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
Abraham "Bram" Stoker was an Irish author, best known today for his 1897 Gothic novel Dracula. During his lifetime, he was better known as the personal assistant of actor Sir Henry Irving and business manager of the Lyceum Theatre in London, which Irving owned. Stoker was born on 8 November 1847 at 15 Marino Crescent, Clontarf, on the northside of Dublin, Ireland, his parents were Abraham Stoker from Dublin and Charlotte Mathilda Blake Thornley, raised in County Sligo. Stoker was the third of seven children, the eldest of whom was Sir Thornley Stoker, 1st Bt.. Abraham and Charlotte were members of the Church of Ireland Parish of Clontarf and attended the parish church with their children, who were baptised there, Abraham was a senior civil servant. Stoker was bedridden with an unknown illness until he started school at the age of seven, when he made a complete recovery. Of this time, Stoker wrote, "I was thoughtful, the leisure of long illness gave opportunity for many thoughts which were fruitful according to their kind in years."
He was educated in a private school run by the Rev. William Woods. After his recovery, he grew up without further serious illnesses excelling as an athlete at Trinity College, which he attended from 1864 to 1870, he graduated with a BA in 1870, purchased his MA in 1875. Though he in life recalled graduating "with honours in mathematics," this appears to have been a mistake, he was auditor of the College Historical Society and president of the University Philosophical Society, where his first paper was on Sensationalism in Fiction and Society. Stoker became interested in the theatre while a student through his friend Dr. Maunsell. While working for the Irish Civil Service, he became the theatre critic for the Dublin Evening Mail, co-owned by Sheridan Le Fanu, an author of Gothic tales. Theatre critics were held in low esteem. In December 1876, he gave a favourable review of Henry Irving's Hamlet at the Theatre Royal in Dublin. Irving invited Stoker for dinner at the Shelbourne Hotel where he was staying, they became friends.
Stoker wrote stories, "The Crystal Cup" was published by the London Society in 1872, followed by "The Chain of Destiny" in four parts in The Shamrock. In 1876 while a civil servant in Dublin, Stoker wrote the non-fiction book The Duties of Clerks of Petty Sessions in Ireland which remained a standard work. Furthermore, he possessed an interest in art, was a founder of the Dublin Sketching Club in 1879. In 1878 Stoker married Florence Balcombe, daughter of Lieutenant-Colonel James Balcombe of 1 Marino Crescent, she was a celebrated beauty. Stoker had known Wilde from his student days, having proposed him for membership of the university's Philosophical Society while he was president. Wilde was upset at Florence's decision, but Stoker resumed the acquaintanceship, after Wilde's fall visited him on the Continent; the Stokers moved to London, where Stoker became acting manager and business manager of Irving's Lyceum Theatre, London, a post he held for 27 years. On 31 December 1879, Bram and Florence's only child was born, a son whom they christened Irving Noel Thornley Stoker.
The collaboration with Henry Irving was important for Stoker and through him he became involved in London's high society, where he met James Abbott McNeill Whistler and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Working for Irving, the most famous actor of his time, managing one of the most successful theatres in London made Stoker a notable if busy man, he was dedicated to Irving and his memoirs show he idolised him. In London Stoker met Hall Caine, who became one of his closest friends – he dedicated Dracula to him. In the course of Irving's tours, Stoker travelled the world, although he never visited Eastern Europe, a setting for his most famous novel. Stoker enjoyed the United States. With Irving he was invited twice to the White House, knew William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt. Stoker set two of his novels there, using Americans as characters, the most notable being Quincey Morris, he met one of his literary idols, Walt Whitman. Stoker visited the English coastal town of Whitby in 1890, that visit was said to be part of the inspiration for Dracula.
