List of Biology: Zoology Terms and Definitions

Helpfulness: +2
Set Details Share
created 8 years ago by jncanf
17,349 views
List of Popular Biology: Zoology Vocabulary Words
updated 8 years ago by jncanf
Grade levels:
9th grade, 10th grade, 11th grade, 12th grade, College: First year, College: Second year, College: Third year, College: Fourth year, Graduate school, Professional
show moreless
Page to share:
Embed this setcancel
COPY
code changes based on your size selection
Size:
X
Show:
1

Abdomen

Abdomen in mammals is the portion of the body which is located below the rib cage, and in arthropods below the thorax. It is the cavity that contains stomach, intestines, etc.

2

Abscission

Abscission is a process of shedding or separating part of an organism from the rest of it. Common examples are that of, plant parts like leaves, fruits, flowers and bark being separated from the plant.

3

Accidental

Accidental refers to the occurrences or existence of all those species that would not be found in a particular region under normal circumstances.

4

Acclimation

Acclimation refers to the morphological and/or physiological changes experienced by various organisms to adapt or accustom themselves to a new climate or environment.

5

Active Transport

The movement of cellular substances like ions or molecules by traveling across the membrane, towards a higher level of concentration while consuming energy.

6

Activity Space

The entire range of climatic and environmental conditions suitable to normal functions, process and activities of a living organism.

7

Adaptation

Adaptation refers to the genetic mechanism of an organism to survive, thrive and reproduce by constantly enhancing itself, by altering its structure or function, in order to become better suited to the changing environment. Read more on adaptations in desert animals.

8

Adaptive Radiation

The evolutionary diversification from an ancestral group of organisms, into a number of new more specialized forms, each suited to live in new habitats. Read more on animal adaptations.

9

Aerial Behavior

Aerial behavior is a type of behavior that deals with communicative or playful behavior. It is most seen in whales and dolphins when they surface above water to either jump, leap, or just flit across.

10

After-Shaft

A small supplementary feather, growing from the underside of the base of the shafts of a body feather. It is found in many birds and essential to keep them warm.

11

Aigrette

A tuft of long and loose feathers used by breeding herons and egrets, during courtship displays.

12

Air Sac

A thin walled air filled structure which is a part of the respiratory system of birds. The air passing through the air sac aids in their breathing and temperature regulation.

13

Airfoil

A structure designed to lift and control the airflow by making use of different levels of air waves. A bird in flight uses the concept of airfoil to control its speed.

14

Alligator

A broad snouted crocodilians of the genus Alligator found in subtropical regions. This reptile is known for its sharp teeth and powerful jaws.

15

Allopatric

Organisms that occur, originate or occupy in separate geographical areas.

16

Alpha Diversity

A measurement of species richness in a natural unit (specified area) consisting of all plants, animals and micro-organisms in a habitat functioning together.

17

Altruism

Instinctive behavior performed towards the welfare of others, sometimes at personal cost.

18

Alula

A set of quill-like feathers located close to the base of the primary feathers that play a part in increasing or decreasing the bird's lift by affecting the airflow of the wings.

19

Alveolus

A small angular cavity, sac or pit in the body.

20

Ambulacra

This term refers to echinoderm's five part radial areas (under surfaced side) from where the tube feet protrude as well as withdraw.

21

Amnion

The innermost delicate embryonic or fetal membranes of higher vertebrates like mammals, birds and reptiles.

22

Amniotic Egg

Eggs found in a water impermeable amniotic membrane, filled with fluid in the amniotic cavity, that can develop on land without dehydrating themselves.

23

Amphibians

Animals that can survive and live on land as well as in water. Amphibians are vertebrates and cold-blooded.

24

Amphisbaenian

A long reptile (worm-like) with a short tail and ring shaped scales that has well adapted itself to burrowing.

25

Amplexus

Mating position of the frogs and toads, in which the female sheds the eggs into the water and the male fertilizes it. Fertilization takes place outside of the female's body.

26

Anapsid

An extinct subclass of reptiles except for the turtles, that have no opening in the temporal region of the skull.

27

Anastomosis

A network of intersecting or connecting blood vessels, nerves, or leaf veins that form a plexus.

28

Animalia

The taxonomic kingdom of animals that includes organisms that are multicellular, eukaryotic (having cells with membrane-bound nuclei) and heterotropic (require organic compounds for nourishment).

29

Annelida

The taxonomic group of animals that includes coelomate, and elongated and segmented invertebrates such as leeches, earthworms, marine worms, etc.

30

Antenna

A sensory apparatus found on the heads of insects and most arthropods. It is usually in pairs.

31

Antler

One pair of bony, deciduous and branched hornlike structure found on the head of a deer, moose, elk, etc.

32

Anus

An opening at the lower end of the digestive tract through which all solid waste is eliminated from the body.

33

Apomorph

A new specialized trait in an evolving organism which is completely different from its ancestral line.

34

Aposematic

Color construct characteristics in animals (changing color), either as a warning to other animals or as a self defense mechanism.

35

Arboreal

Arboreal refers to animals that have adapted themselves to live and move in the trees.

36

Arthropod

A group of invertebrate animals such as the insects, crustaceans, arachnids, centipedes, etc that are characterized by a exoskeleton and a segmented body with jointed appendages.

