BirdLife Australia is the trading name of a company limited by guarantee formed through the merger of two Australian non-government conservation organisations, Bird Observation and Conservation Australia and Birds Australia. A constitution was drafted in May 2011 for BirdLife Australia, which became operational on 1 January 2012, their respective magazines, the Bird Observer and Wingspan were succeeded by Australian Birdlife. At simultaneous annual general meetings held on 21 May 2011, the respective members of BOCA and Birds Australia voted to merge and form the new company. Over 93% of those that voted from BOCA voted for the merger and over 95% of those that voted from Birds Australia voted for the merger. A combined total of 4517 Birds Australia and BOCA members voted on the resolution, with over 36% of Birds Australia members and more than 50% of BOCA members voting; this was the biggest response to a proposed resolution that either organisation had received. With the merger, BirdLife Australia became the Australian national partner organisation of BirdLife International, a role hitherto performed by Birds Australia.
The inaugural Board of Directors was made up of five board members from each of the merging organisations, with the addition of a "neutral" chair, Gerard Early - who continues to serve as a Board Member. The inaugural Chief Executive Officer, Dr Graeme Hamilton, resigned in October 2012. Dr Hamilton had served as CEO of Birds Australia from 2005 to 2011, as CEO of BOCA in its final months of operation in 2011. James O'Connor served as interim CEO from October 2012, until the appointment of Paul Sullivan in January 2013; the constitution of BirdLife Australia is loosely based on the constitutions of the merging bodies. The organisation is member-based, board members are elected by the membership at an annual general meeting; the constitution describes a transitional period for the board for its first three years of operation, whereby two members of each original board will stand down at each annual general meeting. BirdLife Australia's current national office is at 60 Leicester Street Carlton, Victoria, at the site of the former Birds Australia office.
The office of BOCA was in Nunawading and was still owned by BirdLife Australia. The organisation leases premises at Sydney Olympic Park in Homebush, New South Wales, Floreat, West Australia. BirdLife Australia owns and operates Gluepot Reserve, a 540 square kilometres reserve for bird conservation and research in the South Australian semi-arid mallee region, leases two bird observatories in West Australia, the Broome Bird Observatory and the Eyre Bird Observatory. BirdLife Australia runs a number of research and conservation programs related to Australian birds, these are characterised by a significant volunteer input; the Atlas of Australian Birds Project is a national bird monitoring project involving hundreds of skilled bird observers submitting survey data from across the country. This data is used in national reporting, notably State of Australia's Birds reports. Birdata is the gateway to BirdLife Australia data including the Atlas of Australian Birds and Nest record scheme. Datasets from this activity are publicly accessible.
Other large scale monitoring and conservation efforts include Shorebirds 2020, a national migratory shorebirds program, the Beach-nesting Birds program, aimed at improving the conservation status of resident shorebirds through research, adaptive management and community engagement. Other projects, including Birds in Backyards and the Aussie Backyard Bird Count have more of an engagement and education focus; the organisation awards a number of regular prizes. The D. L. Serventy Medal may be awarded annually for outstanding published work on birds in the Australasian region, it has been awarded for the last 20 years and is the highest award offered to professional ornithologists by BirdLife Australia. The J. N. Hobbs medal may be awarded annually for outstanding contributions to Australasian ornithology by an amateur ornithologist; the Stuart Leslie Bird Research Award and the Professor Alan Keast Award are bestowed annually to postgraduate students of ornithology, with an emphasis on conservation applications.
