Glossary of terms

This is for anything with regards to reptiles which is not species specific or over a broad band of reptiles. Be it husbandry, caging, etc. you can post it here.

Glossary of terms

Postby Bushbaby » Tue Jul 26, 2005 10:49 pm

This is a reference to just about anything and everything reptile / amphibain and Chelonian related.


AGAMA: Small lizards with a triangular head and short tail. Belonging to the family Agamidae. Agamas are diurnal
AGLYPHIC: Snakes that do not have fangs for venom delivery.
ALLELE: One of two or more possible different forms of a particular gene.
ALLOPATRIC: Not occurring together, but often adjacent
AMBIENT TEMPERATURE: Temperature of surrounding environment
AMELANISTIC: Lacking melanin or black pigment
AMPHIBIAN: An animal belonging to the vertebrate class Amphibia, including frogs, toads, salamanders, newts, and caecilians. Most species in this class have an aquatic immature stage and are terrestrial or partially terrestrial as adults.
AMPHISBAENID: Closely related to lizards, they have a burrowing lifestyle. A worm lizard of the suborder Amphisbaenia.
ANAL: The scale covering the cloacal opening. In snakes it is usually larger than the ventral scales. Referred to as a divided anal in some snakes because of them being paired. Can also just be a single plate.
ANAPHYLACTIC SHOCK: A rare but serious complication is an acute serum reaction (anaphylaxis) with a sudden drop in blood pressure and collapse. The risk of this type of reaction in a healthy person is very slight but those with an allergic disposition, in particular a history of asthma or infantile eczema, should not receive serum unless it is absolutely necessary and then only with the greatest of caution.
ANERYTHRISTIC: Lacking red pigment.
ANURAN: A frog or toad.
ANTERIOR: Near the front
ANTIVENOM: Acts as a block against the toxic enzymes secreted by snakes during their bites. It is a serum produced from the antibodies of animals which have been injected with the serum.
AQUATIC: Residing in water
ARBOREAL: Residing mainly in trees
ASSIST FEED: To start a food item into a reptile’s mouth and then allow the animal to finish eating on its own.
AUTOTOMIZE: Ability to easily break or cast off a piece of the body, usually tail
AXANTHIC: Lacking yellow pigment
BASK: To lie in a warm area, as under a heat lamp or in the sun, in order to absorb heat.
BINOMIAl: A scientific name comprised of two parts, genus and species. Ex. Crotalus adamanteus. Crotalus is the genus for Rattlesnakes and adamanteus is the species name for the Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake.
BLUE: Aee Opaque
BOID: Snakes belonging to the family Boidae. It includes all of the boas and pythons.
BRILLE: Unmovable spectacle covering the eye.
BRUMATE: To place an animal in Brumation.
BRUMATION: “Cooling” a herp by lowering its temperature for usually 2 to 4 months to approximate conditions during the winter period. This is not the true hibernation of mammals. Brumation triggers the physical changes that stimulate egg production in females, sperm production in males and the breeding response necessary for successful captive propagation.
BURROW: To dig underground for shelter or for the purpose of concealment or hunting for food. The tunnel created by a burrowing animal.
CANNIBAL, CANNIBALISTIC: An animal that feeds on others of its own kind.
CARAPACE: A turtle or tortoise’s upper shell.
CARNIVOROUS, CARNIVORE: Meat eater. An animal that eats the meat of other animals, or in the case of many reptiles, eats the whole animal.
CAUDAL: Relating to the tail
CHORIOALLANTOIS: Gas permeable membraneous layer inside the shell of a reptile egg
CILLIE: Ciliatus, as in Rhacodactylus
CITES: Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of wild flora and fauna. Entered into force in 1975, CITES is an international agreement designed to control the international trade in protected species of plants and animals. Participation of individual countries is voluntary.
CLASS: A taxonomic category for a group of related animals or plants that share common characteristics. This category is between phylum and order.
