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Colbert Presenting the Members of the Royal Academy of Sciences to Louis XIV in 1667.PNG

Members of the Academy in 1667 with Louis XIV

Science is a systematic endeavor that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe.

The earliest written records in the history of science come from Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia in around 3000 to 1200 BCE. Their contributions to mathematics, astronomy, and medicine entered and shaped Greek natural philosophy of classical antiquity, whereby formal attempts were made to provide explanations of events in the physical world based on natural causes. After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, knowledge of Greek conceptions of the world deteriorated in Western Europe during the early centuries (400 to 1000 CE) of the Middle Ages, but was preserved in the Muslim world during the Islamic Golden Age and later by the efforts of Byzantine Greek scholars who brought Greek manuscripts from the dying Byzantine Empire to Western Europe in the Renaissance.

The recovery and assimilation of Greek works and Islamic inquiries into Western Europe from the 10th to 13th century revived "natural philosophy", which was later transformed by the Scientific Revolution that began in the 16th century as new ideas and discoveries departed from previous Greek conceptions and traditions. The scientific method soon played a greater role in knowledge creation and it was not until the 19th century that many of the institutional and professional features of science began to take shape, along with the changing of "natural philosophy" to "natural science".

Modern science is typically divided into three major branches: natural sciences (e.g., biology, chemistry, and physics), which study the physical world; the social sciences (e.g., economics, psychology, and sociology), which study individuals and societies; and the formal sciences (e.g., logic, mathematics, and theoretical computer science), which study formal systems, governed by axioms and rules. There is disagreement whether the formal sciences are science disciplines, because they do not rely on empirical evidence. Applied sciences are disciplines that use scientific knowledge for practical purposes, such as in engineering and medicine.

New knowledge in science is advanced by research from scientists who are motivated by curiosity about the world and a desire to solve problems. Contemporary scientific research is highly collaborative and is usually done by teams in academic and research institutions, government agencies, and companies. The practical impact of their work has led to the emergence of science policies that seek to influence the scientific enterprise by prioritizing the ethical and moral development of commercial products, armaments, health care, public infrastructure, and environmental protection. (Full article...)

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  Featured articles are displayed here, which represent some of the best content on English Wikipedia.

  • Image 1 Chalciporus piperatus, commonly known as the peppery bolete, is a small pored mushroom of the family Boletaceae found in mixed woodland in Europe and North America. It has been recorded under introduced trees in Brazil, and has become naturalised in Tasmania and spread under native Nothofagus cunninghamii trees. A small bolete, the fruit body has a 1.6–9 cm (5⁄8–3+1⁄2 in) orange-fawn cap with cinnamon to brown pores underneath, and a 4–9.5 cm (1+5⁄8–3+3⁄4 in) high by 0.6–1.2 cm (1⁄4–1⁄2 in) thick stipe. The flesh has a very peppery taste. The rare variety hypochryseus, found only in Europe, has yellow pores and tubes. Described by Pierre Bulliard in 1790 as Boletus piperatus, it is only distantly related to other members of the genus Boletus and was reclassified as Chalciporus piperatus by Frédéric Bataille in 1908. The genus Chalciporus was an early branching lineage in the Boletaceae and appears to be related to boletes with parasitic properties. Previously thought to be ectomycorrhizal (a symbiotic relationship that occurs between a fungus and the roots of various plant species), C. piperatus is now suspected of being parasitic on Amanita muscaria. (Full article...)
  • Image 2An artist's impression of the Oort cloud and the Kuiper belt (inset); the sizes of objects are over-scaled for visibility.The Oort cloud (/ɔːrt, ʊərt/), sometimes called the Öpik–Oort cloud, first described in 1950 by the Dutch astronomer Jan Oort, is a theoretical concept of a cloud of predominantly icy planetesimals proposed to surround the Sun at distances ranging from 2,000 to 200,000 AU (0.03 to 3.2 light-years). It is divided into two regions: a disc-shaped inner Oort cloud (or Hills cloud) and a spherical outer Oort cloud. Both regions lie beyond the heliosphere and are in interstellar space. The Kuiper belt, the scattered disc and the detached objects, the other three reservoirs of trans-Neptunian objects, are less than one thousandth as far from the Sun as the Oort cloud.The outer limit of the Oort cloud defines the cosmographic boundary of the Solar System and the extent of the Sun's Hill sphere. The outer Oort cloud is only loosely bound to the Solar System, and thus is easily affected by the gravitational pull both of passing stars and of the Milky Way itself. These forces occasionally dislodge comets from their orbits within the cloud and send them toward the inner Solar System. Based on their orbits, most of the short-period comets may come from the scattered disc, but some short-period comets may have originated from the Oort cloud. (Full article...)
    PIA17046 - Voyager 1 Goes Interstellar.jpg
    An artist's impression of the Oort cloud and the Kuiper belt (inset); the sizes of objects are over-scaled for visibility.

