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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vacuole a small cavity in the cytoplasm of a cell, bound by a single membrane and containing water, food, or metabolic waste.

vascular system (of plants) System of cells and tissues for the uptake and transport of fluids and dissolved nutrients within a plant (the plumbing); non-vascular plants have to live in moist places because they do not have a well-developed system for the internal transport of fluids

vector an organism responsible for the spread of disease

vein (1) In geology: small, dyke-like intrusive body; (2) in zoology: blood vessel carrying blood towards the heart; (3) in botany: vascular system in leaves

veld An Afrikaans term for field, generally used in South Africa to describe habitats in which grasses are a dominant element; equivalent to savanna.

venison game meat

ventral The underside, lower surface of an animal, opposite of dorsal.

vermeersiekte (expand sickness) a disease causing vomiting due to the paralysis of the oesophagus

vermiculite Silicate mineral that readily breaks into flat sheets (micaceous) that greatly expand on heating; used in horticulture and insulation

vertebrate An animal with a spinal column and skeleton of bone, including amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals.

vestigial without any discernible function

vibrassae whiskers, highly sensitive tactile outgrowths of stiffened hair often from around the animals muzzle, but elsewhere also

virulence the degree to which severe disease is induced in a host

viscera Internal organs that lie in the coelomic cavities of animals, i.e. in the thoracic and abdominal cavities of mammals.

visceral Pertaining to the Viscera. See definition of Viscera.

viviparous an animal whose young are born alive and not from an egg

vlei a low-lying flat area that tends to be marshy. Often a flood-plain with few large plants, mostly grasses

volcanic ash Dust-sized particles of lava released from volcanoes during eruptions

vomeronasal organ (see Jacobson's organ). A pair of narrow, blind sacs situated on either side of the nasal septum, lined with sensory cells,primarily dedicated to monitoring reproductive condition, of females urine.

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