CLOACA: Opening to the exterior, it is the common chamber through which urinary, digestive and reproductive organs discharge their contents
CLUTCH: All eggs laid by a female at any one time
CODOMINANT: A mutant gene that changes the phenotype from normal when at least one mutant gene is present. The phenotype of a heterozygous individual is NOT the same as that of a homozygous individual. (See also dominant, recessive)
COLUBRID: A snake belonging to the family Colubridae. The common snakes, including King Snakes, Rat Snakes, Garter Snakes, Indigo Snakes, etc. The vast majority of these snakes are harmless to humans, but there also exists a subfamily of Colubrid snakes, the Boigid snakes, which are rear-fanged and venomous. The venom ranges in toxicity level from mild to extremely toxic. A gland called the Duvernoy’s Gland produces the venom of these snakes.
COOL: Brumate. To “cool” an animal is to place it in Brumation.
COSTAL GROOVE: A vertical groove in amphibians on the sides of the body between the front and back limbs. Usually there is more than one costal groove.
COSTAL SCUTE: The scales along the sides of the carapace of a turtle or tortoise.
CREPUSCULAR: Active at dawn and dusk
CROTALID: A venomous snake belonging to the sub:family Crotalinae. Pit vipers. These snakes have heat sensitive pits on the face and fangs in the front of the upper jaw that fold up against the roof of the mouth. Includes Cottonmouths, Copperheads, Rattlesnakes, Cantils, South American pit vipers and Asian pit vipers
CRYPTIC: Hidden or camouflaged
CYTOTOXINS: Venoms which destroy tissues. Common in adder species.
DERMAL: Referring to skin
DERMATITIS: Skin infection
DEWLAP: Flap of skin connected to throat region.
DIMORPHISM: Having two forms. Sexual dimorphism means that the females and males are different in appearance. Dimorphism is a special case of polymorphism, in which a species has more than one form.
DISECDYSIS: Some or all of the old skin did not shed off as it should have.
DIURNAL: Being active during the day
DOMINANT: A mutant gene that changes the phenotype from normal when at least one mutant gene is present. The phenotype of a heterozygous individual is the same as that of a homozygous individual.
DORSAL: Upper surface of the body.
DORSOLATERAL: Upper surface of the body bordering the backbone.
DOUBLE CLUTCH: To induce a snake to lay eggs twice in one season.
DOUBLE HETEROZYGOUS:(Double het): Being heterozygous for two independent mutant genes, such as albino and anerythristic.
DROP: To lay eggs, or in the case of a live:bearing snake, to give birth.
DRY BITE: A bite by a venomous snake in which no venom is delivered.
DUVERNOY’S GLAND: A modified saliva gland that produces a type of venom in Colubrid snakes, varying in toxicity from very mild to extremely toxic depending on species.
DYSTOCIA: See egg bound
ECDYSIS: Shedding of the skin.
ECTOPARASITE: Parasites that affect an animal externally by attaching themselves to the skin and sucking blood from the host animal. Mites and ticks are ectoparasites in reptiles. (See Endoparasite)
ECTOTHERM: An animal that cannot regulate its body temperature by an internal mechanism. Reptiles and amphibians are ectotherms. A “cold:blooded” animal. Ectotherms regulate their body temperature by utilizing warm and cool zones in their environment.
EFT: The terrestrial life stage of a newt.
EGG BOUND: A life threatening condition that prevents a female reptile from laying her eggs. It is usually caused by one or more (usually infertile) eggs adhering to the lining of the oviduct.
ELAPID: Snake belonging to the family Elapidae. They have fixed front fangs. Relating to cobras, rinkhals, mambas and coral snakes.
ENDANGERED SPECIES: An animal that is considered in danger of extinction. An animal that appears on Appendix I of the Endangered Species Act of 1973.