He began writing novels while working as manager for Henry Irving and secretary and director of London's Lyceum Theatre, beginning with The Snake's Pass in 1890 and Dracula in 1897. During this period, Stoker was part of the literary staff of The Daily Telegraph in London, he wrote other fiction, including the horror novels The Lady of the Shroud and The Lair of the White Worm, he published his Personal Reminiscences of Henry Irving in 1906, after Irving's death, which proved successful, managed productions at the Prince of Wales Theatre. Before writing Dracula, Stoker met a Hungarian writer and traveller. Dracula emerged from Vámbéry's dark stories of the Carpathian mountains. Stoker spent several years researching European folklore and mythological stories of vampires; the 1972 book In Search of Dracula by Radu Florescu and Raymond McNally claimed that the Count in Stoker's novel was based on Vlad III Dracula. At most however, Stoker borrowed only the name and "scraps of miscellaneous information" about Romanian history, according to one expert, Elizabeth Miller.
Dracula is an epistolary novel, written as a collection of realistic but fictional diary entries, letters, ship
Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin
Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin is a platform-adventure game developed and published by Konami. The game was released on November 16, 2006 in Japan, in the US on December 5, 2006 for the Nintendo DS handheld game console. Portrait of Ruin is the first Castlevania to feature a cooperative multiplayer gameplay mode and the first handheld Castlevania to have English voice-overs, outside of its original Japanese release. Portrait of Ruin is set in 1944 Europe during World War II, is a continuation of the story from Castlevania: Bloodlines; the game introduces new protagonists and antagonists to the Castlevania series as well as expand on the two character gameplay found in the previous Nintendo DS Castlevania title, Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow. Portrait of Ruin has met with an overall positive critical response and has received high ratings from reviews, along with several awards. Portrait of Ruin features a 2D side-scrolling style of gameplay. One of the main features to the gameplay is that players can switch between two characters and Charlotte, similar to the "Julius mode" from Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow.
Jonathan and Charlotte can combine their powers to perform a powerful attack together known as "Dual Crush", their combined abilities are needed in certain parts of the castle for them to solve puzzles and progress through the story. For example, the player must have both characters board two "motorcycles" and alternate between them to dodge obstacles to have both motorcycles intact to crash through a wall. Aside from Dracula's castle and Charlotte explore other environments such as Egyptian-like deserts and London-like towns via paintings dispersed throughout the castle. During the adventure, the heroes encounter 155 different enemies, which are kept track in a bestiary. Many enemies from previous Castlevania titles make appearances either as standard monsters or bosses for the sections of the castle and paintings; as they progress, the duo learn new skills and acquire equipment and items which allow further exploration in the game. Like previous Castlevania games, this game features alternate endings.
Portrait of Ruin has two different endings. Both involve Jonathan and Charlotte preventing Dracula from being resurrected, but only one involves the defeat of Brauner, another vampire enemy, the Actual defeat of Dracula. At one point in the game, the player's actions determine; the first ending is referred to as the "bad" ending because the main objectives of the game's story are not completed. The second ending completes those objectives and allows the player to explore more of Dracula's castle and gain access to more paintings; this ending is considered the canonical ending to the game. Portrait of Ruin features alternate modes of gameplay. Aside from Health and Magic Power enhancements, items cannot be obtained nor used in any of the extra modes of the main game. Only one story mode is available and features the main protagonists and Charlotte. After obtaining the better of the two endings with Jonathan and Charlotte, the player will unlock a prologue to the main story, "Sisters Mode", additional stages in the Boss Rush Mode.
Completing the game gives the player the option to increase the difficulty, add level caps on new games, start a game with all obtained items and skills. If the player meets certain requirements in the game, two other versions of the main story mode are made available. In "Sisters Mode", the player controls Stella Lecarde; this mode serves as a prologue to the storyline in Jonathan's Mode. They have different controls compared to the normal gameplay in that attacks are controlled with the stylus. Loretta is able to use an ice spell, aimed with the player's stylus, Stella is able to damage enemies and objects that the player passes the stylus over. Instead of reaching Dracula, the game ends. Richter mode allows the player to control Richter Belmont and Maria Renard, the latter in the first time as a playable character in an American or European release. There are a few minor differences in the control scheme, they begin with all of their mobility upgrades, which allows the player to explore the castle from the beginning.'Richter' is misspelled as Richiter within dialogue boxes in the main game.
