Copy of `Coral Realm - Coral Glossary`

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Coral Realm - Coral Glossary
Category: Animals and Nature > Coral
Date & country: 13/09/2007, USA
Words: 181


Aggregation
a social group consisting of members of the same or different species that are not attracted to each other, but some other mutually attractive stimulus (e.g., food, shelter).

Ahermatypic
corals that do not contribute directly to the development of coral reefs.

Alimentary tract
the tract (including the stomach and intestines) leading from the mouth to the anus.

Amphipod
a group of small crustaceans that belong to the order Amphipoda.

Ampullae of Lorenzini
skin pores that contain receptor cells that detect electric fields.

Anemones
invertebrates that belong to the class Anthozoa that have a central disc surrounded by stinging tentacles.

Anterior
pertaining to the front of the body.

Anterior margin
the leading edge of the fin.

Antrorse
upward or forward.

Ascidians (sea squirts)
sponge-like members of the subphylum Urochordata that are usually sessile, filter-feeders with a body covered by a fibrous tunic.

Band
a thick, pigmented vertical marking that encircles the circumference of the fish's body.

Bar
a thick, pigmented vertical marking that does not encircle the body.

Barbel
a long, fleshy protuberance that is often located under the lower parts of the head that is equipped with sensory cells and used to locate prey.

Base
the portion of the fin that is joined to the body.

Batesian mimicry
where a known noxious species imitates a noxious species.

Benthic
pertaining to organisms that live on or just over the sea floor.

Bioherm
a structure of biological origin (e.g., coral reef).

Bivalve
a member of the mollusk class Bivalvia¸ which have a dorsally hinged, calcareous shell comprised of two valves, and includes the oysters, clams, and mussels.

Black coral
members of the order Anthipatharia, which are gorgonian-like and have polyps that are arranged around a horny axial skeleton.

Blotches
a patch or a spot of pigment with irregular edges.

Bony fishes
members of the class Actinopterygia, a diverse group that contains most of the modern fish species.

Branchial
pertaining to the gills.

Buccal
pertaining to the mouth.

Canine teeth
pointed, conical teeth that are located at the front or edge of the jaws.

Carapace
a rigid shell or exoskeleton that encases the body.

Caridean shrimps
an infraorder of shrimps that contains a number of conspicuous coral reef-dwelling families, including the snapping, cleaner, and anemone shrimps.

Caudal
referring to the tail fin, which can be divided up into the lower and upper caudal lobe.

Caudal peduncle
the narrow portion of the body located just behind the anal fin and just before the caudal fin.

Cephalopods
members of the class Cephalopoda, including the squids, octopuses, cuttlefish and nautili.

Chitons
members of the mollusk class Polyplacophora that tightly adhere to the substrate, and have flattened, ovoid bodies and shells comprised of eight overlapping plates.

Chromatophore
a pigment cell located in the integument of a fish.

Cirrus
filament-lie projections that are sometimes present on the head, fins, nape, nostril, lateral line, etc. of some species.

Claspers
modifications of the male elasmobranchs pelvic fins that are rod-like and are used to transfer sperm during mating.

Cloaca
cavity into which the intestinal, urinary and reproductive canals open.

Congeners
a group of species that belong to the same genus.

Consexual
of the same sex.

Conspecific
of the same species.

Copepod
very small crustaceans that belong to the extremely large class Copepoda. Some are ectoparasites of fish, while others are planktonic.

Coralline algae
a red, calcareous algae of the family Corallinae. Usually encrusting and pink in color.

Crepuscular
most active at dusk and dawn.

Crustacea
a subphylum of the phylum Arthopoda that includes the barnacles, copepods, mantis shrimp, mysids, crabs, shrimp, and krill. They all have chitinous exoskeletons.

Cryptic
pertaining to concealment, usually in reference to color pattern or behavior (e.g., hiding in reef crevices.)

Cumaceans
small, mysid-like crustaceans that belong to the order Cumacea, many of which burrow in the bottom sediments.

Decopod shrimps
shrimps that belong to the largest order of crustaceans known as Decopoda. They are characterized by having their first three pairs of thoracic appendages are modified as maxillipeds.

Demersal
living on the sea bottom.

Dermal appendage
a flap or tassel of skin.

Diel
pertaining to the day-night cycle.

Disc
pertaining to the head, pectoral fins, and trunk of a ray.

Disc length
refers to the longest portion of the disc (i.e., from the tip of the snout to the posterior edge of the pectoral fin).

