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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oceanic crust Crust that underlies the oceans (excluding continental shelves); it is 57 km thick and consists of basalt and gabbro

ocelli Simple eyes found on many invertebrates. Their function is to detect light and movement, but not shape or form. They are usually found in clusters of 4 - 6

oestridae family of flies and larvae which lay eggs on the eyes or in the nasal passages of animals

oestrus the period when a female will mate for the purpose of fertilisation

olfactory pertaining to the sense of smell

oligarchy a social system dominated by several large males e.g. a baboon troop

omasum the third compartment of a ruminant stomach. It is a muscular segment that mixes food mechanically

omnivore an organism showing tendencies to eat both plant and animal matter

oocysts the infective spore stage in the life cycle of protozoa

ootheca A packet of invertebrate eggs. Usually with reference ti insects

organic once living or alive

ornithischia Herbivorous branch of the two great dinosaur lineages, possessing a four-pronged (tetra-radiate) pelvic structure, and including such well-known forms as Stegosaurus, Iguanodon, Triceratops, Parasaurolophus, etc.

orthognathous spiders that actively move around hunting. They can but do not spin webs for prey capture

osmosis the movement of a liquid across a selectively permeable membrane

osteophagia the practice of herbivores consuming bones

osteophagy the practice of eating bones, where the behaviour is not common. E.g. antelope eating bones

oviduct a portion of the female reproductive system

oviparous egg laying

ovipositor an anterior (rear) appendage of female Arthropoda that is used to lay eggs into exact locations. It may be modified into a stinging apparatus e.g. wasps

ovoviviparous refers to species (mostly reptiles)that incubate their eggs internally. Their offspring hatch from these internal eggs and then emerge from the cloaca giving the false impression that they give birth to live young. Snake examples include Puff Adder and Rinkhals

oxidation when oxygen combines with a metallic substance in a chemical reaction

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