37

Artificial Selection

A selection process where the breeder chooses the animals for mating and producing offspring's of desired inheritable qualities.

38

Aspect Diversity

It is the measure of the different physical appearances that are found in a group of species living in a common habitat and are hunted by other animals that use visual hunting skill to identify and kill their prey.

39

Auriculars

Auriculars is a set of feathers that are found near a bird's ear openings.

40

Autonomic Nervous System

The part of the vertebrate nervous system that regulates involuntary action of an animal's internal organs like the intestines, heart and glands.

41

Autotroph

An organism capable of acquiring nourishment from its surrounding environment using photosynthesis or chemosynthesis as opposed to ingesting an another organism.

42

Aves

A class of vertebrates comprising of the entire bird family.

43

Balanced Polymorphism

A situation where more than one allele is maintained in a population, which is the outcome of the heterozygote being superior to both homozygotes.

44

Baleen

Baleen whales are those whales that filter plankton for ingestion, out of large quantities of water. Baleen is the fibrous structure in their mouths, usually referred to as baleen plates, that enable them to feed in this way. They do not have teeth.

45

Banding

The manner in which a metal or plastic band is attached to the legs of birds and other animals. This is done with the purpose of identifying the individual/creature at the time of recapture.

46

Barbel

Often found on fish, a barbel is a slim, whiskerlike tactile organ located near the mouth. In some fish, they contain the taste buds, and assist the fish to locate food in murky water.

47

Barbicels

Barbicels are tiny curved structures on barbules, that connect contiguous barbules to form the firm, mesh like structure of the feather vane.

48

Barbs

The barbs are attached to the main shaft of a feather, and make up its vanes.

49

Barbules

Barbules are tiny structures that emerge from the barbs of a bird's feather. They interlock, overlap and knit together, making the feather solid and stiff.

50

Basic Plumage

Among the bird species that molt only once a year, the basic plumage are those feathers they have on them throughout the year. Whereas, among species that molt twice annually, the basic plumage are (in most cases) the feathers that are grow after the first complete molt, and is present at the time of the bird's non-breeding season.

51

Batesian Mimicry

In a situation where a harmless species has evolved to replicate the warning signal given by a harmful species (directed at a common predator), Batesian mimicry occurs.

52

Beak

The protruding part of the mouth of several groups of vertebrates, including some cetaceans. Birds use them not only to eat, but also to groom, kill prey, manipulate objects, in courtship and to feed the young.

53

Benthic

A Benthic zone is the ecological region that encompasses the bottom most level of any body of water, be it a river, lake or ocean. When used in conjunction with a living organism, it refers to bottom-dwelling.

54

Beta Diversity

A term of measurement, that gauges the variety of organisms in a region. It is impacted by the turnover of species among habitats.

55

Bilateral Symmetry

This type of symmetry is exhibited by most animals, and just means that if a line were drawn down the middle of the body, both sides would be equal and symmetrical.

56

Bill

Same as Beak.

57

Binocular Vision

An animal with this kind of vision has eyes that are projected forward, due to which the field of view overlap, enabling the creature to judge depth.

58

Biodiversity

A term of measurement, that gauges the diversity of organisms in a habitat or ecosystem. This measurement can be made based on the number of species or genetic variation that exist within an ecosystem or region.

59

Biogeography

It is a term used to define the study of the geographic distribution of organisms throughout a region over a given period of time. It is carried out with the aim of examining where organisms dwell, and at what populations.

60

Biome

A region that is defined based on its climate and geography, which has ecologically similar communities of plants, animals, and soil organisms. The similarity is based on plant structures (such as trees, grasses and shrubs), plant spacing (forest, savanna, woodland), leaf types (such as needleleaf and broadleaf), and climate

61

Biota

They constitute the living components (flora and fauna) of an ecosystem, biome or habitat.

62

Blowhole

A blowhole is an opening on the top of a cetacean's head, from which air is inhaled and exhaled.

63

Bipedal

Bipedalism is a manner of moving on land, where the organism progresses using only its two rear limbs, or legs.

64

Birth Rate

The term is the average number of young produced within a specific period of time. It is calculated per individual, and is usually communicated as a function of age.

65

Book Lung

It is an organ used for respiration, and is part of the body system of arachnids, such as spiders and scorpions. The book lung is located inside the ventral abdominal cavity.

66

Bow Riding

It is an activity carried out by cetaceans (most commonly dolphins), in which they swim or drift along the crests of waves in the ocean.

67

Breeding System

A breeding system includes all the different breeding behaviors (polygyny, outcrossing, or selective mating) of a population, and the methods in which the members of the population adapt to them.

68

Brilles

The German word for 'glasses', it is a transparent, immovable layer of scale/skin that covers the eyes of some creatures, such as snakes and lizards, and provides protection.

69

Bristles

Bristles are long, stiff strands of hair or feathers. In birds, they are situated near the mouth or eyes. Their function may be to assist the bird in eating and give protection to the eyes.

70

Brood Parasite

A brood parasite is an organism (usually a bird) which manipulates another individual of the same or different species to raise its offspring. A method usually adopted to do this is to lay eggs in another birds nest.