Disc width
refers to the widest portion of the disc.

Distal
the portion of the appendage farthest from the body.

Diurnal
active during the day.

Dorsum
pertaining to the back or the upper part of the body.

Echinoderms
a phylum which is comprised of sea stars, serpent stars, sea cucumbers, and sea urchins. They are radially symmetrical and some have sharp spines.

Echinoids
members of the class Echinoidea, including sea urchins, heart urchins, and sand urchins.

Elasmobranch
a subclass (Elasmobranchii) of cartilaginous fishes which includes the sharks, rays, and skates.

Emarginate
a notched margin, but not as deeply so as to be forked.

Endemic
a distribution restricted to a specific area or region.

Errant
free-swimming.

Euryhaline
pertaining to an aquatic organism that can withstand a broad salinity range.

Exoskeleton
outer shell or skeleton (e.g., carapace of a crab).

Facultative
capable of living in varying conditions. For example, facultative cleaners will feed on parasites but do not rely only them for food.

Falcate
long, narrow and curved (sickle-shaped).

Filamentous
long and thin.

Gastropod
members of the mollusk class Gastropoda, which includes the limpets, top shells, snails, cowries, moon shells, whelks, bubble shells, sea hares , nudibranchs and sea slugs.

Gonochorism
condition where the sex of an individual is sexually predetermined at birth or hatching and do not change sex.

Gorgonian
members of the order Gorgonacea, which have a horny, organic skeleton, and include the sea whips and sea fans.

Grapsid crab
a crustacean in the family Grapsidae, which can be found in freshwater, marine environments, or are terrestrial, and include the sally light foot crabs (Grapsus spp.).

Group spawning
reproductive behavior where a group of individuals simultaneously release their gametes. These groups usually consist of one female and several males.

Hermatypic
corals that contribute directly to the development of coral reefs.

Heterocercal
a caudal fin where the upper lobe is large than the lower lobe.

Heterospecific
referring to a member of a different species.

Homocercal
a caudal fin with upper and lower lobes that are nearly equal in size.

Hypersaline
referring to water with a salinity higher than that of natural seawater.

Hyposaline
referring to water with a salinity lower than that of natural seawater.

Incisiform
a chisel-shaped tooth used for cutting, that is typically wider than it is thick.

Infaunal
living within the sediment of the sea floor.

Inner margin
the rear edge of the fin.

Interorbital
space between the eyes.

Interspecific
between members of different species.

Intertidal
a part of the shore or reef that is exposed to the air at low tide and covered by water at high tide.

Intromittent organ
a structure employed by the males of those species that practice internal fertilization to transfer sperm.

Isopods
crustaceans belonging to the order Isopoda (includes the gnathid isopods, some of which are ectoparasites on coral reef fishes), most of which are quite small (less than 1.5 cm [0.5 in.]).

Jugostegalia
pertaining to the jugular or a jugular position.

Labial furrows
fold of skin around the edge of the mouth.

Lanceolate
shaped like a spear head, being tapered at each end.

Large-polyped stony coral
hard corals that are less important in reef development, with a large fleshy polyp (or polyps).

Lateral
pertaining to the side.

Leptocephalus larvae
long, ribbon like larvae that are characteristic of the tarpons, bonefishes, and eels.

Line
a narrow, straight-sided chromatic marking (thinner than a stripe or bar), that can radiate from the eyes, run longitudinally or vertically on the body or tail, or can be chevron in shaped on the fish's side.

Lobate
resembles a lobe.

Lunate
shaped like a crescent.

Majid crabs
a member of the crustacean family Majidae, which are often called spider or decorator crabs because they carry sponges and/or other marine organisms on their carapaces to enhance their camouflage. They have a triangular shaped carapace and long legs.

Mantis shrimp
member of the crustacean order Stomatapoda, that have well-developed compound eyes on stalks, and are highly predatory, employing a pair raptorial thoraic appendages to capture their prey (e.g., snails, fishes, clams).

Marginal
just along the fin edge.

Molariform
flat, broad and round; molar-like in form.

Mollusca
a diverse phyla, many of which have an external shell, whose members include the chitons, snails, bivalves, octopi and squid.

Monogamy
a mating system where a male and female mate together for an entire reproductive season or for their entire lives.

Motor patterns
a stereotypical group of actions or behaviors.

Mysid shrimps
crustaceans that belong to the order Mysidacea, and are often commonly called possum shrimps because of the pouch on their ventrum. Most reef-dwelling species are small, and swarm near the ocean floor.