    The Oort cloud (/ɔːrt, ʊərt/), sometimes called the Öpik–Oort cloud, first described in 1950 by the Dutch astronomer Jan Oort, is a theoretical concept of a cloud of predominantly icy planetesimals proposed to surround the Sun at distances ranging from 2,000 to 200,000 AU (0.03 to 3.2 light-years). It is divided into two regions: a disc-shaped inner Oort cloud (or Hills cloud) and a spherical outer Oort cloud. Both regions lie beyond the heliosphere and are in interstellar space. The Kuiper belt, the scattered disc and the detached objects, the other three reservoirs of trans-Neptunian objects, are less than one thousandth as far from the Sun as the Oort cloud.

    The outer limit of the Oort cloud defines the cosmographic boundary of the Solar System and the extent of the Sun's Hill sphere. The outer Oort cloud is only loosely bound to the Solar System, and thus is easily affected by the gravitational pull both of passing stars and of the Milky Way itself. These forces occasionally dislodge comets from their orbits within the cloud and send them toward the inner Solar System. Based on their orbits, most of the short-period comets may come from the scattered disc, but some short-period comets may have originated from the Oort cloud. (Full article...)
  • Absorption lines in the visible spectrum of a supercluster of distant galaxies (right), as compared to absorption lines in the visible spectrum of the Sun (left). Arrows indicate redshift. Wavelength increases up towards the red and beyond (frequency decreases).
    Absorption lines in the visible spectrum of a supercluster of distant galaxies (right), as compared to absorption lines in the visible spectrum of the Sun (left). Arrows indicate redshift. Wavelength increases up towards the red and beyond (frequency decreases).
  • Image 4 The Horncastle boar
  • Image 5Male in breeding plumagesubspecies cyanochlamysThe superb fairywren (Malurus cyaneus) is a passerine bird in the Australasian wren family, Maluridae, and is common and familiar across south-eastern Australia. It is a sedentary and territorial species, also exhibiting a high degree of sexual dimorphism; the male in breeding plumage has a striking bright blue forehead, ear coverts, mantle, and tail, with a black mask and black or dark blue throat. Non-breeding males, females and juveniles are predominantly grey-brown in colour; this gave the early impression that males were polygamous, as all dull-coloured birds were taken for females. Six subspecies groups are recognized: three larger and darker forms from Tasmania, Flinders and King Island respectively, and three smaller and paler forms from mainland Australia and Kangaroo Island.Like other fairywrens, the superb fairywren is notable for several peculiar behavioural characteristics; the birds are socially monogamous and sexually promiscuous, meaning that although they form pairs between one male and one female, each partner will mate with other individuals and even assist in raising the young from such pairings. Male wrens pluck yellow petals and display them to females as part of a courtship display. (Full article...)
    Malurus cyaneus cyanochlamys .jpg
    Male in breeding plumage
    subspecies cyanochlamys

    The superb fairywren (Malurus cyaneus) is a passerine bird in the Australasian wren family, Maluridae, and is common and familiar across south-eastern Australia. It is a sedentary and territorial species, also exhibiting a high degree of sexual dimorphism; the male in breeding plumage has a striking bright blue forehead, ear coverts, mantle, and tail, with a black mask and black or dark blue throat. Non-breeding males, females and juveniles are predominantly grey-brown in colour; this gave the early impression that males were polygamous, as all dull-coloured birds were taken for females. Six subspecies groups are recognized: three larger and darker forms from Tasmania, Flinders and King Island respectively, and three smaller and paler forms from mainland Australia and Kangaroo Island.

