Monday, May 13, 2019

Interesting Animals That Roamed The Earth Before Humans

The first undisputed signs of life began nearly 3.4 billion years ago, and ever since then, life has drastically evolved in forms and factors that are unlike anything we see on earth today. From giant land scorpions to extinct crocodiles the length of a school bus, explore interesting animals that walked (or swam) the earth long before humans.

Usually, most modern species of scorpions are smaller than the size of an average human hand. It is also relatively harmless, (save for a few species, which has very toxic and potentially lethal venom).

However, if you were to travel back in time to the Carboniferous Period, roughly 360 million years ago, you might just be unlucky enough to stumble upon Pulmonoscorpius kirktonensis - a giant land scorpion that was almost half as long as an adult human. Measuring in at over 2.5 feet, it probably killed its prey by ambushing it and then repeatedly stabbing it with its stinger. And just like its modern-day relatives, Pulmonoscorpius was probably venomous. Palaeontologists also estimated that it had relatively good eyesight thanks to its abnormally large eyes.

Primitive earth had an abundant plant life. The very first gymnosperms such as primitive cycads, horse-tails and club mosses thrived in the humid atmosphere of primitive earth. As a result, the oxygen concentration in the atmosphere was higher than today's estimates, which in turn directly affected the size of prehistoric insects. Like Pulmonoscorpius, other prehistoric insects such as Meganeura (ancient dragonflies) and Arthropleura (ancient millipedes) also grew to gargantuan sizes due to the higher concentration of oxygen in the atmosphere.

In 1977, Simon Conway-Morris, a British Paleontologist stumbled upon a very odd, thumb-sized fossil collected from the Canadian Rockies. Initially, Morris speculated the fossil to be an annelid worm, similar to leeches and earthworms. It had seven spikes that would have been used as its "feet" and seven tentacles that waved around on its back. He named the creature Hallucigenia, due to its bizarre, and almost dream-like appearance.

Conway-Morris's model of the creature was very controversial, however, it managed to be relevant up until the year 1991. By then, Chinese researchers had stumbled upon a similar fossil, named Microdictyon, which had plate-like scales instead of the seven spikes which Hallucigenia had. The researchers were able to deduce that the tentacle-like structures on the back of Hallucigenia were actually feet. So, for more than a decade, the scientific community was looking at Hallucigenia's fossil upside down.

Even today, nearly 50 years after the discovery of this fossil, new discoveries are being made. Just recently, scientists have found the location of its head after examining its fossil in an electron microscope. Hallucigenia wears its name appropriately - it is still one of the weirdest creatures to be found till date.

Saber-Toothed Tiger
Today, big cats such as lions and tigers are the apex predators in almost all known terrestrial food chains. But 10,000 years ago, the plains of North and South America were home to the Smilodon or the saber-toothed tiger. S. populator was the largest of the species, weighing in at over 400 kgs. Also, they are much more burly than most other extant big cats such as the Bengal Tiger.

One of smilodon's characteristic feature is the very long, dagger-like canines. Its teeth were so long that it protruded out of its mouth by a significant margin. It even had an incredibly wide gape to accommodate those fangs - opening its mouth up to 120 degrees, which would have been quite an impressive and menacing sight if it was alive today.

However, its canines were slender, blade-like, and rather fragile. So, it was more adapted for precision movement such as slicing, slashing and stabbing. Moreover, an extremely wide gape meant that the animal had a lower bite-force, this meant that its bite force was not proportional to its body size. Consequently, the bodies of these animals became more stocky and robust for immobilizing prey.

These big cats were specialized in taking down large mammals such as extinct bison, giant ground sloths and even juvenile mammoths. However, their prey started to die out and was replaced by smaller and more agile prey such as the ancestors of deer. As these apex predators were unable to adapt to these new prey, the population started to decline and eventually became extinct.

Humans belong to the family Hominidae, (also called as the great apes) and we are the only surviving member of this species today. But nearly nine million years ago, Asia was home to one of the biggest primates to ever walk the earth - Gigantopithecus blacki.

This gigantic great ape towered over 10 feet in height and weighed between 550-600 kgs, which makes it almost 3-4 times heavier than modern gorillas. However, scientists have theorized that it is more closely related to modern orangutans after analyzing its morphology. But not much else is known about this great ape as fossil evidence is limited to just a few teeth and fragments of a jaw bone.

