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105 terms

A-C Life science vocabulary

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abdomen
hind section of an arthropod's body that contains its reproductive organs and part of its digestive trait
abiotic factor
nonliving part of an organism's habitat
absorption
process by which nutrients pass from the digestive system into the blood
active immunity
immunity that occurs when a person's own immune system produces antibodies in response to the presence of a pathogen
active transport
movements of materials through a cell membrane using energy
adaptation
behavior or physical characteristic that allows an organism to survive or reproduce in its environment
addiction
physical dependance on a substance
adolescence
the stage of development between childhood and adulthood when children become adults and physically
aggression
threatening behavior that one animal uses to gain control over another
AIDS
(acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) disease caused by a virus that attacks the immune system
alcoholism
a disease in which a person is both physically addicted to and emotionally dependent on alcohol
algae
plantlike protists
alleles
different forms of a gene
allergen
substance that causes an allergy
allergy
disorder in which the immune system is overly sensitive to a foreign substance
alveoli
tiny sacs of lung tissue specialized for the movement of gases between air and blood
amino acid
a small molecule that is linked chemically to other amino acids to form proteins
amniotic egg
egg with a shell and internal membranes that keep the embryo moist
amphibian
ectothermic vertebrate that spends its early life in water and its adult life on land
anabolic steroids
synthetic chemicals that are similar to hormones produced in the body
angiosperm
flowering plant that produces seeds enclosed in a protective structure
annual
flowering plant that completes its life cycle in one growing season
antenna
an appendage on the head of an arthropod that contains sense organs
antibiotic
chemical that kills bacteria or slows their growth without harming body cells
antibody
protein produced by a B cell of the immune system that destroys pathogens
antigen
molecule that the immune system recognizes either as a part of the body or as coming from outside the body
anus
muscular opening at the end of the rectum through which waste material is eliminated from the body
aorta
largest artery in the body
aquaculture
practice of raising fish and other water dwelling organisms for food
arachnid
arthropod with two body sections four pair of legs and no antennae
artery
blood vessel that carries blood away from the heart
arthropod
invertebrate that has an external skeleton, a segmented body and jointed appendages
asexual reproduction
reproductive process that involves only one parent and produces offspring that are identical to the parent
asthma
disorder in which the respiratory passages narrow significantly
atherosclerosis
condition in which an artery wall thickens from a buildup of fatty materials
atrium
each of the two upper chambers of the heart that receives blood that comes into the heart
autonomic nervous system
the group of nerves in the peripheral nervous system that controls involuntary actions
autotroph
organism that makes its own food
auxin
plant hormone that speeds up the rate of growth of plant cells
axon
threadlike extension of a neuron that carries nerve impulses away from the cell body
B cell
lymphocyte that produces proteins that help destroy pathogens
bacteria
single-celled organisms that lack a nucleus; prokaryotes
bacteriophage
virus that infects bacteria
behavior
all the actions an animal performs
biennial
flowering plant that completes its life cycle in two years
bilateral symmetry
body plan with two halves that are mirror images
bile
substance produced by the liver that breaks up fat particles
binary fission
form of asexual reproduction in which one cell divides to form two identical cells
binomial nomenclature
system for naming organisms in which each organism is given a unique two part scientific name
biodiversity
number of different species in an area
biogeography
study of where organisms live
bilogical control
natural predator or disease used to combat a pest insect
biome
group of land ecosystems with similiar climates and organisms
biotic factor
a living part of an organisms habitat
bird
endothermic vertebrate that has feathers and a four chambered heart and lays eggs
birth rate
number of births in a population in a certain amount of time
bivalve
mollusk that has two shells held together by hinges and strong muscles
blood pressure
pressure that is exerted by the blood against the walls of blood vessels
brain
part of the central nervous system that is located in the skull and controls most functions in the body
brain stem
part of the brain that lies between the cerebellum and spinal cord and controls the body's involuntary actions
branching tree
diagram that shows how scientists think different groups of organisms are related
bronchi
passages that direct air into the lungs
bronchitis
irritation of the breathing passages in which the small passages become narrower than normal an may be clogged with mucus
budding
form of asexual reproduction of yeast in which a new cell grows out of the body of a parent
calorie
amount of energy needed to raise the temperature of one gram of water by one degree celsius
cambium
layer of cells in a plant that produces new phloem and xylem cells
cancer
disease in which some body cells divide uncontrollably
canopy
leafy roof formed by tall trees
capillary
tiny blood vessel where substances are exchanged between the blood and body cells
captive breeding
mating of animals in zoos or wildlife preserves
carbohydrate
energy rich organic compound made of the elements carbon hydrogen and oxygen
carbon monoxide
colorless odorless gas produced when substances including tobacco are burned
carcinogen
substance or factor in the environment that can cause cancer
cardiac muscle
muscle tissue found only in the heart
cardiovascular system
the body system that consists of the heart, blood vessels, and blood; circulatory system
carnivore
consumer that eats only animals
carrier
person who has on recessive allele for a trait but does not have the trait
carrying capacity
largest population that an area can support
cartilage
connective tissue that is more flexible than bone and that protects the ends of bones and keeps them from rubbing together
cast
type of fossil that forms when a mold becomes filled in with minerals then hardens
cell
basic unit of structure and function in living things
cell cycle
regular sequence of growth and division that cells undergo
cell membrane
outside cell boundary that controls which substances can enter or leave the cell
cell theory
widely accepted explanation of the relationship between cells and living things
cell wall
rigid layer of nonliving material that surrounds the cells of plants and some other organisms
central nervous system
division of the nervous system consisting of the brain and spinal cord
cephalopod
ocean dwelling mollusk whose foot is adapted as tentacles that surround its mouth
cerebrum
part of the brain that interprets input from the senses, controls movement, and carries out complex mental processes
chlorophyll
green pigment found in the chloroplasts of plant, algae, and some bacteria
chloroplast
structure in the cells of plants and some other organisms that captures energy from sunlight and uses it to produce food
chordate
phylum whose members have a notochord, a nerve cord, and slits in their throat area at some point in their lives
chromosome
double rod of condensed chromatin
cilia
hairlike projections on the outside of cells that move in a wavelike manner
circadian rhythm
behavior cycle that occurs over a period of approximately one day
classification
process of grouping things based on their similarities
clear-cutting
process of cutting down all the trees in an area at once
climate
typical weather pattern in an area over long period of time
clone
organism that is identical to the organism from which it was produced
closed circulatory system
circulatory system in which blood moves only within a connected network of tubes called blood vessels
cnidarian
invertebrate animal that uses stinging cells to capture food and defend itself
cochlea
snail-shaped tube in the inner ear that is lined with receptor cells that respond to sound
codominance
condition in which neither of two alleles of a gene is dominant or recessive
colony
group of individual organisms living or growing together
commensalism
relationship between two species in which one species benefits and the other is neither helped nor harmed
communicating
process of sharing ideas