    Like other fairywrens, the superb fairywren is notable for several peculiar behavioural characteristics; the birds are socially monogamous and sexually promiscuous, meaning that although they form pairs between one male and one female, each partner will mate with other individuals and even assist in raising the young from such pairings. Male wrens pluck yellow petals and display them to females as part of a courtship display. (Full article...)
  • Simplified view of the cellular metabolism
    Simplified view of the cellular metabolism
  • Image 7Cast of the holotype specimen of Megarachne exhibited at Royal Ontario MuseumMegarachne is a genus of eurypterid, an extinct group of aquatic arthropods. Fossils of Megarachne have been discovered in deposits of Late Carboniferous age, from the Gzhelian stage, in San Luis, Argentina. The fossils of the single and type species M. servinei have been recovered from deposits that had once been a freshwater environment. The generic name, composed of the Ancient Greek μέγας (megas) meaning "great" and Ancient Greek ἀράχνη (arachne) meaning "spider", translates to "great spider", because the fossil was misidentified as a large prehistoric spider.With a body length of 54 cm (21 in), Megarachne was a medium-sized eurypterid. If the original identification as a spider had been correct, Megarachne would have been the largest known spider to have ever lived. Eurypterids such as Megarachne are often called "sea scorpions", but the strata in which Megarachne has been found indicates that it dwelled in freshwater and not in marine environments. (Full article...)
    Megarachne servinei.jpg
    Cast of the holotype specimen of Megarachne exhibited at Royal Ontario Museum

    Megarachne is a genus of eurypterid, an extinct group of aquatic arthropods. Fossils of Megarachne have been discovered in deposits of Late Carboniferous age, from the Gzhelian stage, in San Luis, Argentina. The fossils of the single and type species M. servinei have been recovered from deposits that had once been a freshwater environment. The generic name, composed of the Ancient Greek μέγας (megas) meaning "great" and Ancient Greek ἀράχνη (arachne) meaning "spider", translates to "great spider", because the fossil was misidentified as a large prehistoric spider.

    With a body length of 54 cm (21 in), Megarachne was a medium-sized eurypterid. If the original identification as a spider had been correct, Megarachne would have been the largest known spider to have ever lived. Eurypterids such as Megarachne are often called "sea scorpions", but the strata in which Megarachne has been found indicates that it dwelled in freshwater and not in marine environments. (Full article...)
  • Image 8Cretoxyrhina mantelli tooth from New Jersey, USA; Naturhistorisches Museum (Vienna)Cretoxyrhina (/krɪˌtɒksiˈrhaɪnə/; meaning 'Cretaceous sharp-nose') is an extinct genus of large mackerel shark that lived about 107 to 73 million years ago during the late Albian to late Campanian of the Late Cretaceous. The type species, C. mantelli, is more commonly referred to as the Ginsu shark, first popularized in reference to the Ginsu knife, as its theoretical feeding mechanism is often compared with the "slicing and dicing" when one uses the knife. Cretoxyrhina is traditionally classified as the likely sole member of the family Cretoxyrhinidae but other taxonomic placements have been proposed, such as within the Alopiidae and Lamnidae.Measuring up to 8 meters (26 ft) in length and weighing over 4,944 kilograms (4.866 long tons; 5.450 short tons), Cretoxyrhina was one of the largest sharks of its time. Having a similar appearance and build to the modern great white shark, it was an apex predator in its ecosystem and preyed on a large variety of marine animals including mosasaurs and plesiosaurs, sharks and other large fish, pterosaurs, and occasionally dinosaurs. Its teeth, up to 8 centimeters (3 in) in height, were razor-like and had thick enamel built for stabbing and slicing prey. Cretoxyrhina was also among the fastest-swimming sharks, with hydrodynamic calculations suggesting burst speed capabilities of up to 70 kilometers per hour (43 mph). It has been speculated that Cretoxyrhina hunted by lunging at its prey at high speeds to inflict powerful blows, similar to the great white shark today, and relied on strong eyesight to do so. (Full article...)
    Zahn eines Cretoxyrhina mantelli.JPG
    Cretoxyrhina mantelli tooth from New Jersey, USA; Naturhistorisches Museum (Vienna)

