Wikijunior:Big Cats/Glossary

Wild Cats

Meet The Cats
Great Cats
Lion, Tiger
Leopard, Jaguar
Snow leopard
Clouded leopard
Marbled cat
Swift Cats
Small New World Cats
Lynx and bobcat
Ocelot, Margay
Rusty spotted cat
Small Old World Cats
Caracal, Serval
Manul, Wild cat
Sand cat
Tigons and Ligers
More Topics
Fossil History
Keeping Cats

A glossary of terms used in this book:

  • Canine teeth: Sometimes called fangs, they are teeth used as weapons and to grasp and hold prey.
  • Captivity: When animals are kept by humans.
  • Carnivore: An animal that eats meat.
  • Carrion: The flesh of a dead animal, which is eaten by carnivores or scavengers.
  • Classification: The way scientists give animals names that everyone around the world will understand, in a way that reflects our scientific understanding of how closely different animals are related to one another.
  • Conservation: Ways of reducing the amount of natural resources used, including reusing and recycling.
  • Diurnal: Active during the day and asleep at night.
  • Domestication: Taking animals from their natural habitat into the human habitat, then changing them in ways that make them more suitable to living with humans.
  • Endangered: Animals that are in danger of becoming extinct.
  • Extinction: When all animals of a kind are gone, that kind of animal is extinct. They can never come back.
  • Family: A medium sized group used in classification, it is made up of very closely related animals.
  • Fertile: Able to have offspring.
  • Flank: The side part of an animal's body.
  • Habitat: An area able to support a type of animal.
  • Herbivore: An animal that eats plants such as leaves and berries.
  • Hybrid: The offspring of two animals of different but similar kinds, such as a lion and a tiger.
  • Hybridization: When two animals of different kinds have offspring together.
  • Instinct: An animal's inherited knowledge; knowledge that did not have to be learned.
  • Jungle: A large forest in warm countries with many different kinds of animals and plants. Also called a rainforest.
  • Life span: How long an animal usually lives.
  • Litter: A group of baby mammals with the same parents.
  • Mammal: A warm-blooded animal that has hair on its skin and gives its young milk to drink.
  • Mane: The furry crown around a male Lion's head.
  • Muzzle: The part of an animal's face that includes the nose and jaws.
  • National Park: Land that is kept in a natural state for a variety of reasons, all of them important.
  • Nature preserve: Land that is kept in a natural state for conservation reasons where the welfare of plants and animals is more important than any other uses.
  • New World: North, Central and South America.
  • Nocturnal: Active at night and asleep during the day.
  • Offspring: The children of an animal.
  • Old World: Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa.
  • Order: A very large group used in classification, it contains a number of closely related families.
  • Poaching: Illegally killing an animal.
  • Prairie: A large, flat plain with a lot of grass and almost no trees, such as the Great Plains of North America.
  • Predator: An animal that hunts other animals and eats them.
  • Prey: An animal hunted by another animal for food.
  • Rainforest: A large forest that stays warm and wet year round with many different kinds of animals and plants. Also called a jungle.
  • Rosette: A mark in an animal's fur where a number of closely placed spots form an unbroken circle.
  • Retract (claw): The hiding of claws inside a paw.
  • Savannah: A large, flat plain with a lot of grass and scattered groups of trees, such as in East Central Africa.
  • Scavenge: To look for meat for food that was killed by a different animal.
  • Scientific name: The name given to a species by scientists when they classify it.
  • Siblings: All the offspring from one litter, or sometimes offspring with the same parents from two different litters.
  • Species: A group of animals that under normal conditions can have offspring together.
  • Steppes: A large, flat plain with a lot of grass and almost no trees.
  • Sterile: Not able to have children.
  • Subtropical: An area that never gets very cold in the winter, but which has different seasons.
  • Tropical: An area that never gets cold and does not have different seasons. Tropical areas are found close to the equator, and on a world map the area between the Tropic of Capricorn and Tropic of Cancer is considered the tropics.
  • Wildlife refuge: Land that is used to protect of wild animals. Sometimes parts of a wildlife refuge are not kept in a natural state to give certain species of animals a little extra help. Planting rice in a water bird area is one example.
  • Zoo: A type of living museum where animals are kept for people to learn about them and have fun.