Glossary of Terms
anterior: (an tir' r) At or toward the front of the body. Opposed to posterior.
arboreal: (är bôr' l) Living in and adapted for living in trees.
archipelago: (är' k pel' g') A group or chain of oceanic islands.
area effect: (er' fekt') The established phenomenon dealing with diversity of species in which the smaller the area of an island or land mass, the fewer kinds of creatures can be supported.
arthropod: (är' thr päd') Invertebrate animals with jointed legs and segmented bodies such as insects, crustaceans, and arachnids.
avifauna: (' v fô' n) The species of birds living in a specific region.
bifurcate: (b' fr kt') Branched or forked, as in the tongue of a snake or monitor lizard.
binomial nomenclature: (b n' m l n' mn kl' chr) The system of scientific classification and identification of species in which each is identified by its genus and species. Example: Homo sapiens.
bleb formation: (bleb) A small swelling on the skin, akin to a blister, produced in reaction to snakebite.
Boiga: (b' g) The genus under which the brown Treesnake falls.
boreal: (bôr' l) Living in and adapted for living in the extreme northern areas of the world. This area is located just below tundra conditions.
calcareous: (kal ker' s) A substance that contains calcium carbonate (CaCO3), calcium, or lime.
Chamorro: (chä' m r) The native Pacific Island people of Guam. Chamorro and English are also the official languages of Guam. Chamorro, as a language, has been evolving for over 5,000 years and belongs to the western group of the Austronesian language family, including the languages of Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, and Palau. During its evolution, Spanish and American words have also been incorporated.
class: (klas) In the scientific system of classification (taxonomy), class is the division between phylum and order.
Colubridae/Colubrid: (Käl' oo brd) Of the 2,700 known species of snakes, 2,200 are classified within this family. Characteristics of these snakes include a loose facial structure, few head scales, and complete lack of a left lung and absence of front fangs that inject venom.
cycad: (s' kad) A group of trees from the order Cycadales. These are tropical trees and shrubs with thick stems, crowns of fernlike leaves, and fleshy seeds enclosed in large cones.
desiccate: (des' kt) To dehydrate or dry out completely.
detritus: (di trt' s) The matter, such as leaves and other organic debris, that accumulates on the forest floor.
dispersal event: (dis pr' s'l) In relation to the brown Treesnake, this is the occurrence of an individual snake managing to successfully reach a new location by hitchhiking in aircraft or ships and cargo.
distance effect: (dis' tns) The established phenomenon dealing with diversity of species in which the farther an island is from a source continent or large land mass, the fewer kinds of creatures will exist because of the great distance to bridge for dispersal.
diurnal: (d r' n'l) An animal that is active during the daytime.
Duvernoy's gland: (doo vr' noz) A gland in snakes located above the teeth in the upper jaw. This gland produces secretions that flow down the exterior groove of the rear fangs when the snake bites its prey.
endemic: (en dem' ik) Confined to a particular area.
envenomate: (en ven' mt) The act of injecting venom.
extinct: (ek stinkt') A species that is no longer in existence.
extirpated: (ek' str pt') A species that has been completely removed from an area, island, or land mass but which still exists in another area.
family: (fam' l) In the scientific system of classification (taxonomy), family is the division between order and genus.
fauna: (fô' n) The animals living in a specified region.
fecund: (fek' nd) Species that have a high reproductive output based on when and how often they reproduce.
feral: (fir' l) Formerly domesticated animals that are in a wild state in an area. Oftentimes this involves pigs, cats, goats, and other species brought to an area by humans for agriculture or other uses that later were allowed to run free and cause damage to native species.
fossorial: (fä sôr' l) An animal that is adapted for digging, burrowing, and living in the soil.
generalist: (jen' r list) A species that is able to exploit a variety of resources such as diverse prey items or habitats.
genus: (j' ns) In the scientific system of classification (taxonomy), genus is the division between family and species.
herpetology: (hur' pt äl' j) The study of reptiles and amphibians.
incipient: (in sip' nt) In the first stages or beginning. An incipient population is still small but beginning to reproduce and become established.
indigenous: (in dij' ns) A plant, animal, or people native to a region.
invertebrate: (in vur' t brit) An organism lacking a backbone or spinal column. Any animal other than a fish, amphibian, reptile, bird, or mammal.
irregularis: (i reg' y lr us) The species name for the brown Treesnake.
irruption: (i rupt' shn) A rapid and dramatic increase in a population.
kingdom: (kin' dm) In the scientific system of classification (taxonomy), kingdom is the first division by which all known life is divided. There is some argument regarding the division of single-celled organisms, but a common five-kingdom system is often utilized including Animalia, Plantae, Fungi, Protista, and Monera.
necropsy: (nek' räp s) The act of examining a dead body, especially used in reference to animals.
nocturnal: (näk tur' n'l) An animal that is active during the nighttime.
non-venomous: (non ven' m s) An animal who, because of its delivery system or the components of its venom, is not toxic to humans.
nonvolant: (nän v' lnt) An animal that is incapable of flight.
order: (ôr' dr) In the scientific system of classification (taxonomy), order is the division between class and family.
oviparous: ( vip' r s) An animal that produces and lays eggs that will hatch after leaving the body.
ovoviviparous: (' v v vip' r s) An animal that produces eggs with enclosing membranes that are incubated and hatch inside the body or upon being expelled, so that the young are born alive.
Pandanus: (pan d' ns) The genus for trees with the common name of "screw pine."
phylum: (f' lm) In the scientific system of classification (taxonomy), phylum is the division between kingdom and class.
posterior: (päs tir' r) At or toward the back of the body. Opposed to anterior.
specialist: (spesh' l ist) An animal adapted to a specific habitat or prey.
species: (sp' shz) The category of organization for taxonomy below genus, representing animals capable of interbreeding with each other. The scientific name for a species is generally written with the genus in binomial form. Example: Homo sapiens.
taxonomy: (tak sän' m) The study of science devoted to classification and naming of species.
terrestrial: (t res' tr l) An animal adapted to living on land.
venomous: (ven' m s) Possessing glands for synthesizing venom and the ability to deliver it in such a way that it is toxic to humans.
vent: (vent) The external opening of the cloaca in reptiles.
vertebrate: (vur' t brit) An organism possessing a backbone, or spinal column.
viviparous: (v vip' r s) An animal that gives birth to live young.