with woods nearby. In the wild, mandarin ducks breed in densely wooded areas near shallow marshes or ponds, they nest in cavities in trees close to water and during the spring, the females lay their eggs in the tree's cavity after mating.
A single clutch of nine to twelve eggs is laid in May. Although the male may defend the brooding female and his eggs during incubation, he himself does not incubate the eggs and leaves before they hatch. Shortly after the ducklings hatch, their mother flies to the ground and coaxes the ducklings to leap from the nest. After all of the ducklings are out of the tree, they will follow their mother to a nearby body of water. Mandarins feed by walking on land, they eat plants and seeds beech mast. The species will add snails and small fish to its diet; the diet of mandarin ducks changes seasonally. In the spring, they eat insects, snails and aquatic plants. In the summer, they eat dew worms, small fish, frogs and small snakes, they feed near dawn or dusk, perching in trees or on the ground during the day. Predation of the mandarin duck varies between different parts of its range. Mink, raccoon dogs, polecats, Eurasian eagle owls, grass snakes are all predators of the mandarin duck; the greatest threat to the mandarin duck is habitat loss due to loggers.
Hunters are a threat to the mandarin duck, because they are unable to recognize the mandarin in flight and as a result, many are shot by accident. Mandarin ducks are not hunted for food, but are still poached because their extreme beauty is prized; the Chinese refer to Mandarin ducks as yuanyang, where yuan and yang stand for male and female mandarin ducks. In traditional Chinese culture, mandarin ducks are believed to be lifelong couples, unlike other species of ducks. Hence they are regarded as a symbol of conjugal affection and fidelity, are featured in Chinese art. A Chinese proverb for loving couples uses the mandarin duck as a metaphor: "Two mandarin ducks playing in water". A mandarin duck symbol is used in Chinese weddings because in traditional Chinese lore, they symboliz
Troodontidae is a family of bird-like theropod dinosaurs. During most of the 20th century, troodontid fossils were few and incomplete and they have therefore been allied, at various times, with many dinosaurian lineages. More recent fossil discoveries of complete and articulated specimens, have helped to increase understanding about this group. Anatomical studies studies of the most primitive troodontids, like Sinovenator, demonstrate striking anatomical similarities with Archaeopteryx and primitive dromaeosaurids, demonstrate that they are relatives comprising a clade called Paraves. Troodontids are a group of bird-like, gracile maniraptorans. All troodontids have unique features of the skull, such as large numbers of spaced teeth in the lower jaw. Troodontids have sickle-claws and raptorial hands, some of the highest non-avian encephalization quotients, suggesting that they were behaviourally advanced and had keen senses, they had unusually long legs compared to other theropods, with a large, curved claw on their retractable second toes, similar to the "sickle-claw" of the dromaeosaurids.
However, the sickle-claws of troodontids were not as large or recurved as in their relatives, in some instances could not be held off the ground and "retracted" to the same degree. In at least one troodontid, the second toe could not be held far off the ground at all and the claw was straight, not curved or sickle-like. Troodontids had unusually large brains among dinosaurs, comparable to those of living flightless birds, their eyes were large, pointed forward, indicating that they had good binocular vision. The ears of troodontids were unusual among theropods, having enlarged middle ear cavities, indicating acute hearing ability; the placement of this cavity near the eardrum may have aided in the detection of low-frequency sounds. In some troodontids, ears were asymmetrical, with one ear placed higher on the skull than the other, a feature shared only with some owls; the specialization of the ears may indicate that troodontids hunted in a manner similar to owls, using their hearing to locate small prey.
Although most paleontologists believe that they were predatory carnivores, the many small, coarsely serrated teeth, large denticle size, U-shaped jaws of some species suggest that some species may have been omnivorous or herbivorous. Some suggest. In contrast, a few species, such as Byronosaurus, had large numbers of needle-like teeth, which seem best-suited for picking up small prey, such as birds and small mammals. Other morphological characteristics of the teeth, such as the detailed form of the denticles and the presence of blood grooves seem to indicate carnivory. Though little is known directly about the predatory behavior of troodontids and colleagues theorize that the longer legs and smaller sickle claws indicate a more cursorial lifestyle, though the study indicates that troodontids were still to have used the unguals for prey manipulation; the proportions of the metatarsals and unguals of troodontids appear indicative of their having nimbler, but weaker feet better adapted for capturing and subduing smaller prey.
This suggests an ecological separation from the more powerful Dromaeosauridae. Many troodontid nests, including eggs that contain fossilized embryos, have been described. Hypotheses about troodontid reproduction have been developed from this evidence. A few troodont fossils, including specimens of Mei and Sinornithoides, demonstrate that these animals roosted like birds, with their heads tucked under their forelimbs; these fossils, as well as numerous skeletal similarities to birds and related feathered dinosaurs, support the idea that troodontids bore a bird-like feathered coat. The discovery of feathered, primitive troodontids, such as Jianianhualong, lend support to this. In 2004, Mark Norell and colleagues described two partial troodontid skulls found in a nest of oviraptorid eggs in the Djadokhta Formation of Mongolia; the nest is quite that of an oviraptorosaur, since an oviraptorid embryo is still preserved inside one of the eggs. The two partial troodontid skulls were first described by Norell et al. as dromaeosaurids, but reassigned to the troodontid Byronosaurus after further study.
