The kingfishers family Alcedinidae is in the order Coraciiformes, which also includes the motmots, bee-eaters, todies, rollers and ground-rollers. The name of the family was introduced (as Alcedia) by the French polymath Constantine Samuel Rafinesque in 1815. It is divided into three subfamilies, the tree kingfishers (Halcyoninae), the river kingfishers (Alcedininae) and the water kingfishers (Cerylinae). The name Daceloninae is sometimes used for the tree kingfisher subfamily but it was introduced by Charles Lucien Bonaparte in 1841 while Halcyoninae introduced by Nicholas Aylward Vigors in 1825 is earlier and has priority. A few taxonomists elevate the three subfamilies to family status. In spite of the word "kingfisher" in their English vernacular names, many of these birds are not specialist fish-eaters; none of the species in Halcyoninae are.
The centre of kingfisher diversity is the Australasian region, but the group is not thought to have originated there. Instead, they evolved in the Northern Hemisphere and invaded the Australasian region a number of times. Fossil kingfishers have been described from Lower Eocene rocks in Wyoming and Middle Eocene rocks in Germany, around 3040 million years ago. More recent fossil kingfishers have been described in the Miocene rocks of Australia (525 million years old). Several fossil birds have been erroneously ascribed to the kingfishers, including Halcyornis, from the Lower Eocene rocks in Kent, which has also been considered a gull, but is now thought to have been a member of an extinct family.
Amongst the three subfamilies, the Alcedininae are basal to the other two subfamilies. The few species found in the Americas, all from the subfamily Cerylinae, suggest that the sparse representation in the Western Hemisphere resulted from just two original colonising events. The subfamily is a comparatively recent split from the Halcyoninae, diversifying in the Old World as recently as the Miocene or Pliocene.
Karachi was reputedly founded in 1729 as the settlement of Kolachi. The new settlement is said to have been named in honour of Mai Kolachi, whose son is said to have slain a man-eating crocodile in the village after his elder brothers had already been killed by it.
The city's inhabitants are referred to by the demonym Karachiite in English, and Karchwl in Urdu.
Karachi has been the pioneer in cable networking in Pakistan with the most sophisticated of the cable networks of any city of Pakistan, and has seen an expansion of information and communications technology and electronic media. The city has become a software outsourcing hub for Pakistan. Several independent television and radio stations are based in Karachi, including Business Plus, AAJ News, Geo TV, KTN, Sindh TV, CNBC Pakistan, TV ONE, Express TV, ARY Digital, Indus Television Network, Samaa TV, Abb Tak, BoL TV, and Dawn News, as well as several local stations.