Australian Field Ornithology Australasian Raptor Association Egg Collecting and Bird Life of Australia Australasian Wader Studies Group Australasian Ornithological Conference Handbook of Australian, New Zealand and Antarctic Birds Birds of Australia Robin, Libby.. The Flight of the Emu: a hundred years of Australian ornithology 1901-2001. Melbourne University Press: Carlton. ISBN 0-522-84987-3 BirdLife Australia
Natural History Museum, London
The Natural History Museum in London is a natural history museum that exhibits a vast range of specimens from various segments of natural history. It is one of three major museums on Exhibition Road in South Kensington, the others being the Science Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum; the Natural History Museum's main frontage, however, is on Cromwell Road. The museum is home to life and earth science specimens comprising some 80 million items within five main collections: botany, mineralogy and zoology; the museum is a centre of research specialising in taxonomy and conservation. Given the age of the institution, many of the collections have great historical as well as scientific value, such as specimens collected by Charles Darwin; the museum is famous for its exhibition of dinosaur skeletons and ornate architecture—sometimes dubbed a cathedral of nature—both exemplified by the large Diplodocus cast that dominated the vaulted central hall before it was replaced in 2017 with the skeleton of a blue whale hanging from the ceiling.
The Natural History Museum Library contains extensive books, journals and artwork collections linked to the work and research of the scientific departments. The museum is recognised as the pre-eminent centre of natural history and research of related fields in the world. Although referred to as the Natural History Museum, it was known as British Museum until 1992, despite legal separation from the British Museum itself in 1963. Originating from collections within the British Museum, the landmark Alfred Waterhouse building was built and opened by 1881 and incorporated the Geological Museum; the Darwin Centre is a more recent addition designed as a modern facility for storing the valuable collections. Like other publicly funded national museums in the United Kingdom, the Natural History Museum does not charge an admission fee; the museum is an exempt charity and a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Culture and Sport. Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge is a patron of the museum.
There are 850 staff at the Museum. The two largest strategic groups are Science Group; the foundation of the collection was that of the Ulster doctor Sir Hans Sloane, who allowed his significant collections to be purchased by the British Government at a price well below their market value at the time. This purchase was funded by a lottery. Sloane's collection, which included dried plants, animal and human skeletons, was housed in Montagu House, Bloomsbury, in 1756, the home of the British Museum. Most of the Sloane collection had disappeared by the early decades of the nineteenth century. Dr George Shaw sold many specimens to the Royal College of Surgeons and had periodic cremations of material in the grounds of the museum, his successors applied to the trustees for permission to destroy decayed specimens. In 1833 the Annual Report states that, of the 5,500 insects listed in the Sloane catalogue, none remained; the inability of the natural history departments to conserve its specimens became notorious: the Treasury refused to entrust it with specimens collected at the government's expense.
Appointments of staff were bedevilled by gentlemanly favoritism. J. E. Gray complained of the incidence of mental illness amongst staff: George Shaw threatened to put his foot on any shell not in the 12th edition of Linnaeus' Systema Naturae; the huge collection of the conchologist Hugh Cuming was acquired by the museum, Gray's own wife had carried the open trays across the courtyard in a gale: all the labels blew away. That collection is said never to have recovered; the Principal Librarian at the time was Antonio Panizzi. The general public was not encouraged to visit the Museum's natural history exhibits. In 1835 to a Select Committee of Parliament, Sir Henry Ellis said this policy was approved by the Principal Librarian and his senior colleagues. Many of these faults were corrected by the palaeontologist Richard Owen, appointed Superintendent of the natural history departments of the British Museum in 1856, his changes led Bill Bryson to write that "by making the Natural History Museum an institution for everyone, Owen transformed our expectations of what museums are for".
