Animal Info - Glossary H

Habitat
1) The natural characteristics of the area where an animal lives; 2) the particular location where an animal normally lives.
Habitat Selection
Habitat selection by animals can occur at three different spatial scales: at the largest scale, "first order-selection" describes the types of habitats within the overall geographical distribution of all of the animals in a species; at the intermediate scale, "second-order selection" describes the types of habitats selected for their home ranges by individual animals; and at the finest scale, "third-order selection" describes those habitats within individual home ranges where the animals actually spend the majority of their time.  "Third-order selection" can be related to the use of "core areas" within the home range. (Johnson 1980 cited in Dunstone et al. 2002
Harem
A group of females associated with one male - used in reference to polygamous animals .
Haul out
Referring to an animal such as a seal pulling itself ashore.
Heath
An area dominated by low-growing shrubs with woody stems and narrow leaves (e.g. heather), which often predominate on acidic or upland soils.
Helper
An animal, usually without young of its own, which contributes to the survival of the offspring of others by behaving parentally towards the offspring.
Herb
A plant that has little or no woody tissue and usually persists only for a single growing season.
Herbaceous
Referring to a plant that has little or no woody tissue and usually persists only for a single growing season.
Herbivore
An animal that eats mainly plants or parts of plants.
Hertz (Hz)
A measurement unit used to describe the frequency of sound. One Hertz (Hz) equals one cycle per second. The frequency of the note "A above middle C" on the piano is 440 Hz. The range of human hearing is generally between 16 and 20,000 Hz. (20,000 Hz = 20 kilohertz)
Heterospory
The production of microspores and megaspores (as in ferns and seed plants)..
Heterozygosity - average
Sum the number of heterozygous individuals for each gene, divide this by the total number of individuals in the sample, and average over all genes.
Heterozygous
Referring to an individual in which the alleles of a given gene are different.
Hibernating
Remaining inactive for a period in the winter during which the normal physiological process is significantly reduced, thus lowering the animal's energy requirements.
Highveld
See "Veld".
Holotype
The single specimen of the animals which is designated by an author to represent the type of a species at the time the species is established.
Home range
There are a number of variations of the definition of "home range"; e.g. 1) The area in which an animal normally lives, whether or not it defends the area from other animals; 2) the area that an animal learns thoroughly and habitually patrols; 3) the amount of land used by an animal throughout the year.
Hybrid
The offspring of parents of different species.
Hybridization
The process whereby animals of one genetic stock (e.g. an endangered species) breed with animals of another genetic stock (e.g. another species, or domestic stocks of the same species), resulting in hybrid offspring that have lost the pure genetic characteristics of the original stock.
Hygrophilous
Living or growing in moist places.

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Last modified: June 3, 2006;

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