SUMMARY / RELATED TOPICS

Reptile

Reptiles are tetrapod animals in the class Reptilia, comprising today's turtles, snakes, lizards and their extinct relatives. The study of these traditional reptile orders combined with that of modern amphibians, is called herpetology; because some reptiles are more related to birds than they are to other reptiles, the traditional groups of "reptiles" listed above do not together constitute a monophyletic grouping or clade. For this reason, many modern scientists prefer to consider the birds part of Reptilia as well, thereby making Reptilia a monophyletic class, including all living Diapsids; the term "reptiles" is sometimes used as shorthand for'non-avian Reptilia'. The earliest known proto-reptiles originated around 312 million years ago during the Carboniferous period, having evolved from advanced reptiliomorph tetrapods that became adapted to life on dry land; some early examples include Casineria. In addition to the living reptiles, there are many diverse groups that are now extinct, in some cases due to mass extinction events.

In particular, the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event wiped out the pterosaurs, plesiosaurs and sauropods, as well as many species of theropods, including troodontids, dromaeosaurids and abelisaurids, along with many Crocodyliformes, squamates. Modern non-avian reptiles inhabit all the continents except Antarctica, although some birds are found on the periphery of Antarctica. Several living subgroups are recognized: Testudines, 350 species. Reptiles are tetrapod vertebrates, creatures that either have four limbs or, like snakes, are descended from four-limbed ancestors. Unlike amphibians, reptiles do not have an aquatic larval stage. Most reptiles are oviparous, although several species of squamates are viviparous, as were some extinct aquatic clades – the fetus develops within the mother, contained in a placenta rather than an eggshell; as amniotes, reptile eggs are surrounded by membranes for protection and transport, which adapt them to reproduction on dry land. Many of the viviparous species feed their fetuses through various forms of placenta analogous to those of mammals, with some providing initial care for their hatchlings.

Extant reptiles range in size from a tiny gecko, Sphaerodactylus ariasae, which can grow up to 17 mm to the saltwater crocodile, Crocodylus porosus, which can reach 6 m in length and weigh over 1,000 kg. In the 13th century the category of reptile was recognized in Europe as consisting of a miscellany of egg-laying creatures, including "snakes, various fantastic monsters, assorted amphibians, worms", as recorded by Vincent of Beauvais in his Mirror of Nature. In the 18th century, the reptiles were, from the outset of classification, grouped with the amphibians. Linnaeus, working from species-poor Sweden, where the common adder and grass snake are found hunting in water, included all reptiles and amphibians in class "III – Amphibia" in his Systema Naturæ; the terms "reptile" and "amphibian" were interchangeable, "reptile" being preferred by the French. Josephus Nicolaus Laurenti was the first to formally use the term "Reptilia" for an expanded selection of reptiles and amphibians similar to that of Linnaeus.

Today, the two groups are still treated under the same heading as herptiles. It was not until the beginning of the 19th century that it became clear that reptiles and amphibians are, in fact, quite different animals, Pierre André Latreille erected the class Batracia for the latter, dividing the tetrapods into the four familiar classes of reptiles, amphibians and mammals; the British anatomist Thomas Henry Huxley made Latreille's definition popular and, together with Richard Owen, expanded Reptilia to include the various fossil "antediluvian monsters", including dinosaurs and the mammal-like Dicynodon he helped describe. This was not the only possible classification scheme: In the Hunterian lectures delivered at the Royal College of Surgeons in 1863, Huxley grouped the vertebrates into mammals and ichthyoids, he subsequently proposed the names of Ichthyopsida for the latter two groups. In 1866, Haeckel demonstrated that vertebrates could be divided based on their reproductive strategies, that reptiles and mammals were united by the amniotic egg.

The terms "Sauropsida" and "Theropsida" were used again in 1916 by E. S. Goodrich to distinguish between lizards and their relatives on the one hand and mammals and their extinct relatives on the other. Goodrich supported this division by the nature of the hearts and blood vessels in each group, other features, such as the structure of the forebrain. According to Goodrich, both lineages evolved from an earlier stem group, Protosauria in which he included some animals today considered reptile-like amphibians, as well as early reptiles. In 1956, D. M. S. Watson observed that the first two groups diverged early in reptilian history, so he divided Goodrich's Protosauria between them, he reinterpreted Sauropsida and Theropsida to exclude birds and mammals, respectively. Thus his Sauropsida included Procolophonia, Mille

Anna Alma-Tadema

Anna Alma-Tadema was a British artist and suffragette. Alma-Tadema worked with drawings and paintings, creating many portraits and representations of interior scenes and buildings, she was influenced by her father, Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, showed her works at exhibitions with him and her step-mother, Laura Theresa Alma-Tadema. Her work was shown at national exhibitions, including the Royal Academy of Arts and the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago. Anna Alma-Tadema was recognized for her achievements as an artist at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago and the 1889 Paris Exhibition. Anna Alma-Tadema was the second daughter of Dutch painter Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema and his French wife, Marie-Pauline Gressin de Boisgirard who lived in Brussels, her older sister, was born in 1864. The girls' mother died in 1869. Lawrence and his daughters moved to England, her father married for the second time to Laura Epps in 1871. Anna Alma-Tadema was raised in London with her family. Laurence received her education at home and it is believed that Anna was home-schooled as well.