Endangered Species Act of 1973: A Federal Law that was passed for the purpose of protecting endangered and threatened species of flora and fauna. Enacted in December of 1973 and amended several times, most recently in 1988.
ENDEMIC: Pertaining to a specific area or habitat.
ENDEMIC SPECIES: A species native to a particular region.
ENDOPARASITE: Parasites of the circulatory, digestive or pulmonary systems of reptiles. These include a variety of round worms, tapeworms, flukes, and protozoans. (See Ectoparasite)
ENVENOMATION: Delivery of venom through bites or stings.
ESTIVATION: The lowering of metabolic rate during hot periods or droughts.
EXTINCT: A species in which all living examples have died. A species that no longer exists in life.
EXTIRPATE, EXTIRPATED: A species that has been eliminated or no longer exists in a particular area where it was formerly found.
FAMILY: Taxonomic category between Order and Genus.
FANG: Specialized tooth adapted for envenomation.
FILIAL: Generations of progeny in a genetic breeding project. Unrelated animals in the parental (P) generation are mated to produce the first filial (F1) generation. Two F1 individuals are mated (brother x sister) to produce the second filial (F2) generation.
FORCE FEED: To feed an animal by force. To use some mechanical means to deliver food to an animal’s stomach.
FOSSORIAL: Relating to burrowing and living underground.
FURNITURE: Limbs, hiding boxes, rocks, etc. are cage furniture.
FUZZY: A young mouse 7:12 days old. It has begun growing fur but has not opened its eyes.
GENOTYPE: The genetic code that produces a phenotype. The genes passed to subsequent generations.
GENUS: Taxonomic category between Family and Species.
GESTATION: The development of an embryo inside a female animal until it is fully developed and ready for birth. Gestation period: The period of egg development while the egg is still inside the female, before laying. The period of time it takes for an embryo to fully develop inside the female in live bearing animals.
GLOTTIS: The moveable stiff “tube” in the bottom of a snake’s mouth, which facilitates breathing while the snake is swallowing a prey animal.
GRAVID: Pregnant
HAEMOTOXIC: Venom affecting the blood especially coagulation and circulatory system’s functioning.
HATCHLING: New born reptile from the egg-laying species.
HEMIPENIS: Paired copulatory structure present in male reptiles.
HERP: A slang term for any and all species of reptile and amphibian. It is much preferable to “herptile”. Also used as a verb meaning to look for reptiles, amphibians or crocodilians. To go herping.
HERPER: A person who keeps, breeds, or collects reptiles or amphibians.
HERPETOCULTURIST: 1. A person who breeds reptiles or amphibians. Generally the emphasis is on developing new strains or morphs of a particular species or on refining and developing breeding techniques, but anyone who makes a serious effort to breed reptiles and amphibians can be referred to as a Herpetoculturist. 2. A person who keeps or has a serious interest in reptiles or amphibians and is an active participant in the community of herpetoculture through involvement and participation in clubs and organizations, shows, lectures and symposia, or online in message boards and chat rooms.
HERPETOLOGIST: A person who studies reptiles and amphibians. There is no specific degree in Herpetology in the United States, so a Herpetologist will usually have a degree in Biology and Zoology, with graduate work in the discipline of Herpetology.
HERPETOLOGY: Study of reptiles and amphibians.
HERBIVOROUS, HERBIVORE: An animal that eats vegetation or plant matter.
HETEROZYGOUS (Het): Having two different alleles of a particular gene in a gene pair. The two alleles may be different mutants or a wild type allele paired with a recessive mutant or a dominant mutant or a codominant mutant. For instance, a crossbreeding between an albino ball python and a normal ball python will produce offspring that have a normal gene paired with an albino (recessive) gene. These babies are heterozygous for albino. (See also homozygous, dominant, codominant, recessive.)
HIDE (Hiding box): Reptile cage furnishing which provides a secure place for the animal to hide. A cardboard box, upside:down flowerpot, etc. are used for hides.
