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 Data Deficient when there is inadequate information to make a direct, or indirect, assessment of its risk of extinction based on its distribution and/or population status. A taxon in this category may be well studied, and its biology well known, but appropriate data on abundance and/or distribution are lacking. Data Deficient is therefore \r\nnot a category of threat. Listing of taxa in this category indicates that more information is \r\nrequired and acknowledges the possibility that future research will show that threatened \r\nclassification is appropriate. It is important to make positive use of whatever data are available. In many cases great care should be exercised in choosing between DD and a threatened status. If the range of a taxon is suspected to be relatively circumscribed, and a considerable period of time has elapsed since the last record of the taxon, threatened status may well be justified.
Definition: Appendix II lists species that are not necessarily now threatened with extinction but that may become so unless trade is closely controlled. It also includes so-called "look-alike species", i.e. species whose specimens in trade look like those of species listed for conservation reasons. International trade in specimens of Appendix-II species may be authorized by the granting of an export permit or re-export certificate. No import permit is necessary for these species under CITES (although a permit is needed in some countries that have taken stricter measures than CITES requires). Permits or certificates should only be granted if the relevant authorities are satisfied that certain conditions are met, above all that trade will not be detrimental to the survival of the species in the wild. (See Article IV of the Convention)
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: National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution (USNM), Washington, District of Columbia, USA.\r\nNMNH and USNM both refer to the National Museum of Natural History. Collections are associated with one or the other acronym. US, the US National Herbarium, is a collection within the National Museum of Natural History. URL for main institutional website, http://www.mnh.si.edu/rc/\r\nURL for institutional specimen catalog, http://collections.mnh.si.edu/
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.