Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their physical structure, chemical processes, molecular interactions, physiological mechanisms and evolution. Despite the complexity of the science, there are certain unifying concepts that consolidate it into a single, coherent field. Biology recognizes the cell as the basic unit of life, genes as the basic unit of heredity, evolution as the engine that propels the creation and extinction of species. Living organisms are open systems that survive by transforming energy and decreasing their local entropy to maintain a stable and vital condition defined as homeostasis. Sub-disciplines of biology are defined by the research methods employed and the kind of system studied: theoretical biology uses mathematical methods to formulate quantitative models while experimental biology performs empirical experiments to test the validity of proposed theories and understand the mechanisms underlying life and how it appeared and evolved from non-living matter about 4 billion years ago through a gradual increase in the complexity of the system.
See branches of biology. The term biology is derived from the Greek word βίος, bios, "life" and the suffix -λογία, -logia, "study of." The Latin-language form of the term first appeared in 1736 when Swedish scientist Carl Linnaeus used biologi in his Bibliotheca botanica. It was used again in 1766 in a work entitled Philosophiae naturalis sive physicae: tomus III, continens geologian, phytologian generalis, by Michael Christoph Hanov, a disciple of Christian Wolff; the first German use, was in a 1771 translation of Linnaeus' work. In 1797, Theodor Georg August Roose used the term in the preface of a book, Grundzüge der Lehre van der Lebenskraft. Karl Friedrich Burdach used the term in 1800 in a more restricted sense of the study of human beings from a morphological and psychological perspective; the term came into its modern usage with the six-volume treatise Biologie, oder Philosophie der lebenden Natur by Gottfried Reinhold Treviranus, who announced: The objects of our research will be the different forms and manifestations of life, the conditions and laws under which these phenomena occur, the causes through which they have been effected.
The science that concerns itself with these objects we will indicate by the name biology or the doctrine of life. Although modern biology is a recent development, sciences related to and included within it have been studied since ancient times. Natural philosophy was studied as early as the ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia, the Indian subcontinent, China. However, the origins of modern biology and its approach to the study of nature are most traced back to ancient Greece. While the formal study of medicine dates back to Hippocrates, it was Aristotle who contributed most extensively to the development of biology. Important are his History of Animals and other works where he showed naturalist leanings, more empirical works that focused on biological causation and the diversity of life. Aristotle's successor at the Lyceum, wrote a series of books on botany that survived as the most important contribution of antiquity to the plant sciences into the Middle Ages. Scholars of the medieval Islamic world who wrote on biology included al-Jahiz, Al-Dīnawarī, who wrote on botany, Rhazes who wrote on anatomy and physiology.
Medicine was well studied by Islamic scholars working in Greek philosopher traditions, while natural history drew on Aristotelian thought in upholding a fixed hierarchy of life. Biology began to develop and grow with Anton van Leeuwenhoek's dramatic improvement of the microscope, it was that scholars discovered spermatozoa, bacteria and the diversity of microscopic life. Investigations by Jan Swammerdam led to new interest in entomology and helped to develop the basic techniques of microscopic dissection and staining. Advances in microscopy had a profound impact on biological thinking. In the early 19th century, a number of biologists pointed to the central importance of the cell. In 1838, Schleiden and Schwann began promoting the now universal ideas that the basic unit of organisms is the cell and that individual cells have all the characteristics of life, although they opposed the idea that all cells come from the division of other cells. Thanks to the work of Robert Remak and Rudolf Virchow, however, by the 1860s most biologists accepted all three tenets of what came to be known as cell theory.