When it was alive, its habitat consisted of a mosaic of savannah and forested areas. Analysis of its teeth implied that it subsisted purely on a diet of fruits and bamboo shoots, just like modern day gorillas. However, its habitat shrunk due to climate change and it was unable to adapt itself due to its huge size and strict selection of diet. The last of Gigantopithecus died out roughly 100,000 years ago.

Explore more interesting topics on BYJU's. From cell organelles and centrosomes to endangered species and mass extinctions, BYJU's is your best resource for education and learning. Explore in-depth articles and fascinating videos about all your favourite science topics by registering today. Banking is one of those rapidly growing industries that have their reach from the public sector to the private sector. It is an integral part of the basic economy of any country and serves as a backbone to the masses. Finding a suitable job in this sector is always considered to be a good hunt. If you see, there are only a few jobs these days that can pay you as good as a banking job, and this particularly holds true for the managerial ranks. Investing your time to prepare yourself for a lucrative position in the banking industry is hence a smart choice without any doubt. But what is it that makes a managerial job in the banking sector one among the most longed for career profiles? Yes, there are loads of plusses associated with the managerial position in the banking industry; however, one aspect that tops all the others is the salary prospects that the baking jobs offer. In this article, we will discuss the widening opportunities in the banking sector and will also look upon the earning potential of a banking manager.

The Upward Trend of the Banking Sector in India

With the milestone decisions taken by the Government of India, the banking sector has emerged as one of the strongest parts of the economy that is far more reachable to the general public. The industry has recorded an upward trend within the last few years. Under such a promising scenario, it is evident that the banking sector would be one of the best choices when it comes to making a career. With rising trends in growth, the banking industry has taken over as one of the sectors offering best-paid jobs with minimum risk. During the financial year 2017-2018, the compound annual growth rate in lending has gone up by 10.94% whereas the same for deposits has increased by 11.66%. This directly reflects the strength of the asset holding of banking sector making it even steadier for any job seeker. Registering a steep growth of US $100 billion in the retail credit market, India is now the fourth largest market in the emerging countries.

Banking Sector Registering a Steady Growth in the Hiring Pattern

The government has recently introduced a lot many banking policies keeping the general populace in mind. These policies have brought people closer to banking transactions. Even the remotest villages of the country can now access banking facilities, which has increased the involvement of farmers and marginalized people in banking activities. Such large-scale operation undoubtedly calls for more employees to get engaged in serving to the masses. This has given a major boost the employment opportunities in the banking and financial services industry.

Moreover, the technological advancements have served to integrate the banking operations with artificial intelligence, which has paved the way for this sector to evolve as a part of the modern-day corporate world. As far as the white-collar jobs are concerned, the statistics clearly show that the IT sector has been facing constant competition with respect to the annual payout from the Banking sector. Speculations confirm that within a span of two financial years, the banking pay-out bar would exceed that of the IT sector with the later losing its past prosperity over time. With a market share of 31% of the total payout in the industry, the financial sector in general and banking specifically remain the undisputed leader. A general salary research on the earning potential of banking managers reveals that the salary component of these professionals has two dimensions. The fixed pay varies from INR 36000 to INR 64000 on a monthly scale whereas the average additional pay ranges from INR 15000 to INR 93000 depending on the profits scored by the organization. The annual package for a bank manager may range from 6.5 lakhs to 10 lakhs pa based on a number of factors.

The Egalitarian Distribution of Pay Structure

There are more elements to the payout cycles than just the total overhead cost. The average pay structure of the banking sector shows fewer deviations than that of its closest rival, the IT industry. With entry-level payouts varying largely with that of the experienced ones, the Banking sector has been successful in rendering a much neutral platform to all securing an inflation-adjusted payout. Adding to the advantage that the overall performance of the sector puts on employee pay-outs, the banking sector seldom comes with the risk of retrenchment that invariably makes the average pay-out higher than any sector even close to it. This is why a job in the banking industry is often recommended as a secure, steady, and a well-paid career with a no risk element.