Owen saw that the natural history departments needed more space, that implied a separate building as the British Museum site was limited. Land in South Kensington was purchased, in 1864 a competition was held to design the new museum; the winning entry was submitted by the civil engineer Captain Francis Fowke, who died shortly afterwards. The scheme was taken over by Alfred Waterhouse who revised the agreed plans, designed the façades in his own idiosyncratic Romanesque style, inspired by his frequent visits to the Continent; the original plans included wings on either side of the main building, but these plans were soon abandoned for budgetary reasons. The space these would have occupied are now taken by the Earth Galleries and Darwin Centre. Work began in 1873 and was completed in 1880; the new museum opened in 1881, although the move from the old museum was not completed until 1883. Both the interiors and exteriors of the Waterhouse building make extensive use of
Citizen science is scientific research conducted, in whole or in part, by amateur scientists. Citizen science is sometimes described as "public participation in scientific research," participatory monitoring, participatory action research whose outcomes are advancements in scientific research, as well as an increase in the public’s understanding of science; the term CS has multiple origins, as well as differing concepts. It was first defined independently in the mid-1990s by Rick Bonney in the United States and Alan Irwin in the United Kingdom. Alan Irwin, a British sociologist, defines CS as "developing concepts of scientific citizenship which foregrounds the necessity of opening up science and science policy processes to the public". Irwin sought to reclaim two dimensions of the relationship between citizens and science: 1) that science should be responsive to citizens' concerns and needs; the American ornithologist Rick Bonney, unaware of Irwin's work, defined CS as projects in which nonscientists, such as amateur birdwatchers, voluntarily contributed scientific data.
This describes a more limited role for citizens in scientific research than Irwin's conception of the term. The terms citizen science and citizen scientists entered the Oxford English Dictionary in June 2014. "Citizen science" is defined as "scientific work undertaken by members of the general public in collaboration with or under the direction of professional scientists and scientific institutions". "Citizen scientist" is defined as: "a scientist whose work is characterized by a sense of responsibility to serve the best interests of the wider community". The first use of the term "citizen scientist" can be found in the magazine New Scientist in an article about ufology from October 1979. Muki Haklay cites, from a policy report for the Wilson Center entitled "Citizen Science and Policy: A European Perspective", an alternate first use of the term "citizen science" by R. Kerson in the magazine MIT Technology Review from January 1989. Quoting from the Wilson Center report: "The new form of engagement in science received the name'citizen science'.
The first recorded example of the use of the term is from 1989, describing how 225 volunteers across the US collected rain samples to assist the Audubon Society in an acid-rain awareness raising campaign."A "Green Paper on Citizen Science" was published in 2013 by the European Commission's Digital Science Unit and Socientize.eu, which included a definition for CS, referring to "the general public engagement in scientific research activities when citizens contribute to science either with their intellectual effort or surrounding knowledge or with their tools and resources. Participants provide experimental data and facilities for researchers, raise new questions and co-create a new scientific culture."Citizen science may be performed by individuals, teams, or networks of volunteers. Citizen scientists partner with professional scientists to achieve common goals. Large volunteer networks allow scientists to accomplish tasks that would be too expensive or time consuming to accomplish through other means.
Many citizen-science projects serve outreach goals. These projects may be designed for a formal classroom environment or an informal education environment such as museums. Citizen science has evolved over the past four decades. Recent projects place more emphasis on scientifically sound practices and measurable goals for public education. Modern citizen science differs from its historical forms in the access for, subsequent scale of, public participation. In March 2015, the Office of Science and Technology Policy published a factsheet entitled "Empowering Students and Others through Citizen Science and Crowdsourcing". Quoting: "Citizen science and crowdsourcing projects are powerful tools for providing students with skills needed to excel in science, technology and math. Volunteers in citizen science, for example, gain hands-on experience doing real science, in many cases take that learning outside of the traditional classroom setting". In May 2016, a new open-access journal was started by the Citizen Science Association along with Ubiquity Press called Citizen Science: Theory and Practice.
Quoting from the editorial article titled "The Theory and Practice of Citizen Science: Launching a New Journal", "CS:T&P provides the space to enhance the quality and impact of citizen science efforts by exploring the citizen science concept in all its forms and across disciplines. By examining and sharing findings across a variety of citizen science endeavors, we can dig into the underpinnings and assumptions of citizen science and critically analyze its practice and outcomes." Other definitions for citizen science have been proposed. For example, Bruce Lewenstein of Cornell University's Communication and S&TS departments describes 3 possible definitions: The participation of nonscientists in the process of gathering data according to specific scientific protocols and in the process of using and interpreting that data; the engagement of nonscientists in true decision-making about policy issues that have technical or scientific components. The engagement of research scientists in the democratic and policy process.