HOMOZYGOUS: Having two identical alleles for a particular gene in a gene pair (both genes are the same). The genes may be two wild type alleles, two identical dominant alleles, two identical codominant alleles, or two identical recessive alleles. For instance, an albino ball python has two albino genes, making it homozygous for albino. A “super tiger” reticulated python has two tiger mutant genes, making it homozygous for the tiger mutant. (See also heterozygous, dominant, codominant, recessive.)
HOOK: A tool used for handling snakes, particularly venomous ones. A handle of varying length and composition with a hook at one end and a herper at the other.
HOPPER: A juvenile mouse 12-19 days old, after the eyes have opened but before weaning. Named because of their tendency to hop or jump.
HOT: A term used to refer to a venomous snake or lizard.
HUSBANDRY: The different aspects and techniques of caring for an animal.
HYBRID: To herpers, the progeny from a breeding between two species of the same genus or between two genera. When used by non herpers, it may also refer to the result of a man made breeding between two subspecies or two inbred lines, as in hybrid corn.
IBD: See Inclusion Body Disease.
IMPACTION: A condition where a looped intestine or a plug of some foreign matter makes the animal unable to pass waste material through the intestine to the outside. Often a fatal condition. It is especially common in smaller animals that are kept on a substrate of sand or other small particulate matter, and caused by accidental ingestion of the substrate.
INCUBATION: The control in temperature for the eggs to ensure continuous development.
INCUBATOR: A device used to incubate eggs.
INCLUSION BODY DISEASE: A normally fatal and highly contagious disease seen primarily in Boas and Pythons in which symptoms include neurological impairment, “star:gazing”, respiratory disease, and regurgitation. The disease gets it’s name because of Cytoplasmic Inclusion Bodies seen in certain tissues of infected animals upon microscopic examination. Inclusion Body Disease is thought to be caused by a retrovirus. Also known as IBD.
INFRALABIAL: The scales on the lower lip.
INTERGRADE: 1. An animal that comes from an area where the ranges of two subspecies meet and that shows some characteristics of both subspecies. 2. A baby from a man:made mating of snakes belonging to two different subspecies. It would be desirable to use a term such as “subspecies cross” for the man:made mating to separate the two definitions.
INSECTIVOROUS, INSECTIVORE: Feeding on insects. Insect eater.
INTERSTITIAL SKIN: Skin between the scales
INTRAMUSCULAR: Into the muscle.
INTRAVENOUS: Into the veins.
INVERTEBRATE: Any animal which lacks a back bone.
JACOBSON’S ORGAN: Pair of organs on the roof of the mouth, into which the tongue is pressed or passed over so as to smell and taste scent particles from the environment.
JUVENILE: A young animal, not yet sexually mature.
KEEL: Ridge on the dorsal scales of some snakes,
KEELED SCALE: A scale that has a narrow ridge (median ridge) running down the center from front to rear. Keeled scales give a reptile a somewhat rough appearance and feel
LABIAL: Relating to the lips or scales surrounding the lips.
LABIAL PITS: Heat sensitive pits present on the lips of Boas and Pythons.
LACERTIDS: Lizards belonging to the family Lacertidae.
LATERAL: Relating to the side of the body.
LEACHIE: Leachianus, as in Rhacodactylus
LITTER: The group of babies to which a live bearing snake gives birth.
LOCALE: Refers to the specific area from which a captive animal lineage originated. For instance, Biak Green Tree Pythons originated on Biak Island. Some Locales are very specific, such as Hiway 277 Gray Banded King Snakes are specific to the area surrounding a particular road in Texas.
LOREAL: The scale between the nasal scales and the preocular scales.
LOREAL PIT: Heat-sensitive pit located within the loreal scale on Pit Vipers.
LYMPH: Colorless fluid carried around the body by the lymphatic system.
MBD: See Metabolic Bone Disease
MEDIAN RIDGE: The ridge down the center of a keeled scale.