71

Brood Parasitism

The method adopted by one organism to make another individual of the same or different species to raise its offspring. In birds, this is done by laying ones eggs in another birds nest.

72

Brood Patch

Located on the lower abdomen of birds, it develops by the shedding of feathers in this area, and the consequent thickening of the skin, after which it becomes densely populated with blood vessels. The brood patch is used to incubate the eggs and keep the young warm.

73

Brood Reduction

When a clutch of eggs hatch sequentially, if there is inadequate food, brood reduction takes place. This happens when the weakest chick or chicks, being deprived of food either fail to survive out of starvation, or are devoured by their stronger siblings.

74

Brooding

The practice of birds, where the parent birds continue to provide warmth to their young, during the time when they are unable to maintain their own body temperatures.

75

Caching

Storing of food for later use, when food is not available or is short in supply.

76

Caiman

A tropical American crocodilian amphibian, found in Central and South America.

77

Calamus

It is the hollow base of a feather shaft, which attaches the feather to the skin.

78

Calcereous

Calcium contained parts such as shells, bones and exoskeletons, which protects an animal.

79

Call Matching

This is a behavioral trait, often displayed by members of the finch family. This refers to the male and female of a pair duplicating each others flight call, vocally.

80

Camouflage

A feature common to invertebrates, which helps them blend with their surroundings using its skin colors or patterns.

81

Canine Tooth

A single point tooth that is shaped and used for piercing and holding on to food. It is located near the front of the jaw, and is prominently seen in carnivores.

82

Carapace

A hard shell which shields the dorsal side of an animal's body. It is used more specifically to refer to the upper side of a tortoise or turtle’s shell.

83

Carnasial Tooth

A premolar tooth, which is used to efficiently tear and slice meat of prey. This tooth is seen only in the carnivores.

84

Carnivore

A mammal belonging to the order Carnivora, that sustains by eating the flesh of other animals.

85

Carrying Capacity

It is the maximum population of a particular species, which can be supported for an indefinite period of time in a particular environment.

86

Caruncle

A fleshy outgrowth, without feathers, seen on the neck and face of a bird. It is also referred to as fowl’s comb and usually seen in the turkey family.

87

Casque

A formation on the head resembling a helmet, that is located on the head of a lizard.

88

Caste

A group of species, which shares similar features, form or behavior and belong to the same social group.

89

Central Nervous System

A part of the nervous system, made up of inter-neurons, which exercises control over the nervous system.

90

Centrifugal Tail Molt

The process of shedding and replacing of feathers of a birds tail, that starts with the replacing of the innermost pair of feathers first and then moves from the center outward.

91

Cephalization

It is a tendency within animals, with localization of neural control and sensory organs located at an end of the body, usually near the head.

92

Cere

A raised and membranous covering, that is located at the base of the upper mandible in a bird.

93

Cetaceans

Mainly marine mammals belonging to the Cetacea species. Toothed whales and toothless filter feeding whales are among those that belong to this catergory.

94

Character Displacement

Adaptations of different sets of characteristics in two similar species, brought about by overlapping territories, resulting in competition.

95

Cladistics

It is the study of evolutionary history of a group of organisms, especially as shown in a family tree.

96

Clappeing

Slapping of the upper and lower parts of bills together, as a non vocal form of communication, seen especially in birds like storks.

97

Climax

The steady, end stage in the ecological evolution of a plant or animal species.

98

Climograph

Annual cycle of temperature and rainfall for a particular geographical area depicted in a graphical format.

99

Cloacal Spur

A claw in boas and pythons, which is an extremity of the pelvic girdle. It is used by the male snake, while courting.

100

Clutch

Eggs or young of a species produced in single a breeding attempt by a female.

101

Cnidaria

A name given to the invertebrate phylum Coelenterata, the emphasis is given to the stinging characteristic of the phylum, which makes up its basic structure comprising of nettles, which are generally toxic in nature.

102

Coelenterates

An invertebrate belonging to Coelenterata phylum characterized by a single interval cavity used for digestion, excretion and for other survival activities and which has tentacles on the oral end. Hydras, jellyfish, corals and sea anemones belong to this group

103

Colt

Male horse less than four years of age

104

Competition

When two or more individuals compete for the same set of available and limited resources, affecting both the parties negatively.

105

Conditioning

A learning method either using a stimulus – response, or a reward - punishment method, in which associations are made.

106

Constriction

This is a method used by non-venomous snakes to tightly grip and suffocate their prey, by coiling around the prey.

107

Contour Feathers

The feathers which form the topmost layer of a bird’s feathers, including the wings and tail, which gives the bird its characteristic look.

108

Convergent Evolution

Similar structural appearance in organisms, which have different lines of descent.

109

Corallum

The skeleton of a zoophyte, which can be calcareous or in the formation of horns. For example, the set of parallel vertical grooves which are present on the sides of salamanders and newts.

110

Countershading

The development of dark colors on the areas exposed to the sun and light colors on the undercarriage

111

Creche

Flock of birds, not necessarily belonging to the same species that flock together for protection.

112

Critical Habitat

A habitat which is critical for the survival and conservation of a species, designated by a rule published in the Federal Register.

113

Crocodile

Reptile belonging to the order crocodylia, which inhabits tropical regions. Note: Crocodiles differ from alligators.