In biology, a species is the basic unit of classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A species is defined as the largest group of organisms in which any two individuals of the appropriate sexes or mating types can produce fertile offspring by sexual reproduction. Other ways of defining species include their karyotype, DNA sequence, behaviour or ecological niche. In addition, paleontologists use the concept of the chronospecies since fossil reproduction cannot be examined. While these definitions may seem adequate, when looked at more they represent problematic species concepts. For example, the boundaries between related species become unclear with hybridisation, in a species complex of hundreds of similar microspecies, in a ring species. Among organisms that reproduce only asexually, the concept of a reproductive species breaks down, each clone is a microspecies. All species are given a two-part name, a "binomial"; the first part of a binomial is the genus.
The second part is called the specific epithet. For example, Boa constrictor is one of four species of the genus Boa. None of these is satisfactory definitions, but scientists and conservationists need a species definition which allows them to work, regardless of the theoretical difficulties. If species were fixed and distinct from one another, there would be no problem, but evolutionary processes cause species to change continually, to grade into one another. Species were seen from the time of Aristotle until the 18th century as fixed kinds that could be arranged in a hierarchy, the great chain of being. In the 19th century, biologists grasped. Charles Darwin's 1859 book The Origin of Species explained how species could arise by natural selection; that understanding was extended in the 20th century through genetics and population ecology. Genetic variability arises from mutations and recombination, while organisms themselves are mobile, leading to geographical isolation and genetic drift with varying selection pressures.
Genes can sometimes be exchanged between species by horizontal gene transfer. Viruses are a special case, driven by a balance of mutation and selection, can be treated as quasispecies. Biologists and taxonomists have made many attempts to define species, beginning from morphology and moving towards genetics. Early taxonomists such as Linnaeus had no option but to describe what they saw: this was formalised as the typological or morphological species concept. Ernst Mayr emphasised reproductive isolation, but this, like other species concepts, is hard or impossible to test. Biologists have tried to refine Mayr's definition with the recognition and cohesion concepts, among others. Many of the concepts are quite similar or overlap, so they are not easy to count: the biologist R. L. Mayden recorded about 24 concepts, the philosopher of science John Wilkins counted 26. Wilkins further grouped the species concepts into seven basic kinds of concepts: agamospecies for asexual organisms biospecies for reproductively isolated sexual organisms ecospecies based on ecological niches evolutionary species based on lineage genetic species based on gene pool morphospecies based on form or phenotype and taxonomic species, a species as determined by a taxonomist.
A typological species is a group of organisms in which individuals conform to certain fixed properties, so that pre-literate people recognise the same taxon as do modern taxonomists. The clusters of variations or phenotypes within specimens would differentiate the species; this method was used as a "classical" method of determining species, such as with Linnaeus early in evolutionary theory. However, different phenotypes are not different species. Species named in this manner are called morphospecies. In the 1970s, Robert R. Sokal, Theodore J. Crovello and Peter Sneath proposed a variation on this, a phenetic species, defined as a set of organisms with a similar phenotype to each other, but a different phenotype from other sets of organisms, it differs from the morphological species concept in including a numerical measure of distance or similarity to cluster entities based on multivariate comparisons of a reasonably large number of phenotypic traits. A mate-recognition species is a group of sexually reproducing organisms that recognize one another as potential mates.