MELANISTIC: Having an excess of melanin or black pigment.
MENTAL GROOVE: The groove in the skin along the midline of the lower jaw. It allows great expansion of the lower jaw during feeding.
METABOLIC BONE DISEASE: A disease commonly seen in lizards and turtles that affects bone development resulting in malformed bones. It is normally caused by dietary or vitamin deficiencies.
METAMORPHOSIS: To change from one form to another, as in a tadpole changing into a frog.
MIMIC: To take on the appearance of a more distasteful or even venomous species as a form of self defense.
MONOTYPIC: A species with no subspecies.
MONOVALENT: Having titer against only one kind, as in Monovalent Antivenin. Only effective against the venom of one particular genus or species.
MONTANE: Mountain dwelling
MORPH: Usually refers to the different colorations and patterns produced by one mutation or a combination of mutations in a particular species. Snow Corns are one morph of Corn Snakes, and Motley Sunglow is another.
MOUTH ROT: See Stomatitis.
MUSK: A foul smelling substance produced by scent glands in the base of the tail of some reptiles. Discharging musk out the vent may discourage an attacker.
MYOTOXIN: A type of venom that causes muscle degradation especially skeletal muscles.
NECROSIS: The dying of cells in a specific area on the body. Common in cytotoxic envenomation.
NEUROTOXIC: A venom affecting the neurological and muscular functioning. Found mainly in cobras and mambas
NEONATE: A newly hatched or newborn animal.
NEOTENY, NEOTENIC: The characteristic of some salamanders of retaining larval features such as gills into adulthood.
NOCTURNAL: Active at night
NUCHAL SCUTE: The scutes, or scales, on a tortoise or turtle’s carapace located above the neck.
OCULAR: Referring to the eye. Ocular scales are those contacting the eye. They are divided into 4 groups, preoculars, supraoculars, suboculars, and postoculars.
OMNIVOROUS, OMNIVORE: An animal that eats both plant and animal matter.
OPAQUE: Used to describe the part of a snake’s shed cycle when its eyecaps are “cloudy”.
OPHIDIAN PARAMYXOVIRUS: A highly contagious virus related to Hantavirus that infects snakes in captive collections and is usually fatal. It is most commonly seen in Viperid snakes, but has been reported in others recently. Also known as OPMV.
OPHIOPHAGOUS: Feeding on snakes.
OPHIOPHILIA: A love of snakes.
OPISTHOGLYPHIC: Rear fanged snakes.
OPMV: See Ophidian Paramyxovirus
OPPORTUNISTIC: to take advantage of the situation or opportunity at hand. An opportunistic feeder is an animal that eats whatever is available.
ORDER: Taxonomic category between Class and Family
OVIPAROUS: Egg-laying
PAROTID GLAND: Each of the two large wart:like glands at the rear of a toad’s head. They secrete a milky, toxic substance.
PARTHENOGENETIC: The ability of females to fertilize her eggs in the absence of mating.
PHENOTYPE: The visible characteristics of an animal. The things about an animal which can be observed, such as outward appearance, physical characteristics, behavior, etc., which are caused by genes which can be passed on to subsequent generations. See genotype
PINKIE: A baby rat or mouse in the first seven days of life before it begins to grow fur.
PINKIE PRESS: A trade name for a device designed to facilitate force:feeding reptiles.
PIP: The act, by a baby reptile or bird, of cutting it’s way out of the egg using a special egg tooth or caruncle.
PIT: A heat sensitive organ in Crotalid snakes and some Boids. In pit vipers (crotalids) it is located between the nostril and the eye. In boids there are several located on the lips.
PLASTRON: The bottom shell of a turtle or tortoise.
POLYVALENT: Having titer against more than one type, as in Polyvalent Antivenin. Antivenin that is effective against the venoms of more than one species.
POP: To sex a snake by everting the hemipenes. Usually done on neonate snakes.
