Glossary of ALL Terms for Data on EOL


An area of calm water unaffected by the current of a stream.
a domain of prokaryotes
organism which obtains energy and nutrients from the consumption of bacteria
An arid terrain with clay-rich soil that has been extensively eroded by wind and water.
The biomass remaining after sugarcane stalks are crushed to extract their juice.
bajocian age
International Chronostratigraphic Chart:
Dehiscence of fruit occurs as an explosion, launching seeds far away from the plant (= ballochory).
bamboo forest
A forest biome dominated by bamboo.
banana plantation
A linear shoaling landform feature within a body of water. Bars tend to be long and narrow (linear) and develop where a current (or waves) promote deposition of granular material, resulting in localized shallowing (shoaling) of the water. Bars can appear in the sea, in a lake, or in a river. They are typically composed of sand, although could be of any granular matter that the moving water has access to and is capable of shifting around (for example, soil, silt, gravel, cobble, shingle, or even boulders). The grain size of the material comprising a bar is related: to the size of the waves or the strength of the currents moving the material, but the availability of material to be worked by waves and currents is also important.
barium sulfate
A metal sulfate with formula BaO4S. Virtually insoluble in water at room temperature, it is mostly used as a component in oil well drilling fluid it occurs naturally as the mineral barite
All tissues outside the vascular cambium or the xylem; in older trees may be divided into dead outer bark and living inner bark, which consists of secondary phloem.
barremian age
International Chronostratigraphic Chart:
bartonian age
International Chronostratigraphic Chart:
basal metabolic rate
Basal metabolic rate (BMR) is the amount of energy expended daily by humans and other animals at rest. Rest is defined as existing in a neutrally temperate environment while in the post-absorptive state.
Basalt is a volcanic rock which is formed by the rapid cooling of basaltic lava.
bashkirian age
International Chronostratigraphic Chart:
bathonian age
International Chronostratigraphic Chart:
bathyal zone
The mariine bathyal zone biome comprises regions of the marine benthic biome between approximately 200 m and 3000 m depth. This zone generally coincides with the continental slope.
bathyal zone (200-4000m)
bathypelagic zone
The one of an ocean below the 10degC thermocline down to a temperature of 4degC.
An area of water bordered by land on three sides.
A small, slow-moving stream or creek; usually located in low-lying areas.
A landform consisting of loose rock particles such as sand, gravel, shingle, pebbles, cobble, or even shell fragments along the shoreline of a body of water.
beach ridge
A ridge of sand just inland and parallel to the beach, usually in series.
beach sand
beaver dam
An obstruction in a stream constructed by a beaver.
beaver pond
A pond that has formed as a consequence of the activities of beavers, building a beaver dam.
beech forest soil
behavioral circadian rhythm
Any measurable or observable behavioral characteristic related to a daily biological activity cycle.
Living at the bottom of a body of water.
benthic diatom feeder
a consumer that feeds primarily on benthic diatoms
benthic diatoms
berriasian age
International Chronostratigraphic Chart:
Of life span, a plant which lives for more than one but less than two years after germination, c.f. annual, ephemeral, perennial, of flowering with respect to architecture, hapaxanthic, monocarpic, pleonanthic.
Stevens, P. F. (2001 onwards). Angiosperm Phylogeny Website. Version 12, July 2012. Glossary:
Cleft into two often more-or-less acute lobes at the apex; for example, Bauhinia variegata
bilaterally symmetric
being symmetric about a plane running from frontal end to caudal end (head to tail), and having nearly identical right and left halves
bill length
Length of the bill.
organisms with activities that usually result in a constant and random local sediment biomixing over short distances.
A complex aggregation of microorganisms marked by the excretion of a protective and adhesive matrix; usually adhering to a substratum.
biogenic silica
A biogenic mineral comprised of hydrated silica
biogenous sediment
Biogenous sediment is derived from living organisms, typically planktonic organisms possessing shells, frustules or coccoliths.
biogeographic realm
The largest scale biogeographic division of the earth's surface based on the historic and evolutionary distribution patterns of plants and animals.
biological waste
waste containing mostly natural organic materials (remains of plants, animal excrement, biological sludge from waste-water treatment plants and so forth)
Has this organism been observed to produce and transmit light?
engages in reworking of soils and sediments (animals or plant)
bipedal movement
terrestrial locomotion where an organism moves by means of its two limbs or legs
bipedal running
terrestrial locomotion where an organism moves by means of its two rear limbs or legs, such that periodically neither of the limbs are touching the ground
pinnately compound leaves in which the leaflets are themselves pinnately compound; also called twice-pinnate
bipinnate + pinnatifid
a bipinnately compound leaf, with the pinnae being pinnatifid.
bivalve feeder
a carnivore that feeds primarily on bivalves
A color that lacks any hues as parts.
black smoker
A hydrothermal vent found on the ocean floor. The vents are formed in fields hundreds of meters wide when superheated water from below the Earth's crust comes through the ocean floor. The superheated water is rich in dissolved minerals from the crust, most notably sulfides, which crystallize to create a chimney-like structure around each vent. When the superheated water in the vent comes in contact with the cold ocean water, many minerals are precipitated, creating the distinctive black color. The metal sulfides that are deposited can become massive sulfide ore deposits in time.
blanket bog
A peatland whose development is mostly independent of basins or topographical features where water collects; it simply covers the landscape like a blanket. Peat develops due to a continuous supply of water from rainfall, maintaining waterlogged conditions on the ground. Blanket bogs are ombrotrophic or rain fed, and as a result their pH lies between 3.5 and 4.2.
complete or nearly complete lack of vision
blind-ended ventilator
Ventilation occurs when animals flush their burrows with overlying water for respiratory and feeding purposes. Blind-ended ventilation occurs when I-shaped burrows are flushed uni- or bidirectionally depending on the permeability of the sediment
A liquid tissue; its major function is to transport oxygen throughout the body. It also supplies the tissues with nutrients, removes waste products, and contains various components of the immune system defending the body against infection.
bloom period
The seasonal period in the U.S. during which the plant blooms the most. The bloom period is defined as the time when pollen is shed and stigmas are receptive.