Expanding on this to allow for post-mating isolation, a cohesion species is the most inclusive population of individuals having the potential for phenotypic cohesion through intrinsic cohesion mechanisms. A further development of the recognition concept is provided by the biosemiotic concept of species. In microbiology, genes can move even between distantly related bacteria extending to the whole bacterial domain; as a rule of thumb, microbiologists have assumed that kinds of Bacteria or Archaea with 16S ribosomal RNA gene sequences more similar than 97% to each other need to be checked by DNA-DNA hybridisation to decide if they belong to the same species or not. This concept was narrowed in 2006 to a similarity of 98.7%. DNA-DNA hybri
Flora of Australia
The flora of Australia comprises a vast assemblage of plant species estimated to over 20,000 vascular and 14,000 non-vascular plants, 250,000 species of fungi and over 3,000 lichens. The flora has strong affinities with the flora of Gondwana, below the family level has a endemic angiosperm flora whose diversity was shaped by the effects of continental drift and climate change since the Cretaceous. Prominent features of the Australian flora are adaptations to aridity and fire which include scleromorphy and serotiny; these adaptations are common in species from the large and well-known families Proteaceae and Fabaceae. The arrival of humans around 50,000 years ago and settlement by Europeans from 1788, has had a significant impact on the flora; the use of fire-stick farming by Aboriginal people led to significant changes in the distribution of plant species over time, the large-scale modification or destruction of vegetation for agriculture and urban development since 1788 has altered the composition of most terrestrial ecosystems, leading to the extinction of 61 plant species and endangering over 1000 more.
Austrial major commonwealth foundations Australia was part of the southern supercontinent Gondwana, which included South America, Africa and Antarctica. Most of the modern Australian flora had their origin in Gondwana during the Cretaceous when Australia was covered in subtropical rainforest. Australian ferns and gymnosperm bear strong resemblance to their Gondwanan ancestors, prominent members of the early Gondwanan angiosperm flora such as the Nothofagus and Proteaceae were present in Australia. Gondwana began to break up 140 million years ago; as Australia drifted and global climate change had a significant and lasting effect: a circumpolar oceanic current developed, atmospheric circulation increased as Australia moved away from Antarctica, precipitation fell, there was a slow warming of the continent and arid conditions started to develop. These conditions of geographic isolation and aridity led to the development of a more complex flora. From 25-10 MYA pollen records suggest the rapid radiation of species like Eucalyptus, Allocasuarina and the pea-flowered legumes, the development of open forest.
Collision with the Eurasian Plate led to additional South-east Asian and cosmopolitan elements entering the flora like the Lepidium and Chenopodioideae. The development of aridity and the old and nutrient poor soils of the continent led to some unique adaptations in the Australian flora and evolutionary radiation of genera – like Acacia and Eucalyptus – that adapted to those conditions. Hard leaves with a thick outer layer, a condition known as scleromorphy, C4 and CAM carbon fixation which reduce water loss during photosynthesis are two common adaptations in Australian arid-adapted dicot and monocot species respectively. Rising aridity increased the frequency of fires in Australia. Fire is thought to have played a role in the development and distribution of fire-adapted species from the Late Pleistocene. An increase in charcoal in sediment around 38,000 years ago coincides with dates for the inhabitation of Australia by the Indigenous Australians and suggests that man-made fires, from practices like fire-stick farming, have played an important role in the establishment and maintenance of sclerophyll forest on the east coast of Australia.
Adaptations to fire include lignotubers and epicormic buds in Eucalyptus and Banksia species that allow fast regeneration following fire. Some genera exhibit serotiny, the release of seed only in response to heat and/or smoke. Xanthorrhoea grass trees and some species of orchids only flower after fire. In biogeography and zoogeography, Australia alone is sometimes considered a realm, while some authors unite the area with other regions to form the Australasian realm. In phytogeography, the area is considered a floristic kingdom, with the following endemic families, according to Takhtajan: Platyzomataceae, Austrobaileyaceae, Gyrostemonaceae, Davidsoniaceae, Eremosynaceae, Emblingiaceae, Tremandraceae, Brunoniaceae, Doryanthaceae and Xanthorrhoeaceae, it is the center of origin of Eupomatiaceae, Epacridaceae, Stackhousiaceae and Goodeniaceae. Other families with high occurrences are Poaceae, Asteraceae, Euphorbiaceae, Rutaceae and Proteaceae. Australia's terrestrial flora can be collected into characteristic vegetation groups.
