Rodents are mammals of the orderRodentia, characterized by two pairs of continuously growing incisors, one pair in the upper and one in the lower jaw. About forty percent of all mammal species are rodents, and they are found in vast numbers on all continents except Antarctica. They are the most diversified mammalian order, including mice, rats, squirrels, prairie dogs, porcupines, beavers, guinea pigs, and hamsters, and can be found in a variety of habitats, including manmade environments. There are arboreal, burrowing, and semi-aquatic species. While the largest species, the capybara, can weigh as much as 66 kg (146 lb), many rodents weigh less than 100 g (3.5 oz) and have robust bodies, short limbs and long tails. They use their sharp incisors to gnaw food, defend themselves, and shape their habitat. Most eat seeds or other plant material. Many species live in societies with complex forms of communication. Rodents can be monogamous, polygynous, or promiscuous. The rodent fossil record dates back to the Paleocene on the supercontinent of Laurasia. (Full article...)
Portrait of a Lady is a small oil-on-oak panel painting executed around 1460 by the Netherlandish painterRogier van der Weyden. Using geometric shapes to form the lines of the woman's veil, neckline, face, and arms, the work conveys the subject's humility and reserved demeanour through her fragile physique, lowered eyes and tightly grasped fingers. This is the only known portrait of a woman accepted as an autograph work by van der Weyden, and has been described as "famous among all portraits of women of all schools". It is in the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.