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In Ethiopia the last decades of the nineteenth century
and the first of the twentieth were of crucial
importance. This period witnessed the rise of King,
after 1889 Emperor, Menilek, founder of the modern
Ethiopian state. He it was who established the
presentcapital, Addis Ababa, in 1886–7, defeated an
Italian colonial army at the battle of Adwain 1896,
and between 1905 and 1910 established a number of
modern institutions, including the first modern
bank, school, hospital, roads and railway. A notable
innovator, he was well content to utilise the skills
of Indians, as well as other foreigners, for
themodernisation of his age-old empire.
Fieldwork aimed at censusing Gumey's Pitta Pitta gumeyi in Peninsular Thailand was carried out over three field seasons. Fourteen sites were surveyed, at four of which the species was found. The main site (where it had been rediscovered in 1986) held 24–34 pairs, 12–18 of which were in the 500 ha study area. A second site held 3-6 pairs (but it is thought unlikely that this population still exists today), whilst the other two sites held only two pairs each and were thought to have negligible chances of survival. All territories were in semi-evergreen rainforest, below 150 m altitude. The current population i s probably some 20–30 pairs, with territories still being lost annually to deforestation. This is currently the total known world population; it is possible that the species may survive in southern Burma, but no recent surveys have been undertaken there. Furthermore, massive deforestation caused by Thai timber companies has been reported from Burma during 1988–1993. The interpretation of census results are discussed, particularly with reference to social organization and calling seasonality. The determined protection of the one remaining site supporting a viable population will be essential if the species is to survive into the next century.
When observed from a submersible, the mesopelagic paralepidid Notolepis rissoi (Pisces: Paralepididae) will hover head up with the body at about 45°. The fish's swimming motion is restricted to the extreme caudal region with most of the body rigid. The trunk lateral-line canal ends at about the position that caudal motion becomes noticeable and there is a great decrease in neuromast size near the posterior end of the canal. The size of the neuromasts is also inversely related to the percentage of red muscle at the same body level. The eyes have an aphakic space oriented dorso-anteriorly at about 45° to the body axis so that during hovering the aphakic space is oriented vertically. Retinal anatomy indicates that photoreceptors opposite the aphakic space appear to enhance resolution at the cost of sensitivity, whilst lateral photoreceptors enhance sensitivity at the expense of resolution. We interpret the swimming attitude and mechanics as adaptations to minimize self-induced oscillations which would be deleterious to visual and lateral-line function.
Indian commercial relations with the Red Sea area, and
in particular with Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa,
date back to the dawn of history. Craftsmen from the
sub-continent were also active in the Ethiopian
region for many centuries, most notably in the early
1620s when “a noble Indian” there is said, by the
Jesuit Affonso Mendes, to have thrown white pebbles
into the fire, as he had seen done in Cambay, and to
have thereby produced “a very glutinous lime”. The
then ruler of the country, Emperor Susenyos, was
reported by another of the Jesuits, Manoel de
Almeida, to have shortly afterwards given orders for
the construction of a stone bridge which was erected
by a craftsman from India. The latter, according to
a contemporary Ethiopian chronicle, was a Banyan
called Abdāl Kerim who was also responsible for
building Susenyos a palace at his capital
The last two letters of Emperor Tewodros II of Ethiopia, which were among the most important he ever wrote, have long been a subject of speculation. They were dictated at his mountain fortress of Mäqdäla (Magdala) on April 11 and 12 1868, and despatched to Sir Robert Napier, leader of a British expeditionary force, immediately prior to its capture of the citadel and the Emperor's dramatic suicide on April 13.