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The Probert Encyclopaedia of Nature

AAL

Aal (A'l, Ach, Aich) is the native name for Morinda tinctoria and Morinda citrifalia, two plants extensively cultivated in India for the reddish dye-stuff (Suranji) which their roots contain. The name is also sometimes used to describe the dye.
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AALII

Aalii (Dodonaea viscosa) is a bushy sapindaceous shrub with small greenish flowers and sticky foliage found in Australia, Hawaii, Africa, and tropical America.
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AARDVARK

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The aardvark, earth-hog, ground-hog, Cape pig or Cape Ant-eater (Orycteropus afra) was the name given to a South African ant eating mammal of the order Edentata by the Dutch colonists.
The form of this animal is elongated, but its proportions are thick and strong; its limbs are short, massive, and extremely muscular ; the fore limbs are furnished with four stout toes, armed with large solid hoof-like nails, admirably adapted as scrapers of the dry hard ground, or as instruments for tearing open the solid mud-houses of the termite ants, on which it feeds. The hind feet are long and plantigrade (that is, with the whole sole applied to the ground); they are furnished each with five toes, armed with nails of a similar character to those of the fore feet.

The head is elongated, and the muzzle is hog-like in general appearance, slender and tapering; the mouth is small, and the tongue is slimy and extensible; the eyes are rather small; the ears are large, long, and pointed; the tail is of considerable length, and tapers gradually from a very thick and solid base. Unlike the armadillo, the aardvark is not protected by scales or plates, but by a thick, tough, coarse skin, covered with harsh, wiry, greyish-brown hair, somewhat scantily disposed, especially about the head, and resembling bristles in quality.

In the structure of its teeth this animal differs from all quadrupeds ; they consist of a cylindrical envelope, enfolding a vast number of minute canals, or capillary tubes, running longitudinally. Cuvier aptly compares them to small bits of common cane; they are well adapted for crushing soft insects, but not for masticating hard or fibrous food. They consist, in the upper jaw, of seven molars on each side, of which the first is minute and distant from the rest; in the lower jaw there are six on each side. It may be deemed strange that an animal having teeth should be placed in an order termed Edentata (toothless quadrupeds), but other edentate species, as the armadillos, etc, are also furnished with teeth. The term, we must observe, is to be taken in a qualified sense; for though some, as the anteaters and pangolins, are really destitute of these organs, others possess them, but with certain limitations as to arrangement and structure. There are none in the front or anterior part of the jaws; and they are peculiar in structure, wanting both enamel and the distinctive portion called the neck.

The aardvark grows to a considerable size, measuring when fully grown five feet or more in total length, of which the tail is one foot eight or nine inches. In its habits, the aardvark is burrowing; it excavates superficial galleries in which it remains during the day, but comes forth on the approach of dusk; attentive to every noise, and taking alarm on the least appearance of danger. In some districts the burrows of the aardvark are numerous, and often proved the source of accidents to colonists' wagons or travellers on horseback passing over them; the wheels of the wagon, or the foot of the horse, will break them in, and an overturn or fall as a result. So quickly does the aardvark carry on its mining operations, that the labour of digging one out of its subterranean retreat is incredible: it works more rapidly than the spade, and as its senses of hearing and of smell are acute, it takes immediate warning when any attempt is made to dislodge it, and burrows onwards and more deeply, exerting its vast muscular powers to the utmost.

Wherever the large dome-like or pyramidal structures of the termite ant are assembled on the karroos, or plains, of Southern Africa, there will be found the burrows of the aardvark. These burrows abound in the districts of the zaurevelden, and on the approach of night the animals which lurk in them during the day sally forth in quest of food. Innumerable are the gigantic ant-hills; and though their outer crust is very hard it is easily penetrated by the aardvark who scrapes a hole with its hard and powerful claws, so as to gain access to the many-chambered interior. This hole is just sufficient to admit the long snout of the aardvark; and having ascertained that there is no danger of interruption, he lies down, his snout buried in the interior of the nest, and his long slender tongue, covered with glutinous saliva, actively employed in transferring the insects to his mouth by whole scores at a time. If uninterrupted, he continues this process until he has satisfied his appetite, but on the slightest alarm he makes a precipitate retreat, and seeks security at the bottom of his subterranean dwelling. Hence it is that these animals are seldom seen even in those parts of the country where they are most numerous. Like other nocturnal animals which pass the greatest part of their lives in sleeping and eating, they become exceedingly fat, and their flesh is considered to be a wholesome and palatable food. The hind quarters, particularly when cut into hams and dried, were held in great esteem, and were much sought after by the early colonial epicures.

