baleen: the filtering structure of the larger filter feeding whalesderived from hair
small mobile island that form a breakwater for the mainland, barrier islands are usually near shore and composed primarily
basal metabolic rate: In physiology, the metabolic rate, or rate
of energy usage of an organism at rest
bathy: (pelagic/benthic) bathyl -Bathypelagic
and bathybenthic refer to the middle to lower regions of the ocean. The bathy (often bathyl) zone generally extends from a
depth of 1000m to 4000m. An animal that is benthic and lives in the bathy zone would be bathybenthic when a pelagic animal
would be bathypelagic. see picture
a tool that measures depth and temperature simultaneously.
Batsian Mimicry: When evolution has
led a species that is palatable to predators to resemble a species that is not
benthic: Benthic animals are those
associated with, living on or within (as in a burrow) the substrate, or bottom of a water body. This term is more often used
to refer to invertebrates.
benthos: The organisms that live on the bottom,
the benthic organisms of an area.
bio-diversity: The number of species within
a given area. Most simply given by number of species/square meter or some other measure of area. In three dimensional
environments (the ocean) measures of volume are sometimes used.
the production of light by living organisms. Caused by the breakdown of the protein luciferin by the enzyme luciferase.
Many planktonic organisms such as dinoflagellates and ctenophorans are bioluminescent. Deep sea organisms frequently
have symbiotic bioluminescent bacteria housed in special organs. See photophore
rhythm: regular period of activity and inactivity
biotic: With life,
having life. The biotic components of an environment include the other living things within that environment, contrast
Bivalvia: (class) Sub-grouping of the Mollusca. They
are also known as the Pelecypoda. These are the clams, oysters, mussels etc. The group is characterized by a two part hinged
black smoker: see hydroterhmal vent
bongo net: two connical plankton nets pulled simultaneously
book gills: leaf like gills of some arthropods, especially under the abdomen of horseshoe crabs
body sides and regions: For the purpose of referring to animals the its body is separated
into regions, based on the way it would orient itself in nature, and rarely from the way its evolutionary ancestors might
have oriented themselves. The area on the top, or back, of an organism is the dorsal region or side. The area
on the area on the bottom, opposite the dorsal is the ventral. The area towards the rear of an organism as it moves
is the posterior end or region. The end opposite the posterior, towards the front as it moves, would be the anterior end or
bilateral symmetry: symmetry in animals that can be divided into
two roughly symmetrical sides along a single median plane
blue green algae:
broadcast spawning: when animals mate by releasing gametes
in the water, usually synchronized, contrast with copulation
calcareous: made of or containing calcium
calcarious ooze: marine sediment that consists of 10% calcium
calcium carbonate: compound containing one calcium atom and three
oxygen atoms. Comon in the hard secretions of many organisms, ecspecialy the shells of mollusks and the skeleton of
camouflage: structural or color adaptations that allow an
animal to blend with its environment
carapace: the upper half of the shell
of sea turtles, the portion of the exoskeleton of crustacea that covers the cephalothorax.
carbohydrate: one of four types of organic compounds. Serves as energy storing molecules.
carrying capacity: The number of individuals or living material that a given habitat or area
is able to support. Carrying capacity is due to the limitation of some resource.
catadromous: a diadromous (see diadromous) lifestyle of fishes where the adults live in fresh water and return
to a marine environment to spawn. The North American and European freshwater eels (genus: Anguilidae) are an example.
Contrast with anadromous.
Cephalopoda: (class) Sub-grouping of the Mollusca.
are arguably the most advanced of the invertebrates. They include the octopus, nautili, squid, and cuttlefish.
cephalothorax: the fused head and thorax of several groups of arthropods. esp. the
cellular respiration: the chemical reaction that releases energy
from carbohydrates and forms carbon dioxide and water
that forms the cell wall of true plants and some algae
Sub-grouping of the phylum Chordata. These are mostly fresh water, jawless parasites on other fishes, commonly known
as the lampreys. They lack jaws, paired fins, bone, and scales. Lampreys have five gill pores and as adults have well developed
chelliped: the first walking appendage of may crustacean, adapted
chemoautotroph: see autotroph, see archaebacteria
chitin: a tough polysaccharide that forms the exoskeleton of arthropods
and the cuticle of other animals.
chlorophyll: the most common class of
Chlorophyta: the green algae, believed to have given
rise to the terrestrial plants.
choanocyte: the feeding cell of sponges.
uses a flagella to create a current that draws food into "collar" of microvilli.
Chondrichthyes: (Class) These are the cartilaginous fishes. They exhibit no true bones, although the cartilage
that makes up their skeletons may be ossified (hardened) by calcium salts. This class is further devided into the subclasses
Elasmobranchii (Sharks, Rays and Skates) and the Holocephali (Chimaeras).
(Phyla) These are animals which have, at some point in there life, a notichord, pharyngial (throat) gills, and post
anal tail. Many organisms may lose these features early in there ontogeny. The chordata are divided into three
subphyla. The urichordata are the sea squirts or tunicates. The cephalochordata are the lancelates.
The vertebrata are animals with backbones.
organ or cell that gives color to or allows for color change in an organism. The color change is caused by the expansion
of the pigment containing cells.
circalunar: biorhythm entrained by lunar
cycles, or monthly tidal cycles
Circadian: any 24 hour or daily cycle, daly
circannual: yearly biorhythm
circatidal: biorhythm entrained by daily tidal cycles
(class) These are sessile crustaceans which use what would be there walking appendages to filter feed. The form a series
of calcareous plates around themselves and are commonly known as the barnacles.