Meanwhile and classification became the focus of natural historians. Carl Linnaeus published a basic taxonomy for the natural world in 1735, in the 1750s introduced scientific names for all his species. Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon, treated species as artificial categories and living forms as malleable—even suggesting the possibility of common descent. Although he was opposed to evolution, Buffon is a key figure in the history of evolutionary thought. Serious evolutionary thinking originated with the works of Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, the first to present a coherent theory of evolution, he posited that evolution was the result of environmental stress on properties of animals, meaning that the more and rigorously an organ was used, the more complex and efficient it would become, thus adapting the animal to its environment. Lamarck believed that these acquired traits could be passed on to the animal's offspring, who would
A fern is a member of a group of vascular plants that reproduce via spores and have neither seeds nor flowers. They differ from mosses by being vascular, i.e. having specialized tissues that conduct water and nutrients and in having life cycles in which the sporophyte is the dominant phase. Like other vascular plants, ferns have complex leaves called megaphylls, that are more complex than the microphylls of clubmosses. Most ferns are leptosporangiate ferns, sometimes referred to as true ferns, they produce coiled fiddleheads that expand into fronds. The group includes about 10,560 known extant species. Ferns are defined here in the broad sense, being all of the Polypodiopsida, comprising both the leptosporangiate and eusporangiate ferns, the latter itself comprising ferns other than those denominated true ferns, including horsetails or scouring rushes, whisk ferns, marattioid ferns, ophioglossoid ferns. Ferns first appear in the fossil record about 360 million years ago in the late Devonian period, but many of the current families and species did not appear until 145 million years ago in the early Cretaceous, after flowering plants came to dominate many environments.
The fern Osmunda claytoniana is a paramount example of evolutionary stasis. Ferns are not of major economic importance, but some are used for food, medicine, as biofertilizer, as ornamental plants and for remediating contaminated soil, they have been the subject of research for their ability to remove some chemical pollutants from the atmosphere. Some fern species, such as bracken and water fern are significant weeds world wide; some fern genera, such as Azolla can fix nitrogen and make a significant input to the nitrogen nutrition of rice paddies. They play certain roles in mythology and art. Like the sporophytes of seed plants, those of ferns consist of stems and roots. Stems: Fern stems are referred to as rhizomes though they grow underground only in some of the species. Epiphytic species and many of the terrestrial ones have above-ground creeping stolons, many groups have above-ground erect semi-woody trunks; these can reach up to 20 meters tall in a few species. Leaf: The green, photosynthetic part of the plant is technically a megaphyll and in ferns, it is referred to as a frond.
New leaves expand by the unrolling of a tight spiral called a crozier or fiddlehead fern. This uncurling of the leaf is termed circinate vernation. Leaves are divided into a sporophyll. A trophophyll frond is a vegetative leaf analogous to the typical green leaves of seed plants that does not produce spores, instead only producing sugars by photosynthesis. A sporophyll frond is a fertile leaf that produces spores borne in sporangia that are clustered to form sori. In most ferns, fertile leaves are morphologically similar to the sterile ones, they photosynthesize in the same way. In some groups, the fertile leaves are much narrower than the sterile leaves, may have no green tissue at all; the anatomy of fern leaves can either be simple or divided. In tree ferns, the main stalk that connects the leaf to the stem has multiple leaflets; the leafy structures that grow from the stipe are known as pinnae and are again divided into smaller pinnules. Roots: The underground non-photosynthetic structures that take up water and nutrients from soil.
They are always fibrous and structurally are similar to the roots of seed plants. Like all other vascular plants, the diploid sporophyte is the dominant phase or generation in the life cycle; the gametophytes of ferns, are different from those of seed plants. They are free-living and resemble liverworts, whereas those of seed plants develop within the spore wall and are dependent on the parent sporophyte for their nutrition. A fern gametophyte consists of: Prothallus: A green, photosynthetic structure, one cell thick heart or kidney shaped, 3–10 mm long and 2–8 mm broad; the prothallus produces gametes by means of: Antheridia: Small spherical structures that produce flagellate sperm. Archegonia: A flask-shaped structure that produces a single egg at the bottom, reached by the sperm by swimming down the neck. Rhizoids: root-like structures that consist of single elongated cells, that absorb water and mineral salts over the whole structure. Rhizoids anchor the prothallus to the soil. Ferns first appear in the fossil record in the early Carboniferous period.
