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132 terms

USJ Science Words (first 132)

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organisms
living things that are capable of reacting to stimuli, reproduction and growth.
habitat
The place where population lives. (trees, forest, field etc..)
scavenger
meat eating animals that feed on the remains of dead animals (vultures)
consumers
any animal that eats plants or eats other plant-eating animals
taiga
A biome that has cold long winters and a short growing season. Conifers grow well in this area.
alfalfa
a flowering plant in the pea family. Grown to feed livestock.
elodea
is a perennial aquatic plant often called water weeds. Often used in aquariums.
mustard
a plant species that grows very small seeds tha can be ground to use as a spice. The plant itself can be eaten as greens as well.
wheat
A world wide cultivated grass that is harvested and the seed is ground into flour to make bread. Second largest crop in the world.
tundra
a cold, treeless biome of the far North, marked by spongy topsoil.
sun
the source of all energy to our planet.
symbiosis/symbiotic
a relationship between two kinds of organisms over time.
acid rain
moisture that falls to the Earth after being mixed with wastes from burned fossil fuels.
photosynthesis
the food making process in green plants that uses sunlight.
germination
the sprouting of a seed into a new plant.
producer
any of the plants and algae that produce oxygen and food that the animals need.
ecosystem
All the living and non-living things in an area and their interactions with each other.
decomposers
any of the fungi or bacteria that break down dead plant and animals into useful things like minerals and rich soil.
fungi
members of a kingdom that contain one celled and many-celled living things that absorb food through their environment. A decomposer- mushrooms are an example.
biome
one of Earth's large ecosystems, whit its climate, soil, plants, and animals.
individual
a single member of a species
population
all the members of one species in an area.
community
all the populations living in one area.
niche
the role an organism has in its ecosystem.
desert
a sandy or rocky biome, with little precipitation and little plant life.
food chain
the path of the energy in food from one organism to another.
food web
the overlapping food chains in an ecosystem.
deciduous forest
a forest biome with many kinds of trees that lose their leaves each autumn.
energy pyramid
is the graphical representation of the levels (nutritional) by which the incoming solar energy is transferred into an ecosystem.
competition
active demand by two or more organisms or kinds of organisms for some environmental resource in short supply
learned behavior
is a behavior that was observed by an individual that they find it to be beneficial to them in some way.
increased nutrients
added to the environment can create algae blooms which can choke out existing organisms in an aquatic ecosystem.
extinct
no longer exists. This organism will no longer be found alive on the earth.
tropical rain forest
a hot, humid biome near the equator, with much rainfall and a wide variety of life.
endangered
a species threatened with extinction; broadly: anyone or anything whose continued existence is threatened.
threatened
having an uncertain chance of continued survival <a threatened species> specifically: likely to become an endangered species
pollutant
an unnatural substance added to the Earth's land, water or air.
pollutant
an unnatural substance added to the Earth's land, water or air.
grasslands
a biome where grasses, not trees, are the main plant life. Prairies are one kind of grassland region.
PH-paper
Used to determine the measure of its ph which tells the level of acidic, neutral or basic of a substance.
instinct
a largely inheritable and unalterable tendency of an organism to make a complex and specific response to environmental stimuli without involving reason
water vapor
Water in a gaseous state diffused in the atmosphere but below boiling temperature.
water cycle
The cycle in which Earth's water moves through the environment.
condensation
The process by which a gas changed back into a liquid.
evaporation
The process by which a liquid turns into a gas.
clouds
A visible collection of tiny water droplets or, at colder temperatures, ice crystals floating in the air above the surface.
cirrus
Thin wispy clouds that form high in the atmosphere as their water vapor freezes into ice crystals. They do not produce precipitation.
cumulus
Fluffy, mid-level clouds that develop in towering shapes and signal fair weather.
stratus
Low-lying, gray and sheet like clouds that often produce drizzle.
atmosphere
The layer of air that surrounds the Earth.
forecast
To predict (the weather).
air pressure
The weight of air.
humidity
The amount of water vapor present in a unit of volume of air. A hydroscope indicates the amount of humidity in the air
local winds
The winds dependent on local changes in temperature.
prevailing winds
The global winds that blow constantly from the same direction.
meteorologist
A scientist who studies and predicts the weather. Meteorologists use sophisticated equipment, like Doppler radar and supercomputers, but they also rely on old-fashioned sky watching.
precipitation
General name for water in any form falling from clouds. This includes rain, drizzle, hail, snow and sleet. Although, dew, frost and fog are not considered to be precipitation.
solar energy
The energy of the sunlight
wind
The movement of air relative to the surface of the earth. It's considered to be severe if 58 m.p.h. or greater. Hurricane winds are 74 m.p.h or greater and the highest tornado winds are about 318 m.p.h.
fog
A cloud on the ground that reduces visibility.
temperature
The measurement of how hot or cold something is. Thermometer - the instrument that measures temperature.
El Nino
A short term climate change that occurs every two to ten years.
global warming
The hypothesized rise in Earth's average temperature from excess carbon dioxide.
