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2019 Herpetology SciOly
Terms in this set (323)
A group of individuals drawn together due to some environmental attraction (safe sleeping area, basking areas, food source, mating).
Surrounding temperature; room air temperature
Skin lacks all melanin, the substance which produces brown and black coloring in the skin
Living in or climbing trees
Loss of muscle coordination.
Lives in, or mostly in, water
The defensive release of the tail; also refers to the auto-amputation of toes or by constriction of retained skin shed
A light or overhead heating element that produces an area of higher heat in an enclosure required by the reptile for digestion
Hard or bony mouthparts on chelonians and some tadpoles
Notched in two, such as a snake's tongue. Iguana tongues have a small, deep pink notch in the tip, often only visible once the iguana has reached a year or so of age.
Torpor induced by prolonged periods of low temperatures.
The tissues in the mouth (roof, walls, gums).
Egg tooth, used by oviparous species to cut a slit in their shell through which they will push their way out.
Eats only animal flesh
A collective term referring to turtles and tortoises
Towards the tail end of the body
Of long duration
A passage used for eliminating fecal, urinary and reproductive discharges. From the Latin word meaning "sewer".
Members of the same species.
Active at dawn and dusk
A decorative ridge of skin or spikes that may occur on the neck, back and/or tail.
The removal of dead or injured tissue
Reduction of water in body tissues and blood; can be fatal. Dehydration can be due to insufficient water intake, a too-arid an environment, or as a result of thermal burns.
The flap or fold of skin on lizards along the throat from chin to chest; some may be flared outward during territorial and aggression displays
Active during the day.
Towards the back (spinal area).
Relating to the dorsal and lateral sides of the body.
Difficult shedding skin
Abnormal or difficult labor or birth
Process of shedding the skin.
Parasites living outside (or on) the body
"Cold-blooded" - body temperature varies according to ambient external temperatures.
Having to regulate internal body temperature by seeking out different external heat sources. See the related term, poikilotherm.
Parasites living inside the body
Torpor brought on by extended periods of drought or heat.
Enlarged pores found on the inside of the thighs of males and females. Males have larger pores than females. The plugs in the male iguana's pores grow during breeding season and are used to scent mark their territory. Females do some scent marking but not as extensively as males. Chemicals in the waxy plugs can be used to tell if the iguana who left the mark was male or female
The enlarging ova in ovaries, prior to fertilization.
Burrows under ground or beneath vegetation
The opening at the back of the tongue leading into the trachea (wind pipe)
Pregnant. Used when referring to viviparous, oviparous and ovoviviparous animals.
Basks in the heat of the sun (or other overhead bright heat source). Commonly found in arboreal and semiarboreal iguanids and agamids, chameleonids, etc. Aquatic and semiaquatic turtles also bask. Snakes use a combination of heliothermic and thigmothermic strategies.
The bi-lobed male reproductive organs in most reptiles, kept inverted in the tail until needed.
Plant eaters. Includes fructivores (fruit eaters) and folivores (leaf eaters)
The study of reptiles and amphibians. From the Greek word herpeton, "things that creep and crawl on their bellies". The herpesvirus is based on the same Greek root, named for the viruses creeping along the nerves in the body.
A reptile or amphibian. "Herpers" is the term used to refer to people who are interested in or who keep herps. Herpetoculture refers to the keeping and breeding of herps.
Relating to the liver.
Short for hetero, the standard color/pattern for which an animal carries dominant genes.
Eats only insects.
Animals having external skeletons or shells, or none (e.g., insects, snails, slugs, worms, crabs).
Refers to the side, as in "lateral folds".
Drowsiness or prolonged lapses into unconsciousness
Male iguana human female. Since this cumbersom combination is used with increasing frequency when discussing issues relating to male iguana aggression, this acronym will simplify the typing, if not the biochemistry.
Toward the midline (center) of the body.
A color or pattern (e.g., albino is a morph of the standard form).
Dead skin or tissue, often the result of burns or infection.
Chemically damaging to the kidneys.
Active at night.
Refers to the neck area. An iguana has a nuchal (from the back of the head to the shoulders) and a dorsal crest (from the end of the nuchal area to the base of the tail).
Eat both plant and animal matter.
Softening of the bones.
Laying eggs. Adult female crickets have an ovipositor, a stick-like projection off their tail end which is used to deposit the eggs.
Reproduces by laying eggs.
Reproduces by forming eggs which are retained, in a shell-less form, inside the mother until they are ready to hatch. They either hatch inside the body, appearing outside as if through viviparous birth, or the egg sacs are expelled from the mother's body and the young break through the sac membrane to free themselves.
Glandular structures secreting parathormone, used in calcium metabolism.
