Mammalogy Lab Terms
Terms in this set (117)
part of the body (excepting the back) between the thorax (rib-basket) and the
a process of the scapular ridge that articulates with the clavicle
a hair color pattern wherein the base of a hair is black, the mid section is light and
the tip is black.
Entirely lacking pigment in the hair, skin and eyes.
Of or pertaining to an alveolus (plural, alveoli), a small cavity or pit, as a socket
for a tooth. Alveolar length of a tooth-row therefore denotes the length of the row of
the teeth, taken from the posteriormost place where the back tooth emerges from the
bone to the anteriormost point where the front tooth in the row emerges from the
bone—the overall length of the bony sockets for the row of teeth.
A circular or ring like formation, as of the dermal scales on the tail of a mammal
where one ring of scales that extends entirely around the tail is succeeded, posteriorly,
by other rings.
Inhabiting or frequenting trees—contrasted with fossorial, aquatic, and cursorial.
A hollow, bony prominence of rounded form (in most mammals formed by the tympanic bone) partly enclosing structures of the middle and inner ear.
Distance on skull from the anteriormost inferior border of the foramen
magnum to a line connecting the anteriormost parts of the premaxillary bones.
Distance on skull from the anteriormost inferior border of the foramen
magnum to a line connecting the posteriormost margins of the alveoli of the first
A salient, rounded cord like projecting ridge of bone, as in certain rodents where the
superior border of the orbit is beaded.
The part of the skull enclosing the brain.
A guard hair that is modified to be longer, more rigid and erect, than normal guard
hair, but not to the degree of a quill.
In bats a process connected with the calcaneum (heel bone), helping to support the
edge of the fold of skin that extends between the leg and tail.
Of, pertaining to, or designating the tooth next to the incisors in mammals. Of or
pertaining to dogs or to the family Canidae.
An animal that preys on other animals; an animal that eats the flesh of other
animals; especially any mammal of the Order Carnivora.
Teeth behind the canines.
condylar (articular) process
On a mandible, the process ending in the articular condyle.
Least distance on skull from a line connecting the posteriormost
projections of the exoccipital condyles to a line connecting the anteriormost
projections of the premaxillary bones.
a process of the plane of the scapula that articulates with the humerus
and defines part of the joint with the humerus. It adds constraint, or restricts
movement of the humerus
The upward projecting process of the posterior part of the mandible,
giving attachment on its outward side to the masseter muscle and on its inner side to
the temporal muscle.
A color pattern where the animal is light on the side opposite a source of
light. Generally light below and dark above. Allows an animal to stand out less by
roughly matching the coloration (in black and white) of the background
A color pattern that allow an animal to blend in with its surroundings
A brief method for expressing the number and kind of teeth of mammals.
The abbreviations i. (incisor), c. (canine), p. or pm (premolar), and m. (molar)
indicate the kinds in the permanent dentition, and the number in each jaw is written
like a fraction, the figures above the horizontal line showing the number in the upper
jaw, and those below, the number in the lower jaw. The dental formula of an adult
coyote is i. 3/3; c. 1/1; p. 4/4; m. 2/3. [d.i., d.c. and d.p. (in place of i., c. and p.)
designate deciduous ("milk") teeth.]
A calcareous material, harder and denser than bone, which composes the principal
mass of a tooth.
The teeth, considered collectively, of an animal.
One of the cusps of a premolar tooth of a mammal corresponding in position (Anteromedial) to the protocone of a true molar.
A vestigial or non functional claw found on the ankle or wrist joint. Common
A vacant place or gap between teeth in a jaw.
A foot fall posture indicating than an animal walks on the tips of its fingers
(which are modified for bearing weight).
A bold (i.e. striped or otherwise contrasted) color pattern that breaks up the
outline of an animal.
Active by day—opposed to nocturnal.
Of teeth, the hardest substance of the mammalian body and forming a thin layer
that caps or partly covers a tooth.
with a distinct notch or grove
Having hair or pelage of primarily a reddish color.