    Cretoxyrhina (/krɪˌtɒksiˈrhnə/; meaning 'Cretaceous sharp-nose') is an extinct genus of large mackerel shark that lived about 107 to 73 million years ago during the late Albian to late Campanian of the Late Cretaceous. The type species, C. mantelli, is more commonly referred to as the Ginsu shark, first popularized in reference to the Ginsu knife, as its theoretical feeding mechanism is often compared with the "slicing and dicing" when one uses the knife. Cretoxyrhina is traditionally classified as the likely sole member of the family Cretoxyrhinidae but other taxonomic placements have been proposed, such as within the Alopiidae and Lamnidae.


    Measuring up to 8 meters (26 ft) in length and weighing over 4,944 kilograms (4.866 long tons; 5.450 short tons), Cretoxyrhina was one of the largest sharks of its time. Having a similar appearance and build to the modern great white shark, it was an apex predator in its ecosystem and preyed on a large variety of marine animals including mosasaurs and plesiosaurs, sharks and other large fish, pterosaurs, and occasionally dinosaurs. Its teeth, up to 8 centimeters (3 in) in height, were razor-like and had thick enamel built for stabbing and slicing prey. Cretoxyrhina was also among the fastest-swimming sharks, with hydrodynamic calculations suggesting burst speed capabilities of up to 70 kilometers per hour (43 mph). It has been speculated that Cretoxyrhina hunted by lunging at its prey at high speeds to inflict powerful blows, similar to the great white shark today, and relied on strong eyesight to do so. (Full article...)
  • Image 9Buruli ulcer lesions. Top-left, an early ulcer. Top-right, a larger ulcer across the lower arm and wrist. Bottom, a large ulcer on the thigh.Buruli ulcer (/bəˈruːli/) is an infectious disease characterized by the development of painless open wounds. The disease is limited to certain areas of the world, most cases occurring in Sub-Saharan Africa and Australia. The first sign of infection is a small painless nodule or area of swelling, typically on the arms or legs. The nodule grows larger over days to weeks, eventually forming an open ulcer. Deep ulcers can cause scarring of muscles and tendons, resulting in permanent disability.Buruli ulcer is caused by skin infection with bacteria called Mycobacterium ulcerans. The mechanism by which M. ulcerans is transmitted from the environment to humans is not known, but may involve the bite of an aquatic insect or the infection of open wounds. Once in the skin, M. ulcerans grows and releases the toxin mycolactone, which blocks the normal function of cells, resulting in tissue death and immune suppression at the site of the ulcer. (Full article...)
    Buruli ulcers grouped image.png
    Buruli ulcer lesions. Top-left, an early ulcer. Top-right, a larger ulcer across the lower arm and wrist. Bottom, a large ulcer on the thigh.

    Buruli ulcer (/bəˈrli/) is an infectious disease characterized by the development of painless open wounds. The disease is limited to certain areas of the world, most cases occurring in Sub-Saharan Africa and Australia. The first sign of infection is a small painless nodule or area of swelling, typically on the arms or legs. The nodule grows larger over days to weeks, eventually forming an open ulcer. Deep ulcers can cause scarring of muscles and tendons, resulting in permanent disability.

