Glossary | A

Abaxial
facing away from the stem or central axis of an animal or plant
Abiotic
Non-living;non-biological
Aboral
away from or opposite the mouth
Abyss
region of greatest ocean depth, generally greater than 1,000 m (3,300 ft) deepr
Abyssal
referring to the deep sea or abyss
Acclimate
to become accustomed to a new environment
Accumulator
plants able to absorb salts and then eliminate them by dropping leaves, example pickleweed
Adaptation
modification of an organism or part of an organism to adjust to new conditions or a new environment in order to survive
Adaptive management
a type of natural resource management in which decisions are made as part of an ongoing science-based process. Involves testing, monitoring, and evaluating applied strategies, and incorporating new knowledge into management approaches that are based on scientific findings and the needs of society. Results are used to modify management policy, strategies, and practices.
Aerobic
living in oxygenated condition or requiring oxygen
Aestivate
state of dormancy induced by high temperature; breathing and circulation slows slightly
Aestivate(or estivate)
state of dormancy induced by high temperature; breathing and circulation slows slightly
Afrikaans
a language that developed from 17th-century Dutch and is an official language of South Africa.
Aggregate
cluster together to form a dense mass
Agnatha
fish-like vertebrates that lack jaws, e.g., lamphrey, hagfish
Algin
carbohydrate extracted from brown marine algae; widely used for its water-binding, thickening and emulsifying properties
Alpha
top-ranking individual in a specific hierarchy
Altricial
animals in which the young are born in a very immature condition (helpless, naked, and blind when hatched), and are dependent on adult care for survival
Ambient
of the surrounding area or environment
Ambient
of the surrounding area or environment
Amphibious
capable of living either on land or in water
Amphipod
any member of the Order Amphipoda; small, laterally compressed crustaceans; includes whale lice and beach fleas
Amplexus
process in which a male frog grasps a female with his front legs while she lays her eggs. As she lays her eggs, he fertilizes them with the fluid containing sperm. The pair may remain in amplexus for several hours to several days.
Anadronomous
fishes that breed in fresh water but spent most of their adult lives in a marine environment
Anaerobic
to live life completely or nearly completely without oxygen
Anal
near or at the opening of the lower end of the intestines
Anterior
pertaining to the head or forward end
Anthrozoa
taxonomic class in which polyp form is dominant
Anti-venom
an antitoxin active against the venom of certain snakes, spiders, or other venomous organisms that counteracts the effects of the toxin
Aperture (mollusk)
opening to the shell from which the snail's body emerges
Aphotic Zone
Zone without light; that portion of the ocean where light is insufficient for plants to carry on photosynthesis
Aphotic zone
zone without light; that portion of the ocean where light is insufficient for plants to carry on photosynthesis
Apical
pertaining to the head or forward end
Aplacental viviparity with histrotroph
eggs hatch inside the female and there is no placenta. The embryo first receives nourishment from the yolk sac and then from a substance secreted from the female’s uterine wall called histotroph or ‘uterine milk’.
Aquarist
individual who collects, feeds and cares for the animals and plants on exhibit
Aquatic
pertaining to or living in water
Arboreal
pertaining to or living in trees
Arthropod
any member of the Phylum Arthropoda; has jointed legs and a segmented body; e.g., insects, spiders, crustaceans, etc.
Artisanal fisheries
traditional small-scale fisheries that involve households (as opposed to commercial companies), make short fishing trips close to shore, and fish mainly for local consumption that can be for subsistence or commercial
Asexual
having no evident sex or sex organs
Asexual reproduction
reproduction without the union of male and female gametes; reproduce without sex by fragmentation or budding
Atrial aperture
posterior opening in salps through which water leaves the body
Aviary
place where birds are kept
Axillaries
feathers connecting the under surface of the wing and the body, and concealed by the closed wing
CITES Appendix II
CITES is the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. Appendix II applies to species that, although not threatened with extinction now, might become so unless trade in them is strictly controlled and monitored. CITES Appendix II also includes some non-threatened species, in order to prevent threatened species from being traded under the guise of non-threatened species that are similar in appearance.