The troodontids were either hatchlings or embryos, fragments of eggshell are adhered to them although it seems to be oviraptorid eggshell. The presence of tiny troodontids in an oviraptorid nest is an enigma. Hypotheses explaining how they came to be there include that they were the prey of the adult oviraptorid, that they were there to prey on oviraptorid hatchlings, or that some troodontids may have been nest parasites. Troodontid feeding was discovered to be typical of coelurosaurian theropods, with a characteristic "puncture and pull" feeding method seen in such theropods as the dromaeosauridae and tyrannosauridae. Studies of wear patterns on the teeth of dromaeosaurids by Angelica Torices et al. indicate that dromaeosaurid teeth share similar wear patterns to those seen in the aforementioned groups. However, micro wear on the teeth indicated that dromaeosaurids preferred larger prey items than the troodontids with which they shared their environment; such differences in dietary preferences allowed them to inhabit the same ecosystems.
The same study indicated that dromaeosaurids such as Dromaeosaurus and Saurornitholestes included bone in their diet and were better
Oxford University Press
Oxford University Press is the largest university press in the world, the second oldest after Cambridge University Press. It is a department of the University of Oxford and is governed by a group of 15 academics appointed by the vice-chancellor known as the delegates of the press, they are headed by the secretary to the delegates, who serves as OUP's chief executive and as its major representative on other university bodies. Oxford University has used a similar system to oversee OUP since the 17th century; the Press is located on opposite Somerville College, in the suburb Jericho. The Oxford University Press Museum is located on Oxford. Visits are led by a member of the archive staff. Displays include a 19th-century printing press, the OUP buildings, the printing and history of the Oxford Almanack, Alice in Wonderland and the Oxford English Dictionary; the university became involved in the print trade around 1480, grew into a major printer of Bibles, prayer books, scholarly works. OUP took on the project that became the Oxford English Dictionary in the late 19th century, expanded to meet the ever-rising costs of the work.
As a result, the last hundred years has seen Oxford publish children's books, school text books, journals, the World's Classics series, a range of English language teaching texts. Moves into international markets led to OUP opening its own offices outside the United Kingdom, beginning with New York City in 1896. With the advent of computer technology and harsh trading conditions, the Press's printing house at Oxford was closed in 1989, its former paper mill at Wolvercote was demolished in 2004. By contracting out its printing and binding operations, the modern OUP publishes some 6,000 new titles around the world each year; the first printer associated with Oxford University was Theoderic Rood. A business associate of William Caxton, Rood seems to have brought his own wooden printing press to Oxford from Cologne as a speculative venture, to have worked in the city between around 1480 and 1483; the first book printed in Oxford, in 1478, an edition of Rufinus's Expositio in symbolum apostolorum, was printed by another, printer.
Famously, this was mis-dated in Roman numerals as "1468", thus pre-dating Caxton. Rood's printing included John Ankywyll's Compendium totius grammaticae, which set new standards for teaching of Latin grammar. After Rood, printing connected with the university remained sporadic for over half a century. Records or surviving work are few, Oxford did not put its printing on a firm footing until the 1580s. In response to constraints on printing outside London imposed by the Crown and the Stationers' Company, Oxford petitioned Elizabeth I of England for the formal right to operate a press at the university; the chancellor, Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester, pleaded Oxford's case. Some royal assent was obtained, since the printer Joseph Barnes began work, a decree of Star Chamber noted the legal existence of a press at "the universitie of Oxforde" in 1586. Oxford's chancellor, Archbishop William Laud, consolidated the legal status of the university's printing in the 1630s. Laud envisaged a unified press of world repute.
Oxford would establish it on university property, govern its operations, employ its staff, determine its printed work, benefit from its proceeds. To that end, he petitioned Charles I for rights that would enable Oxford to compete with the Stationers' Company and the King's Printer, obtained a succession of royal grants to aid it; these were brought together in Oxford's "Great Charter" in 1636, which gave the university the right to print "all manner of books". Laud obtained the "privilege" from the Crown of printing the King James or Authorized Version of Scripture at Oxford; this "privilege" created substantial returns in the next 250 years, although it was held in abeyance. The Stationers' Company was alarmed by the threat to its trade and lost little time in establishing a "Covenant of Forbearance" with Oxford. Under this, the Stationers paid an annual rent for the university not to exercise its full printing rights – money Oxford used to purchase new printing equipment for smaller purposes.
Laud made progress with internal organization of the Press. Besides establishing the system of Delegates, he created the wide-ranging supervisory post of "Architypographus": an academic who would have responsibility for every function of the business, from print shop management to proofreading; the post was more an ideal than a workable reality, but it survived in the loosely structured Press until the 18th century. In practice, Oxford's Warehouse-Keeper dealt with sales and the hiring and firing of print shop staff. Laud's plans, hit terrible obstacles, both personal and political. Falling foul of political intrigue, he was executed in 1645, by which time the English Civil War had broken out. Oxford became a Royalist stronghold during the conflict, many printers in the city concentrated on producing political pamphlets or sermons; some outstanding mathematical and Orientalist works emerged at this time—notably, texts edited by Edward Pococke, the Regius Professor of Hebrew—but no university press on Laud's model was possible before the Restoration of the Monarchy in 1660.
It was established by the vice-chancellor, John Fell, Dean of Christ Church, Bishop of Oxford, Secretary to the Delegates. Fell regarded Laud as a martyr, was determined to honour his vision of the Press. Using the provisions of the Great Charter, Fell persuaded Oxford to refuse any further payments from the Stationers and drew