    Buruli ulcer is caused by skin infection with bacteria called Mycobacterium ulcerans. The mechanism by which M. ulcerans is transmitted from the environment to humans is not known, but may involve the bite of an aquatic insect or the infection of open wounds. Once in the skin, M. ulcerans grows and releases the toxin mycolactone, which blocks the normal function of cells, resulting in tissue death and immune suppression at the site of the ulcer. (Full article...)
  • Image 10 Drymoreomys is a rodent genus in the tribe Oryzomyini that lives in the Atlantic Forest of Brazil. The single species, D. albimaculatus, is known only from the states of São Paulo and Santa Catarina and was not named until 2011. It lives in the humid forest on the eastern slopes of the Serra do Mar and perhaps reproduces year-round. Although its range is relatively large and includes some protected areas, it is patchy and threatened, and the discoverers recommend that the animal be considered "Near Threatened" on the IUCN Red List. Within Oryzomyini, Drymoreomys appears to be most closely related to Eremoryzomys from the Andes of Peru, a biogeographically unusual relationship, in that the two populations are widely separated and each is adapted to an arid or a moist environment. With a body mass of 44–64 g (1.6–2.3 oz), Drymoreomys is a medium-sized rodent with long fur that is orange to reddish-buff above and grayish with several white patches below. The pads on the hindfeet are very well developed and there is brown fur on the upper sides of the feet. The tail is brown above and below. The front part of the skull is relatively long and the ridges on the braincase are weak. The palate is short, with its back margin between the third molars. Several traits of the genitals are not seen in any other oryzomyine rodent. (Full article...)
  • Image 11The volcano-caldera complex in the north of LombokIn 1257, a catastrophic eruption occurred at the Samalas volcano on the Indonesian island of Lombok. The event had a probable Volcanic Explosivity Index of 7, making it one of the largest volcanic eruptions during the current Holocene epoch. It left behind a large caldera that contains Lake Segara Anak. Later volcanic activity created more volcanic centres in the caldera, including the Barujari cone, which remains active.The event created eruption columns reaching tens of kilometres into the atmosphere and pyroclastic flows that buried much of Lombok and crossed the sea to reach the neighbouring island of Sumbawa. The flows destroyed human habitations, including the city of Pamatan, which was the capital of a kingdom on Lombok. Ash from the eruption fell as far as 340 kilometres (210 mi) away in Java; the volcano deposited more than 10 cubic kilometres (2.4 cu mi) of rocks and ash. (Full article...)
    Lombok Topography (labelled).png
    The volcano-caldera complex in the north of Lombok

    In 1257, a catastrophic eruption occurred at the Samalas volcano on the Indonesian island of Lombok. The event had a probable Volcanic Explosivity Index of 7, making it one of the largest volcanic eruptions during the current Holocene epoch. It left behind a large caldera that contains Lake Segara Anak. Later volcanic activity created more volcanic centres in the caldera, including the Barujari cone, which remains active.

    The event created eruption columns reaching tens of kilometres into the atmosphere and pyroclastic flows that buried much of Lombok and crossed the sea to reach the neighbouring island of Sumbawa. The flows destroyed human habitations, including the city of Pamatan, which was the capital of a kingdom on Lombok. Ash from the eruption fell as far as 340 kilometres (210 mi) away in Java; the volcano deposited more than 10 cubic kilometres (2.4 cu mi) of rocks and ash. (Full article...)
  • Image 12Capella is the brightest star in AurigaCapella is the brightest star in the northern constellation of Auriga. It has the Bayer designation α Aurigae, which is Latinised to Alpha Aurigae and abbreviated Alpha Aur or α Aur. Capella is the sixth-brightest star in the night sky, and the third-brightest in the northern celestial hemisphere after Arcturus and Vega. A prominent object in the northern winter sky, it is circumpolar to observers north of 44°N. Its name meaning "little goat" in Latin, Capella depicted the goat Amalthea that suckled Zeus in classical mythology. Capella is relatively close, at 42.9 light-years (13.2 pc) from the Sun. It is one of the brightest X-ray sources in the sky, thought to come primarily from the corona of Capella Aa.Although it appears to be a single star to the naked eye, Capella is actually a quadruple star system organized in two binary pairs, made up of the stars Capella Aa, Capella Ab, Capella H and Capella L. The primary pair, Capella Aa and Capella Ab, are two bright-yellow giant stars, both of which are around 2.5 times as massive as the Sun. The secondary pair, Capella H and Capella L, are around 10,000 astronomical units (AU) from the first and are two faint, small and relatively cool red dwarfs. (Full article...)
    Auriga constellation map.svg
    Capella is the brightest star in Auriga

