Definition: the air-filled cavity within the skull of vertebrates that lies between the outer ear and the inner ear. It is linked to the pharynx (and therefore to outside air) via the Eustachian tube and in mammals contains the three ear ossicles, which transmit auditory vibrations from the outer ear (via the tympanum) to the inner ear
Definition: A taxon is Near Threatened when it has been evaluated against the criteria but does not qualify for Critically Endangered, Endangered or Vulnerable now, but is close to qualifying for or is likely to qualify for a threatened category in the near future
Definition: Appendix I lists species that are the most endangered among CITES-listed animals and plants. They are threatened with extinction and CITES prohibits international trade in specimens of these species except when the purpose of the import is not commercial, for instance for scientific research. In these exceptional cases, trade may take place provided it is authorized by the granting of both an import permit and an export permit (or re-export certificate). Article VII of the Convention provides for a number of exemptions to this general prohibition.
Definition: An aquatic biome that comprises systems of open-ocean and unprotected coastal habitats, characterized by exposure to wave action, tidal fluctuation, and ocean currents as well as systems that largely resemble these. Water in the marine biome is generally within the salinity range of seawater: 30 to 38 ppt.
Definition: Hydrofoils, or fins, are used to push against the water to create a normal force to provide thrust, propelling the animal through water. The reduction of fin cross-sectional area helps to minimize drag, and therefore increase efficiency. Regardless of size of the animal, at any particular speed, maximum possible lift is proportional to (wing area) x (speed)<sup>2</sup>. Dolphins and whales have large, horizontal caudal hydrofoils, while many fish and sharks have vertical caudal hydrofoils.
Definition: 1) Producing live offspring from within the body of the parent (Lincoln et al., 1998). 2) Development of an embryo within the body of the parent, in part, resources passing directly from parent to embryo (Barnes et al., 2006).
Definition: the method used by some animals (e.g. bats, dolphins and some whales) to determine the location of something by measuring the time it takes for an echo to return from it. These animals emit sound waves and listen for the echo, calculating the distance to the object from the time lapse between sound emission and the echo returning.
Definition: Relative to pinhole eyes, lens eyes have greatly improved resolution and image brightness. The lens converges incoming rays of light, thereby reducing the angle over which each photoreceptor receives light, and forming an image focused on the retina. Most lens eyes have "accommodation"; they can focus an image either by physically moving the lens toward or away from the retina or by using eye muscles to adjust the shape of the lens.