By the Triassic, the first evidence of ferns related to several modern families appeared. The great fern radiation occurred in the late Cretaceous, when many modern families of ferns first appeared. Ferns were traditionally classified in the class Filices, in a Division of the Plant Kingdom named Pteridophyta or Filicophyta. Pteridophyta is no longer recognised as a valid taxon; the ferns are referred to as Polypodiophyta or, when treated as a subdivision of Tracheophyta, although this name sometimes only refers to leptosporangiate ferns. Traditionally, all of the spore producing vascular plants were informally denominated the pteridophytes, rendering the term synonymous with ferns and fern allies; this can be confusing because members of the division Pteridophyta were denominated pteridophytes. Traditionally, three discrete groups have be
Wind is the flow of gases on a large scale. On the surface of the Earth, wind consists of the bulk movement of air. In outer space, solar wind is the movement of gases or charged particles from the Sun through space, while planetary wind is the outgassing of light chemical elements from a planet's atmosphere into space. Winds are classified by their spatial scale, their speed, the types of forces that cause them, the regions in which they occur, their effect; the strongest observed winds on a planet in the Solar System occur on Saturn. Winds have various aspects. Wind is a great source of transportation for seeds and small birds. In meteorology, winds are referred to according to their strength, the direction from which the wind is blowing. Short bursts of high-speed wind are termed gusts. Strong winds of intermediate duration are termed squalls. Long-duration winds have various names associated with their average strength, such as breeze, gale and hurricane. Wind occurs on a range of scales, from thunderstorm flows lasting tens of minutes, to local breezes generated by heating of land surfaces and lasting a few hours, to global winds resulting from the difference in absorption of solar energy between the climate zones on Earth.
The two main causes of large-scale atmospheric circulation are the differential heating between the equator and the poles, the rotation of the planet. Within the tropics, thermal low circulations over terrain and high plateaus can drive monsoon circulations. In coastal areas the sea breeze/land. In human civilization, the concept of wind has been explored in mythology, influenced the events of history, expanded the range of transport and warfare, provided a power source for mechanical work and recreation. Wind powers the voyages of sailing ships across Earth's oceans. Hot air balloons use the wind to take short trips, powered flight uses it to increase lift and reduce fuel consumption. Areas of wind shear caused by various weather phenomena can lead to dangerous situations for aircraft; when winds become strong and human-made structures are damaged or destroyed. Winds can shape landforms, via a variety of aeolian processes such as the formation of fertile soils, such as loess, by erosion. Dust from large deserts can be moved great distances from its source region by the prevailing winds.
Wind affects the spread of wildfires. Winds can disperse seeds from various plants, enabling the survival and dispersal of those plant species, as well as flying insect populations; when combined with cold temperatures, wind has a negative impact on livestock. Wind affects animals' food stores, as well as defensive strategies. Wind is caused by differences in the atmospheric pressure; when a difference in atmospheric pressure exists, air moves from the higher to the lower pressure area, resulting in winds of various speeds. On a rotating planet, air will be deflected by the Coriolis effect, except on the equator. Globally, the two major driving factors of large-scale wind patterns are the differential heating between the equator and the poles and the rotation of the planet. Outside the tropics and aloft from frictional effects of the surface, the large-scale winds tend to approach geostrophic balance. Near the Earth's surface, friction causes the wind to be slower. Surface friction causes winds to blow more inward into low-pressure areas.
Winds defined by an equilibrium of physical forces are used in the decomposition and analysis of wind profiles. They are useful for simplifying the atmospheric equations of motion and for making qualitative arguments about the horizontal and vertical distribution of winds; the geostrophic wind component is the result of the balance between Coriolis force and pressure gradient force. It flows parallel to isobars and approximates the flow above the atmospheric boundary layer in the midlatitudes; the thermal wind is the difference in the geostrophic wind between two levels in the atmosphere. It exists only in an atmosphere with horizontal temperature gradients; the ageostrophic wind component is the difference between actual and geostrophic wind, responsible for air "filling up" cyclones over time. The gradient wind is similar to the geostrophic wind but includes centrifugal force. Wind direction is expressed in terms of the direction from which it originates. For example, a northerly wind blows from the north to the south.