In Old Axe Armor mode, the player controls the Old Axe Armor enemy. Because there is only one character, the player is unable to switch characters as in the other modes; the character lacks any magic spells and has only two sub-weapons. Boss Rush Mode is separate from the main game. There are three separate stages to choose from, though only one is available; the other two become available after obtaining the true ending of the game. Each stage is a series of rooms. Within each room is a collection of monsters from the game. Depending on how a player completes each stage, they will be rewarded with special items which can be added to the inventory of the normal game; this mode features a wireless, cooperative two player option. Portrait of Ruin is the first game in the Castlevania franchise with cooperative multiplayer. However, this is the second multiplayer Castlevania game. Players can interact through either a Shop mode. Both modes can connect by Nintendo Wi-Fi; the online coope
Wilhelmina "Mina" Harker is a fictional character in Bram Stoker's 1897 Gothic horror novel Dracula. She begins the story as Miss Mina Murray, a young school mistress, engaged to Jonathan Harker, best friends with Lucy Westenra, she visits Lucy in Whitby on July 24 of that year. After her fiancé Jonathan escapes from Count Dracula's castle, Mina travels to Budapest and joins him there. Mina cares for him during his recovery from his traumatic encounter with the vampire and his brides, the two return to England as husband and wife. Back home, they learn that Lucy has died from a mysterious illness stemming from severe blood loss as the result of repeated attacks by an unknown, blood-drinking animal; the animal, was none other than Dracula taking a different shape. It is because of Mina that the party learn of the Count's plans, as she is the one who collects the journals and newspaper clippings, she assembles all of the relevant information regarding the Count, places it in chronological order, types out multiple copies, giving them to each of the other protagonists.
The end result is the epistolary novel itself. Mina and Jonathan join the coalition around Abraham Van Helsing, turn their attention toward destroying the Count; the party uses this information to discover clues about Dracula's plans and further investigate the locations of the various residences he purchases as a means to track him and destroy him. Each subsequent action the party takes is recorded by the various members and added to the collection of events surrounding Dracula. After Dracula learns of this plot against him, he takes revenge by visiting — and biting — Mina at least three times. Dracula feeds Mina his blood, dooming her to become a vampire should she die. Afterwards, he kills Renfield and destroys all of the copies of their epistolary except for one, which Dr. Seward kept in a safe; the rest of the novel deals with the group's efforts to spare Mina a vampiric fate by tracking and attempting to kill Dracula. When Van Helsing attempts to bless her by placing a wafer of sacramental bread against her forehead it burns her flesh, leaving a scar, thus proving that Dracula has made her unholy.
Mina succumbs to the blood of the vampire that flows through her veins, switching back and forth from a state of consciousness to one of semi-trance, during which she is telepathically connected with Dracula. Mina uses her inherent telepathic abilities to track Dracula's movements under the hypnotism of Van Helsing. Dracula flees back to his castle in Transylvania, followed by the entire group who split up; as Van Helsing takes Mina with him on his journey to Dracula's castle to slay the brides of Dracula, the rest of the party attempt to locate and raid the ship Dracula is using, to ambush him. As time goes on, Helsing's ability to hypnotize Mina to obtain intelligence on the whereabouts of Count Dracula diminishes significantly, her appearance and manner become more vampire-like, to the point where she loses her appetite as well as her ability to stay awake during the day despite multiple attempts by Van Helsing to wake her. While Mina and Van Helsing are at camp, Helsing crumbles sacramental bread in a circle around Mina as she sleeps during the daytime.