Greenhouse
Effect
Process by which the Earth's atmosphere absorbs heat.
weather
It describes the condition of the air at a particular time and place. Weather also tells how the air moves (wind) and describes anything it might be carrying such as rain, snow or clouds. Thunder, lightning, rainbows, haze and other special events are all part of weather.
hurricane
They are intense storms with swirling winds up to 150 miles per hour. Usually around 300 miles across, hurricanes are 1,000-5,000 times larger than tornadoes. Hurricanes are known by different names around the world. In Japan they are Typhoons, while Australians call them Willy-Willys.
solid
The state of matter that has a definite shape and volume - ice
States of matter
solid, liquid and gas
liquid
The state of matter that has volume but takes the shape of the container - water
gas
the state of matter that does not have a definite shape or volume - steam
climate
The average of all weather conditions through all season over a period of time. It describes the average weather conditions in a certain place or during a certain season. Weather may change from day to day, but climate changes only over hundreds or thousands of years. Many animals and plants need one kind of climate to survive. Dolphins and palm trees can live only in a warm climate, while polar bears and spruce trees need a cold climate.
dew
Water that forms on objects close to the ground when its temperature falls below the dew point of the surface air.
tornado
It begins as a funnel cloud with spinning columns of air that drop down from a severe thunderstorm. When they reach the ground they become tornadoes. Tornadoes are between 300 and 2,000 feet wide and travel at speeds of 20 to 45 miles per hour. They usually only last a few minutes, but their spinning winds, up to 300 miles per hour, can lift houses into the air and rip trees from the ground.
landforms
is a shape or feature of the earth's surface, like a delta or canyon.
erosion
wears away earth materials by water, wind, or ice. Plants and trees along the river bank help protect the bank from erosion.
slope
used to describe the measurement of the steepness, incline, gradient, or grade of a straight line. A higher slope value indicates a steeper incline.
gravity
causes water to flow from higher places to lower places on the earth and in the stream table models.
wind erosion
Sand grains knocking the paint off of beach houses, and a farmers rich topsoil being blow away are two good examples of what this kind of erosion can do.
ice erosion
Water freezing and expanding (Ice) breaks rocks into soil.
valley
a low area between hills and mountains, where a stream often flows.
mountain
a land mass that projects well above its surroundings; higher than a hill.
deposition
is the process by which eroded materials settle out in another place.
delta
A fan shaped deposit of earth materials at the mouth of a stream. They are created by deposition. When a fast moving narrow river flows into a large body of water like a lake or ocean you would expect the water to slow and a delta to form.
weathering
The process of breaking rock into soil, sand, and other tiny pieces.
mass movement
The downhill movement of rock and soil because of gravity.
meandering stream
A curve or loop in a river or stream. This is a stream where erosion on one bank and deposits on the other bank make big curves in the riverbed.
dam
are designed to hold back water so that the river will not flood its banks. They provide places for people to boat swim and fish in the lake behind that dam that is created. In some cases a dam can provide electricity for a town.
crust
The thin, outer layer of Earth.
mantle
The layer of rock beneath Earth's crust.
core
The center of the earth.
contour interval map
The vertical distance between contour lines is the contour interval. These contours indicate the elevation of each level.
tributary
of a stream; flowing into a larger stream. A branch that flows into the main stream.
canyon
a V-shaped gorge with steep sides eroded by a stream. Canyons are created by erosion
Stream bed
The substrate of the stream channel between the ordinary high water marks. The substrate may be bedrock or inorganic particles that range in size
Fault .
a break or place where pieces of Earth's crust move
Plate
The rigid blocks of crust and upper mantle block.
Magma
A hot, soft rock from Earth's lower mantle.
Volcano
A mountain formed by lava and ash.
Continental Drift
A theory of how Earth's continents move over it's surface.
fossil
The remains or traces of past life found in sedimentary rock.
pangaea
A super continent containing all of Earth's land and existed about 225 million years ago.
natural spring
A place where groundwater flows to the surface and issues freely from the ground.
elevation map
A map that indicates the elevation - using birds eye view and contour lines.
Topographic Maps
two dimensional representations of three dimensional surfaces directly overhead.
mesa
an isolated, broad, flat-topped hill having at least one steep cliff.
alluvial fan
a fan-shaped deposit of earth materials formed where a stream flows from a steep slop onto flatter land.
sand dunes
A hill or ridge of wind-blown sand.
sediments
are eroded earth materials that have been deposited.
moraines
An accumulation of boulders, stones, or other debris carried and deposited by a glacier.
topographic maps
two dimensional representations of three dimensional surfaces directly overhead.
waterfall
a steep to vertical descent of a stream channel.
channel
is the course of path the water takes in a stream or river.
basin
is a low area in which sediments are often deposited.
levee
an embankment along a stream that protects land from flooding. Levees can be natural or constructed.
mouth
where a stream enters another body of water.
hill
an isolated elevation in the land, usually no more than 30 m from base to peak.
flood plain
land that gets covered with water during a flood.
Friction
A force that resists movement between two objects that are touching.
Gravity
A force of attraction between any two masses. The strength of this force is dependent on the mass of each object and their distance from one another.
Inertia
The tendency of a moving object to stay in motion or a resting object to stay still is inertia.
Force
A push or a pull. A force is also needed to make a moving object slow down, change direction or stop moving.
Potential Energy
Stored energy that can be released to become other forms of energy.
Kinetic Energy
energy associated with motion
Work
is only done when a force makes something move. ????= Force X distance. Is measured in Joules.
Perpetual Motion
refers to movement that goes on forever.
Distance
How far something moves.
Speed
A measure of how fast something is moving. How far an object can go in a certain amount of time.
energy
Ability to do work.
unbalanced forces
initiate and influence movement.
balanced forces
When an object is at rest it is balanced.
momentum
The rate of acceleration. Momentum = Mass x Velocity
acceleration
is a vector quantity which is defined as the rate at which an object changes its velocity. An object is accelerating if it is changing its velocity.