The most important determinant is rainfall, followed by temperature which affects water availability. Several schemes of varying complexity have been created, the most recent scheme developed by the Natural Heritage Trust divides Australia's terrestrial flora into 30 Major Vegetation Groups, 67 Major Vegetation Subgroups. According to the scheme the most common vegetation types are those that are adapted to arid conditions where the area has not been reduced by human activities such as land clearing for agriculture; the dominant vegetation type in Australia is the hummock grasslands that occur extensively in arid Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory. It accounts for 23% of the native vegetation, the predominant species of which are from the genus Triodia. Zygochloa occurs in inland sandy areas like the Simpson Desert. A furt
Center for Biological Diversity
The Center for Biological Diversity, based in Tucson, Arizona, is a nonprofit membership organization with 1.1 million members and online activists, known for its work protecting endangered species through legal action, scientific petitions, creative media and grassroots activism. It was founded in 1989 by Peter Galvin, Todd Schulke and Robin Silver; the Center has offices and staff in New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Minnesota, Vermont and Washington, D. C. Given a small grant by the Fund for Wild Nature, the organization started in 1989 as a small group by the name of Greater Gila Biodiversity Project, with the objective to protect endangered species and critical habitat in the southwest; the organization grew and became the Center for Biological Diversity. Kieran Suckling, Peter Galvin, Todd Schulke founded the organization in response to what they perceived as a failure on the part of the United States Forest Service to protect imperiled species from logging and mining; as surveyors in New Mexico, the three men discovered "a rare Mexican spotted owl nest in an old-growth tree", but their discovery was overshadowed by Forest Service plans to lease the land to timber companies.
Suckling and Schulke went to the media to register their outrage with success: the old-growth tree was allowed to stand, this success led to the founding of the Center for Biological Diversity. The Center focused on issues specific to the Southwestern United States, but today its mission encompasses far-reaching problems such as global threats to biological diversity and climate change. One of the Center's biggest recent victories was in 2011, when it reached a historic legal settlement with the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service compelling the agency to make progress on protecting 757 imperiled but neglected animals and plants; the Center employs a group of paid and pro bono attorneys to use litigation to effect change, claims a 93 percent success rate for their lawsuits. On 13 June 2007, the Center spoke out against a Bush administration proposal to reduce the protected area for spotted owls in the United States Pacific Northwest. According to Noah Greenwald, the group's representative in the Northwest, the proposed habitat cut is "typical of an administration, looking to reduce protections for endangered species at every turn."
Greenwald said that the rollback is part of a series of "sweetheart deals," in which the administration settles an environmental lawsuit out of court and, "at the industry's wishes, reduces the critical habitat." According to the Center, the move conforms to a broad trend that includes at least 25 earlier Bush administration decisions on habitat protections for endangered species. In those cases, the protected areas were reduced an average of 36 percent. On 16 December 2008, the Center announced intent to sue the United States government for introducing "regulations... that would eviscerate our nation’s most successful wildlife law by exempting thousands of federal activities, including those that generate greenhouse gases, from review under the Endangered Species Act." The lawsuit, critical of U. S. Interior Department Secretary Dirk Kempthorne and President George W. Bush, was filed in the Northern District of California by the Center and Defenders of Wildlife. According to the Center, "The lawsuit argues that the regulations violate the Endangered Species Act and did not go through the required public review process.