    Capella is the brightest star in the northern constellation of Auriga. It has the Bayer designation α Aurigae, which is Latinised to Alpha Aurigae and abbreviated Alpha Aur or α Aur. Capella is the sixth-brightest star in the night sky, and the third-brightest in the northern celestial hemisphere after Arcturus and Vega. A prominent object in the northern winter sky, it is circumpolar to observers north of 44°N. Its name meaning "little goat" in Latin, Capella depicted the goat Amalthea that suckled Zeus in classical mythology. Capella is relatively close, at 42.9 light-years (13.2 pc) from the Sun. It is one of the brightest X-ray sources in the sky, thought to come primarily from the corona of Capella Aa.

    Although it appears to be a single star to the naked eye, Capella is actually a quadruple star system organized in two binary pairs, made up of the stars Capella Aa, Capella Ab, Capella H and Capella L. The primary pair, Capella Aa and Capella Ab, are two bright-yellow giant stars, both of which are around 2.5 times as massive as the Sun. The secondary pair, Capella H and Capella L, are around 10,000 astronomical units (AU) from the first and are two faint, small and relatively cool red dwarfs. (Full article...)
  • Image 13Indian roller in Kanha National Park, IndiaThe Indian roller (Coracias benghalensis) is a bird of the family Coraciidae. It is 30–34 cm (12–13 in) long with a wingspan of 65–74 cm (26–29 in) and weighs 166–176 g (5.9–6.2 oz). The face and throat are pinkish, the head and back are brown, with blue on the rump and contrasting light and dark blue on the wings and tail. The bright blue markings on the wing are prominent in flight. The sexes are similar in appearance. Two subspecies are recognised.The Indian roller occurs widely from West Asia to the Indian subcontinent. Often found perched on roadside trees and wires, it is common in open grassland and scrub forest habitats, and has adapted well to human-modified landscapes. It mainly feeds on insects, especially beetles. The species is best known for the aerobatic displays of males during the breeding season. Adult males and females form pair bonds and raise the young together. The female lays 3–5 eggs in a cavity or crevice, which is lined with a thin mat of straw or feathers. The roller is the state bird of three Indian states. It is listed as a species of least concern on the IUCN Red List. (Full article...)
    Indian roller (Coracias benghalensis benghalensis).jpg
    Indian roller in Kanha National Park, India

    The Indian roller (Coracias benghalensis) is a bird of the family Coraciidae. It is 30–34 cm (12–13 in) long with a wingspan of 65–74 cm (26–29 in) and weighs 166–176 g (5.9–6.2 oz). The face and throat are pinkish, the head and back are brown, with blue on the rump and contrasting light and dark blue on the wings and tail. The bright blue markings on the wing are prominent in flight. The sexes are similar in appearance. Two subspecies are recognised.

    The Indian roller occurs widely from West Asia to the Indian subcontinent. Often found perched on roadside trees and wires, it is common in open grassland and scrub forest habitats, and has adapted well to human-modified landscapes. It mainly feeds on insects, especially beetles. The species is best known for the aerobatic displays of males during the breeding season. Adult males and females form pair bonds and raise the young together. The female lays 3–5 eggs in a cavity or crevice, which is lined with a thin mat of straw or feathers. The roller is the state bird of three Indian states. It is listed as a species of least concern on the IUCN Red List. (Full article...)
  • Image 14 Lycoperdon perlatum, popularly known as the common puffball, warted puffball, gem-studded puffball, wolf farts or the devil
  • Image 15The location of the circle in 2005; the stones are so small that discerning the site is difficultWithypool Stone Circle, also known as Withypool Hill Stone Circle, is a stone circle located on the Exmoor moorland, near the village of Withypool in the southwestern English county of Somerset. The ring is part of a tradition of stone circle construction that spread throughout much of Britain, Ireland, and Brittany during the Late Neolithic and Early Bronze Age, over a period between 3300 and 900 BCE. The purpose of such monuments is unknown, although archaeologists speculate that the stones represented supernatural entities for the circle's builders.Many monuments were built in Exmoor during the Bronze Age, but only two stone circles survive in this area: the other is Porlock Stone Circle. The Withypool ring is located on the south-western slope of Withypool Hill, on an area of heathland. It is about 36.4 metres (119 feet 5 inches) in diameter. Around thirty small gritstones remain, although there may originally have been around 100; there are conspicuous gaps on the northern and western sides of the monument. The site was rediscovered in 1898 and surveyed by the archaeologist Harold St George Gray in 1905. (Full article...)
    Stone Circle on Withypool Hill - geograph.org.uk - 53966.jpg
    The location of the circle in 2005; the stones are so small that discerning the site is difficult