Upon waking, she is unable to cross the circle at all. Van Helsing does this as a test; this is confirmed when in the night, the brides come to the camp, but are unable to cross the ring around Mina and Van Helsing. The brides beckon her to join them but fail, fly back to Dracula's castle before sunrise where they meet their demise at Van Helsing's hands; when the party kills Dracula just before sunset, Dracula's vampiric spell is lifted and Mina is freed from the curse. The book closes with a note written seven years after these events about Mina's and Jonathan's married life and the birth of their first-born son, whom they name Quincey in remembrance of their American friend Quincey Morris, killed by Dracula's Szgany minions during the final confrontation; the birth of Jonathan and Mina's son signifies hope and renewal of life as the close of the novel ushers in the 20th century. Mina has appeared in most film adaptations of Stoker's novel. In Stoker's original novel, Mina recovers from the vampire's curse upon Dracula's death and lives on to marry Jonathan.
However, in some media, Mina is killed at some point in the story, while in others, she becomes a full vampire and keeps her powers after the death of Dracula. In Dracula the Un-dead, co-written by Dacre Stoker, a great-nephew of the original author, Mina's son, Quincey, is claimed to be a product of rape and Dracula's biologically human son, conceived at some point when Dracula was attacking Mina. In From the Pages of Bram Stoker's Dracula: Harker, written by Tony Lee and endorsed by Dacre Stoker and Ian Holt, Mina becomes bound to Dracula's spirit as his remaining allies attempt to use her unborn child as his new body. In Anno Dracula, a 1992 novel by Kim Newman, the first in the Anno Dracula series, Mina Harker became a vampire and Dracula's bride; the novel tells an alternate history in which Dracula marries Queen Victoria and rules England as her consort, vampirism is widespread. Mina is one of the main characters in 1975 novel Dracula Tape by Fred Saberhagen, the retelling of Bram Stoker's Dracula from Dracula's point of view.
Mina Murray is one of the lead characters of Alan Moore's and Kevin O'Neill's comic book series The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. She is a bisexual suffragist and leader of the titular team, is involved in a romantic relationship with Allan
Bram Stoker's Dracula
Bram Stoker's Dracula is a 1992 American gothic horror film directed and produced by Francis Ford Coppola, based on the novel Dracula by Bram Stoker. It stars Gary Oldman as Count Dracula, Winona Ryder as Mina Harker, Anthony Hopkins as Professor Abraham Van Helsing, Keanu Reeves as Jonathan Harker. Dracula grossed $215 million on a $40 million budget. Rotten Tomatoes's consensus cited "some terrific performances", although Reeves' work has been criticized, it was nominated for four Academy Awards and won three for Best Costume Design, Best Sound Editing, Best Makeup. Its score was composed by Wojciech Kilar. In 1462, Vlad Dracula, a member of the Order of the Dragon, returns from a victory against the Turks to find his wife Elisabeta having committed suicide after receiving a false report of his death; the priest proceeds to tell him. Enraged, Dracula desecrates the chapel and renounces his faith, declaring that he will rise from the grave to avenge Elisabeta with all the powers of darkness, he stabs the chapel's stone cross with his sword and drinks the blood that pours out of it.
In 1897, newly qualified solicitor Jonathan Harker takes the Transylvanian Count Dracula as a client from his colleague Renfield who has gone insane. Jonathan travels to Transylvania to arrange Dracula's real estate acquisitions in London, including Carfax Abbey. Jonathan meets Dracula who discovers a picture of his fiancée Mina Harker and believes that she is the reincarnation of Elisabeta. Dracula leaves Jonathan to be attacked and fed upon by his brides, while he sails to England with boxes of his native Transylvanian soil, taking up residence at Carfax Abbey, his arrival is foretold by the ravings of Renfield, now an inmate in Dr. Jack Seward's insane asylum. In London, Dracula emerges as a wolf-like creature amid a fierce thunderstorm and hypnotically seduces bites Lucy Westenra, with whom Mina is staying while Jonathan is in Transylvania. Lucy's deteriorating health and behavioral changes prompt her former suitors Quincey Morris and Dr. Seward, along with her fiancé Arthur Holmwood to summon Dr. Abraham Van Helsing who recognizes Lucy as the victim of a vampire.
