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Tree of Life Glossary

Tree of Life Glossary

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Published by: kapil on Aug 28, 2011
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Tree of Life Glossary
The ToL Glossary is still under construction. We expect to greatly expand it over the next fewmonths. The current page contains a listing of all the available ToL Glossary terms.You can set your preferences for browsing the ToL web site so that words contained in theglossary list are highlighted on ToL pages, and definitions are displayed when you move thecursor over a highlighted word. If you would like to try this now, click on the
Turn GlossaryOn
button below, and then go to a ToL page that features some of the terms in the list below (theEukaryotespage is a good one). Note that you can turn the Glossary function on and off on anyToL branch page, leaf page, other article, note, or treehouse. Open the
preferences
menu andselect either 
Show Glossary Entries
or 
Hide Glossary Entries
.
Top of Form
 
Turn Glossary On1
Bottom of Form
aboral:Relating to position: away from the mouth (cf.adoral).abyssopelagic: (abyssopelagic zone)The part of the ocean that extends from 4000m to the sea floor. This zone is characterized by near- freezing temperatures and crushing water pressure.actinopod: (actinopods)A type of pseudopod, needle-shaped, with internal skeleton formed from arrays of microtubules.adoral:Relating to position: toward the mouth (cf.aboral).aerial:Pertaining to the air - as opposed to the land (terrestrial) or the water (aquatic). aestivation: (aestivate, estivate, estivation)In animals: a state of dormancy/inactivity during the summer.In plants: the arrangement of sepalsand petalsor their lobes in an unexpanded flower   bud.alga: (algae, algal)A polyphyleticgrouping of organismswith chloroplasts. Now divided into blue-green algae(eubacteria), cryptomonads, chlorarachniophytes, glaucophytes, dinoflagellates andother alveolates, euglenids (a group of Euglenozoa), various stramenopiles (also referredto aschromophytes, chrysophytes,heterokonts- including the diatoms and brown algae), haptophytes (= prasinophytes), green algae (green plants), and red algae. For moreinformation seeAlgae: Protists with Chloroplasts.allopatry: (allopatric)Species or populations occupying separate geographic areas. Compare tosympatry.aloricate: Noloricapresent.amino acid: (amino acids)Molecule that serves as the basic structural unit of proteins.General formula: R– CH(NH
2
)COOH, with the side group (R) specific for each individualamino acid.amoeba: (amoebae)
 
Anyorganismin a polyphyleticgrouping of organismswhich move and feed using  pseudopodia. For more information aboutamoebaeseeAmoebae: Protists Which Move and Feed Using Pseudopodia.amoeboid:Like anamoeba. Usually means that theorganismhas the capacity to produce  pseudopodia.amphitrophic:Organisms capable of gaining energy and nutrients by bothautotrophicandheterotrophic  means. (Same asamphizoic
 
).amphizoic:Seeamphitrophic.anoxic:An environment in which there is no free oxygen present. A situation that commonlyarises in natural habitats when the biological demand for oxygen exceeds the supply, for example in sediments or when a site is organically polluted.apical:Relating to the apex, the anterior pole.apomorphy: (apomorphies, apomorphic)Acharacter statederived byevolutionfrom an ancestral state ( plesiomorphy
 
). A novelevolutionarytrait.Also seesynapomorphy,autapomorphy. appressorium: (appressoria)Specialized structure of a fungalfilamentthat anchors to the surface of a plantroot, facilitating the invasion of the plant by the fungus.aquatic:Pertaining to water - as inaquatichabitat (ponds, lakes, streams, oceans, etc).arboreal: (arboreality)Organisms living on or in trees, fequenting trees, or a part of anorganismresembling atree in form and branchingstructure.Archezoa:1990's but fluid concept for eukaryotes believed to have evolved before the origin of mitochondria. Over time, the group has included some or all of the entamoebae,microsporidia, diplomonads, retortamonads, oxymonads, trichomonads, hypermastigids,mastigamoebids, Pelomyxa, Phreatamoebae and trimastix in various combinations. For more information see theDiscussion of PhylogeneticRelationships on the Eukaryotes  page.autapomorphy: (autapomorphies, autapomorphic)A uniquely-derivedcharacter state. Anapomorphythat is unique to a singleterminal taxon.Compare tosynapomorphy.autotrophic:Organisms which trap energy from physical or chemical sources and use the energy toassemble the macromolecules of which they are made.Photosynthesisis the only process by which this happens in eukaryotes, but additional processes are found among prokaryote organisms. Compare withheterotrophic. axoneme:A geometrically packed assemblage of microtubules(subcellular scaffolding) used tosupport flagella, the arms of Heliozoa, etc.
 
 bacterivore: (bacterivores)Anorganismthat eats bacteria. bacterivorous: (bactivorous)Said of  bacterivores. base pair: (base pairs)A pair of nucleotideson opposite strands of a nucleic acid hydrogen-bonding with eachother according to the pairing rules between a pyrine and a pyrimidine.Batesian mimicry: (Batesian mimic)A palatable/harmlessmimicresembling an unpalatable/vigilant model.Batesian mimicrypostulates that palatable mimics are likely to gain protection from predatorsthat have learned to avoid the unpalatable/vigilant model as long as the mimicremains relatively rare compared to the model. bathypelagic: (bathypelagic zone)The part of the ocean that extends down from 1000m to 4000m. No sunlight reaches thiszone so it is very cold and completely dark. It is also characterized by very high water  pressure. benthos: (benthic, benthic zone)The bottom sediments of the sea, rivers, lakes, ponds, etc. biotroph: (biotrophs, biotrophic)Anorganismwhich is dependent on a livinghostorganism as a source of nutrients.  bivittate:Having a pair of longitudinal stripes. black mud:Reduced muds found below the surface of sediments in lakes and rivers. The blackness iscaused by the occurrence of metal sulphides. branch: (branches, branched, branching)1.A secondary woody stem or limb growing from the trunk, main stem, or another secondary limb of a tree, shrub or vine.
2.
Many other, subdivided, elongated structures of organismsresembling a tree branch.
3.
Graphical representation of anevolutionary lineagein aphylogenetictree diagram. buccal:Relating to structures associated with the mouth.From Latin
bucca
, mouth cavity.Burgess Shale:TheBurgess Shaleis a sedimentary rock formation located in Yoho National Park,British Columbia, Canada. It contains exquisitely preserved fossils of invertebrateanimals that lived on the seafloor 505 to 500 million years ago, during theCambrian  period.For more information seeBurgess ShaleatThe Paleontology Portal. Cambrian:TheCambrianis the earliest period of thePaleozoicera, spanning the time between 543 and 490 million years ago.For more information seeThe Cambrian atThe Paleontology Portal.

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