The following words are provided as vocabulary support to your visit to the RainForest.  Each word shown here may have additional meanings, as shown they are displayed with their respective meaning as it relates to the animal world.   If you would like to see any additional definitions please contact us via email.

Amphibian A cold blooded vertebrate that spends part of its life in water and part of its life on land

Arboreal Living or spending the majority of its' time in the trees.

Arthropod An invertebrate with jointed legs and a body hat is divided into sections

Anthropomorphize To give human emotions or characteristics to an animal or inanimate object.

Brooding Physical contact between a mother and her eggs for part or all of the incubation period of eggs.

Brumation A long period of rest similar to hibernation without the extreme temperatures.  Often associated with a cooling period in tropical animals

Camouflage  An adaptation by which an animal can ghide by blending in with its surroundings

Canopy Highest level of the forest infrastructure.   Generally at the same elevation as the emergent layer. 

Carapace The hard bony plates that form the bottom, or underside of a turtle shell

Carnivore A consumer that eats only animals

Carrion Deceased animals

Caudal Luring To lure prey items by the utilization of movement of the tail, often the tail component that moves is brightly colored.

Conservation  The act of saving, protecting or using resources wisely.  This includes reusing or recycling resources

Crepuscular A creature that is active immediately before and after dawn and dusk

Cryptic Hidden, difficult to see.  Often in animals this ability is very similar to camouflage.

Dimorphic A creature or plant that is highly variable between male and female.  Easily distinguishable features such as color or size make the identification of the sexes very easy.

Diurnal Active during the day.

Ectothermic  Cold blooded, deriving energy from external temperature sources such as the sun and ambient air temperature.

Endangered  A plant or animal species that is close to becoming extinct

Endemic Native to a particular island, nation or region.  Generally found no where else. 

Estivate (also spelled aestivate) A dormant period similar in metabolic behavior to hibernation, but actually occurs during summer heat and or drought.

Exotic Species  Plant and animal species that are new to an area and often do not have natural predators or diseases in the new area

Extinct   Died-out, leaving no more of that species alive on Earth.

Facial Pit A series of pits located on or near the jaw region of certain snake species, heat sensing organs

Feral Once an animal becomes feral they are considered untamed or wild animals. 

Fossorial Living primarily underground.

Genus A group made up of two or more very similar species

Gravid Pregnant

Habitat loss Animals and plants losing their home.  It is the major reason plants and animals become extinct

Hemotoxin A venom which attacks blood and blood tissue.  Coagulation often occurs with the destruction of the cell walls.

Herbivore A consumer that eats only plants

Heredity The passing of traits from parent to offspring

Herpetology The general study of reptiles and amphibians.

Instinct A pattern of behavior that requires no thinking because it is programmed into an animalís brain

Insular  Found on Islands

Invertebrate An animal without a backbone (see Lawyer)

IUCN   International Union for Conservation of Nature, helps the world find
pragmatic solutions to our most pressing environment and development challenges

Life cycle  The stages of growth and change of an organisms life

Life Span How long an organism can be expected to live

Mammal A warm blooded vertebrate with hair or fur female mammals produce mile to feed their young

Marsupial A warm blooded group of animals who are closely related to mammals but give birth to incompletely developed babies who spend time in a marsupium, or fold of skin creating a pouch on the female.  The mother often retains the babies and nurses them for several months in this unique pouch before the babies emerge as developed young. 

Monomorphic Describes a species of animal that is essentially identical in all external features in both the male and female of the species.

Neurotoxic A venom which attacks the central nervous system of the prey items.  Neurotoxic snakes include the Cobra and Mamba family.  In the United States only the Coral snake is Neurotoxic.

Omnivore A consumer hat eats both plants and animals

Over harvesting Taking plants and animal in larger numbers that their population can withstand

Overpopulation A depletion of resources that occurs when too many of at least one kind of living thing inhabits an ecosystem

Ovoviviparous Reproducing by laying eggs

Plastron  The hard bony plates that form the top of a turtle shell

Pollution  The adding of harmful substances to the water air or land

Regurgitate  To expel food from the body (throw-up)

Reproduce  To have offspring or babies

Reptile A cold blooded vertebrate that lives on land hand has a backbone an endoskeleton and waterproof skin with scales and or plates

Species  A group of individuals that have many of the same characteristics, and are different from all other animals in some important way. Hamsters and mice are two different species of rodent        (One easy method of remembering the list of plant and animal classifications is K.P.C.O.F.G.S  Kings Play Chess On Fiberglass Stools-Kingdom, Phyllum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species)

Terrestrial Dwelling or living primarily on the ground.

Threatened  Species of plants and animals that are likely to become endangered in the near future

Thermo Regulate  The ability of an animal to control it's body temperature by increasing or decreasing the amount of ambient heat available.  Often seen basking on logs or rocks, turtles are a classic example of an animal leaving cool water to warm up, or thermo regulate, by using the heat of a sunny day. 

Vertebrate  An animal with a backbone, examples include fish, mammals and birds.

Viviparous  Giving birth to live off spring.

Warm blooded    An animal with a constant body temperature









Free Coupon School Programs, Group Event, Shop RainForest, Rainforest  Animals, Smoky Mtn Links,