A photosensory organ connected to the pineal body, active in triggering hormone production (including reproduction) and thermoregulation; sensitive to changes in light and dark, it does not form images, having only a rudimentary retina and lens; visible as an opalescent gray spot on the top of some lizard's heads; also referred to as "pineal eye" or "third eye".
Females who reproduce without males, producing primarily or only female offspring (daughters). Common in several lizard species
A day/night cycle of light/dark. Depending on the context in which this term is used, it may refers to just the daylight period (see also photoperiod).
The breaking open of an egg shell by the hatchling inside. Most hatchlings are equipped with an "egg tooth," a sharp protruberance on their mouth, used to pierce and cut a tear in the shell.
An animal whose temperature varies with that of its environment, excluding birds and mammals. ("Cold-blooded")
The bottom park of a turtle or tortoise shell.
Relating to the kidneys.
Relating to the rostrum the nose and area surrounding the nostrils and front of the top lip.
Rock and crevice dweller.
The dark period during of 24 hour period of light and dark (see also photoperiod).
singular: seta. The tiny hair-like projections on some the toe pads of some gecko species that enable them to climb smooth vertical surface, even walk across ceilings. Each seta is tipped with hundreds of spatulate projections. There are theories about how exactly they work.
Snout Tail Length
(stl; STL) The measurement of an animal from nose to the end tip of the tail.
Snout Vent Length
(svl; SVL) The measurement of an animal from nose to the vent.
Subspecies. (UK: ssp.)
Plural: ranking below a genus or subgenus, related organisms capable of interbreeding. Singular: one such type of organism.
Ranking below species, used for organisms related at the species level but who show distinct differences, other than color/pattern, from other species or subspecies in the genus.
The remnant of the hind limb, visible as a small claw on either side of the vent, on boas and pythons. On some torotises, an enlarged scale projecting out from the legs, generally the inside of the hind legs.
Just beneath the skin (as in SQ, subq, subcutaneous fluids).
A range of temperature needed to enable a reptile to regulate its internal (core) body temperature.
Lives on land.
In reptiles, their ability to change their body temperature by moving from warm to cool places.
Absorbs heat by laying/resting against warm objects in the environment. Commonly found in snakes, Lacertidae, Scincidae, and Teiidae. Snakes use a combination of heliothermic and thigmothermic strategies.
Sluggishness, inactive, lethargic.
The non_fecal part of the excreta.
The exterior opening of the cloaca; anus.
Towards the belly.
Animals having internal skeletons (mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish).
Bears live young rather than laying eggs.
Increased amounts of, or excessive, yellow, coloring.
A disease (bacteria, fungus or worm) transmitted from one animal to another, including to and from humans
The number of eggs laid; egg production and laying. (1. The females of some species clutch several times a year. 2. The average clutch size of adult green iguanas is 50-70 eggs.)
Housing males and females together.
The recurring reproductive phase, triggered by hormonal changes triggered by environmental cues. May occur on an annual basis, or a more or less frequent basis.
The estrogen hormon primarily responsible for stimulating yolk synthesis in females.
When a sperm from a male penetrates the ova of a female. In oviparous species, fertilization occurs when the sperm meet the ova as they pass through the oviduct, a passage which also layers the outside of the egg with calcium to form a shell.
1. A small bodily cavity or sac; any small spherical group of cells containing a cavity. pl. follicles. 2. small egg-containing sacks found in the female ovary. In fertile human females, one follicle will become dominant and release a mature egg (ovulate) during every cycle. In oviparous reptile species, several mature eggs will be produced, depending on the species and the individual.
The development of the yolk in the eggs.
Occurring, or made to occur, outside of a living organism or natural setting (i.e, "test tube babies" are when the egg and sperm have been combined and fertilization occurs in the lab and then implanted into the mother or surrogate).
Occurring, or made to occur, within a living organism or natural setting.
The act of copulation, during which the male transfers his sperm into the female. .
The burrow or pallet dug by the female in which to deposit her eggs.
An egg before maturation (oogenesis).
The formation and maturation of an egg.
Eggs. sing. ovum The mature ova are 10-100 times the size of inactive (pre-vitellogenic) ova. An ovum technically becomes an egg once the albumin and shell are added as they pass through the oviduct into to coelomic cavity.
The female gonad, producing eggs and female hormones. The ovary varies in appearance and size depending on the stage of oogenesis. An inactive ovary may appear as a small smear of caviar-looking substance, while an active ovary looks like a mass of white spheres (the developing eggs) held together by transparent membranes laced with blood vessels.
var. oviduct. Secrete albumin as well as shelling the eggs.
Egg-laying. (Anoles are oviparous.)
The laying of eggs.
The hollow tube through which some insects (such as crickets) and chelicerata, lay their eggs. In bees and wasps, this has been modified into the stinger.
To lay or discharge eggs, especially as applied to organisms with a specialized egg-laying structure, such as an ovipositor.
