Glossary of Terms
Annelids: Any of various worms or wormlike animals of the phylum Annelida, characterized by an elongated, cylindrical, segmented body and including the earthworm and leech.
Arthropods: Any of numerous invertebrate animals of the phylum Arthropoda, including the insects, crustaceans, arachnids, and myriapods, that are characterized by a chitinous exoskeleton and a segmented body to which jointed appendages are articulated in pairs.
Biodiversity: The number and variety of organisms found within a specified geographic region. the diversity of plant and animal life in a particular habitat (or in the world as a whole).
Clutch: The complete set of eggs produced or incubated at one time.
Conservation: The protection, preservation, management, or restoration of wildlife and of natural resources such as forests, soil, and water.
Detritivore: An organism that uses organic waste as a food source, as certain insects.
Diurnal: Occurring or active during the daytime rather than at night.
Ecology: The science of the relationships between organisms and their environments. Also called bionomics.
Ecosystem: A system formed by the interaction of a community of organisms with their physical environment.
Endemic: Native to or confined to a certain region.
Epiphytes: A plant, such as a tropical orchid or a staghorn fern, that grows on another plant upon which it depends for mechanical support but not for nutrients. Also called aerophyte, air plant.
Extinct: No longer existing or living.
Feral: Existing in a wild or untamed state.
Gymnosperms: Any of a class or subdivision (Gymnospermae) of woody vascular seed plants (as conifers or cycads) that produce naked seeds not enclosed in an ovary. Cone-bearing trees.
Habitat: The area or environment where an organism or ecological community normally lives or occurs: a marine habitat.
Humus: A brown or black complex variable material resulting from partial decomposition of plant or animal matter and forming the organic portion of soil.
Invertebrate: An animal, such as an insect or mollusk that lacks a backbone or spinal column.
Moult: Of birds, insects, reptiles, etc. to cast or shed the feathers, skin, or the like, that will be replaced by a new growth.
Mustelid: Fur-bearing carnivorous mammals, such as stoats, weasels and ferrets.
Nocturnal: Belonging to or active during the night; “nocturnal animals are active at night.
Pampas: An extensive treeless grassland area.
Parasitic: An organism that grows, feeds, and is sheltered on or in a different organism while contributing nothing to the survival of its host.
Photosynthesis: The process in green plants and certain other organisms by which carbohydrates are synthesized from carbon dioxide and water using light as an energy source. Most forms of photosynthesis release oxygen as a byproduct.
Podocarps: Evergreens in the southern hemisphere of the genus Podocarpus having a pulpy fruit with one hard seed.
Prehensile: Adapted for seizing, grasping, or holding, especially by wrapping around an object.
Pupa: An insect in the inactive stage of development (when it is not feeding) intermediate between larva and adult.
Pupate: To become a pupa. To go through a pupal stage.
Ratites: Relating to or being any of a group of flightless birds having a flat breastbone without the keel like prominence characteristic of most flying birds, such as an ostrich, emu or kiwi.
Substrate: The surface on which an organism grows or is attached. An underlying layer; a substratum.