The aardvark is extremely timid, and slow at running; nor is it, like some edentata, very resilient, and is easily killed by a slight blow over the snout. Its food consists exclusively of ants and termites, which are extremely nutritious, their bodies being large, soft, and unctuous; indeed, the termites are esteemed as food by the Hottentots; and Patterson recommended them to the early European colonists, but to no avail.
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AARDWOLF

The aardwolf (Proteles cristatus) is an African carnivorous mammal of the family Hyaenidae. The aardwolf, whose name in Afrikaans means 'earth wolf', resembles a small striped hyena. It is yellowish with vertical black stripes and a bushy, black-tipped tail, and it bears a long, coarse mane of erectile hairs along the length of its back. The aardwolf lives on the open, grassy plains of southern and eastern Africa. The aardwolf feeds largely on termites, particularly on the species Trinervitermes trinervoides. It is nocturnal, lives in a burrow, and is usually solitary but may forage in small packs. The litter generally consists of three or four young. The aardwolf is harmless and shy; when attacked, by dogs for example, it emits a musky-smelling fluid and may fight.
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AARON'S ROD

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Aaron's Rod is the only British species of the plant Golden-rod (Hag Taper). It is found in woods and thickets.
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AASAPAN

The Aasapan (Sciuropterus volucella) is the flying-squirrel of North America. It is an elegant little animal with folds of skin along its sides which enable it to take leaps of about 45 metres.
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AASVOGEL

The aasvogel are south African vultures.
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ABACTINAL

In zoology, abactinal refers to the surface or end opposite to the mouth in a radiate animal.
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ABADA

Abada is the old term for a female rhinoceros.
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ABALONE

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The abalone is the popular name for various species of the shell-fish of the Haliotidae family. They have a richly coloured shell yielding mother-of-pearl. This sort of Haliotis is also commonly called ear-shell, and in Guernsey the ormer. The abalone shell is found especially at Santa Barbara and other places on the southern Californian coast, and when polished makes a beautiful ornament. The mollusc itself is often eaten, and dried for consumption in China and Japan.
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ABANGA

The Abanga is a West Indian palm tree, the seeds of which are used as a remedy for diseases of the chest.
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ABAPICAL

In biology, the term abapical refers to something away from, or opposite to the apex.
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ABAX

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Abax is a genus of fairly large (measuring between 11 and 25 mm in length) beetles of the ground beetle family, Carabidae found in Britain and Europe.
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ABAXIAL

In botany, the term abaxial describes something facing away from the axis, such as the surface of a leaf for example.
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ABBREVIATE

In biology, the term abbreviate describes a part that is relatively shorter than another or than the ordinary type.
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ABDOMINAL

In zoology, abdominal means having abdominal fins and hence belonging to the Abdominales, such as, abdominal fishes.
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ABDOMINALES

The abdominales are a classification of fish, including the greater part of fresh-water fishes, and many marine ones, that have the ventral fins under the abdomen behind the pectorals.
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ABELE

Abele is an alternative name for Populus alba, the white poplar.
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ABELIA

Abelia is a genus of annual and biennial evergreen shrubs that originated in China and generally prefer acidic soil and a sunny location. They have finely-textured glossy green leaves and fragrant bell-shaped flowers that bloom throughout summer.
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ABELISAURUS

Abelisaurus is a dinosaur about which very little is known. An almost complete skull, measuring 85 cm long, was discovered in Argentina in 1985, and this indicates that it was a carnivore of the cretaceous period.
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ABELMOSCHUS

Abelmoschus is a genus of tropical plants of the mallow family. It yields edible fruits, called okro (also called okra and ochro) which is used in soups.
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ABERRANT

In biology the term aberrant describes something which deviates from the ordinary or natural type, whether exceptional or abnormal.
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ABLASTEMIC

In biology, ablastemic means non-germinal.
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ABOMASUM

An abomasum is the fourth stomach of a ruminant.
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ABORT

In biology, the term abort describes something that has become checked in its normal development, so as to either remain rudimentary or shrink away wholly.
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ABORTED

In biology aborted describes something rendered abortive or sterile; undeveloped or checked in its normal development at a very early stage. For example spines are aborted branches.
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ABRAEUS

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Abraeus is a genus of tiny beetles of the family Histeridae. They have a domed body and live beneath bark and in the nests of ants of the genus Lasius.
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ABROMA

The Abroma is a genus of small trees which are native to India.
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ABRUS