Dracula, appearing young and handsome during daylight and charms Mina. When Mina receives word from Jonathan who has escaped the castle and recovered at a convent, she travels to Romania to marry him. In his fury, Dracula transforms Lucy into a vampire. Van Helsing, Holmwood and Morris kill the undead Lucy the following night. After Jonathan and Mina return to London and Van Helsing lead the others to Carfax Abbey, where they destroy the Count's boxes of soil. Dracula enters the asylum, he visits Mina, staying in Seward's quarters while the others hunt Dracula, confesses that he murdered Lucy and has been terrorizing Mina's friends. Confused and angry, Mina admits that she remembers Elisabeta's previous life. At her insistence, Dracula begins transforming her into a vampire; the hunters burst into the bedroom, Dracula claims Mina as his bride before escaping. As Mina changes, Van Helsing hypnotizes her and learns via her connection with Dracula that he is sailing home in his last remaining box; the hunters depart for Varna to intercept him.
The hunters split up. At night, Van Helsing and Mina are approached by Dracula's brides, they frighten Mina, but she succumbs to their chanting and attempts to seduce Van Helsing. Before Mina can feed on his blood, Van Helsing places a communion wafer on her forehead, leaving a mark, he surrounds them with a ring of fire to protect them from the brides infiltrates the castle and decapitates them the following morning. As sunset approaches, Dracula's carriage arrives at the castle, pursued by the hunters. A fight between the hunters and gypsies ensues. Morris is stabbed in the back during Dracula bursts from his coffin at sunset. Harker slits his throat; as Dracula staggers, Mina rushes to his defense. Holmwood tries to attack but Van Helsing and Harker allow her to retreat with the Count. Morris dies of his wound, surrounded by his friends. In the chapel where he renounced his faith, Dracula lies dying in an ancient demonic form, they share a kiss as the candles adorning the chapel light up and the cross repairs itself.
Dracula asks Mina to give him peace. Mina thrusts the knife through his heart and as he dies, the mark on her forehead disappears as Dracula's curse is lifted, she decapitates him and gazes up at the fresco of Vlad and Elisabeta ascending to Heaven together, reunited at long last. Ryder brought the script to the attention of Coppola; the director had agreed to meet with her so the two could clear the air after her late withdrawal from The Godfather Part III caused production delays on that film and led her to believe Coppola disliked her. Coppola was attracted to the sensual elements of the screenplay and said that he wanted portions of the picture to resemble an "erotic dream". In the months leading up to its release, Hollywood insiders who had seen the movie felt Coppola's film was too odd and strange to succeed at the box office and dubbed it "Bonfire of the Vampires" after the notorious 1990 box office bomb The Bonfire of the Vanities. Due to delays and cost overruns on some of Coppola's previous projects such
Castlevania is an action-adventure gothic horror video game series created and developed by Konami. It has been released on various platforms, from early systems to modern consoles, as well as handheld devices such as mobile phones; the franchise has expanded into other media, including comic books, an animated TV series and several spin-off video games. Castlevania is set in the eponymous castle of Count Dracula, the main antagonist of the Belmont clan of vampire hunters, it debuted with 1986's Castlevania for the Family Computer Disk System. The first entry and the majority of its sequels are side-scrolling action platformers, were succeeded by the 1997 game, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. Released for the PlayStation, it returned to the nonlinear gameplay seen in Castlevania II: Simon's Quest, which introduced RPG elements and exploration. Several installments adopted Symphony of the Night's gameplay, along with Super Metroid, it has popularized the Metroidvania genre. 2010 saw the release of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, a 3D action-adventure reboot of the series developed by MercurySteam.