114

Crop

Expandable pouch found in the esophagus of some birds.

115

Cryptic

They are characteristics that help in concealing an animal.

116

Consumer

An organism, often an animal, which feeds on plants or other animals.

117

Dabble

Bird behavior pertaining to foraging for food with their beaks or bills from shallow water.

118

Death Rate

The average number of newborns or young ones dying within a specified period of time.

119

Definitive Plumage

The plumage of a bird attained after the shedding of all previous feathers that do not change significantly in color or pattern, as long as the bird lives.

120

Delayed Plumage Maturation

A common phenomenon seen in male birds where the definitive plumage is delayed due to a number of factors.

121

Delist

The act of removing an animal specie from the list of endangered, threatened and vulnerable wildlife list.

122

Delphinidae

A group of marine mammals that belong to the family Delphinidae and the Order Cetacea, like dolphins and their relatives.

123

Deme

A local breeding that interbreeds organisms of the same species or individuals.

124

Detritivore

Organisms that feed on dead, decomposed or organic waste.

125

Detritus

Organic matter that is either freshly dead or partially decomposed

126

Developmental Response

The development of morphological and physiological qualities of an organism in response to prolonged or changing environmental conditions.

127

Diapause

A period of inactive hormonal development as a response to unfavorable environmental conditions. This is a temporary phase.

128

Diffuse Coevolution

Evolution of a species depending upon the evolution of some other species, which itself may be evolving depending on some other factors. Coevolution is basically, the evolution of groups depending on each other together, in order to survive.

129

Diffuse Competition

The weak interactions between species that are ecologically and distantly related.

130

Dimorphism

The occurrence or existence of two forms within the same species bearing distinct structure, features, coloration, etc.

131

Diving Reflex

A developed reflexive response to diving, found in most aquatic mammals and birds that are characterized by complex physiological changes and adaptations.

132

Evolution

At the most basic level, evolution is change that takes place over time. In reference to lifeforms, evolution is the genetic changes observed amongst the population of organisms from generation to generation

133

Ecological Isolation

It refers to the situation where closely related (sometimes virtually indistinguishable) species live in the same territory, but slight differences in their niche causes them to reproduce in isolation of the others.

134

Ecological Release

It refers to the progression in which a species expands its living habitat as well as the resources it utilizes into areas that have a lower density of species in terms of diversity.

135

Ecomorphology

It is the study of the relation between an individual's ecological role and its form and structural adaptations.

136

Ecosystem Approach

This is a method of resource management that acknowledges that the different components of an ecosystem (structure, function, and species composition) are interlinked, and this factor must be taken into consideration while restoring and protecting the ecosystem's natural balance.

137

Ectoparasite

An organism, such as a tick, that latches itself to the surface of its host, in order to survive.

138

Ectothermy

Refers to an organism's ability to maintain its body temperature by availing heat from the environment, either by absorbing radiation or through conduction.

139

Effective Population Size

The average size of a population expressed in terms of individuals assumed to contribute genes equally to the next generation; generally smaller than the actual size of the population, depending on the variation in the reproductive success among individuals.

140

Egestion

Removal of undigested food material

141

Egg Dumping

When a bird lays its eggs in the nest of another, with the purpose of making the host bird to hatch and raise its young.

142

Elliptical

The shape of an egg which is widest in the middle and rounded at both ends

143

Embryo

An animal or plant that is in its first stage of development and is usually still contained within the seed, egg, or uterus.

144

Endangered Species

The entire population of organisms (plant or animal) that face extinction due to a steady reduction of their numbers. This may be the outcome of environmental changes, loss of habitat or predation.

145

Endoparasite

This type of organism or parasite (such as tapeworm) exists and feeds inside the bloodstream or tissue of its host.

146

Endothermic

The ability of an organism to constantly maintain its body temperature, usually keeping itself warm, irrespective of the external conditions.

147

Endothermy

The ability of an organism to maintain its body temperature, by generating heat metabolically

148

Estivation

Similar to hibernation, it is a period of inactivity that the animal goes into during a dry hot season.

149

Eyeshine

The phenomenon when light is shone into the eye of certain animals and birds, the pupil seems to glow. This effect is created by the the layer of tissue called tapetum lucidum that lies immediately behind the retina.

150

Facial Shield

Some birds, such as the Eurasian coot, have a hard plate on their forehead called a facial shield, which serve as a display ornament

151

Fallout

Refers to those birds that need to land while migrating, in areas they would not normally inhabit, due to harsh weather.

152

Family

It is a term of classification of living things, in which this group falls below an order. It is further divided into one or more genera. The ranks start with life, followed by domain, kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus and species.

153

Fang

Fangs are long, pointed teeth located in the front of the mouth. In mammals, these fangs are called canine teeth and are used for tearing flesh. In snakes, they are used to inject venom into the victim.

154

Fauna

All the animal life that exists in a particular area during a specific period of time.

155

Feces

Indigestible waste products expelled from an organisms digestive tract. Usually referred to as stool.

156

Fecundity

In a general sense, it refers to an organisms ability to reproduce. In biology, it refers to a females potential capacity to reproduce, based on the number of gametes (eggs), seed set or asexual propagules.

157

Femur

In vertebrates having four limbs the femur is the upper bone of the hind limb. In insects, it is the third segment in the leg.

