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Science & Tech > Biology > Ethology


Now updated for CSW15. New words, if any, and new inflections of existing words, are shown in red.


aestivate to pass the summer in a state of torpor.
aestivation the act of spending the summer in a state of torpor.
aestivator an animal that aestivates.
ametabolic of insects, showing little or no metamorphosis.
ametabolism the lack of metamorphosis in insects.
ametabolous of insects, showing little or no metamorphosis.
amphibiotic having an aquatic larval form and a terrestrial adult form, as amphibians.
anecdysis a period between moults in arthropods.
apatetic of an animal's coloration or marking which closely resembles that of another species or of its surroundings.
aposematic giving warning, applied to coloration, odour, etc., of animals.
aposematically (Adv.) APOSEMATIC, giving warning, applied to coloration, odour, etc.
autotomic relating to autotomy, the reflex loss of part of the body to save the whole.
autotomise to effect an autotomy, the reflex loss of part of the body to save the whole (in lizards, etc.).
autotomize to effect an autotomy, the reflex loss of part of the body to save the whole (in lizards, etc.).
autotomous relating to autotomy.
autotomy the reflex loss of part of the body to save the whole (in lizards, etc).
biomimicry the mimicry of one living organism by another.
bionomist a student of bionomics, the study of organisms interacting in their environments.
biorhythm a periodic change in the behaviour or physiology of many animals and plants (eg hibernation and migration) mediated by hormones which are in turn influenced by changes in day-length.
brachiator an animal, such as a gibbon, that progresses by brachiation.
cainogenesis the state where adaptations to the needs of the young stages develop early, and disappear in the adult stage.
cainogenetic relating to cainogenesis, the state where adaptations to the needs of the young stages develop early, and disappear in the adult stage.
caloricity a faculty in animals of developing and preserving the heat necessary to life.
camoufleur (Fr.) a person or animal skilled in the art of camouflage.
catadromous of fishes, descending periodically for spawning to the lower parts of a river or to the sea.
cryptobiont any organism that exhibits cryptobiosis.
cryptobiosis a temporary state in an organism in which metabolic activity is absent or undetectable.
diadromous migrating between fresh and salt water.
diapause in insects and the embryos of some animals, a period of suspended animation and growth; (verb) to undergo or be in diapause.
digitigrade an animal that walks on the toes alone.
dormancy a period of suspended growth and metabolic activity.
dorsigrade walking on the back of the toes.
dulosis slavery practised by animals, esp ants.
dulotic relating to dulosis, enslavement as practised by ants.
ecdysial relating to ecdysis, the act of shedding, or casting off.
ecdysis (Greek) the act of molting or shedding an outer cuticular layer (as in insects and crustaceans).
echolocation determining the position of objects by means of supersonic vibrations echoed from them, as a bat does.
eclose to emerge, esp an insect from its egg.
eclosion emergence, as from a larva or egg.
ectogenesis variation in response to outside conditions.
ectogenetic produced by or characteristic of ectogenesis.
endysis the formation of new layers of integument after ecdysis.
epimeletic of a type of social behaviour in which the young are cared for by other individuals of the same species eg worker bees.
epimorphic relating to epimorphosis, a type of development in animals, such as certain insect larvae, in which segmentation of the body is complete before hatching.
epimorphosis a type of development in animals, such as certain insect larvae, in which segmentation of the body is complete before hatching.
episematic of coloration, assisting recognition between members of the same species.
epizoic living on the outside of an animal.
epizoism the state of being epizoic, living on the outside of an animal.
epizoite an epizoic organism.
estivation the act of spending the summer in a state of torpor.
estivator an animal that aestivates.
etepimeletic of a type of social behaviour shown by young animals to elicit epimeletic behaviour.
ethogram a description of an animal's behaviour.
exuviation the act of exuviating.
feral of a species which breeds in the wild but is derived from domesticated stock; (noun) a person who displays wild tendencies.
ferine of a species which breeds in the wild but is derived from domesticated stock.
flehmen of a mammal, to grimace with lips drawn back.
geotactic relating to geotaxis, the response of an organism to gravity.
geotactical relating to geotaxis, the response of an organism to gravity.
geotactically (Adv.) GEOTACTICAL, relating to geotaxis.
geotaxis (Greek) the response of an organism to gravity.
geotropic showing geotropism, a disposition to turn or incline towards the earth.
