PAF-KIET 1/29/2011

Peregrine Falcon

The Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus), also known as the Peregrine, and historically as the "Duck Hawk" in North America,is a cosmopolitan bird of prey in the family Falconidae. The Peregrine is renowned for its speed, reaching speeds of over 320 km/h (200 mph) during its characteristic hunting stoop, making it the fastest extant member of the animal kingdom. It is a large, crow-sized falcon, with a blue-gray back, barred white underparts, and a black head and "moustache". Experts recognize 17 to 19 subspecies which vary in appearance and range; there is disagreement over whether the distinctive Barbary Falcon is a subspecies or a distinctspecies. Typical of bird-eating raptors, all subspecies of F. peregrinus, including the nominate, aresexually dimorphic, with females being considerably larger than males. The Peregrine's breeding range includes land regions from the Arctic tundra to the Tropics. It can be found nearly everywhere on Earth, except extreme polar regions, very high mountains, and most tropical rainforests; the only major ice-free landmass from which it is entirely absent is New Zealand. This fact makes it the world's most widespread bird of prey. Both the English and scientific names of this species mean "wandering falcon", referring to the migratory habits of many northern populations. While its diet consists almost exclusively of medium-sized birds, the Peregrine will occasionally hunt small mammals, small reptiles or even insects. Reaching sexual maturity at one year, it mates for life and nests in a scrape, normally on cliff edges or, in recent times, on tall humanmade structures. The Peregrine Falcon became an endangered species in many areas due to the use of pesticides, especially DDT. Since the ban on DDT from the beginning of the 1970s onwards, the populations recovered, supported by large scale protection of nesting places and releases to the wild.

The Black Shaheen Falcon, also known as the Indian Peregrine Falcon, is discussed here by using morphological parameters including plumage coloration and pattern. Also discussed is the geographic variation within the subspecies, with DNA sequencing used to allow conclusions to be drawn between the phylogenetic relationships of peregrine subspecies. Historical data and records from the black shaheen in Sri Lanka as early as from 1876 until 2000 are also presented and analysed.


A salamander is an amphibian who belongs to the order Caudata family Salamandridae. Both newts and salamanders are of the same family; newts however, are a sub-genus salamanders. Salamanders have a moist skin that must remain so at all times. This is why they live near or in aquatic environments. They all typically have short noses, short limbs and long tails. Aquatic salamanders have a flat "paddle" shaped tail, whereas a semi-aquatic or terrestrial salamander will have a straight tail. All salamanders go through metamorphosis. This starts as an egg, develops into the larval stage which is tadpole like in appearance, the animal then grows limbs and eventually loses its gills and crawls out onto land. Not all salamanders will become terrestrial, but they do all share a similarly terrestrial appearance. Axolotls will never leave the water as they reach sexual maturity with gills still intact. Salamander is a common name of approximately 500 species of amphibians. They are typically characterized by their slender bodies, short noses, and long tails. All known fossils and extinct species fall under the order Caudata, while sometimes the extant species are grouped together as the UrodelaMost salamanders have four toes on their front legs and five on their rear legs. Their moist skin usually makes them reliant on habitats in or near water, or under some protection (e.g., moist ground), often in a wetland. Some salamander species are fully aquatic throughout life, some take to the water intermittently, and some are entirely terrestrial as

adults. Unique among vertebrates, they are capable of regenerating lost limbs, as well as other body parts.

Mythological study
Numerous legends have developed around the salamander over the centuries, many related to fire. This connection likely originates from the tendency of many salamanders to dwell inside rotting logs. When placed into a fire, the salamander would attempt to escape from the log, lending to the belief that salamanders were created from flames a belief that gave the creature its name. Associations of the salamander with fire appear in the writings of Aristotle, Pliny, the Talmud, Conrad Lycosthenes, Benvenuto Cellini, Ray Bradbury, David Weber, Paracelsus and Leonardo da Vinci.

Philosophers' stone
The philosophers' stone (Latin: lapis philosophorum) is a legendary alchemical substance, said to be capable of turning base metals, especially lead, into gold(chrysopoeia); it was also sometimes believed to be an elixir of life, useful forrejuvenation and possibly for achieving immortality. For a long time, it was the most sought-after goal in Western alchemy, meditated upon by alchemists like Sir Isaac Newton, Nicolas Flamel, and Frater Albertus. The Stone was the central symbol of the mystical terminology of alchemy, symbolizing perfection, enlightenment, and heavenly bliss. The discovery of the philosopher's stone was known as the Great Work.

The origins of the philosopher's stone seem to be in ancient Hinduism. The Yoga Vasistha, written between the 10th and 14th century AD, contains a story about the Philosopher's stone (Cintamani). A great Hindu sage wrote about the spiritual accomplishment of Gnosis using the metaphor of the philosopher's stone. Saint Jnaneshwar(1275-1296), wrote a commentary with 17 references to the philosopher's stone that explicitly transmutes base metal into gold. The seventh century Indian sage Thirumoolar in his classic Tirumandhiram explains man's path to immortal divinity.

In verse 2709 he declares that the name of God, Shiva or the god Shambala, is an alchemical vehicle that turns the body into immortal gold. His poetry resonates with the deathless nature of spiritual attainment. And since God Shiva is usually depicted through a Shivalinga, a sculpted stone, this is possibly the origin.


Ægypt (1987 2007), by J. Crowley The Case of Charles Dexter Ward (1927), by H. P. Lovecraft The Trumpeter of Krakow (1928), by Eric P. Kelly The Philosopher's Stone(1969), by Colin Wilson The Alchemist (1988), by Paulo Coelho Indiana Jones and the Philosopher's Stone (1995), by Max McCoy Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (1997), by J.K. Rowling Fullmetal Alchemist (2001 2010), by Hiromu Arakawa The Six Sacred Stones (2007 AUS or 2008 US and UK), by Matthew Reilly Frankenstein;or, the Modern Prometheus (1818 JAN), by Mary Shelley The 39 Clues Grimpow, by Rafael Abalos The Alchemist, by Ben Jonson The Alchemyst: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel (2007), by Michael Scott