An estrogen antagonist, this steroid hormone produced in the ovary. In uterine mammals, it prepares the uterine lining for the implantation of a fertilized egg.
Named for the prostrate gland where these hormone-like chemicals were first discovered, prostaglandins play a varied role in both males and females.
Some female animals can resorb fully developed eggs. What causes resorbtion in female reptiles is not known, so there is no known way to trigger nor prevent it.
The eggs of oviparous reptile are shelled as they pass through the oviducts on their way to the coelomic cavity, which occurs several days prior to laying. The amount of calcification (thickness, rigidity) varies from species to species. The amount of shelling can be adversely affected due to metabolic bone disease caused by pre-exisiting dietary or environmental deficiencies, or gestational/gravidity-induced MBD when gravid females have not received supplemental calcium to prepare them for the increased calcium demands on their bodies to produce eggs and shells.
An infertile egg.
The development of the egg yolk in the follicles, started when estrogen stimulates the liver to start converting lipids from the body's fat stores, creating vitellogenin. During this time, the liver is enlarged and yellowish-looking.
The development and deposition of yolk.
A protein, synthesized in the liver after estogen stimulation, that is the precursor to several yolk proteins. The maturing follicles absorb vitellogenin from the bloodstream.
The deposit of yolk into the ova.
The development of yolk, initially started in the liver, complete in the ova.
Order- crocodiles and alligators
Family- Alligators and caiman
Family- Snapping Turtles
Family- musk and mud turtles
Family- box, pond and marsh turtles
Genus- Box turtles
Genus- Western pond turtles
Genus- diamondback terrapins
Genus- map turtles
Genus- painted turtles
Genus- cooters and redbellies
Genus- spotted turtle
Genus- -Sculptured Turtles (wood and bog turtle)
Genus- chicken turtle
Genus- Blanding's turtle
Family- Sea Turtles
Family- soft shelled turtles
Order- Lizards and Snakes
Lacertila or Sauria
Family- Gecko Lizards
Genus- Green Iguana
Genus- Desert Iguana
Family- collared lizards
Family- earless, spiny, tree, side-blotched and horned lizards
Genus- spiny lizards
Cophosaurus and Holbrookia
Genus- fringe toed lizards
Urosaurus and Uta
Genus- - tree and side blotched lizards
Genus- horned lizards
Family- Wall Lizards
Genus- racerunners and whiptails
Family- glass lizards and alligator lizard
Genus- glass lizards
Genus- Alligator lizards
Family- Gila monster
Family- blind snakes
Genus- Brahminy blind snake
Family- blind snakes
Genus- Rubber boa and rosy boa
Family- typically harmless snakes
Genus- water snakes and salt marsh snakes
Genus- - brown snakes and redbelly snakes
Genus- garter, ribbon, and lined snakes
Genus- - hog-nosed snakes
Genus- Ringneck snakes
Genus- Racer snakes
Genus- coachwhips and whipsnakes
Genus- Green Snakes
Genus- rat snakes
Genus- pine, bull and gopher snakes
Genus- king and milk snakes
Genus- crowned and blackhead snakes
Family- coral snakes
Family- Sea snakes
Family- pit vipers
Genus- copperhead and cottonmouths
Genus- massasaugas and pigmy rattlesnakes
The overall temperature of the environment.
A lack of pigment in the skin. (Pinkness comes from the blood color)
Pertains to the front or head end.
Pertains to the front of the lower surface.
An opening at the base of the tale. (see cloaca)
Lives in the water.
An invertebrate animal having an exoskeleton (external skeleton), a segmented body, and jointed appendages.
Lives in trees or bushes.
A bony or hard shell that covers part or all of an animal. Turtles, crabs, and boxfish are good examples.
Animals who hunt and eat other animals; meat eater.
The head or crest of an animal
The tagma of found in some arthropods, it is a segment comprising the head and the thorax fused together, and is distinct from the abdomen behind.
Pertaining to turtles, terrapins, and tortoises.
A chamber that opens through the anus that is used for both excretion and reproduction.
when an animal hides itself against a background of the same color. There are many well-known examples of this type of camouflage (e.g., polar bears, artic fox, snowshoe hare). Concealing coloration camouflage is one of the reasons why many animals living in the Artic are white, while many animals living in forests are brown (e.g., deers).
Often referring to the top of the head (cranial crest).
Becomes active at dusk, dawn, and twilight.
Patterning or color to camouflage or conceal.
Animals that are detritus feeders, eating dead and decaying leaves and other decomposing plant and animal parts, as well as organic fecal matter.
The flap of skin on the throat of some lizards; like iguanas and anoles.
Color differences between individuals of the same species.
Any of the various differences between individuals of the same species; like color and size. Often sex-related differences.
This is like concealing coloration except that the animals blend in with their surroundings by their shape and/or texture rather than color.