158

Feral

It is a term used to refer to an animal that has been domesticated, but has escaped and returned to being wild, while still living in its current environment. Cats, Goats and pigs are examples of such animals.

159

Fetus

A fetus is a developing organism, which has moved beyond the embryonic stage, but is yet to be born.

160

Filly

A female horse that is four years or younger in age.

161

Filter Feeder

Organisms that feed by sieving water for food particles, with the help of special filtering structures in their mouths. Clams, sponges, krill and baleen whales use this method.

162

Fitness

The measure of an individual's genetic contribution to the next generation's gene pool.

163

Fledge

It is that stage in a young bird's life, when the feathers and wing muscles are developed and the bird is capable of flight. Alternately, it is also used to describe the act of raising chicks to a fully grown state by the parents.

164

Fledgling

Is a young bird that has recently fledged, but is still being fed and cared for by the parents.

165

Flight Feathers

Describes the stiff, large feathers of the tail and wings of a bird that are essential for flight.

166

Foal

A male or female horse that is up to six months old

167

Food Chain

The food chain is the transfer of life giving energy from one organism to another, which is compatible to receive the same form of energy that was passed on, when the organism perished

168

Food Web

A food web comprises a set of interconnected food chains which exist within an ecosystem.

169

Founder Effect

In terms of describing the genetic outcome of a new population being established by a very small number of individuals, from a larger population. The founder effect refers to the loss of genetic variation

170

Frugivorous

Fruit-eating. A frugivore is any organism whose preferred food type is fruits.

171

Functional Response

The relationship between prey and predator, or deviation in the rate of exploitation of prey by an individual predator due to change in prey density.

172

Gamma Diversity

This term refers to the measure of biodiversity, which means the total species richness within an area

173

Gaping

The open width of space, created by forcefully opening the jaws or mandibles of a vertebrate

174

Gelding

A male horse that has been spayed.

175

Generalist

Any organism that can survive in wide ranging habitat

176

Gharial

An Asian crocodile with a very narrow jaw

177

Gill

The respiratory organ of any aquatic animal. Its basic function is to help the animal breathe the oxygen dissolved in water.

178

Gill Arches

Cartilaginous arches located on each side of the pharynx to provide support to the gills of aquatic as well amphibian animals

179

Gill Slits

A narrow external opening connected with the pharynx, to allow passage of water, which helps in cleaning the gills.

180

Gizzard

A chamber found in the lower stomach of animals that facilitates food grinding.

181

Gonads

The testes or ovaries (sex glands) found in the animal reproductive organ.

182

Gorget

A small patch on the throat of an organism which is distinguished by its color, texture and thickness quality.

183

Guano

Large deposits of substances composed chiefly of the feces of birds or bats.

184

Gular Fluttering

A cooling mechanism adopted by birds, in which they flap their flap membranes rapidly in the throat to increase evaporation.

185

Gular Pouch

A bare sac or pouch that can be expanded to accommodate a large prey, or for the show off during courtship display.

186

Habitat Compression

When local population is forced or restricted within a set boundary, to accommodate more species

187

Habitat Expansion

Increase in the habitat (overall area) distribution of the species.

188

Habitat Patch

A location that encompasses a distinct habitat type.

189

Habitat Selection

Habitats chosen over other habitats to suit climatic and environmental conditions.

190

Hacking

Part of the wildlife conservation rehabilitation program, where the animals or birds released in the wild for the first time, are periodically provided with food until they become independent.

191

Hatchling

A young one that has just been hatched from an egg.

192

Heat Sensitive Pit

An organ located on each side of the head, below a line from the eye to the nostril of some snakes, especially the vipers. It helps the snake detect their prey

193

Herbaceous

Stems and branches that are soft, and not hard and woody

194

Herbivore

Plant eating organisms.

195

Hermaphroditic

Organism that have, as well as are capable of reproducing using both male and female reproductive organs.

196

Hibernation

To withdraw in a state of seclusion in a dormant condition. Most animals like the bear, prefer the winters to go in hibernation.

197

Histology

The study of tissues of organisms. It includes its structure, arrangement, functions, make up, etc.

198

Holotype

A single specimen used as standard type to name, describe and illustrate, and represent a set of species and subspecies.

199

Home Range

The habitat that an animal normally lives and uses for daily activities.

200

Homeostasis

The process of maintaining internal stability of the physiological system of animals, in course of varying external conditions

201

Homeothermy

The capacity to maintain the condition of being warm-blooded under all climatic situations

202

Humus

Fine organic substance, composed of partial or full decomposed animal or plant matter, and found in soil.

203

Hyoid Apparatus

A veterinary anatomy term for the upper throat bones of the tongue and connective tissues.

204

Hypostracum

The shell located below all other shell layers in some mollusks.

205

Ichthyology

A branch of zoology dedicated to the systematic study of fishes

206

Imago

Sexually mature adult stage in the life of certain insects

207

Immature

A young animal or bird, capable of feeding itself, but has yet not reached the stage of sexual maturity

208

Imprinting

It is a process of phase sensitive learning, where the young animals follow the first moving thing they see

209

Incubation Patch

The featherless patch developed on the abdomen of certain brooding birds, that becomes thick due to high levels of vascularity. This patch comes under direct contact with the eggs during incubation period

210

Insectivore

An organism that feeds chiefly on insects

211

Interstitial Skin

The skin found between the scales of a snake

212

Introduced Species

Organism that would not normally occur but have been introduced in the habitat.

