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Glossary of Terms

Texas Junior Naturalists
An online resource for students of nature and the outdoors.

A

albino
an organism exhibiting deficient pigmentation
analgesic
pain relief
anticoagulant
a substance that hinders the clotting of blood
arboreal
inhabiting or frequenting trees
anterior
situated near or toward the head or part most nearly corresponding to a head
articulation
a movable joint between rigid parts of an animal
aversion
a feeling of repugnance toward something with a desire to avoid or turn from it

C

carnivorous
meat-eating
carrion-
the dead and rotting body of an animal
cartilaginous
composed of cartilage which is a usually translucent somewhat elastic tissue
chemoreceptor
a sense organ (as a taste bud) responding to chemical stimuli
cloaca
the common chamber into which the intestinal, urinary, and generative canals discharge in reptiles, amphibians, and many fishes

D

dichotomous key
a tool to help identify things - through progressive levels of choices, you can determine a species based on its observable traits

E

epidermal
of the epidermis; skin
efficacy
the power to produce an effect
endemic
belonging to or native to a particular area
eradicate
to do away with as completely as if by pulling up by the roots
extirpate
to remove or destroy totally; do away with; exterminate.

H

herpetologist
a person who studies reptiles and amphibians

I

invertebrates
lacking a spinal column; also : of or relating to invertebrate animals

L

lethargic
sluggish; slow to respond

M

moribund
being in the state of dying : approaching death
morphology
the form and structure of an organism or any of its parts>the form and structure of an organism or any of its part

N

necrosis
usually localized death of living tissue
nocturnal
active at night

O

oviducts
a tube that serves exclusively or especially for the passage of eggs from an ovary

P

pectoral girdle
the bony or cartilaginous arch that supports the forelimbs of a vertebrate
pelvic girdle
a bony or cartilaginous arch that supports the hind limbs of a vertebrate
persecute
to harass in a manner designed to injure, grieve, or afflict

R

retractile
capable of being drawn back or in
rut-
"the rut" is the period when deer breed

S

sadism
excessive cruelty
sedentary
not migratory: doing or requiring much sitting
subterranean
being, lying, or operating under the surface of the earth

T

terrestrial
animals and plants that dwell on land or the ground
thespian
actor; theatrical performer

V

vertebrates
any of a subphylum (Vertebrata) of chordates possessing a spinal column that includes the mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fishes