Glossary

adaptation - the process that changes the anatomy, physiology, or behavior of a population that enables them to more effectively live in a given environment.

adenosine triphosphate (ATP) - the "energy molecule" of the cell.  Cells use ATP and derivatives of ATP to perform metabolic functions.  The energy comes from the high energy bonds between the phosphate molecules.




allele - one of two or more alternative forms of the same gene that are located in the same place on homologous chromosomes.  Alleles are usually characterized as being dominant or recessive. 

allele frequency - the proportion of a gene in a population that is made up of a specific allele.  

carnivory - the type of predation in which an animal kills and eats another animal for food.

Cockney - a person who is native to London, especially the East End of London.

diversity - the number of species in a given location.

dredge - to dig out the bottom of a body of water.  Many times people dredge ponds to make them deeper or will dredge the ocean looking for new species.

ecosystem - A group of organisms that are interdependent and the environment they live in and depend on. For example, cows grazing on a pasture reflect an ecosystem. It would include the cows and everything that surrounds them, for example, the grass, water, and of course other animals, like the cow birds, army worms, fire ants, soil microbes, and other living things associated with the pasture.

evaporate - to turn a substance from a liquid to a gas.

evolution - a process by which a population of organisms changes over time.  More specifically, evolution is a change in genetic frequency over time.

 exponential growth - the instantaneous rate of population growth, represented by a J shaped curve.  Exponential growth has no upper limit.

extinction - when a species of animals dies off completely from the earth

fetid - having a heavy or offensive odor.

fossil record - when an animal dies, it's bone structure is often preserved when decaying debris or dirt packs on top of it for thousands to millions of years.  This is how researchers know what many of the dinosaurs looked like, which led to discovery of how they lived and interacted with the ecosystem.

fuel cell - an electric cell produced by the oxidation of a gas fuel that is directly converted into electrical energy.

legume - in simple terms, peas or beans.

Marxism - the social and political theories supported by Marx.  These theories support a form of government called socialism in which either the people or the government administrates and owns everything, and in turn, unequally distributes the goods and pay according to work done.

niche - the role of species based upon its function within a community.  This includes the activities of the individuals and how they interact with each other and the habitat around them.

petrify - to convert organic material into stone through infiltration of water and mineral deposits. 

porpoise - a toothed sea mammal that is often confused with the bottle-nose dolphin.  Both the porpoise and the bottle-nose dolphin are of the Class: Mammalia, Order: Cetacea, and Family: Odontoceti.  However, porpoises have a shorter, stubby nose, in contrast to the dolphin's more elongated snout.  The porpoise also has a shorter, thicker body than the dolphin.
 
Source: NOAA

precipitate - to cause vapor (gas) to condense and fall

radioactive dating - a type of absolute dating that allows scientists to determine the age of certain materials, such as carbon.  Minerals decay over time, releasing radioactive rays.  Scientists know how long it takes for any isotope to decay.  Using this information, we can find how old an object is by determining how much radioactive material still exists in the object.   

radioactive oxygen - an unstable oxygen molecule that emits radioactive rays until it reaches stability.  Scientists use these radioactive isotopes of molecules to trace their path through the body.  This allows scientists to see how the body metabolizes molecules.  

sea anemone - polyps with brightly colored tentacles 


Source: NOAA

siphonophore - jellyfish that are usually delicate, transparent, and colored.


Source: NOAA

solvent - the substance that dissolves or can dissolve a solute

vacuum - a space completely devoid of matter, including air.