213

Invertebrate

Pertaining to organisms without a backbone

214

Isolating Mechanism

Prevention of breeding between species due to behavior, morphology, genetics or a geographical barrier

215

Juvenal

Refers to the first covering of feathers on a bird, after it loses its down (under surface) feathers.

216

Juvenile

This term refers to a young bird in the stage when it has fledged, or young ones of the animals that have not yet reached its adult form, size and sexual maturity

217

Keratin

A hard insoluble protein substance found in hair, nails of mammals, scales of reptiles and bird feathers. This substance is responsible for the structure of hair, nails, scales, etc.

218

Kleptoparasitism

A parasitic characteristic of opportunistically stealing food and/or nests from other organisms

219

Labial

Labial refers to the lips

220

Lanceolate

An elongated shape that is slender and tapers towards the apex or base.

221

Larva

A premature form of animal or insect awaiting transformation to reach adulthood

222

Last Common Ancestor

This term refers to the most recent known and shared common ancestor between two species, as well as individuals.

223

Lateral

Refers to the side location or view

224

Lek

The courtship display for mating of certain animals, where males gather around the females for being selected for copulation.

225

Life Cycle

Phases of life that animals go through starting from birth, to sexual maturity, till death.

226

Lift

The airfoil (see airfoil) that controls the movement of the birds when in flight, as well as the force with which the birds fly is termed as lift

227

Live Bearing

Animals that bear live young ones, rather than laying eggs

228

Loafing Platform

A nest like structure built by few birds that can float on water. These birds keep their young ones in them to keep them out of water and afloat.

229

Lores

The space between the eye and the bill of a bird, or the eyes and tip of the mouth of any animal

230

Lung

An internal sac like chamber that forms the respiratory organ in animals

231

Melanism

A condition characterized by a high level of concentration of melanin (black pigmentation) occurring in the coat, skin or plumage of the animals.

232

Mendelian Trait

Transmission of hereditary traits from parent organisms to their offsprings, the trait mainly emphasizes on a single locus.

233

Mammalia

Mammalia is a group of animals known as the vertebrates (have backbones) and belong to the Class Mammalia.

234

Mandible

The lower jaw of a vertebrate animal, or the upper or lower part of the beak (bill) in birds.

235

Mantle

Single or paired set of feathers located on the mid-back of a bird, or an outgrowth that lines the inner surface of the valves of the shell.

236

Mare

Mare is a female horse that has attained the age of more than four years.

237

Maxilla

A paired appendage usually located behind the mandibles of arthropods

238

Medusa

The sexual stage in the life cycle of a coelenterate, such as a jellyfish or a hydra, in which it is free-swimming

239

Meiosis

It is the process of nuclear division in a cell, in which the total number of chromosomes is reduced to half. Meiosis results in the formation of gametes in animals and spores in other organisms. Before the process begins the DNA in the original cell are replicated during a phase called S-phase and this is similar to that in mitosis. Once the replication is completed, two cell divisions separate the replicated chromosomes into four haploid gametes or spores.

240

Metamorphosis

It is the process of marked change in the appearance and habits of some animals, as part of their normal development. Metamorphosis of a caterpillar into a butterfly is one such example

241

Migration

The annual movement pattern of animals and birds between their breeding grounds and hibernating sites.

242

Migratory Overshooting

The phenomenon of traveling beyond the normal distance in migratory birds as well as animals, while being on correct migration travel route.

243

Mirror-Image Orientation

During migration, birds tend to reverse the orientation of their migratory route in opposite (mirror like image) directions

244

Mobbing

An aggressive stand taken by some birds to ward off an intruder or predator from the area

245

Molt Migration

Molt migration involves movement of birds from their breeding ground to a temporary location where they shed their feathers, plumage, skin, etc.

246

Molt

Molt is a process where birds and animals shed their hair, plumage, feathers, skin, horns, etc, to facilitate the growth of new ones

247

Morphology

The study of form and structure of organisms

248

Mouthparts

An appendage found close to the mouth of some animals, birds and insects, which they use for all eating functions

249

Muscle

Tissues that facilitate movement in animals.

250

Mysticetes

Whales of the suborder Mysticeti, like Right whales, finback, gray whale, humpback whales, rorquals, etc

251

Naricorns

The raised, tough, horny nostrils found atop the bird bill.

252

Nectivorous

Animals, birds or insects that rely on nectar as a source of food.

253

Nematocyst

This refers to tiny hairlike structures in coelenterates which is used by them to eject stingers.

254

Neonate

The phenomenon of producing live young ones instead of laying eggs.

255

Nephridium

A tube like excretory organ of many invertebrates such as mollusks and earthworms.

256

Nest Parasitism

The process of laying eggs in nest of other or own species. (Not making one)

257

Nidicolous

The time spent in the nest after its hatched

258

Nidifugous

The phenomenon of leaving the nest within a few days of hatching.

259

Obligate

Is an adjective that means "necessary" when used in biology. Also, exhibited by all members of a species without exception.