POSTOCULAR: The scales just behind the eye.
POSTERIOR: Relating to the rear part.
POSTOCULAR: Scale bordering the posterior edge of the eye.
PREFRONTAL: The single scale on the head of a reptile.
Prehensile: (Grasping) A prehensile tail describes a tail that is capable of grasping.
PREOCULAR: Scale bordering the anterior edge of the eye.
PREY: An animal that is captured and eaten for food. To capture and eat an animal.
PROBE: The tool used for sexing snakes, or the act of using a probe to sex a snake. It is usually made of surgical steel, is tapered and has a “ball:end” in most cases. There are various sizes for use on smaller or larger snakes. The probe is inserted through the vent to check for the presence of a hemipenes.
PROTECTED SPECIES: A species that is protected by law and cannot be legally captured or molested without a specific permit to do so.
PROTEROGLYPHIC: Snakes that have fixed front fangs. Elapid snakes are Proteroglyphic.
PTOSIS: Drooping of the eyelids. Common first symptom of neurotoxic envenomation.
RANGE: The geographic area in which a particular species is known to occur naturally.
RECESSIVE: A mutant gene that changes the phenotype from normal only when two identical mutant genes are present. When a recessive mutant gene is paired with a normal gene, the animal looks normal.
RECURVED: Relating to a tooth which bends backwards
REGURGITATE: Vomit. In reptiles, to bring partially digested food items back up from the stomach and out of the mouth. Usually caused by some irritation of the stomach by parasites or bacterial or viral infections, or by temperatures that are too high or too low.
REPTILIA: The taxonomic class of vertebrates that includes snakes, lizards, turtles, tortoises and crocodilians. The reptiles.
RESTRAINING TUBE: A plastic tube normally used for the purpose of restraining venomous snakes so that medical procedures, etc. can be safely performed.
RETAINED EYECAP: A condition in which a snake fails to shed the transparent skin structure that covers each eye along with the rest of his skin.
RHOMBIC: Diamond shaped markings.
RIVERINE: River dwelling.
ROAD CRUISING: driving slowly on a road, usually at night, looking for reptiles on the road.
ROSTRAL: Relating to the tip of the snout of a reptile.
ROUGH: A term used to describe reptiles that have keeled scales.
SCALE: A plate-like covering found in reptiles and fish.
SCALE CLIP: To mark a reptile for later identification by clipping scales in a particular pattern.
SCUTE: An enlarged scale, especially in turtles, tortoises and crocodilians. The large scales on the head and venter of snakes are also sometimes referred to as a scute.
SERUM: Antivenin made from horse or sheep serum.
SERUM SICKNESS: An allergic reaction in humans to animal serum, often seen in cases of snakebite where antivenin is administered.
SIDEWIND: Sideways movement often used by desert snakes.
SHED / SHEDDING: Skin that has been shed by a reptile. See also, Ecdysis
SLOUGHING: The shedding of the skin.
SMOOTH: A term used to describe a reptile that has smooth scales.
SMOOTH SCALE: A scale that has no median ridge. Smooth scales give a reptile a glossy, shiny appearance and a smooth feel.
SPECIES: The taxonomic category that subdivides a genus into groups of a particular kind of animal.
SPECULUM, SPECULA: A device, usually a wire loop, designed to keep a reptile’s mouth open for the purpose of performing oral medical procedures or force feeding.
SPUR: A small appendage located on either side of the vent in Boas and Pythons. Vestigial hindlimbs. It is more pronounced in males.
SOLENOGLYPH: A solenoglyphic snake. A venomous snake that has moveable fangs, which fold up against the roof of the mouth when not in use. Viperid and Crotalid snakes are solenoglyphic
SQUAMATE: Relating to scaled creatures
STOMATITIS: An infection of the lining of a reptile’s mouth. It is usually caused by bacteria and is characterized by a cheesy discharge from the lesions and unwillingness to feed. Severe cases can cause death.
