Animal Info - Glossary S
- The ecoclimatic region that borders the Sahara Desert to
the south in the 6000 km (3720 mi) long, 500 km (310 mi) wide strip crossing the continent
of Africa from the Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea between the 100 mm (4") and 600 mm
(24") isohyets of mean annual rainfall.
It is characterized by low and
erratic rainfall with little vegetation, most of which is seasonal. The word
"Sahel" comes from the Arabic word for "edge".
- Sal Forest
- Tropical moist deciduous forest
with the Sal tree (Shorea robusta), a large deciduous
tree with shining foliage, being the dominant species.
- Salt Lick
- A salt deposit that animals regularly lick.
- A grassland with scattered trees or scattered clumps of trees, a type of community
intermediate between grassland and forest.
- An organism that climbs or is given to climbing.
- Feces of an animal.
- Scientific name
- The "scientific name" of an animal consists of two levels of its taxonomic classification, the "genus" and "species."
Scientific names are usually in Latin. They should be printed in italics, with the
genus capitalized and the species
not capitalized. Thus the scientific name of the tiger is "Panthera
(species)." Sometimes a species
is further subdivided into subspecies, and the subspecies
name (not capitalized) is added to the scientific name. Thus the Siberian tiger's scientific name
is "Panthera tigris altaica". Once the scientific name of a
species has been mentioned in a publication, the genus is frequently abbreviated in subsequent occurrences (e.g. the
tiger's scientific name would be written "P. tigris").
Once the scientific name of a subspecies has been
mentioned, the genus and species are
frequently abbreviated in subsequent occurrences (e.g. the Siberian tiger's scientific name would be written "P.
- Sclerophyll forest
- A general term for hard-leafed forest, such as the eucalypt forest that covers much of
- An accumulation of stones or rocky debris lying on a slope or at the base of a hill or
- Sea Ice
- Ice formed from ocean water that freezes.
- 1) Remaining in one area; 2) not migratory.
- A family of grasslike plants found in all parts of the world,
especially in marshes of subarctic and temperate zones. Sedges differ from true grasses in having solid, angular (usually
- Seed Predation
- Destruction of a seed as a result of consumption by a seed predator; e.g.,
a mouse eating grain.
- Referring to a species whose animals only reproduce once.
- Relating to a series of ecological communities that succeed one another in the
biological development of an area.
- An area of plains and open woodland in northern Tanzania
and southern Kenya in East Africa. It
includes the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania
and the adjoining Masai Mara Park in Kenya.
The Serengeti is just south of the Equator and has an area of about 25,000
sq km (about 10,000 sq mi).
- Sexual dichromatism
- A form of sexual dimorphism in which the
sexes are identical in size but have different coloration.
- Sexual dimorphism
- See "Dimorphism".
- One of two or more individuals having one or both parents in common; a
brother or sister.
- A range of mountains, especially with a serrated or irregular outline.
- An adult male gorilla, so called because of
his coat coloring.
- The collective term for a group of pigs.
- A taxonomic division that generally refers to a group
of animals which are similar in structure and descent and are able to breed among
- Species Survival Plan
- The Species Survival Plan (SSP) program is a cooperative population
management and conservation program for selected species in zoos and
aquariums in North America. Each SSP manages the breeding of a species in
order to maintain a healthy and self-sustaining population that is both
genetically diverse and demographically
stable. As of early 2003, 108 SSPs covering 159 individual species are
administered by the American Zoo and Aquarium
- Specific density
- See "Ecological density".
- A person who explores and/or studies caves.
- The process of sperm production.
- A grass which grows in large, distinctive clumps or hummocks in the driest areas of
central and western Australia.
- Sporangium (plural "sporangia")
- A structure within which spores are produced.
- A primitive, usually unicellular reproductive body produced by plants and capable of
development into a new individual, either directly or after fusion with another spore.
- The individual or generation of a plant exhibiting alternation of generations that bears
asexual spores. (compare "Gametophyte".).
- The male organ of a flower, composed of a filament topped by an anther (usually several in each flower).
- Standard Deviation (abbreviated
"SD" or "Std. Dev.")
- The standard deviation is a measure of how spread out a group of data
are. The larger the standard deviation, the more spread out the data
- Open grassy plains in the temperate zone, characterized by low and sporadic rainfall and
a wide annual temperature variation.
- Random; exhibiting variability due to random events.
- Stratum (plural: strata)
- One of a series of layers or levels in an ordered system.
- Under the top layer of skin.
- Not the most favorable or desirable.
- Technically, a subgroup of a species
that is allocated a Latin name. The number of subgroups recognized within a species and the allocation of names to them is
something of an arbitrary procedure. Variations do occur within species,
but there are no clear rules for identifying them as subspecies except that they must be: a) geographically distinct; b) populations, not
merely a group of animals that differs in some morphological
respect from other members of the species; and c) different to some
degree from other geographic populations. (Allaby 1991)
- The base that an organism lives on.
- The progressive replacement of one ecological community by another until a
relatively stable community occupies the area.
- Referring to something that is undergoing the process of succession.
- A plant having fleshy tissues that conserve moisture.
- To die from the effect of destructive or disruptive forces.
- The Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna River come together in Bangladesh
to form a 10,000 sq km (3850 sq mi) delta, the largest in the world. At the edge of the
delta is the Sundarbans, the world's largest mangrove
- A super-group forms when two or more groups of animals of a species (e.g. Drill (Mandrillus leucophaeus) or Mandrill (Mandrillus
sphinx)) come together for short periods.
- Having a sagging back.
- Symbiosis, Symbiotic
- The intimate living together of two dissimilar organisms, frequently (but not always) in
a mutually beneficial relationship.
- Relating to two or more animals whose geographical ranges
overlap (compare Allopatric).
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Last modified: April 23, 2006;