Animal Info - Glossary M
- A grassy, open woodland habitat characteristic of
many semi-arid parts of Australia. "Mallee"
also describes the multi-stemmed habit of eucalypt trees which dominate this habitat.
- Mangrove forest
- A tropical forest that has developed on sheltered, muddy shores of deltas and
exposed to tide. The vegetation is almost entirely woody.
- Marantaceae forest
- A rather open canopy forest with a thick tangle of large leafed herbaceous plants at ground level belonging to the
Marantaceae and Zingiberaceae (ginger) families. This vegetation is extremely thick,
almost impenetrable in places (although not for gorillas),
and it provides both thick cover and plenty to eat. (Cons.
- Native to or inhabiting the sea; related to the sea or seawater.
- A technique for estimating the number of animals in a population. A sample of the
population is captured, marked, and released. Assuming that these marked individuals
become randomly distributed throughout the wild population, and that subsequent trapping
is random, any new sample should contain a representative proportion of marked to unmarked
individuals. From this, the size of the total population may be estimated, most
simply by dividing the number in the first sample by the fraction of marked individuals in
the recaptured sample. (Allaby 1991)
- A member of a group of mammals 1) that generally do not have a placenta and 2) whose females generally have a pouch on the
abdomen containing the nipples, where newborn young are carried. Marsupials include
bandicoots, kangaroos, opossums, wombats and others.
- A block of the earth's crust bounded by faults or folds; a group of mountains formed by
such a structure.
- Nuts accumulated on the forest floor and often serving as food for animals.
- A female who is the leader of a family group of animals.
- Relating to a type of social organization among animals where the family group is lead
by a female.
- A related group of animals linked by descent through females alone.
- Same as "average" (also called the "arithmetic mean").
- The value that represents the point at which there are as many instances
above as there are below (e.g., the "median" of a group of persons
earning 3, 4, 5, 8, and 20 dollars a day is 5 dollars (note: the average is
- Mediterranean climate
- A climate with cool wet winters and dry summers.
- A spore in heterosporous
plants that gives rise to female gametophytes and is
generally larger than a microspore.
- Having a high level of blackish pigmentation which produces a very dark or black color.
- A thin, soft, pliable sheet or layer.
- A habitat characterized by a moderate amount of moisture.
- The total of all the chemical reactions that occur within a living
- One of the spore in heterosporous
plants that give rise to male gametophytes and are
generally smaller than the megaspore.
- See "Veld".
- Minimum Convex Polygon
- A method for estimating the home range
of an animal by plotting on a map all of the locations where the animal is
known to have been, drawing a polygon that encloses all the points, then
estimating the area of the polygon.
- Miombo is a vernacular word that has been adopted by ecologists to describe those
woodland ecosystems dominated by trees in the genera Brachystegia, Julbernardia
and Isoberlinia of the family Fabaceae. Such woodlands extend across about 2.8
million sq km (1.1 million sq mi) of the southern subhumid tropical zone from Tanzania and Zaire in the
north, through Zambia, Malawi
and eastern Angola, to Zimbabwe
and Mozambique in the south. Their distribution largely
coincides with the flat to gently undulating surfaces that form the Central African
plateau. The soils are predominantly infertile. These woodlands constitute the largest
more-or-less contiguous block of deciduous tropical woodlands and dry forests in the
world. (IGBP 1997)
- Molecular genetics
- The branch of genetics that deals with issues such as how a gene is copied, how a
mutation arises, how genes are turned on and off when their activity is needed or not
needed, what are the chemical products of genes, and what is the precise sequence of the
chemical building blocks of DNA in genes.
- Monogamy; Monogamous
- Referring to a mating system where males and females each have only one mate per breeding
season (compare polyandry, polygamy,
- Referring to an organism that subsists on only one kind of food.
- The monotremes are the only egg-laying mammals. They include the platypus and the
echidnas (e.g. the long-nosed echidna).
- Referring to a genus that comprises a single
species (see Scientific name).
- A seasonal wind from the southwest, occurring from April to October, that
brings very heavy rainfall to India and
- Pertaining to mountainous country.
- The form and structure of an animal.
- A pattern formed by clumps of different objects arranged with more or less
regularity over a surface.
- Moss Forest
- A forest where there is a large amount of moss, either growing on trees or
on the ground.
- Multi-male Group
- A permanent grouping of animals of the same species
that consists of several adult males, several adult females and their
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Last modified: June 3, 2006;