The stripes, spots or other patterns on some animals are used to make it hard for other animals to see the outline of their bodies. A herd of zebras crowded together might look like one large mass to a lion rather several zebras. This makes it hard for the lion to single out a weak zebra and come up with a good plan of attack.
Active during the day.
Pertains to the back or upper surface.
Pertains to the upper sides.
A glandular ridge on the upper sides of certain frogs.
The upper surface.
Scientific study of the interations of organisms and their environment.
An animal that cannot regulate its own body temperature, rather it's regulated by the environment, so they often bask for heat, burrow, and hibernate.
Indigenous to a specific region or area.
Similar to hibernation, some herptiles will bury themselves and remain dormant when the climate is too dry and/or hot for comfort. It is also spelled aestivation.
It burrows or digs.
A grouping by kind or class. Several united species makes a genus.
A female bearing eggs or embryos.
pertaining to the eye bones
Scientific Study of reptiles and amphibians.
herptile, herp, herpetofauna
Reptiles and amphibians together.
Plant eater, vegitarian.
To pass a cold season in sleep or seclusion.
A crossbred animal. The offspring of two different species.
An animal without a backbone.
Animals that seem to blend characteristics of subspecies.
An organ for detecting odor located in the roof of the mouth. The tongue delivers the odor. The nostrils connect to the lung or lungs.
A ridge on a scale.
Pertaining to the side.
the early form or first stage of an insect during its development.
Blackness, the opposite of albinism.
The change from a larval state to an adult state.
Pertaining to the middle of the back.
Pertaining to the middle of the belly.
Animals that use mimicry are imposters. They mimic the characteristics of unappetizing animals. A monarch butterfly is toxic and unappetizing to birds. Viceroy butterflies safeguard themselves from birds who prey upon them by looking a lot like monarch butterflies.
Reaching sexual maturity while still in larval form; some salamanders.
A poison that affects the nervous system.
Active at night.
Animals who eat both meat and vegetables.
An animal who holds the eggs inside its body until they hatch and living young are delivered. However, the embryo is sustained by the contents of the egg and not by any connection to the animal that holds it.
The lower shell of a turtle.
Term used for variable temperature cold-blooded animals.
Pertaining to the rear.
Pertaining to the rear portion of the lower surface.
Capable of grasping or wrapping with the tail.
Horns around the nose area.
A horny, chitinous, or bony external plate or scale, as on the shell of a turtle or the underside of a snake. Also called scutum.
Able to live on both land and water; some turtles and frogs.
Positioned above the tympanum (external eardrum).
These are vertebrate (having a backbone or spinal column) animals that have four limbs. including amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. The word tetrapod is derived from the Greek term "tetrapode", which is equivalent to the Latin term "quadruped".
The science of classifying plants and animals.
A spur found on the back of the rear feet on male Veiled chameleons for use in breeding.
The cage or container for keeping reptiles and amphibians.
Lives on the land.
To regulate body temperature. Most reptiles cannot produce their own body heat and must rely on external or environmental heat sources. They control their core body temperatures by moving in and out of areas with varying temperatures and humidity levels
A poisonous substance.
The external eardrum.
A toxin produced by an animal.
Anus, the opening from the cloaca to the outside.
Pertaining to the underside, the lower surface.
Typically describes an animal with a backbone or spinal column and includes mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians.
are members of the subphylum Vertebrata, a primary division of the phylum Chordata that includes the fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals, all of which are characterized by a segmented spinal column and a distinct well-differentiated head. There are currently about 58,000 species of chordates. Vertebrates are the largest group of chordates, and make up about 5% of all described animal species; the rest are invertebrates, which lack backbones.
An enclosure or container for keeping reptiles and amphibians.
Live-bearing animal whose young are sustained by some connection to its mother.
mimicry in which an edible animal is protected by its resemblance to a noxious one that is avoided by predators.
natural phenomenon in which two or more unprofitable (often, distasteful) species, that may or may not be closely related and share one or more common predators, have come to mimic each other's honest warning signals, to their mutual benefit, since predators can learn to avoid all of them with fewer experiences.
state of animal dormancy, similar to hibernation, characterized by inactivity and a lowered metabolic rate, that is entered in response to high temperatures and arid conditions, covers body in mucus and buries itself
mudpuppies and water dogs
torrent and seep salamanders
red and mud salamanders
Texas and Blanco Blind salamanders
frogs and toads
Scaphiopus or Spea
Tree frogs, family
tree frogs, genus
antipredator adaptations in which a warning signal is associated with the unprofitability of a prey item to potential predators.
lower their necks and pull the heads straight back into the shells
folding their necks sideways along the body under the shells' marginals
Rear fanged snakes, usually inject venom by the back fangs
concave at the anterior end of the centrum and usually convex at the posterior end of the centrum
both the anterior and posterior surfaces of the centrum concave
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