TimesPro - Your Pathway to the Best Paid Jobs in the BFSI Sector

Career is something that not only refers to the salary you draw but also entails elements of growth opportunity and security in it. The banking sector is surely a cohesive harmony of all the three and can be a smart selection for any job aspirant. With promises kept high with government projects like IPPB, rising microfinance investments, and more, the banking sector is sure to maintain its prosperity in the near future. This is hence the right time to put your best foot forward and take the initiative towards joining the banking and finance sector. We, at TimesPro, with our Post Graduate Diploma in Banking and Financial Services Management (PGDBM XL) Program, have helped several ambitious aspirants to make their mark in the banking industry. Our PGDBM XL program is a banking and finance course that serves as your roadmap to attaining hierarchical success in the BFSI sector and opens up a whole new dimension of job opportunities.
Education by no means can be defined by a compulsive approach. Every student is unique in his/her own way, and it won't be even wise to expect them to have the same expertise as the other. The education process should always refer to and take care of the varied talents of the young minds. For instance, there are a few students keen on knowing history, while there are others who enjoy endeavoring the corners of chemistry. Each student finds one or more subjects interesting depending on their psychological orientations. The real purpose of education should be to encourage the students to take up and show progress in the traits that they feel the most comfortable in, instead of compelling them to study a subject that seems to be less appealing or uninteresting. If a student develops a natural affinity towards any particular subject, it is obvious that the student will do well in future if he or she pursues that very subject for further studies. Keeping this general behavioral trend in mind, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has come up with an approach that is progressive and dynamic in true sense. We, at the Lotus Valley International School, a top ranked school in Noida, appreciate the decision and hope that it will surely help the students march the roads of progress towards a brighter future.

The Need for the Reform in the Examination Structure

As we all know, after the 10th level CBSE board examinations, the subject layout becomes precise, and students are given a choice to opt for a stream that best suits them. Hence, from 11th standard onwards, students are free to select either, science, humanities, or business commerce. The motto is to serve the basic knowledge on every subject to every student till the 10th standard, post which, specialization in a specific field of studies would be available.

Now, the reform that has been put forward by CBSE is based on the fact that not all students have similar levels of interest in difficult subjects like Mathematics and that's why posing a similar difficulty level in mathematics in 10th exams to even those who have no intentions of taking the subject ahead is kind of unfair to them. The data shows that many students suffer a low aggregate in their 10th board exams owing to their bad scores in mathematics. Hence, students who are not willing to take up mathematics as a major subject in their senior secondary should be ideally exempted from the hardship of the tough math questions. Judging every student on the same scale fails to justify their unique abilities correctly, and the reflection turns misleading.

The New and Revived Framework

The CBSE Board has declared that there would be two separate question papers set for the 10th board examination for mathematics. One of them would be 'Mathematics-Standard' demanding more aptitude in the subject, whereas the other would be 'Mathematics-Basic' that would be comparatively easier and justify the basic skills in mathematics. It is to be noted that even though there would be visible changes in the question paper structure in the boards for mathematics, the syllabus would remain same throughout the academic session for all. The class assessments would also remain unaltered, and there would be no separate provision for aptitude-based question papers until the pre-boards.

The students would be completely responsible for choosing the level/type of math question paper that they would prefer to take up for the final board examination, keeping the syllabus and the internal assessments in mind. The Standard level will be meant for those who wish to pursue mathematics for further studies, whereas the Basic level would be for those who have the fear for the subject and do not intend to take mathematics in their senior secondary classes. The reforms will be applicable from the next year onwards, which means that the students appearing for their 10th board exams in the year 2020 will have the option to opt among the two levels of mathematics based on their interests.

A Laudable Decision

The methodology involved in the CBSE has always been considered as the most relevant and scientific one. The student-friendly approach of the board has always been its forte and has encouraged students to delve deeper into the subjects. This decision of segregating the assessment process is expected to help relieve the students of any stress of coping with the subject that might not be of any use to them in their further studies. It is always worth to invest time and energy into something that will bear fruit in the future rather than beating the bushes. Hence, this decision of layering the examination process based on academic necessity is surely a commendable step taken by the CBSE board, ensuring the learners of an effective and result-driven education system. With such praiseworthy reforms incorporated in the education framework, we, at Lotus Valley, are positive that the students will certainly find a more secure way ahead.

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