Anna Alma-Tadema appears at least twice in paintings by her father. In 1873, she and her sister were depicted in This is Our Corner, in 1883, her father painted her portrait. Anna's mother and step-mother were painters, as a result, she was raised in a artistic household. Lawrence was inspired by words from antiquity and developed a style, emulated by Laura and other artists. Once he died, the popularity of his works and style waned for about six decades. Anna's sister, was a poet, critic and short story author. Alma-Tadema was described by biographer Helen Zimmern as a "delicate, dainty artist who has inherited so much of her father's power for reproducing detail." During her time as an artist, Anna Alma-Tadema created several portraits, representations of flowers, as well as watercolor depictions of house interiors and buildings. One such example of Alma-Tadema's portraits is Miss Tessa Gosse; this and other works, such as The Misty Valley and The Gold Room, were shown at the Royal Academy of Arts.

Anna Alma-Tadema made watercolours of the interior of the Alma-Tadema family house, Townshend House in Tichfield Terrace, near Regent's Park in London. The family home was extravagantly decorated by her father to resemble a Roman villa; the Drawing Room, which Alma-Tadema painted when she as a teenager, was exhibited in 1893 at the Columbian Exposition in Chicago. Additionally, in 1885 Alma-Tadema painted The Gold Room, which represented the interior of the family home. Alma-Tadema exhibited her works in England for forty years, between 1885 and 1928. Alma-Tadema showed fifteen works at the Royal Academy between 1885 and 1928, including The Gold Room, Miss Tessa Gosse, The Misty Valley, The Idler's Harvest. Although she resided in London, Anna Alma-Tadema exhibited works abroad. In 1889, she won a medal at an exhibition in Paris. Additionally, her father Lawrence, her stepmother Laura all exhibited and won prizes at the World's Columbian Exposition at Chicago in 1893. Anna Alma-Tadema's works continue to be exhibited today.

For example, the artist's works were included within the April 2011 Victoria and Albert Museum's exhibition, The Cult of Beauty: The Aesthetic Movement 1860–1900 in London. Alma-Tadema was committed to women's suffrage and signed the Some Supporters of the Women's Suffrage Movement in 1897. Neither Anna Alma-Tadema nor her sister married, they were poor and did not have successful careers in their years. Gere, Artistic Circles: Design and Decoration in the Aesthetic Movement, V & A Publishing, 2010 Media related to Anna Alma-Tadema at Wikimedia Commons

Tarsophlebiidae

The Tarsophlebiidae is an extinct family of medium-sized fossil odonates from the Upper Jurassic and Lower Cretaceous period of Eurasia. They are either the most basal member of the damsel-dragonfly grade within the stem group of Anisoptera, or the sister group of all Recent odonates, they are characterized by the basally open discoidal cell in both pairs of wings long legs, paddle-shaped male cerci, a hypertrophied ovipositor in females. The head is similar to that of Recent Gomphidae with two large and globular compound eyes that are distinctly separated, but closer together than in damselflies. There are two cephalic sutures; the pterothorax seems to be more skewed than in damselflies. The legs are long with short and strong spines, with elongate tarsi. There are three tarsal segments; the pair of tarsal claws lack the ventro-apical hook of modern odonates. The largest species Turanophlebia sinica reached a wingspan of about 10.3 centimetres, while the smallest species Tarsophlebia minor reached only a wingspan of about 5.5 centimetres.

The wing venation is characterized by the following features: wings hyaline and not stalked. Males are distinguished by paddle-like cerci, while females are distinguished by long and thin, hypertrophied ovipositor that projects far beyond the abdomen; the male secondary genitalia were of a unique primitive type, with a small sperm vesicle on sternite 3, two pairs of small plate-like hamuli on sternite 2, a short median ligula on sternite 2. None of these structures is hypertrophied as sperm intromittent organ. In each of the three suborders of Recent odonates, a different part of this apparatus is enlarged and developed as intromittent organ and device for removal of foreign sperm: in Zygoptera it is the ligula, an median process of sternite 2; the structure of the apparatus in Tarsophlebiidae is suggestive of an intermediate state between protodonates and modern odonates. An exceptionally well-preserved male specimen of Namurotypus sippeli showed that protodonate Meganisoptera lacked a secondary genital apparatus on abdominal segments 2 and 3 and still had primary genitalia on segment 9 that resemble those of wingless silverfish, who do not copulate but deposit external spermatophores.

Only on the basis of such a mating behaviour is the evolution of the odonate secondary copulation conceivable at all. A first step was the attachment of a spermatophore to the basal sternites of the male abdomen instead of a deposition on substrate; the female now had to fetch the spermatophore from the male venter. This created an adaptive pressure to create storage structures for the spermatophore and attachment structures for the female genitalia. Tarsophlebiidae represent this state of evolution; the development of liquid sperm and intromittent organs for copulation evolved three times in parallel in the three extant suborders. Lateral auricles on the sides of the basal abdomen in male Tarsophlebia eximia had been described by Nel et al.. However, Bechly showed that these alleged male auricles were based on a misinterpretation of the hamuli posteriors, confirmed by Fleck et al.. Fleck et al. demonstrated. The description of calopterygoid-like appendages of Tarsophlebia eximia, with two pairs of claspers, was based on misinterpretations due to artifacts of preservation.

The cerci are long, with a double-barreled basal petiole and a distal plate-like expansion. The broken double-barrelled petioles of the two cerci have been misinterpreted as two pairs of claspers, while the distal plates have been overlooked or regarded as artifacts. Indeed, Tarsophlebia does. There are no epiproct. If these structures are secondarily reduced or missing is not clear. No fossil larvae of this extinct family have yet been discovered; the family was established by Handlirsch on the basis of the type genus Tarsophlebia Hagen, 1866. Tarsophlebiopsis mayi was recognized as valid by most authors until the most recent revision of the family by Fleck et al. who demonstrated that the holotype of this taxon most is only an aberrant specimen of Tarsophlebia eximia. The family contains 2 described genera with 9 valid species: Genus †Tarsophlebia Hagen, 1866 Diagnosis: cubito-anal areas of forewings and hindwings with four rows of cell