It is one of Konami's most critically acclaimed franchises and one of the best-selling of all time. Many Castlevania titles have been released for markets in Japan, North America and Australia on various video game consoles, personal computers and mobile phones, with additional remakes and re-releases; the first console title, was released on the Famicom Disk System in 1986 and in North America in 1987 on the Nintendo Entertainment System. A 2D sidescrolling action game where the player progresses through six stages, many principal features of the Castlevania series originated with it, it has since been ported to many platforms, such as the NES Classic Edition. Released in 1986 was Vampire Killer for the MSX home computer, which played different from the original Castlevania, where players now had to search for the exit before they could proceed to the next stage. Following that year, in 1987, Castlevania II: Simon's Quest further departed from the standard platforming genre of the first Castlevania for a game more similar to the nonlinear gameplay of Metroid, with several RPG elements such as a world map which the player is free to explore and revisit.
Castlevania's first arcade game, Haunted Castle, returned to the linear platforming gameplay of the original. This continued with the first handheld Game Boy entry, Castlevania: The Adventure and the NES sequel, Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse, both released in 1989. Dracula's Curse added new features to the original gameplay, including alternate stages and multiple playable characters; the Adventure saw a Game Boy sequel, Castlevania II: Belmont's Revenge, in 1992 and a remake developed by M2 for the WiiWare service in 2009. The franchise's first 16-bit home console game, Super Castlevania IV, was released for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in 1992. A Castlevania title for the Sharp X68000 home computer was released in Japan in 1993 and would not be available in English until Castlevania Chronicles for the PlayStation. During the same year, Castlevania: Rondo of Blood was released for the PC Engine and was not localized in English until it was included with Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles for the PlayStation Portable.
The first Castlevania produced for a CD-ROM, Rondo of Blood featured Red Book Audio and voiced dialogue. The game's content would be reused in Castlevania: Dracula X, a new game for the SNES in 1995. Castlevania: Bloodlines was the first Castlevania entry produced for a Sega console, the Genesis, has since not been re-released on any other platform. In 1997, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night and Castlevania Legends were launched for the PlayStation and Game Boy, respectively. Symphony of the Night introduced a major change to the gameplay, incorporating RPG elements and a non-linear map that the player could explore, seen in Simon's Quest and Nintendo's Metroid series; this would be the gameplay for several future titles, beginning with the Game Boy Advance entries Circle of the Moon, Harmony of Dissonance and Aria of Sorrow, which were released from 2001 to 2003. Aria of Sorrow received a 2005 sequel for the Nintendo DS, followed by Portrait of Ruin and Order of Ecclesia. Under the development of Konami's Kobe branch, the first game in the series to employ 3D graphics was Castlevania for Nintendo 64 in 1999, it soon received an expansion called Castlevania: Legacy of Darkness that year.
In 2003, the next 3D Castlevania title, Lament of Innocence debuted for the PlayStation 2 with combat-oriented hack and slash gameplay that drew comparisons to Devil May Cry and God of War. It was followed two years by another PlayStation 2 title, Castlevania: Curse of Darkness. A reboot of the Castlevania series premiered with Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, a multi-platform 3D action title developed by MercurySteam and co-produced by Metal Gear's Hideo Kojima. Two sequels, Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate and Lords of Shadow 2 have both received multi-platform releases. Castlevania has spawned numerous spin-offs, the first being the 1990 platformer, Akumajō Special: Boku Dracula-kun for the Famicom, a parody which stars the character Kid Dracula. Exclusive to Japan, it received a sequel in English for the Game Boy, titled Kid Dracula. Castlevania's first multiplayer online fighting game, Castlevania Judgment debuted for the Wii in 2008 and was developed by Eighting. Another multiplayer online title, Castlevania: Harmony of Despair, was available cross-platform in 2010, where players could play as past Castlevania characters and explore stages.
A new ga
Vampire bats are bats whose food source is blood, a dietary trait called hematophagy. Three extant bat species feed on blood: the common vampire bat, the hairy-legged vampire bat, the white-winged vampire bat. All three species are native to the Americas, ranging from Mexico to Brazil, Chile and Argentina. Due to differences among the three species, each has been placed within a different genus, each consisting of one species. In the older literature, these three genera were placed within a family of their own, but taxonomists have now grouped them as a subfamily, the Desmodontinae, in the leaf-nosed bat family, Phyllostomidae; the three known species of vampire bats all seem more similar to one another than to any other species. That suggests that hematophagy evolved only once, the three species share this common ancestor. Vampire bats are in a diverse family of bats with many food sources, including nectar, insects, fruit and meat; the three species of vampire bats are the only mammals that have evolved to feed on blood as micropredators, a strategy within parasitism.