Weather vanes pivot to indicate the direction of the wind. At airports, windsocks indicate wind direction, can be used to estimate wind speed by the angle of hang. Wind speed is measured by anemometers, most using rotating cups or propellers; when a high measurement frequency is needed, wind can be measured by the propagation speed of ultrasound signals or by the effect of ventilation on the resistance of a heated wire. Another type of anemometer uses pitot tubes that take advantage of the pressure differential between an inner tube and an outer tube, exposed to the wind to determine the dynamic pressure, used
Ratchis was the Duke of Friuli and King of the Lombards. His father was Duke Pemmo, his Roman wife was Tassia. He ruled in peace. Pope Zachary convinced him to lift the siege, he abdicated and entered the abbey of Montecassino with his family. After the death of Aistulf in 756, he tried once again to reign over the Lombards, but he was defeated by Desiderius and retired to a cloister. Paul the Deacon, Historia Langobardorum Storia dei Longobardi. Milano: Electa, 1985 Jörg Jarnut, Storia dei Longobardi, Torino: Einaudi, 2002 ISBN 88-464-4085-4 Sergio Rovagnati, I Longobardi, Milano: Xenia, 2003 ISBN 88-7273-484-3
Vertebrates comprise all species of animals within the subphylum Vertebrata. Vertebrates represent the overwhelming majority of the phylum Chordata, with about 69,276 species described. Vertebrates include the jawless fishes and jawed vertebrates, which include the cartilaginous fishes and the bony fishes; the bony fishes in turn, cladistically speaking include the tetrapods, which include amphibians, reptiles and mammals. Extant vertebrates range in size from the frog species Paedophryne amauensis, at as little as 7.7 mm, to the blue whale, at up to 33 m. Vertebrates make up less than five percent of all described animal species; the vertebrates traditionally include the hagfish, which do not have proper vertebrae due to their loss in evolution, though their closest living relatives, the lampreys, do. Hagfish do, possess a cranium. For this reason, the vertebrate subphylum is sometimes referred to as "Craniata" when discussing morphology. Molecular analysis since 1992 has suggested that hagfish are most related to lampreys, so are vertebrates in a monophyletic sense.
Others consider them a sister group of vertebrates in the common taxon of craniata. The word vertebrate derives from the Latin word vertebratus. Vertebrate is derived from the word vertebra, which refers to any of the bones or segments of the spinal column. All vertebrates are built along the basic chordate body plan: a stiff rod running through the length of the animal, with a hollow tube of nervous tissue above it and the gastrointestinal tract below. In all vertebrates, the mouth is found at, or right below, the anterior end of the animal, while the anus opens to the exterior before the end of the body; the remaining part of the body continuing after the anus forms a tail with vertebrae and spinal cord, but no gut. The defining characteristic of a vertebrate is the vertebral column, in which the notochord found in all chordates has been replaced by a segmented series of stiffer elements separated by mobile joints. However, a few vertebrates have secondarily lost this anatomy, retaining the notochord into adulthood, such as the sturgeon and coelacanth.
Jawed vertebrates are typified by paired appendages, but this trait is not required in order for an animal to be a vertebrate. All basal vertebrates breathe with gills; the gills are carried right behind the head, bordering the posterior margins of a series of openings from the pharynx to the exterior. Each gill is supported by a cartilagenous or bony gill arch; the bony fish have three pairs of arches, cartilaginous fish have five to seven pairs, while the primitive jawless fish have seven. The vertebrate ancestor no doubt had more arches than this, as some of their chordate relatives have more than 50 pairs of gills. In amphibians and some primitive bony fishes, the larvae bear external gills, branching off from the gill arches; these are reduced in adulthood, their function taken over by the gills proper in fishes and by lungs in most amphibians. Some amphibians retain the external larval gills in adulthood, the complex internal gill system as seen in fish being irrevocably lost early in the evolution of tetrapods.