The regulations, first proposed on August 11th, were rushed by the Bush administration through an abbreviated process in which more than 300,000 comments from the public were reviewed in 2-3 weeks, environmental impacts were analyzed in a short and cursory environmental assessment, rather than a fuller environmental impact statement." Every year since 2007, the Center for Biological Diversity has given an award "to those who have done the most to destroy wild places and biological diversity". Environmental journalism List of environment topics Wildlife conservation Wildlife management Center for Biological Diversity website
Etymology is the study of the history of words. By extension, the term "the etymology" means the origin of the particular word and for place names, there is a specific term, toponymy. For Greek—with a long written history—etymologists make use of texts, texts about the language, to gather knowledge about how words were used during earlier periods and when they entered the language. Etymologists apply the methods of comparative linguistics to reconstruct information about languages that are too old for any direct information to be available. By analyzing related languages with a technique known as the comparative method, linguists can make inferences about their shared parent language and its vocabulary. In this way, word roots have been found that can be traced all the way back to the origin of, for instance, the Indo-European language family. Though etymological research grew from the philological tradition, much current etymological research is done on language families where little or no early documentation is available, such as Uralic and Austronesian.
The word etymology derives from the Greek word ἐτυμολογία, itself from ἔτυμον, meaning "true sense", the suffix -logia, denoting "the study of". In linguistics, the term etymon refers to a word or morpheme from which a word derives. For example, the Latin word candidus, which means "white", is the etymon of English candid. Etymologists apply a number of methods to study the origins of words, some of which are: Philological research. Changes in the form and meaning of the word can be traced with the aid of older texts, if such are available. Making use of dialectological data; the form or meaning of the word might show variations between dialects, which may yield clues about its earlier history. The comparative method. By a systematic comparison of related languages, etymologists may be able to detect which words derive from their common ancestor language and which were instead borrowed from another language; the study of semantic change. Etymologists must make hypotheses about changes in the meaning of particular words.
Such hypotheses are tested against the general knowledge of semantic shifts. For example, the assumption of a particular change of meaning may be substantiated by showing that the same type of change has occurred in other languages as well. Etymological theory recognizes that words originate through a limited number of basic mechanisms, the most important of which are language change, borrowing. While the origin of newly emerged words is more or less transparent, it tends to become obscured through time due to sound change or semantic change. Due to sound change, it is not obvious that the English word set is related to the word sit, it is less obvious that bless is related to blood. Semantic change may occur. For example, the English word bead meant "prayer", it acquired its modern meaning through the practice of counting the recitation of prayers by using beads. English derives from Old English, a West Germanic variety, although its current vocabulary includes words from many languages; the Old English roots may be seen in the similarity of numbers in English and German seven/sieben, eight/acht, nine/neun, ten/zehn.
Pronouns are cognate: I/mine/me and ich/mein/mich. However, language change has eroded many grammatical elements, such as the noun case system, simplified in modern English, certain elements of vocabulary, some of which are borrowed from French. Although many of the words in the English lexicon come from Romance languages, most of the common words used in English are of Germanic origin; when the Normans conquered England in 1066, they brought their Norman language with them. During the Anglo-Norman period, which united insular and continental territories, the ruling class spoke Anglo-Norman, while the peasants spoke the vernacular English of the time. Anglo-Norman was the conduit for the introduction of French into England, aided by the circulation of Langue d'oïl literature from France; this led to many paired words of English origin. For example, beef is related, through borrowing, to modern French bœuf, veal to veau, pork to porc, poultry to poulet. All these words and English, refer to the meat rather than to the animal.
Words that refer to farm animals, on the other hand, tend to be cognates of words in other Germanic languages. For example, swine/Schwein, cow/Kuh, calf/Kalb, sheep/Schaf; the variant usage has been explained by the proposition that it was the Norman rulers who ate meat and the Anglo-Saxons who farmed the animals. This explanation has been disputed. English has proved accommodating to words from many languages. Scientific terminology, for example, relies on words of Latin and Greek origin, but there are a great many non-scientific examples. Spanish has contributed many words in the southwestern United States. Examples include buckaroo, rodeo and states' names such as Colorado and Florida. Albino, lingo and coconut from Portuguese. Modern French has contributed café, naive and many more. Smorgasbord, slalom