Hematophagy is uncommon due to the number of challenges to overcome for success: a large volume of liquid overwhelming the kidneys and bladder, the risk of iron poisoning, coping with excess protein. There are multiple hypotheses for, they evolved from frugivorous bats with sharp teeth specialized for piercing fruit They fed on the ectoparasites of large mammals, progressed to feeding on the mammals themselves They fed on insects that were attracted to the wounds of animals, progressed to feeding on the wounds They preyed on small arboreal vertebrates They were arboreal omnivores themselves and began ingesting blood and flesh from wound sites of larger animals They were specialized nectar-feeders that evolved to feed on another type of liquidThe vampire bat lineage diverged from its family 26 million years ago. The hairy-legged vampire bat diverged from the other two species of vampire bats 21.7 million years ago. Because the hairy-legged vampire bat feeds on bird blood and it is the ancestral vampire bat, it is considered that the first vampire bats fed on bird blood as well.
Recent analyses suggest that vampire bats arose from insectivores, which discount the frugivore and nectarivore hypotheses of origin. Within 4 million years of diverging from other Phyllostomids, vampire bats had evolved all necessary adaptations for blood-feeding, making it one of the fastest examples of natural selection among mammals. Unlike fruit bats, the vampire bats have conical muzzles, it lacks a nose leaf, instead having naked pads with U-shaped grooves at the tip. The common vampire bat, Desmodus rotundus has specialized thermoreceptors on its nose, which aid the animal in locating areas where the blood flows close to the skin of its prey. A nucleus has been found in the brain of vampire bats that has a similar position and similar histology to the infrared receptor of infrared-sensing snakes. A vampire bat has front teeth that are specialized for cutting and the back teeth are much smaller than in other bats; the inferior colliculus, the part of the bat's brain that processes sound, is well adapted to detecting the regular breathing sounds of sleeping animals that serve as its main food source.
While other bats have lost the ability to maneuver on land, vampire bats can walk and run by using a unique, bounding gait, in which the forelimbs instead of the hindlimbs are recruited for force production, as the wings are much more powerful than the legs. This ability to run seems to have evolved independently within the bat lineage. Vampire bats have a high level of resistance to a group of bloodborne viruses known as endogenous retroviruses, which insert copies of their genetic material into their host's genome. Vampire bats use infrared radiation to locate blood hotspots on their prey. A recent study has shown that common vampire bats tune a TRP-channel, heat-sensitive, TRPV1, by lowering its thermal activation threshold to about 30 °C; this is achieved through alternative splicing of TRPV1 transcripts to produce a channel with a truncated carboxy-terminal cytoplasmic domain. These splicing events occur in trigeminal ganglia, not in dorsal root ganglia, thereby maintaining a role for TRPV1 as a detector of noxious heat in somatic afferents.
The only other vertebrates capable of detecting infrared radiation are boas and pit vipers, all of which have pit organs. Vampire bats tend to live in colonies in completely dark places, such as caves, old wells, hollow trees, buildings, they range in Central to South America and live in arid to humid and subtropical areas. Vampire bat colony numbers can range from single digits to hundreds in roosting sites; the basic social structure of roosting bats is made of female groups and their offspring, a few adult males, known as "resident males", a separate group of males, known as "nonresident males". In hairy-legged vampire bats, the hierarchical segregation of nonresident males appears less strict than in common vampire bats. Nonresident males are accepted into the harems; this behavior suggests social thermoregulation. Resident males mate with the females in their harems, it is less common for outside males to copulate with the females. Female offspring remain in their natal groups. Several matrilines can be found in a group, as unrelated females join groups.
Male offspring tend to live in their natal groups until they are about two ye