geotropically (Adv.) GEOTROPIC, showing geotropism, a disposition to turn or incline towards the earth.
geotropism a disposition to turn or incline towards the earth; the influence of gravity in determining the direction of growth of an organ.
glabrescent becoming naked or devoid of covering at maturity.
haematocryal of all animals except birds and mammals, having a body temperature that varies with the temperature of the surroundings.
haematothermal of birds and mammals, having a constant body temperature, usually higher than the temperature of the surroundings.
heliotactic relating to heliotaxis, the response of an organism to the sun's rays.
heliotaxis the response of an organism to the sun's rays.
hematocryal of all animals except birds and mammals, having a body temperature that varies with the temperature of the surroundings.
hematothermal of birds and mammals, having a constant body temperature, usually higher than the temperature of the surroundings.
homeotherm an organism that maintains the same temperature.
homeothermic keeping the same temperature, warm-blooded.
homeothermy the state of being homeothermic.
homochromy protective coloration.
homoiotherm keeping the same temperature, warm-blooded; (noun) a warm-blooded animal.
homoiothermic keeping the same temperature, warm-blooded.
homoiothermy the maintenance of a constant body temperature.
homothermal keeping the same temperature, warm-blooded.
homothermic keeping the same temperature, warm-blooded.
homothermy the maintenance of a constant body temperature.
inquilinism living in another's nest.
katadromous of fishes, descending periodically for spawning to the lower parts of a river or to the sea, opp to anadromous.
larva (Lat.) an immature free-living form of many animals that develops into a different adult form by metamorphosis.
larval of or like a larva.
larviform having the form or structure of a larva.
larviparous giving birth to larvae.
metachrosis the ability of animals to change colour.
metamorphosis a process of developmental change in insects whereby a larva reaches adulthood only after a radical change in morphology, often involving a pupa stage.
metecdysis the period following the moult (ecdysis) of an arthropod, when the new cuticle is forming.
morphallaxis regeneration in a changed form.
neoteinia prolonged retention of larval or immature characteristics or features in the adult form.
neotenic exhibiting neoteny, retention of infantile or juvenile characteristics into adulthood.
neotenous exhibiting neoteny, retention of infantile or juvenile characteristics into adulthood.
neoteny prolonged retention of larval or immature characteristics or features in the adult form.
nidicolous reared in a nest; sharing a nest.
nidifugous leaving the nest soon after hatching.
phaeism duskiness, incomplete melanism (in butterflies etc).
phasic relating to phasis, a morph.
phasis a stage in growth or development.
photokinesis motion or activity induced by light.
photokinetic relating to photokinesis.
photonastic related to photonasty, the adoption of a certain position due to the effect of light on growth.
photonasty the adoption of a certain position due to the effect of light on growth.
photoperiod the period during every 24 hours when an organism is exposed to daylight.
photophil an organism that seeks the light.
photophilic light-loving, turning towards the light.
photophily the state of being photophilic, light-loving, turning towards the light.
phototaxy movement of an entire organism in response to light.
phototonic relating to phototonus, the sensitivity of a living organism to light.
phototonus the sensitivity of a living organism to light.
predatory preying on other animals.
procrypsis protective coloration.
procryptic pertaining to or having protective coloration.
procryptically (Adv.) PROCRYPTIC, pertaining to or having protective coloration.
pupate to pass through a chrysalis stage.
pupation the act of becoming a pupa.
spinigrade moving by means of spines, as an echinoderm does; (noun) a type of spiny echinoderm.
stereotaxic relating to stereotaxis, the reaction of an organism to contact with a solid body.
stereotaxically (Adv.) STEREOTAXIC, relating to stereotaxis, the reaction of an organism to contact with a solid body.
stereotaxis the reaction of an organism to contact with a solid body.
synaposematic having a warning coloration common to a number of dangerous species in the same region.
taligrade walking on the outer side of the foot, as opposed to plantigrade.
telotaxis a taxis by which an organism orients itself in respect to a stimulus.
tropotaxis a taxis in which an organism orients itself by the simultaneous comparison of stimuli of different intensity operating on different end organs.
vagile having the ability to move about.
xanthism a condition of skin, fur or feathers in which yellow coloration predominates.
xylotomous of insects, wood-cutting or wood-boring.
zeitgeber (Ger.) an environmental cue, such as light, that helps to regulate the biological clock in an organism.