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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k the symbol for Ecological capacity

kaapvaal craton Ancient core of the southern African continent, formed between 3 600 and 3 100 million years ago; consists mainly of granodiorite batholiths and greenstone belts

karoo An arid part of the interior plateau in the temperate zone of Southern Africa, dominated by dwarf shrubs and adjoining the Highveld grassland.

keratin a hard natural substance that is the main component in hair, nails, hooves and horns

keratinisation hardening, usually of the skin

keystone species a species that is fundamental in the functioning in a specific ecosystem. Should that species be removed or die that whole ecosystem would be highly disrupted

kibaran belt Linear zones of metamorphic rocks on the African continent formed about 1 200 to 1 000 million years ago

kimberlite Rare igneous rock consisting of silicate minerals rich in magnesium, iron and alkali metals; it is the source rock of diamonds

kin selection Selection favouring care of relatives; e.g., by caring for full siblings, individuals gain as much genetic benefit as they would by raising their own young, since both carry half their genes.

kleptoparasite Small spiders that live on the webs of larger species and steal (portions of) small prey that get trapped in the web. E.g. mercury spiders.

komatiite Fine-grained igneous (volcanic) rock consisting of silicate minerals rich in magnesium and iron (mainly olivine and pyroxene)

koppie (Afrikaans for head). A small hill, typically a rock outcrop, where various mammals find safety, shelter, and food.

koppie (afrikaans for head) A small hill, typically a rock outcrop, where various mammals find safety, shelter, and food.

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