Glossary
adaptations adjustment to environmental conditions
aerate To supply with air or expose to the circulation of air
amphibian Animals like frogs that live in water as babies and on land as adults
anaerobic lacks oxygen
analogy to show a likeness in one or more ways
aquatic species animal or plant that lives in water
arthropod a jointed animal with an exoskeleton. Arthropod is the phylum of insects, spiders, crawfish, and crabs with jointed limbs
bacteria tiny living things that can only be seen with a microscope
barnacle a shellfish that clings to ships or underwater structures
barrier island long narrow strips of sand forming islands parallel and not far from coast
basin a tract of land drained by a river and its tributaries
bature the land between the levee and the river
bayou slow moving creek or channel of water that connects with another body of water
binomial nomenclature a scientific two part name for a particular species
bivalve animal (as a clam) with a shell composed of two separate parts that open and shut
bow front of a boat
brackish marsh a marsh that has a mixture of salt water and freshwater
buoy floating object anchored in the water to mark a channel
Cajun in southern Louisiana, a person with French Canadian ancestors
carrian the decaying flesh of a dead creature
characteristic a feature that helps to distinguish a person or thing
chenier (chene – French for oaks) a ridge formed by sediment from past Mississippi River Delta usually containing shell deposits. Due to elevation above the mrsh oaks can grow.
coastline the boundary between land and water that has long straight stretches between the major outermost points of land
conifer evergreen trees that usually have cones
culture the beliefs, customs, language, and traits of a particular group
cypress brake a patch of cypress trees between two other habitats
deciduous a tree which sheds or loses foliage at the end of the growing season
delta land, often shaped like a rough triangle (the greek letter delta) deposited near a river’s mouth by the river itself
dendrologist scientist who studies trees
detritus Decaying plant material
dingy a small boat usually attached to a larger boat
distributary a river branch flowing away from the main stream
dormant inactive
dredge a barge used for removing earth or silt making deep channels in waterways
ecosystem a community of living things and everything in their environment
egg tooth a tough, horny piece of epidermis that a baby alligator uses to peck out of its shell
elevation the height of the land
erosion The washing away of land
estuaries parts of rivers where fresh river water mixes with salt water from the ocean
eutrophication a process of nutrients in water causing algae (microscopic plant) growth
evergreen a tree which has foliage and remains green all year round
exotic Introduced from another country
extirpate gone from a certain area
flotant marsh A marsh that survives the sinking of the land by floating. The marsh breaks away from the underlying soil and creates flotant. Flotant are found in fresh and intermediate marshes. Wildlife uses flotant because they provide “dry land” when it floods.
food chain a pattern of large animals eating smaller animals, which in turn eat plants; plants are always at the bottom of the food chain
forage searching for food
freshwater marsh no salt in water of marsh; less than .5 salinity parts per thousand; no taste of salt
generation the single steps in the line of desendents from an ancestor
groundwater Water beneath the earth's surface, often between saturated soil and rock
habitat area in which an animal has the necessary food, water, and shelter it needs to thrive
hydric full of a considerable amount of moisture
hydrologic modifications human made alterations to the way water flows
hydrophytes water loving plants that live in soil that is saturated part of the year
incubate to keep in conditions favorable for development of an embryo
intermediate marsh a mixture of salt and fresh water less salty than brackish marsh
levee a continuous ridge of earth designed to confine water and prevent flooding
Lock and Dam an enclosure (canal) with gates at each end used to raise and lower boats as they pass from level to level of a river; a barrier preventing the flow of water and or solid materials
locomotion moving from place to place
mammal an animal that has a backbone and feeds its young with mother’s milk
maritime forest a forest near the sea
marsh a wetland that is covered with water most of the time and has no trees
mesophytes mesophytes plants that require moist soil to live
migrate to move from one region or climate to another
native species animals or plants that occur naturally in a place
navigable waterway deep enough and wide enough to afford passage to ships
nictitating membranes a thin membrane found on many animals that extends across the eyeball
non-native species animals or plants that do not occur naturally in a place. Also called exotic species
non-renewable natural resource a naturally occurring thing that once used cannot be made again
nutrients Something an animal needs for life and growth
offspring young
Ornithologists a zoologist who studies birds
otolith ear bone of a fish
overpopulation the condition of having too many of one species causing a decline in living conditions and health of that species.
palmetto short palms with fan shaped leaves
pathogen disease-producing organisms such as bacteria and viruses
pelt The hide or coat of an animal
photosynthesis the process by which chlorophyll containing plants make food from water and from the carbon dioxide in the air in the presence of light
phytoplankton tiny creatures found in the water that use sunlight to store water like plants
pollutant any material that can damage living things or their environments
predator animal or plant that catches and eats another
prey animals hunted by a predator
refuge a safe place
reptile an animal that lives on land, lays eggs, and is cold-blooded
reptiles animals that spend time in the water, but breathe air and live on land; snakes and alligators are examples
ridge a raised strip of land
rigs consist of a derrick, or tall steel structure that holds the equipment used to drill an oil well
riparian marsh marshes that occur along rivers that absorb water when a river is high and release water when river levels are low
roe The eggs of a fish; caviar
rookery a breeding ground of birds
salinity level of salt content
saltwater intrusion the invasion of freshwater bodies by denser salt water
saltwater marsh a marsh with saltwater; a high salinity; about 35 parts per thousand
saturated To soak, fill, or load to capacity
scutes the bony plates on an alligator’s back
sebaceous gland a gland that secrets a greasy substance
sediment solid materials, such as clay and silt that may be carried by water currents
shoreline the boundary between land and water that goes all along the intricate borders of the bays, estuaries, and inlets
soil the dirt and other materials that make up the top layer of earth
species a certain kind of animals within a closely related group
spoil the material removed from channels and canals by dredging
stern back of a boat
strait A narrow channel joining two larger bodies of water
strip settlement a settlement that stretches out alongside a waterway because the belt of adjacent land that is high and well drained is very narrow
subsidence to sink or settle downward; submerge
swamp a wetland area flooded most of the time with cypress trees, tupelo trees and some shrubs
symara The winged seed of the red maple tree
taxonomy classification, especially of animals and plants, according to natural relationships
toxin harmful element
tributary a waterway that flows into a larger stream or river
voracious having a huge appetite
wallow to roll about sluggishly in mud
wetland waterlogged areas where plants and animals live
Yearling one that is a year old
zooplankton Tiny animals that float in the water
 
 
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