Field Guide/Mammals/Glossary

Contents: Top - 0–9 A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Barbed -- having or covered with protective barbs otherwise known as quills, spines or thorns

Cached -- v.(requires object) to put away in a stockpile or hiding place. hoarding. ex: "cached food for winter" for n
Carnivore -- An animal that eats flesh
[2] Commensal -- A symbiotic relationship in which one organism derives a benefit while the other is unaffected.
Coniferous --adj. being apart of a conifer tree[3]
Crepuscular -- active around dusk (twilight)

Deciduous -- The annual shedding and regrowth of leaves within a species.[4] Deciduous trees tend to have wide, thin leaves. Examples of deciduous trees include maples and oaks.[5]
Delayed Fertilization -- Most mammals enter a stage called gestation upon fertilization; however, some mammals have the ability to delay gestation by entering a state of dormant fertilization called blastocyst.[6] During this dormant state, the embryo is not implanted into the uterus. Nearly 100 different types of mammals in seven different orders have the ability to use this strategy.[7] Mammals in these orders can put off gestation for an extended amount of time, sometimes even up to a year. One type of delayed fertilization includes facultative diapause, or the ability for lactating mothers who become pregnant to delay fertilization. This type of delayed fertilization is caused by the sucking stimulus of the baby. A second type of delayed fertilization is obligate diapause, or the ability for mother's to delay fertilization until environmental conditions become favorable to increase the chances of offspring survival.[7][8]
Dentition -- Referring to a specific arrangement, form, or style of teeth for example in a certain species.
[9] In mammals dentition consists of several specific types of teeth including canines, molars and incisors.
Diurnal -- Animals that are active during daylight hours and sleep during night hours.
Dorsal -- On, toward, or inside of the back to any part or organ [11]

Echolocation -- Animals emit sound waves and listen to the echo off of objects in order to find the direction and distance of the objects to navigate the area. Common in bats.
Estrus -- periodic state of sexual excitement in female mammals that precedes ovulation and during which they are most receptive to mating; heat

Exfoliate -- The removal of dead skin cells on the skin's outermost surface in flakes or scales.

Forbs -- any herb that is not a grass that grows in fields, prairies, or meadows

Gestation -- The gestation period of a mammal is the length of time within the womb, from embryo to baby. This amount of time is directly related to the physical size of the mammal. For example, mammals that are larger often times have longer gestation periods and live longer lives.[6] The carrying of young in the uterus [13]
Granivore -- Animals whose primary source of nutrition is derived from grain or seeds.[14] Animal that feeds on seeds or grains.[15]

Herbaceous -- A soft tissued plant that regrows from the stem annually.[16] Commonly known for eye-catching flowers or leaves.[17] Like an herb or green leafed plant in texture, color, or other properties.[18]
Herbivore -- n. A mammal that gets its energy source from plants. Many herbivores have digestive systems specifically adapted to digest all kinds of plants, including grasses.[19]

Insectivore -- An animal whose diet consists mostly of insects.

Kerchief -- a piece of cloth worn tied over the head or around the neck; triangular colored patch on the neck of an animal
translated from French "cuer-chief", cuer meaning to cover and chief meaning head of; cover the head [20]

Laterally -- Extending from the side.
Lumbar Vertebrae -- The largest segments of the movable part of the vertebral column, including the five bones situated in the backbone in the lower part of the back

Monogamous -- pairing with only one mate or sexual partner during a breeding season or during the breeding life of a pair
Montane -- Mountains; of or inhabiting mountainous country

Neonates -- A newborn mammal, typically less than four weeks old.

Nocturnal -- Mammals active primarily at night. As a result, these mammals often have highly developed senses such as hearing and smell, as well as eyesight adapted specifically for darkness.

Omnivore -- A species that eats both animals and plants.

Parietal -- The bones that form the sides and roof of the skull[23]
Parturition -- The process of giving birth to offspring.

Pelage -- The coat of a mammal consisting of fur, hair, wool, or other soft covering.
Pinnate -- The coat of a mammal having markings arranged on either side of their back or any other central axis, resembling a feather.[25]
Prolific --Producing young in high quantities.[26] Producing offspring or young abundantly; highly fruitful.
Pup Rearing -- Raising and caring for young until they are full grown. This usually involves providing food, shelter, and teaching them how to interact with other animals of their breed.

Roosts -- A place or perch for fowl or birds to rest and/or sleep on a regular basis

Sedges -- A collection of rush-like mark plants. It has three vertical rows of leaves. It can typically be found in wet ground and is a grass like plant that has triangular stems and inconspicuous flowers.[27]
Sexual Maturity -- Sexual maturity is the stage at which a mammal has the ability to reproduce. Sexual maturity may take longer or shorter depending on the species. External factors such as environmental conditions may delay or start sexual maturity while internal factors such as hormones may have similar effects. Many times reaching sexual maturity is a sign of an animal reaching adulthood.

Torpor -- A type of temporary hibernation characterized by brain and body inactivity which can cause brain damage.[28]
Tragus -- A projection of cartilage, covered with skin that protrudes from the ear. Also used to describe hair growing on the external ear. Common on bat ears.[29]
Tufts -- A cluster or group of something, usually feathers, hair, or grass, held together or growing together at a base. Usually open ended at the top.

Weaning -- to withdraw, accustom, or remove from a situation, an object, or a habitat. In mammal terms, weaning is the period when the mother gradually stops providing milk for her young. Also for mammals, this is often when they start eating solid food.


  1. (2012), Cached, retrieved 10-16-12 {{citation}}: Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  2. (2012), Cached, retrieved 10-16-12 {{citation}}: Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  3., Coniferous, retrieved 10-15-12 {{citation}}: Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  4., LLC (2012), Deciduous, retrieved October 15, 2012
  5. Earth Day Canada, Forests: Types of Trees, retrieved October 15, 2012
  6. a b "Implantation", University of Wyoming, n.d., retrieved October 14, 2012 Invalid <ref> tag; name "Aa" defined multiple times with different content
  7. a b "Delayed Implantation", The Animal Files, n.d., retrieved October 14, 2012
  8. Wund, M.; Myers, P. (2005), "Reproduction", Mammalia, retrieved October 14, 2012
  9., Dentition, retrieved 10-16-12 {{citation}}: Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  10. The Free Dictionary, Dentition, retrieved 10-16-12 {{citation}}: Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  11., Dorsal, retrieved 10-15-12 {{citation}}: Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  12. American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language Dictio, Estrus, New York, NY: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2009
  13. Merriam Webster (2012), Gestation, retrieved October 15, 2012
  14., LLC, Granivore, retrieved October 15, 2012
  15. Merriam Webster (2012), Granivorous, retrieved October 15, 2012
  16., LLC, Herbaceous, retrieved October 15, 2012
  17. Texas Technological University, Herbaceous Plant ID Lab, retrieved October 15, 2012
  18. Your Dictionary, Herbaceous, retrieved October 15, 2012
  19. What is an herbivore?, retrieved October 16, 2012
  20. Kerchief, retrieved October 16, 2012
  21. chief, retrieved October 16, 2012
  22. Collins English Dictionary, Neonates, Harper Collins Publishing, 2001
  23. {{citation}}: Empty citation (help)
  24. American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language Mammals, parturition, New York, NY: Houghton Mifflin Company
  25., retrieved October 15, 2012 {{citation}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  26. The Free Dictionary,, retrieved October 15, 2012 {{citation}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  27., retrieved October 15, 2012 {{citation}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  28. (2012), Torpor, retrieved 10-15-12 {{citation}}: Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  29., retrieved October 15, 2012 {{citation}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)