260

Odontocetes

Used while referring to any whale of the suborder Odontoceti, such as killer whales, dolphins and sperm whales. They are characterized by a single blowhole, an asymmetrical skull and rows of teeth. They feed primarily on squid, fish and crustaceans.

261

Oscines

Members of the suborder Oscines, of the order Passeriformes. They comprise songbirds that have highly developed vocal organs.

262

Osteichthyes

Are a taxonomic group of fish that includes the lobe-finned fish (Sarcopterygii) and ray-finned fish (Actinopterygii). They are also referred to as bony fish.

263

Ostracum

The calcified portion of an invertebrate's shell. While the organism is living, the ostracum is covered by layers of protein forming a periostracum.

264

Partial Molt

Partial molt is a process where some of the bird's feather get replaced.

265

Passerine

Pertaining to the order Passeriformes (type of a bird)

266

Patagium

A thin membrane that extends between the body and the limb to form wings. It is basically the extensible fold of skin found in certain insects, reptiles and birds.

267

Peep

A generic name for several sandpiper species

268

Pelagic

Organism that live and thrive in open oceans or seas rather than waters adjacent to land.

269

Pellet

A mass of regurgitate indigestible matter like fur, feathers and bones of certain predatory birds like the hawk, owl, etc.

270

Pentaradial Symmetry

The balanced distribution of duplicate body parts or shapes (sensory and feeding structures) in a five fold circular pattern, i.e body parts arranged in fives or multiples of 5, in a symmetry in organisms

271

Periostracum

The external, outermost covering of the shell of some mollusks. It helps to protect the slender slimy inner portions as well as provide the shell with color.

272

Pineal Eye

A developed third eye in certain cold-blooded vertebrates which helps to regulate body temperature and register light intensity.

273

Plankton

Microscopic organisms like algae and protozoa that drift on the oceans' currents

274

Plastron

The ventral surface of the shell of a tortoise or a turtle

275

Predator

Organism that feed off or prey on other organisms for survival

276

Preen Gland

It refers to the gland found on the back, at the base of the tail in most birds. This gland secretes oil that the birds use for preening which is part of its feather care activities.

277

Proboscis

An elongated mouth organ which is an important feeding appendage in organisms

278

Pulmonate

Land Snails and other air breathers belonging to Pulmonata Subclass and Sorbeconcha Clade

279

Radiation

Evolution of multiple species from a single ancestry, but these species have morphological differences, however, they coexist in the same habitat or spread to different habitats or they have a change of ecological role.

280

Radula

A rough and raspy tongue normally seen in mollusks, used to grate food.

281

Range

A particular geographical area in which particular species of organisms are found

282

Rare

A specie of an organism found in very small numbers and hence, visible with lot a of effort only for a short duration

283

Rattle

Shed skin, which is often seen on tail of a rattlesnake, used to make a rattling sound in order to deter predators

284

Rectrices

The stiff and main feather of a bird that is used to navigate, when the bird is in flight

285

Remiges

Flight feather of a bird used to control direction during flying, their function is similar to that of the rectrices to a certain extent.

286

Reptilia

Reptiles or vertebrates, who possess a dry scaly skin and reproduce amniotic eggs. Snakes, lizards and alligators belong to this category

287

Resident

A non-migratory specie of bird, who stays in a given geographical area throughout its life.

288

Reticulated

Species whose veins or nerves are like threads of a net, arranged in a network.

289

Reverse Migration

A phenomena where the migrating organism migrates in the opposite direction, normal to other migrating species.

290

Rictal Bristles

A stiff bristle like feather, which grows at the base of a bird’s bill.

291

River Dolphins

A species of dolphins, which dwell in major rivers like the Amazon in Brazil, Yangste in China and the Ganges in India.

292

Rostral Scale

Is a scale present on the tip of the upper jaw of a snout, usually seen in snakes.

293

Rostrum

An anatomical structure, present in a species in the form of a snout, which projects out from the head of the animal.

294

Rounded

Smallest size elliptical, spherical egg

295

Salamander

Any tailed amphibian that has soft, scaleless skin with a long body and tail and short limbs

296

Saw-Scaling

Action of a snake curving its body in concentric curves and rasping its keeled scales together to make a sawing sound as a warning

297

Scale

A thin plate that forms the covering of certain animals. This covering can either be hard or soft depending upon the morphology of the organism

298

Scape

A tiny stem like first segment in an insect's antennae, as the shaft of a feather.

299

Scrape Nest

Unlike normal nest, a shallow depression is made by some ground birds as a nest. This nest has no soft lining

300

Scute

A large well defined dermal bony plate or horny plate found on many reptiles

301

Secondary

It refers to the set of flight feathers on the second segment of a bird's wing.

302

Sedentary

Organism that are nonmigratory in nature, which means they move about little or not at all from their habitats.

303

Semi-Precocial

This term refers to hatchlings that are capable of leaving the nest but are dependent on their parents for their feed.

304

Semiplumes

Semiplumes are a type of feathers that are found under the contour feather on a bird's body. They are responsible for providing insulation as well as some flexibility to the bird

305

Shaft

The main stiff stem or midrib of a bird's feather.

306

Shell

A hard outer covering of an organism made up of carapace and plastron

307

Shorebirds

Birds that prefer the coastal area as their habitat.

