Animal Info - Glossary T

Talus
Rock debris at the base of a cliff.
Tannin
A brown pigment found in leaves and other parts of plants. It causes the brown color of leaves after all other colors have disappeared. It is present throughout the growing season but is masked by the chlorophylls (greens), xanthophylls and carotenes (yellows and oranges), and anthocyanin (reds and purples). Tannin solutions are acid and have an astringent taste.
Taxonomic, Taxonomy
Referring to the science of hierarchically classifying animals by categories (phylum (pl. phyla), class, order, family, genus (pl. genera), species and subspecies) which share common features and are thought to have a common evolutionary descent.
Telemetry
The use of wireless transmission and reception of measured quantities for automatically indicating or recording measurements at a distance from the measuring instrument.
Terai
A 8-24 km (5-15 mile) wide belt of swampy grass jungle generally between the Himalayan foothills and the plains of India. It extends from northeast Uttar Pradesh (India) in the east, through southern Nepal and northwest Bengal (India) to northwest Assam (India) and adjacent parts of extreme southern Bhutan.
Terrestrial
Living on the ground.
Territorial
Referring to an animal that maintains a territory within its home range, by fighting or aggressive gestures, from which it excludes others of its own kind.
Territory
An exclusive area maintained through overt defense or advertisement; the part of the home range of an animal that is protected, by fighting or aggressive gestures, from others of its own kind, during some phase of its life.
Thorax
The portion of the body between the head and abdomen of certain species that bears whatever legs and wings are present.
Threatened
The term is used in the 1994 IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals to refer collectively to species categorized as "Endangered" (E), "Vulnerable" (V), "Rare" (R), "Indeterminate" (I), or "Insufficiently Known" (K) and in the 1996 IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals and  2000 IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals to refer collectively to species categorized as "Critically Endangered" (CR), "Endangered" (EN), or "Vulnerable" (VU).
Topography
The shape of a surface (e.g. the earth's surface) and the relations among its man-made and natural features.
Torpor
A state where an animal's metabolism, breathing rate, heartbeat and body temperature each decreases to a level lower than normal. In cold weather, torpor decreases the temperature difference between the animal's body and the outside air. Therefore the animal's rate of heat loss is lowered, and it can maintain its (reduced) body temperature more easily. By slowing metabolism, all tissues use less energy. In hot weather, torpor decreases water loss due to evaporation, excretion and respiration. During torpor, the animal doesn't seem to see, hear, or feel things going on around it, and it takes longer to "wake up" than from normal sleep.
Transverse
At right angles to the front-to-back axis of the body.
Tsetse Fly
Any of several flies (genus Glossina) that occur in Africa south of the Sahara Desert and carry protozoans which cause "sleeping sickness."
Turbid
Referring to a water body that is thick or opaque with suspended sediment.
Type locality
The locality from which a species or subspecies was first described.

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Last modified: March 24, 2006;

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