While the more derived vertebrates lack gills, the gill arches form during fetal development, form the basis of essential structures such as jaws, the thyroid gland, the larynx, the columella and, in mammals, the malleus and incus. The central nervous system of vertebrates is based on a hollow nerve cord running along the length of the animal. Of particular importance and unique to vertebrates is the presence of neural crest cells; these are progenitors of stem cells, critical to coordinating the functions of cellular components. Neural crest cells migrate through the body from the nerve cord during development, initiate the formation of neural ganglia and structures such as the jaws and skull; the vertebrates are the only chordate group to exhibit cephalisation, the concentration of brain functions in the head. A slight swelling of the anterior end of the nerve cord is found in the lancelet, a chordate, though it lacks the eyes and other complex sense organs comparable to those of vertebrates.
Other chordates do not show any trends towards cephalisation. A peripheral nervous system branches out from the nerve cord to innervate the various systems; the front end of the nerve tube is expanded by a thickening of the walls and expansion of the central canal of spinal cord into three primary brain vesicles: The prosencephalon and rhombencephalon, further differentiated in the various vertebrate groups. Two laterally placed eyes form around outgrowths from the midbrain, except in hagfish, though this may be a secondary loss; the forebrain is well developed and subdivided in most tetrapods, while the midbrain dominates in many fish and some salamanders. Vesicles of the forebrain are paired, giving rise to hemispheres like the cerebral hemispheres in mammals; the resulting anatomy of the central nervous system, with a single hollow nerve cord topped by a series of vesicles, is unique to vertebrates. All invertebrates with well-developed brains, such as insects and squids, have a ventral rather than dorsal system of ganglions, with a split brain stem running on each side of the mouth or gut.
Vertebrates originated about 525 million years ago during the Cambrian explosion, which saw
Mirăslău is a commune located in Alba County, Romania. It has a population of 2334; the commune is composed of six villages: Cicău, Lopadea Veche, Mirăslău, Ormeniș and Rachiș. The commune is the site of a battle in 1600 between the Wallachian army led by Michael the Brave and the Hungarian noblemen supported by the Austrian general Giorgio Basta. At the 2011 census, 67.5% of inhabitants were Romanians, 27.8% Hungarians and 4.5% Roma. At the 2002 census, 66.4% were Romanian Orthodox, 25% Reformed and 4% Greek-Catholic
Buddleja paniculata is endemic to a wide upland area from northern India to Bhutan, growing along forest margins, in thickets, on rocky slopes at elevations of 500 – 3000 m. The species was named by Wallich and introduced to the UK in 1823 as seed sent by Major Madden from the Himalaya to the Glasnevin Botanic Garden. Buddleja paniculata is a variable deciduous shrub or tree of bushy habit reaching 6 m high; the sparse terminal panicles comprise white or pale lilac flowers, some forms pleasantly scented, others not, from December to mid-spring. The bright green lanceolate leaves are opposite, < 25 cm in length, covered in fine hairs. 2n = 38. Owing to its limited horticultural merit, B. paniculata is cultivated. Moreover, it demands dry soils and frost protection overwinter. In the UK, it is grown under glass as part of the NCCPG national collection at Longstock Park Nursery, near Stockbridge. Hardiness: USDA zone 8. Leeuwenberg, A. J. M; the Loganiaceae of Africa XVIII Buddleja L. II, Revision of the African & Asiatic species.
H. Veenman & Zonen, Nederland. Li, P. T. & Leeuwenberg, A. J. M.. Loganiaceae, in Wu, Z. & Raven, P. Flora of China, Vol. 15. Science Press and Missouri Botanical Garden Press, St. Louis, USA. ISBN 978-0915279371 online at www.efloras.org