308

Songbird

A generic name given to the members of the order Passeriformes.

309

Spy Hopping

A vertical rise out of the water or tall grasses performed by certain cetaceans or land mammals respectively.

310

Stallion

A male horse which is more than four years old.

311

Stoop

To swoop down while in flight for catching a prey

312

Strandings

Aquatic mammals that get stranded on the beaches or shores

313

Stary

An individual animal that has been left alone or has parted ways with others of its flock during movement or migration.

314

Subelliptical

An egg that is elongated and tapered towards its rounded ends.

315

Supplemental Plumage

A third set of feathers found in birds that have three different plumages in their annual cycle of molts. See molts.

316

Tentacle

The slender, elongated, flexible, appendages found in animals, located near their mouth.

317

Taiga

Coniferous evergreen forests found in the south of the tundra and north temperate region, characterized by harsh winters.

318

Tail Slapping

The forceful slapping of tails on the surface of water by dolphins.

319

Tarsus

The bone, which contributes in making the ankle joint, located between the tibia, fibula and metatarsus in mammals.

320

Taxon

A word used to group or name species of living organisms

321

Taxonomic Classification

The hierarchical system used for grouping and naming species of living organisms

322

Taxonomy

A practice used to classify animals with evolutionary relationships, as basis of this classification

323

Territory

The area of belonging, which is guarded by animals against intruders, especially belonging to the same species.

324

Thorax

The part of the body in mammals situated between the neck and the abdomen, just above the diaphragm. In case of insects the part situated between the head and the abdomen, excluding the legs and wings.

325

Threatened Species

A species which has a possibility of becoming endangered in the near future.

326

Torsion

The asymmetrical positioning of the body achieved, due to twisting and repositioning, during development.

327

Trachea

The pipe serving as the principal passage for movement of air to and from the lungs, in humans and other vertebrates. It extends from the larynx to the bronchus.

328

Triangulation

The method used by animals to find out the distance between themselves and their prey using two or more fixed points. This technique is used especially by owls and harriers

329

Tribe

A category in the classification of organisms between a genus, which contains one or more genera.

330

Tubenoses

Vernacular name for members belonging to Procellariiformes species.

331

Tuberculate

An organism or part of an organism which is covered in fleshy and raised protuberances, also called tubercules.

332

Turtle

A reptile belonging to the Testudines species, which include both terrestrial and aquatic animals. The trunk of these species is enclosed in a shell

333

Tympanic Membrane

It is the membrane which picks up vibrations through a medium and transports them to the inner part of the ear. It is also called the ‘eardrum’.

334

Type Specimen

An organism which is used to represent a particular taxon. It becomes the standard for the original name and to describe the species.

335

Urohydrosis

A cooling mechanism practiced by some birds, in which they release feces or urine onto the scaly portions of their legs.

336

Uropygial Gland

See Preen Gland.

337

Vagrant

An individual organism found outside the region that is known for that particular species.

338

Vane

This term refers to the that portion of the feather which is made of flat parallel rows of barbs and is attached to the center stiff part of the feather.

339

Ventral Scale

Scales found on the underside of the snake's body.

340

Ventral

Refers to the stomach or belly

341

Vestigal

The part of an animal that does not develop during evolution, and is underdeveloped and serves no important function.

342

Viscers

The organs located in the cavities of the organism body

343

Vocal Sac

The flexible membrane of the skin found in male frogs and toads that inflates and acts as amplifier for their mating calls

344

Warning Coloration

Distinctive bold color patterns found on certain organisms, that works as a warning to predators

345

WatchList

A cooperative project of the National Audubon Society and Partners in Flight that keeps track of declining species that are not yet threatened or endangered

346

Water Vascular System

A system of fluid filled tubes and ducts, that connect with the tube feet of most marine invertebrates. They help in functions of respiration, feeding, etc.

347

Wattle

A soft fleshy brightly colored appendage that hangs down from the throat or chin of certain birds.

348

Weaning

The period where the mother ceases to feed the young ones. This only refers to mammals.

349

Weanling

A male or female horse that is between the ages of six months to one year.

350

Wing-Bar

A line of color, usually contrasting across the middle, tip, or base of a bird's wing, which has been made by the wing coverts.

351

Wing-Flicking

Rapid movement made by the bird's wings when it is not in flight and is at rest.

352

Xenophobic Alliance

A union of individual chimpanzees in a group, which challenges intruders who threaten their territory and boundaries.

353

Xeric

A habitat which has an extremely dry environment. It also refers to animals who have adapted themselves to such an environment.

354

Xerophyte

A plant which has adapted itself to a dry environment and is able to conserve water.

355

Xylophagous

Organisms that feed entirely or primarily on wood

356

Yearling

This term is used to describe both a male and female horse between the age of one and two years.

357

Yolk

Food that is stored in an egg

358

Zooid

An organism which is capable of existing separately. A number of zooid together function like a single animal, example coral

359

Zooplankton

A collection of various species of plankton

360

Zooxanthellae

Unicellular, yellow-brown in color algae, which live in the gastrodermis of corals

361

Zygodactyly

This is the arrangement of toes formed in birds, in which the outer front toe faces the back, resulting in two toes facing forward and two backward.