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biology The study of living things. The scientists who study them are known as biologists.
camouflage Hiding people or objects from an enemy by making them appear to be part of the natural surroundings. Animals can also use camouflage patterns on their skin, hide or fur to hide from predators.
carnivore An animal that either exclusively or primarily eats other animals.
coauthor One of a group (two or more people) who together had prepared a written work, such as a book, report or research paper. Not all coauthors may have contributed equally.
colleague Someone who works with another; a co-worker or team member.
countershading A pattern of protective colorings on some animals. Usually, parts of the animal that would normally fall in shadow are light and those facing the sky are dark. The reason: The animal will not stand out against the ground when viewed by predators from above, and may blend in with the sky if viewed from below.
Cretaceous A geologic time period that included the end of the Age of Dinosaurs. It ran from roughly 145.5 million years ago until 65.5 million years ago.
dinosaur A term that means terrible lizard. These ancient reptiles lived from about 250 million years ago to roughly 65 million years ago. All descended from egg-laying reptiles known as archosaurs. Their descendants eventually split into two lines. For many decades, they have been distinguished by their hips. The lizard-hipped line are believed to have led to the saurichians, such as two-footed theropods like T. rex and the lumbering four-footed Apatosaurus (once known as brontosaurus). A second line of so-called bird-hipped, or ornithischian dinosaurs, appears to have led to a widely differing group of animals that included the stegosaurs and duckbilled dinosaurs. But a new 2017 analysis now calls into question that characterization of relatedness based on hip shape.
fossil Any preserved remains or traces of ancient life. There are many different types of fossils: The bones and other body parts of dinosaurs are called “body fossils.” Things like footprints are called “trace fossils.”
marine Having to do with the ocean world or environment.
melanin A family of pigments found in all types of animals. They are responsible for the dark coloring in such things as feathers, hair, fur, skin and scales.
melanosome A structure within a cell that gives an organism color.
molecule An electrically neutral group of atoms that represents the smallest possible amount of a chemical compound. Molecules can be made of single types of atoms or of different types. For example, the oxygen in the air is made of two oxygen atoms (O2), but water is made of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom (H2O).
organic (in chemistry) An adjective that indicates something is carbon-containing; a term that relates to the chemicals that make up living organisms.
paleontologist A scientist who specializes in studying fossils, the remains of ancient organisms.
pigment A material, like the natural colorings in skin, that alter the light reflected off of an object or transmitted through it. The overall color of a pigment typically depends on which wavelengths of visible light it absorbs and which ones it reflects. For example, a red pigment tends to reflect red wavelengths of light very well and typically absorbs other colors.
predator (adjective: predatory) A creature that preys on other animals for most or all of its food.
prey (n.) Animal species eaten by others. (v.) To attack and eat another species.
sediment Material (such as stones and sand) deposited by water, wind or glaciers.
tissue Made of cells, any of the distinct types of materials that make up animals, plants or fungi. Cells within a tissue work as a unit to perform a particular function in living organisms. Different organs of the human body, for instance, often are made from many different types of tissues.