Related topics: malaria · europe

New study investigates the microbiomes of dogs around the world

Although the microbiome—the collection of all microbes that live in the body—in the fecal matter of dogs has been investigated extensively, those studies have mostly been limited to domesticated dogs. In a new study, ...

Long road ahead to hammer out UN biodiversity blueprint

Delegates from almost 200 nations have made little progress towards hammering out a blueprint for a global pact to protect nature from human activity, after almost a week of difficult talks in Nairobi.

USDA-ARS releases genome of the voracious desert locust

The first high-quality genome of the desert locust—those voracious feeders of plague and devastation infamy and the most destructive migratory insect in the world—has been produced by U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural ...

Light traveling in a distorting medium can appear undistorted

A team led by researchers at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, with collaborators from the University of Pretoria (South Africa), as well as Mexico and Scotland, have made a new discovery ...

Methane levels surged in 2020 despite lockdowns

Levels of methane, the second most important greenhouse gas in our atmosphere, continued their unrelenting rise in 2020 despite the economic slowdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Africa

Africa is the world's second-largest and second most-populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² (11.7 million sq mi) including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area. With a billion people (as of 2009, see table) in 61 territories, it accounts for about 14.8% of the World's human population. The continent is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, the Suez Canal and the Red Sea to the northeast, the Indian Ocean to the southeast, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. Not counting the disputed territory of Western Sahara, there are 53 countries, including Madagascar and various island groups, associated with the continent.

Africa, particularly central eastern Africa, is widely regarded within the scientific community to be the origin of humans and the Hominidae tree (great apes), as evidenced by the discovery of the earliest hominids and their ancestors, as well as later ones that have been dated to around seven million years ago – including Sahelanthropus tchadensis, Australopithecus africanus, A. afarensis, Homo erectus, H. habilis and H. ergaster – with the earliest Homo sapiens (human) found in Ethiopia being dated to ca. 200,000 years ago.

Africa straddles the equator and encompasses numerous climate areas; it is the only continent to stretch from the northern temperate to southern temperate zones.

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