SUB ADULT: A juvenile animal that is nearing sexual maturity.
SUBCAUDAL SCALES: Ventral scales found between the vent and tip of the tail.
SUBCUTANEOUS: Below the skin.
SUBOCULAR: Scales just below the eye and above the Supralabial scales, in between the lip and the eye, as in Trans:Pecos Rat Snake. Not present in all snakes.
SUBSPECIES: A species distinguishable from other populations within the same species.
SUBSTRATE: Material used to cover the bottom of a cage. Newspaper, bark chips, Aspen chips, Cypress mulch and sand are commonly used substrates.
SUBSTRATUM: Non living material on which an animal feeds.
SUPRALABIAL: The scales on the upper lip.
SUPRAOCULAR: The scales just above the eye.
SYMPATRIC: Living within the same regional area without conflict and interbreeding.
TAXONOMY: Classification of animals or plants based on their natural relationships
TERRESTRIAL: Ground dwelling.
THERMAL GRADIENT: A gradual change in temperature from one part of a cage to another.
THERMOREGULATE: Moving from a warm area to a cooler one or vice:versa in order to regulate body temperature.
THREATENED: A species that is not yet endangered, but is in danger of becoming endangered. A species that appears on Appendix II of the Endangered Species Act or on a State List of protected species as having a Threatened status.
TONGS: A tool for handling venomous snakes. A handle of varying length with a lever at one end that is connected by a cable to jaws at the other end. The jaws are for gripping the snake’s body while keeping the animal a safe distance from the handler. Also known as a Grab Stick.
TRIAD: A group of three rings, usually red, white (or yellow) and black, encircling (or nearly so) the body of a snake and repeating for the length of the body, usually Coral Snakes, milk snakes and mountain kingsnakes.
TRI COLOR: Refers to the pattern of rings comprised of three colors, usually red, white(or yellow) and black found on Coral Snakes, milk snakes and mountain kingsnakes. These snakes are sometimes referred to as “Tri:colors”.
TRIO: Refers to a breeding group, usually 1 male and 2 females.
TRINOMIAL: A scientific name comprised of three parts, the genus, species and subspecies. Ex. Lampropeltis triangulum hondurensis
TRIPLE HETEROZYGOUS (Triple het): Being heterozygous for three independent mutant genes.
TROGLODYTE: Cave dwelling.
TUBE FEED: To force:feed an animal or deliver medication by use of a tube and syringe.
VENOM: A toxic compound secreted by some animals for the purpose of defence or obtaining prey.
VENOM GLAND: A modified saliva gland, located at the back of the upper jaw in venomous snakes, which produces the venom. The venom moves from the gland to the fangs via the venom duct. Venom glands are present in Crotalid, Viperid and Elapid snakes.
VENEMOID: A naturally venomous snake that has been surgically rendered non venomous.
VENT: The opening at the end of the cloaca (see Cloaca) where urinary waste, intestinal waste, and eggs leave a herp’s body. Externally, it is usually on the herp’s underside and marks the end of the body and beginning of the tail, if there is a tail.
VENTRAL: Relating to the under side of the body.
VIPERID: Snakes belonging to the subfamily of true vipers, Viperinae. These snakes have fangs in the front of the upper jaw that fold up against the roof of the mouth, like crotalids. But they lack the crotalids’ heat sensitive pits. Examples include the Gaboon viper, puff adder, European viper, and others.
VIVIPAROUS: Giving birth to live young
WILD TYPE: 1. The most common phenotype in the wild population. 2. The genes required to produce the wild type phenotype. 3. The standard or normal allele for each location (locus) in the genome.
XANTHIC: Yellow or orange in color.
WEANLING: A mouse that is 19-25 days old, after it has been weaned off its mother’s milk.

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Last edited by Bushbaby on Wed Aug 03, 2005 12:07 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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