USDA PLANTS database Characteristics Data Fields.
A sandy depression in a sand dune ecosystem (psammosere) caused by the removal of sediments by wind.
A color hue with low wavelength of that portion of the visible spectrum lying between green and indigo, evoked in the human observer by radiant energy with wavelengths of approximately 420 to 490 nanometers.
[database_cross_reference: Dictionary:]
bodily fluid
A natural bodily fluid or secretion such as blood, semen, saliva, blood plasma, intracellular and interstitial fluids.
body cavity
The cavity within the body of all descendants of the coelenterates and certain primitive worms, formed by the splitting of the embryonic mesoderm into two layers. In mammals it forms the peritoneal, pleural, and pericardial cavities
body length
A measurement of the longest dimension of a body, typically between two distinct ends of the body.
[database_cross_reference: Dorland:Dorlands_Illustrated_Medical_Dictionary--31st_Ed] [database_cross_reference: ISBN:978-1416049982]
body length
The distance from point to point along the longest axis of the body of an organism.
body length, nose to tail
The distance between the tip of the nose to the very end of the appendage extending from the end of the trunk of an organism
body mass
The amount of matter in the body of an organism.
body mass
The amount of matter in the body of an organism.
body shape
body size
The size of a multicellular organism
body temperature
The degree of heat in the body of a living organism, temperature is measure of the average kinetic energy of the particles in a sample of matter, expressed in terms of units or degrees designated on a standard scale.
body temperature
internal temperature of living individual
body volume
Volume occupied by the whole body of one individual of this taxon
body width
The distance from side to side of the body of an organism, perpendicular to the axis along which height is measured.
body/caudal fin propulsion
swimming by generating thrust using lateral movements of their body and caudal fin. Most fishes use this type of propulsion
bore hole water
boulder field
A high altitude or high latitude bare, flat area covered with large angular rocks.
The presence of short wings, not functional as organs of flight. Micropterous (used inconsitently in the literature) is here treated as a synonym of brachypterous.
brackish estuary
An estuary which is composed primarily of brackish water
brackish lake
brackish pond
brackish water
brackish water
brittle-star feeder
a carnivore that feeds primarily on brittle-stars
A quality inhering in a bearer by virtue of the bearer's width being notably higher than its length.
broadcast spawner
Broadcast spawners scatter their eggs into the water; they spawn numerous small eggs that develop rapidly.
broadleaf forest
A broadleaf forest biome is a forest biome which contains densely packed populations or communities of broadleaf trees, strongly limiting light penetration to the forest floor.
bromeliad plants, used as a habitat or shelter
Incubation of eggs by the parent.
A color consisting of dark orange, red, of very low intensity.
[database_cross_reference: Wikipedia:]
herbivore that eats parts of plants including high-growing shrubs and trees.
terrestrial plants that lack vascular tissue
An undeveloped shoot system
bud source
Location of bud bank for resprouting.
BROT trait database. Traits: units and categories (BudSource),
A permanent walled and roofed construction.
building material
A material entity used to build a dwelling or part of a dwelling
A short, enlarged shoot system that has as parts a short stem in which the shoot internodes do not elongate, and one or more buds enclosed by fleshy leaves or leaf bases
burdigalian age
International Chronostratigraphic Chart:
A burl (American English) or bur or burr (used in all non-US English speaking countries) is a tree growth in which the grain has grown in a deformed manner. It is commonly found in the form of a rounded outgrowth on a tree trunk or branch that is filled with small knots from dormant buds.
burned soil
burrow builder
an animal that excavates holes or tunnels into soil or benthic sediment to create a space suitable for habitation, temporary refuge, or as a byproduct of locomotion. Inhabited burrows function as a refuge, protecting the inhabitants from predation and environmental extremes. They provide physical support for the digging and feeding activities of the burrow inhabitants. The harsh chemical environment deep in aquatic burrows must be counteracted by active or passive irrigation of burrow water. Macrofaunal Burrows and Irrigation in Marine Sediment: Microbiological and Biogeochemical Interactions. Available from: [accessed Feb 26 2020].
burrow depth
Depth within soil, sediment or rock that a burrow of this species is typically located.
burrow diameter
diameter of the cross section of a burrow in soil, sediment or rock, presumed to represent a measure of body size of the burrow occupant, orthogonal to length (~body depth or width)
An organism that lives or moves in a burrow in soft sediments.
An isolated hill with steep sides and a small flat top, smaller than mesas and plateaus. Buttes are formed by erosion when a cap of hard rock, usually of volcanic origin, covers a layer of softer rock that is easily worn away. This hard rock avoids erosion while the rock around it wears down.