Glossary

This glossary is a FREE SERVICE to assist the student and enthusiast alike to get a better understanding of scientific terms, wildlife industry jargon and ecological concepts.
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gabbro Coarse-grained igneous rock consisting of plagioclase (calcium aluminium silicate) and pyroxene (calcium, magnesium, iron silicate)

gabion a wire mesh framework filled with rocks; used to restore erosion gullies

game auction selling game at a traditional auction with the animals on display

game cubes a type of supplemental feed

game farm A farm where game is bred as business or for hunting, but ecotourism is not a priority

game lodge The physical lodge buildings and related infrastructure as found on game reserves, farms and ranches

game ranch Same as a game Farm, ranch is simply an American term

game reserve A protected area for the growth and development of game animals and their habitats. Primarily used as an ecotourism destination, but may also include hunting, breeding and research

ganglia primitive brain or neural network

gas energy energy lost from the animal in the form of heat

gasterophilidae a fly family representing those species which lays eggs in the coat/hide of animals

gastro-intestinal tract a combination of interconnecting organs and structures from the esopgagus to the anus. The path of food from ingestion to excretion

gastropod Member of the diverse group of molluscs that includes the snails, slugs and their relatives; some live on land (land snails and slugs), but the majority are aquatic (fresh water: mainly snails, and marine – e.g. whelks, periwinkles, marine snails, etc.)

geeldikkop (sunlight sickness) Disease affecting animals ingesting plants with chemicals which cause photo-sensitivity in animals.

gene the part of a chromosome which determines the individuals characteristics

gene pool the total of the genes in a population of organisms

genera In biology, a genus(plural: genera) is a taxonomic rank used in the biological classification of living and fossil organisms. In the hierarchy of biological classification, genus comes above species and below family. In binomial nomenclature, the genus name forms the first part of the binomial species name for each species within the genus.

genotype the sum total of the hereditary factors of an organism

geology the study of the history and life of the earth as it is recorded in rocks

geomorphology the study of relief features of the earth's surface

geophagia the eating of soil by herbivorous animals

geotropism The term used to describe a plant's response to gravity. Stems and branches grow up, roots grow down. Even if plant is inverted.

geotropsim the growth of a plant in respone to gravity

gestation pregnancy; the period from conception to birth for viviparous animals

gifblaarsiekte (poison leaf sickness) a disease affecting the central nervous system od carnivores and the heart of ruminants

ginkgo Generic name of the group of gymnospermous plants that were abundant in the past; today only Ginkgo biloba survives; the formal name for the group is Ginkgoopsida

git Gastro Intestinal Tract (mouth to anus)

glacial striations Grooves and scratches on a rock surface formed by glaciers dragging rock fragments over the surface

glossopterids Members of the family to which the extinct seed fern, Glossopteris, belongs

glossopteris Generic name for the leaves of a group of seed ferns that dominated the floras of Gondwana during the Permian Period; remains of this plant make up the bulk of southern hemisphere coal deposits today

glycosides substances found in the leaves of plants, which may be toxic to animals in large quantities

gnathosoma the mouthparts of a tick

gneiss Coarse-grained metamorphic rock with a distinct banding of lighter and darker layers; its mineral composition is usually similar to granite

gonads reproductive organs of animal species

gondwana Ancient continental landmass made up from the present landmasses of Africa, South America, the Falkland Islands, India, Australia, New Zealand, Antarctica and Madagascar that is believed to have formed about 500 million years ago

gorgonopsian Group of flesh-eating mammal-like reptiles (therapsids) that lived during the late Permian and became extinct at the end of the Permian Period

gousiekte (quick sickness) disease affecting ruminants which ingest dwarf medlar plants. Animals die rapidly from chronic heart seizure

graben Elongated block of rock that has been lowered by faulting relative to the surrounding blocks

graded signal A call or other type of signal that varies in intensity and/or frequency, thus being capable of transmitting subtle differences in the mood/intentions of the sender (cf discrete signal).

graminivorous subsisting on grass

granite Coarse-grained igneous rock consisting mainly of quartz (silicon dioxide) and alkali feldspar (sodium and potassium aluminium silicates)

granivores organisms that feed on seed

granodiorite Coarse-grained igneous rock consisting of feldspar (mainly sodium aluminium silicate), minor quartz (silicon dioxide) and amphibole (calcium, iron, magnesium aluminium silicate)

granophyre Fine-grained igneous rock consisting mainly of quartz (silicon dioxide) and alkali feldspar (sodium and potassium aluminium silicates); quartz and feldspar crystals form a distinctive interlocking texture

grass sward a clump of grass

graviportal The structural plan of very large animals like elephants, rhinos, and hippos, featuring pillar-like limbs to bear the body's heavy weight.

grazers animals which consume mostly grass

grazing capacity the maximum number of productive animals that can be maintained on an area without causing deterioration of the veld condition

greenhouse effect the effect of increased heating caused by the absorption of radiation (heat) by carbon dioxide in our atmosphere

greenstone Metamorphic rocks composed of minerals with a distinctly greenish colour, usually a product of metamorphism of basalt

greenstone belt Large, linear mass of greenstone; a characteristic feature of the geology of ancient cratons

gregarious living together in colonies or groups

gregarious species a species that prefers to congregate in groups

grenville belt Linear region of metamorphic rocks in eastern Canada formed about 1 100 million years ago

group Term used in stratigraphy to denote a related group of layered rocks

growth rate the increase in size of a populaton from one year to the next, expressed as a % of the population

guard hairs The outer coat that overlies the shorter, softer hairs of the underfur (underfur is sparse or absent in many tropical mammals, e.g. most ungulates and primates).

gully erosion Gully erosion is an obvious form of soil erosion consisting of an open, incised and unstable channel generally more than 30 centimetres deep

gustatorial pertaining to taste

gutenberg discontinuity Sudden change in seismic velocity that occurs at the boundary between Earth’s mantle and core

guttation The exudation (release) of drops of water (xylem sap) from the leaves of some vascular plants as a result of root pressure. Not to be confused with drops of water exuded by froghopper (“spittle bugs”) insects that are frequently found sucking the sap on the Apple Leaf (Rain tree) trees.

gymnosperm unprotected seed / division of seed bearing plants

gymnosperm (2) Seed plant with seeds not enclosed in an ovary (e.g. conifers, cycads, cycadeoids and ginkgos); means naked seed (from Greek)

gyroscope Device consisting of a spinning mass, typically a disk or wheel, mounted on a base so that its axis can turn freely in several directions and maintain orientation regardless of movement of the base

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