The study of taxonomy with special intent that groupings represent phylogenic/evolutionary relationships
clasper: the reproductive organ of male cartilaginous fishes, a modified pelvic fin
cloaca: common posterior body opening of cartilaginous fishes, some reptiles
closed circulatory system: a system where the circualtory fluids
never leave the system of tubes that moce them. Respiratory gasses, cell nutrients and wastes must leave or enter the
system by diffusion through the walls of the vessels.
clutch: a group of
eggs or offspring
Cnidaria: (phyla) These are gelatinous invertebrates characterized
by the presence of cnidocytes (=stinging cells). Cnidarians are noted for the two types of body forms they can achieve. These
are the Medusae as in a jelly fish and the polyp as in a coral polyp. A species of cnidarean does not necessarily maintain
the same body form throughout its life cycle. Something we commonly think of as a medusae for example probably also has a
polyp phase. Cnidareans are devided into four major classes; Cubozoa- marine, the sea wasps. Hydrozoa, marine
and fresh water, the hydras and colonial forms such as the Portuguese man of war. Scyphozoa, mostly marine, the true jellyfish
Anthozoa- marine, the "flower animals" soft and hard corals as well as anemones.
cnidocyte: the stinging cells of the cnidarias (jellyfishes, hydras and anemones) the cnidocyst and nematocyst
refer to the actual stinging organelle.
coadaptation: when organisms evolve
to be dependant on one another, and the adaptations involved become more specific.
important marine phytoplankton with a cell wall of circular interlocking calcarious plates called coccoliths
codon: a series of three base pairs in DNA that code for a particular amino acid
Coelocentera: archaic phyla name that included the radiate two tissue layered phyla,
Cnidaria and Ctenophora.
coelocenteron: oral sac, or gut, of Cnidarians.
coelom: A body cavity that is fluid filled and lined by serous membrane.
Most segmented animals are coelomates.
coelomate: having a coelom
cold blooded: archaic, layperson's phrase for both the terms ectotherm and heterotherm.
commercial extinction: When a fish is so uncommon that it is not financially
community: in ecology, all the organisms that live within a habitat or
competition: an interaction of individuals, where they compete for
some resource. The resource might or might not be biotic. Also, the resource might or might not be in limited.
There are two main types of competition. In exploitative competition organisms both utilize a common resource, which
is limited. They do not, however, physically interact, the interaction is in the race to utilize the resource.
In interference competition organisms utilize a common resource, which might or might not be limited. One organism will
interfere with the others utilization of the common resource.
the ability of a substance to conduct electricity, used to infer the mineral or salt content of a sample of water.
cones: photo sensitive nerves able to distinguish between different wave lengths
of light, and thus see color
conformity: When an animal does not maintain
its internal variables at a level different from that of the environment it is said to be conforming. For example: the osmotic
pressure within a jellyfish's body is similar to that of its surroundings (seawater) Therefore it is an osmotic conformer.
Generally the need to conform internal variables is a trait of less evolved animals. See also Regulation.
conspecific: of the same species
An organism which can not produce its own nutrition, and must consume other organisms. This includes all the Fungi,
Animalia and many Bacteria. Contrast with producer, and autotroph. Synonymous with heteroroph
consummatory: a trait that is not variable within a species, stereotypical. Contrast
continental break: the place in the continental shelf that
marks the transition from shelf to slope, where the gradual dropoff to deeper water becomes more pronounced see picture
islands that are part of a continental land mass
continental margin: the
submerged edge of a continental landmass see picture
the somewhat flat, shallow, submerged part of a continental land mass see picture
the "face" of the continent, where the rise from abyssal depths occur see picture
When traits in dissimilar organisms tend to take on similar form or purpose. An example of this would be the
similar body forms of pelagic sharks and dolphin. This form allows the animals to exploit the same environment while
they evolved in very different ways. Contrast with divergent evolution.
(class) This is a highly diverse group. Adults are similar to larval forms of other crustaceans. Copepods fill many ecological
niches. Planktonic copepods of the genus Calanus are among the most abundant animals on Earth.
copulation: sexual reproduction when the male delivers sperm to the body of the female, contrast
with broadcast spawning
coral reef: a habitat created by the slow build
up of the calcium carbonate skeletons of many coral polyps. There are several types of coral reefs and coral reefs have
distinctive zones. The most diverse marine habitat
coral bleaching: A
condition when coral polyps expel symbiotic zooxanthellae, assumably due to stress. The loss removes the color giving
a coral aggregation a white appearance
cordgrass: important estuary grasses.
Coriolis effect: the tendency, due to the rotation of the
Earth, of moving objects in the northern hemisphere to veer to the right, and things in the southern hemisphere to the left
countershading: when an animal is dark on top and light on the bottom, a type
of camouflage for animals living in the water column
the hours of twilight. An animal most active during the twilight hours of dawn or dusk. Contrast with diurnal
Crustacea: (subphyla) This is a large group of mostly aquatic
Arthropods which includes most of the recognizable aquatic arthropods. All Crustaceans have two pairs of jointed antennae
and two pairs of mouthparts.
Ctenophora: (phyla) These are the comb jellies.
They are characterized by the presence of eight "ctene" or comb rows for propulsion through the water. The Ctenophorans
used to be maintained in a phyla with the Cnidarians called the Coelentara. Older texts, and books without a strong emphasis
on Zoology might maintain this, incorrect name. There are two Major classes of Ctenophorans; Nuda, Without tentacles Tentaculata,
with two tentacles.
Cyanobacteria: the blue green algae, prokariotes (bacteria)
that form a major component of the phytoplankton and frequently form mat coverings over near shore habitats.