    Withypool Stone Circle, also known as Withypool Hill Stone Circle, is a stone circle located on the Exmoor moorland, near the village of Withypool in the southwestern English county of Somerset. The ring is part of a tradition of stone circle construction that spread throughout much of Britain, Ireland, and Brittany during the Late Neolithic and Early Bronze Age, over a period between 3300 and 900 BCE. The purpose of such monuments is unknown, although archaeologists speculate that the stones represented supernatural entities for the circle's builders.

    Many monuments were built in Exmoor during the Bronze Age, but only two stone circles survive in this area: the other is Porlock Stone Circle. The Withypool ring is located on the south-western slope of Withypool Hill, on an area of heathland. It is about 36.4 metres (119 feet 5 inches) in diameter. Around thirty small gritstones remain, although there may originally have been around 100; there are conspicuous gaps on the northern and western sides of the monument. The site was rediscovered in 1898 and surveyed by the archaeologist Harold St George Gray in 1905. (Full article...)

Selected image

Paramecium aurelia, the best known of all. The bubbles throughout the cell are vacuoles. The entire surface is covered in cilia, which are blurred by their rapid movement. Cilia are short, hair-like projections that help with locomotion.
Paramecium aurelia, the best known of all ciliates. The bubbles throughout the cell are vacuoles. The entire surface is covered in cilia, which are blurred by their rapid movement. Cilia are short, hair-like projections that help with locomotion.

Selected biography

Painting of Francis Willughby by Gerard Soest between 1657 and 1660
Francis Willughby (sometimes spelt Willoughby, Latin: Franciscus Willughbeius) FRS (22 November 1635 – 3 July 1672) was an English ornithologist and ichthyologist, and an early student of linguistics and games.

Willughby, Ray, and others such as John Wilkins were advocates of a new way of studying science, relying on observation and classification, rather than the received authority of Aristotle and the Bible. To this end, Willughby, Ray and their friends undertook a number of journeys to gather information and specimens, initially in England and Wales, but culminating in an extensive tour of continental Europe, visiting museums, libraries and private collections as well as studying local animals and plants. After their continental tour, he and Ray lived and worked mainly at Middleton Hall. Willughby married Emma Barnard in 1668 and the couple had three children.

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27 January 2023 – Rewilding
Cheetah reintroduction in India
South Africa agrees to send twelve cheetahs to India each year for the next eight to ten years to help secure a viable wild population. The Asiatic cheetah went extinct in India in the 1940s due to overhunting and habitat destruction. (BBC News)
24 January 2023 – Doomsday Clock
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists announces that the Doomsday Clock has been moved up to 90 seconds before midnight, largely due to the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine. (NPR) (CNN)
16 December 2022 –
The AquaDom aquarium in Berlin, Germany, home to 1,500 tropical fish of more than 100 different species, bursts, flooding local streets. The majority of the fish die during the incident, and two people are injured. (BBC News)
25 November 2022 –
At the 19th CITES Conference of the Parties in Panama City, member states adopt stricter measures on the trade of 54 requiem and hammerhead shark species. (AFP via Voice of America)

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