Intestinal excrement ( i.e. feces)
The proximal bone of the hind limb.
lace-like texture to the bone on the side of the rostrum (present in
A color pattern wherein a patch of bright or contrasting color can be
covered (concealed) and exposed (flashed) in order to communicate to conspecifics or
The large opening in the back of a skull through which the spinal cord
passes to become the medulla oblongata of the brain.
The part of the forelimb between the elbow and wrist.
a depression in a bone for the insertion of muscles. Depth of the fossa indicates the
size of the inserting muscle.
Fitted for digging
Pertaining to or designating the bone (paired) immediately in front of the parietal
bone and behind the nasal.
The period of carrying young in the uterus, as applied to placental
mammals; the period of pregnancy.
A fossa or depresion near the head (proximal end) of the femur that
allows for the insertion (attachment ) of muscled.
The stiffer, longer hairs that grow up through the limber, shorter hairs (fur) of a
mammal's pelage. Some insulating function, significant protection from mechanical
the largest digit (analogous to the big toe) of the hind foot (pes).
In the lower jaw, the ramus bearing the teeth, and anterior to the vertical
Having elongate digits of the hand or foot.
The anterior palatine foramina (singular, foramen), of which there are
two, in the bony roof of the anterior part of the cavity of the mouth at the juncture of
the premaxillary bones and maxillary bones; transmit nasal branches of palatine
arteries and nasopalatine ducts of Jacobson.
Pertaining to or designating one of the teeth in front of the canine tooth; those in the
upper jaw invariably are in the premaxillary bone.
A canal through the maxillary bone from the orbit to the face
Pertaining to or in the region of the groin.
Eating insects; preying or feeding on insects.
In a bat the fold of skin stretching from hind legs to tail, also called
The least distance across the top of the skull between the orbits
The region between the eye sockets; the region of the skull between the
rostrum and the braincase.
Pertaining to or designating the bone (rarely paired) immediately in front of
the supraoccipital bone and between the two parietal bones.
the "T" shaped crest on the posterior margin of the brain case formed by a
combination of the occipital and sagital crests
The two or more young brought forth at one birth by a female mammal.
A combining form used as the terminal part of certain words and denoting the ridges
(or areas) composed of several cusps and styles on the occlusal face of a tooth, as
Designation of the second true molar in the upper jaw of a mammal.
The glandular organs for secreting milk.
Hair around the nape (or back of neck) that is elongate, or differentially pigmented
Analogous to the hand.
Designating or pertaining to the mastoid bone (paired) or its process. This bone is
bounded by the squamosal bone, the exoccipital bone, and the tympanic bone.
Width of skull from some designated place on the lateral face of the right
maxillary bone (maxilla) to the corresponding place on the left maxillary bone; in
shrews, across the ends of the zygomatic processes of the two maxillary bones.
The row of teeth in one maxillary bone; in most mammals all the
premolars and molars on one side of the upper jaw.
Colors that are black, or brown primarily. Colors derived from the
Of or pertaining to a metacarpal bone. A bone of the hand or forefoot between
the wrist and fingers; when all the digits are present there are five more or less
elongated metacarpal bones, one at the base of each digit.
Of or pertaining to a molar tooth. One of the teeth behind the premolar teeth; for
example, in the opossum three on each side in upper jaw and in lower jaw, making 12
in all; a molar tooth is not preceded in embryological development by a deciduous
In a mammal, the act or process of shedding or casting off the hair, or outer layer of
skin or horns; most mammals shed the hair once, twice, or three times annually. The
castoff covering (obsolete). As a verb: to be shed (intransitive) or to shed (transitive).
Of or pertaining to the nose, as a nasal bone (paired) on the dorsal surface of the skull
at its anterior end. A nasal bone.
Active by night—opposed to diurnal.
a ridge of bone (for muscle attachment ) along the dorsal margin of the
Least distance between two vertical lines, one touching the posterior most part of the skull above the foramen magnum (opening for the spinal cord) and the other touching the anterior most part of the nasal bones or a nasal bone.
of or pertaining to the grinding or biting (occluding) surface of a tooth.
