The wildebeest called the gnu, is an antelope in the genus Connochaetes. It belongs to the family Bovidae, which includes antelopes, goats and other even-toed horned ungulates. Connochaetes includes two species, both native to Africa: the black wildebeest or white-tailed gnu, the blue wildebeest or brindled gnu. Fossil records suggest these two species diverged about one million years ago, resulting in a northern and a southern species; the blue wildebeest remained in its original range and changed little from the ancestral species, while the black wildebeest changed more as adaptation to its open grassland habitat in the south. The most obvious way of telling the two species apart are the differences in their colouring and in the way their horns are oriented. In East Africa, the blue wildebeest is the most abundant big-game species. Breeding in both takes place over a short period of time at the end of the rainy season and the calves are soon active and are able to move with the herd, a fact necessary for their survival.

Some fall prey to large carnivores the spotted hyena. Wildebeest graze in mixed herds with zebra, which gives heightened awareness of potential predators, they are alert to the warning signals emitted by other animals such as baboons. Wildebeest are a tourist attraction but compete with domesticated livestock for pasture and are sometimes blamed by farmers for transferring diseases and parasites to their cattle; some illegal hunting goes on but the population trend is stable and some populations are in national parks or on private land. The International Union for Conservation of Nature lists both as least-concern species. Wildebeest is Dutch for "wild beast" or "wild cattle" in Afrikaans, while Connochaetes derives from the Greek words κόννος, kónnos, "beard", χαίτη, khaítē, "flowing hair", "mane"; some sources claim. Others contend the name and its pronunciation in English go back to the word!nu: used for the black wildebeest by the San people. The wildebeest, genus Connochaetes, is placed under the family Bovidae and subfamily Alcelaphinae, where its closest relatives are the hartebeest, the hirola, species in the genus Damaliscus, such as the topi, the tsessebe, the blesbok and the bontebok.

The name Connochaetes was given by German zoologist Hinrich Lichtenstein in 1812. Dutch settlers first discovered wildebeest in about 1700, on their way to the interior of South Africa. Due to their resemblance to wild cattle, these people called them "wild ox" or "wildebeest"; the blue wildebeest was first known to westerners in the northern part of South Africa a century in the 1800s. In the early 20th century, one species of the wildebeest, C. albojubatus, was identified in eastern Africa. In 1914, two separate races of the wildebeest were introduced, namely Gorgon a. albojubatus and G. a. mearnsi. However, in 1939, the two were once again merged into a single race, Connochaetes taurinus albojubatus. In the mid-20th century, two separate forms were recognised, Gorgon taurinus hecki and G. t. albojubatus. Two distinct types of wildebeest – the blue and black wildebeest – were identified; the blue wildebeest was at first placed under a separate genus, while the black wildebeest belonged to the genus Connochaetes.

Today, they are united in the single genus Connochaetes, with the black wildebeest being named and the blue wildebeest. According to a mitochondrial DNA analysis, the black wildebeest are estimated to have diverged from the main lineage during the Middle Pleistocene and became a distinct species around a million years ago. A divergence rate around 2% has been calculated; the split does not seem to have been driven by competition for resources, but instead because each species adopted a different ecological niche and occupied a different trophic level. Blue wildebeest fossils dating back some 2.5 million years ago are widespread. They have been found in the fossil-bearing caves at the Cradle of Humankind north of Johannesburg. Elsewhere in South Africa, they are plentiful at such sites as Elandsfontein and Florisbad; the earliest fossils of the black wildebeest were found in sedimentary rock in Cornelia in the Orange Free State and dated back about 800,000 years. Today, five subspecies of the blue wildebeest are recognised, while the black wildebeest has no named subspecies.

The diploid number of chromosomes in the wildebeest is 58. Chromosomes were studied in a female wildebeest. In the female, all except a pair of large submetacentric chromosomes were found to be acrocentric. Metaphases were studied in the male's chromosomes, large submetacentric chromosomes were found there, as well, similar to those in the female both in size and morphology. Other chromosomes were acrocentric; the X chromosome is the Y chromosome a minute one. The two species of the wildebeest are known to hybridise. Male black wildebeest have been reported to mate with female blue vice versa; the differences in social behaviour and habitats have prevented interspecific hybridisation between the species, but hybridisation may occur when they are both confined within the same area. The resulting offspring are fertile. A study of these hybrid animals at Spioenkop Dam Nature Reserve in South Africa revealed that many had disadvantageous abnormalities relating to

Costa Atlantica

Costa Atlantica is a Spirit-class cruise ship owned and operated by CSSC Carnival Cruise Shipping. She was built in 2000 by the Kvaerner Masa-Yards Helsinki New Shipyard in Finland. In 2010 Francesco Schettino the captain of the ill-fated Costa Concordia, was the captain of the Costa Atlantica as it entered the port of Warnemünde, Germany, at too high a speed causing damage to the AIDAblu a Carnival Corporation ship. Costa Atlantica is scheduled to be sold to CSSC Carnival Cruise Shipping in late 2019; each passenger deck on Costa Atlantica is named after a movie by the Italian director Federico Fellini. She is decorated with Carrara marble, Murano glass accents, in-laid mosaic tile, she replicates Venice's Caffè Florian. Official website Video Clip of Costa Atlantica Media related to Costa Atlantica at Wikimedia Commons

Garry Chalk

Garry Glen Chalk is a British-Canadian actor and voice actor. He has provided the voices for Optimus Primal of Beast Wars: Transformers and Beast Machines, as well as Optimus Prime in the anime English dubs of Transformers: Armada, Transformers Energon, Transformers: Cybertron, was the third American voice of Dr. Robotnik for Sonic Underground, he has lent his voice to over 30 animated television series and has been in films such as The Fly II, Godzilla and Freddy vs. Jason, he played the recurring role of Col. Chekov on Stargate SG-1, he is best known for his recurring role as Inspector Andrew Pawlachuk on Cold Squad. Chalk was born in Southampton, England on February 17, 1952 and, at the age of 5, moved with his family to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada on June 17, 1957. Wanting to become a teacher, a college play he saw made him want to pursue an acting career, he received his acting training at Studio 58. Chalk has been involved with professional theatre since 1978, has performed at the Vancouver Playhouse Theatre Company, the Arts Club Theatre Company, The Vancouver Theatresports League and numerous theatres in British Columbia and Alberta.

The last live stage production he did was A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, where he played Miles Gloriosus. He performed in Henry IV and As You Like It at the VPTC, as well as Dracula and Passion at the ACTC. A highly-prolific character actor, most of his career has been in film and television portraying a corrupt law enforcement officer, he had a recurring role on Cold Squad for four years, for which he won Gemini Awards in two consecutive years, until the close of its ninth season had a recurring role on the science-fiction series Stargate SG-1. Known for his perfect enunciation and his mellifluous deep voice, Chalk is a veteran of over 1,500 animated productions including Class of the Titans, the 2002 remake of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, he is known for his voice work in the Transformers franchise as the voice of Optimus Primal in Beast Wars and Beast Machines, as Optimus Prime in the Unicron Trilogy. He voiced the original Megatron in an episode of Beast Wars.

In the 2000s, he appeared in the Sci-Fi Channel shows Eureka, as Col. Briggs and Painkiller Jane, as Ruben Hennessey. Chalk is a proficient guitarist and singer and performs his music when he makes public appearances and at conventions. Gemini Awards 2000–2001 Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series: Cold Squad 2001–2002 Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series: Cold Squad Garry Chalk on IMDb Garry Chalk at Anime News Network's encyclopedia Garry Chalk convention appearances on