A process or extension of the ulna that allows for a greater moment arm (leverage) of the ulna.
Capable of being placed opposite something else; said of the first toe of an opossum in the sense that it can be placed opposite each of the other toes on that same foot.
The cavity in the skull in which the eye and its appendages are situated; the eye
The longer hairs of the pelage of a mammal that project above the fur (shorter
Designation of the third (next to last) premolar in the upper jaw of a mammal. Capital
letters designate teeth in the upper jaw and lowercase letters designate teeth in the
Of or pertaining to the palate (as used in the foregoing account, the bony roof of the
mouth made up of two palatine bones, two maxillary bones, and two premaxillary
The roof of the mouth, consisting of the structures that separate the mouth from the
nasal cavity. The bony palate is composed of the following bones; premaxillae,
maxillae, and palatines.
Pertaining to or designating the parietal bone (paired) roofing the braincase. This
bone is behind the frontal bone and in front of the occipital bones.
Of, pertaining to, or situated or occurring in or on the chest.
The coat of hair on a mammal considered in entirety. The entire coat.
Tuft of fur or hair, as a black pencil on the end of the tail of a mammal.
Analogous to the foot
A bone, in a finger, distal to the metacarpus or a bone, in a toe, distal to the
The projecting or external part of an ear.
A foot fall posture indicating that the entire plantar surface (sole of the foot or hand) is used in walking
the largest digit (analogous to the thumb) of the manus.
Situated behind the auricle (pinna) of the ear, as a postauricular patch
(ordinarily referring to a parch of fur differing in color from surrounding fur).
Situated behind the eye, as postorbital process of the frontal bone or postorbital
process of the jugal bone.
Of or referring to the premaxilla, a bone (paired) in the mammalian skull
bearing the incisor teeth the upper jaw; the premaxilla is situated in front of the
Designating or pertaining to one of the teeth (a maximum of 4 on each side of
upper jaw and lower jaw of placental mammals, or 16 in all) in front of the true
molars. When canine teeth are present, premolars are behind these teeth; premolars
are preceded by decidious teeth, and in the upper jaw are confined to the maxillary
Guard hair that is modified to provide a thorny barrier to the animals skin. These
hairs are generally rigid and hollow.
An infold of the enamel layer on the side, front, or back of a cheek-tooth,
as in a molar of a muskrat or wood rat.
Black, tough, fleshy pad of skin protecting the tip of the nose (as on dog and other canids).
Of a mammalian skull, the part projecting in front of the orbits.
The breeding period, as in deer.
The ridge of bone at the juncture of the two parietal bones resulting from the
coalescence of the temporal ridges; in old individuals of many species of mammals
the crest extends from the middle of the lambdoidal crest anteriorly onto the frontal
bones and divides them into two temporal ridges, each of which extends
anterolaterally on the posterior edge of the postorbital process of the frontal bone.
Guard hair that is modified to be longer and more erect than normal guard hair
A spot, patch of hair, distinctively colored immediately below the ear.
supraorbital process of frontal
The process of the frontal bone on the top rim of the orbit, as in a rabbit.
temporal ridge (paired)
A curved, raised line on the side of the braincase marking the upper
limit of attachment of the fascia of the temporal muscle. The temporal ridge is
prominent on the parietal bone, frequently extends forward onto the frontal bone, and
in some kinds of mammals extends backward onto the interparietal bone. When
present, the sagittal crest is formed by the coalescence of the two temporal ridges.
a large process on the medio-lateral portion of the femur in perissodactyls
The inner and usually the larger of the two bones of the hind limb (leg) between the
knee and the ankle.
A foot fall posture indicating that the foot is modified into a hoof.
The short hair of a mammal; in temperate and boreal climates the underfur
ordinarily is denser, made up of more hairs, than the longer and coarser guard hair.
This hair provides little mechanical protection.
The interfemoral membrane of a bat; that is to say, the fold of skin that
stretches from the hind legs to the tail.
underfur that is curly and matted.
Greatest distance across zygomatic arches of cranium at right angles to
long axis of skull.
Whiskers, or elongate mustacial hair
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