Abrus is a genus of papilionaceous plants, of the natural order Leguminosae, one species of which, Abrus precatonus, a delicate twining shrub, a native of the East Indies, and found also in tropical parts of Africa and America, has round brilliant scarlet seeds, which are used to make necklaces and rosaries. Its root is sweetish and mucilaginous, and is used as a substitute for liquorice. The seeds yield a strung poison.
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ABSCISIC ACID

Abscisic acid is a naturally occurring plant growth substance that promotes leaf ageing, leaf fall, and apical dominance and induces dormancy in seeds and buds.
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ABSCISSION

abscission is the separation of a leaf, fruit, or other part from the body of a plant (such as the falling of leaves during autumn). The process is controlled by growth substances, notably abscisic acid; it involves the formation of an abscission zone, at the base of the part, within which a layer of cells (known as the abscission layer) breaks down.
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ABUTILON

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The Abutilon are a genus of plants of the family Malvaceae, also known as The Indian Mallows and American Jute.
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ABYSSAL

Abyssal refers to animals that live in great depths of the sea.
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ABYSSINIA SLUG-EATER

The Abyssinia Slug-eater (Duberria lutrix) is a species of non-venomous typical snake of the subfamily Colubrinae, family Colubridae found in Ethiopia, that feeds on small invertebrates and other small reptiles. The Abyssinia Slug-eater grows to an average length of 40 cm.
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ABYSSINIAN CAT

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The Abyssinian Cat (Rabbit Cat) is a breed of domestic shorthaired cat, possibly descended from antiquity. In modern times, it was imported from Abyssinia to Britain in the 1860s. The coat of the usual variety is ruddy brown with each hair ringed with two or three darker coloured bands. It has a medium-length body, long, slender legs, large wide set ears, and deep gold or green eyes. It resembles cats that appear in ancient Egyptian wall paintings. The breed was recognised in Britain 1882 and is now most widely bred in the USA. There are many varieties of Abyssinian Cat.
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ACACIA

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Acacia is a genus of plants of the family Leguminosae sub-family Mimoseae consisting of trees or shrubs with compound pinnate leaves. They grow in Africa, Arabia, Australia and the East Indies. The flowers, usually small, are arranged in spikes or globular heads at the axils of the leaves near the extremity of the branches. The corolla is bell or funnel shaped; stamens are numerous; the fruit is a dry unjointed pod. Several of the species yield gum-arabic and other gums; some have astringent barks and pods, used in tanning. Acacia Catechu, an Indian species, yields the valuable astringent called catechu; Acacia dealbata the wattle-tree of Australia, from five to ten metres in height, is the most beautiful and useful of the species found there. Its bark contains a large percentage of tannin, and is hence exported. Some species yield valuable timber; some are cultivated for the beauty of their flowers.
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ACALEPHA

Acalepha was a name once used to describe the Medusae (jelly-fishes).
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ACALLES

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Acalles is a genus of Snout Beetles (Curculionidae) that live in dead branches of deciduous trees and conifers.
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ACAMTHOCEPHALA

Acamthocephala are a compact group of cylindrical, parasitic worms, with no near allies in the animal kingdom. Its members are quite devoid of any mouth or alimentary canal, but have a well-developed body cavity into which the eggs are dehisced and which communicates with the exterior by means of an oviduct. The size of the animals varies greatly, from some forms a few millimetres in length to Gigantorhynchus gigas, which measures from ten to 65 centimetres. The adults live in great numbers in the alimentary canal of some vertebrate, usually fish, the larvae are as a rule encysted in the body cavity of some invertebrate, most often an insect or crustacean, more rarely a small fish. The body is divisible into a proboscis and a trunk with sometimes an intervening neck region.
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ACANTHACEAE

The Acanthaceae are a family of dicotyledonous herbaceous plants or shrubs with opposite leaves and mono-petalous corolla. There are around 1400 species, mostly tropical.
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ACANTHODERES

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Acanthoderes is a genus of longhorn beetles (Cerambycidae).
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ACANTHOLYDA

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Acantholyda is a genus of web-spinning sawfly of the family Pamphillidae.
Acantholyda erythrocephala is widespread in Europe, and has been introduced to the USA. It lives mostly in young pine forests where the larvae develop feeding on pine needles, and the adults fly from late April to May.
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ACANTHOPHOLIS

Acanthopholis was a dinosaur of the Cretaceous period, remains of which were first discovered in 1865 at a beach near Folkestone, England by Professor T H Huxley. Acanthopholis measured about 5.5 metres in length and is believed to have been protected by armour consisting of rows of oval plates set in the skin and sharp spikes along the middle of its back.
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ACANTHOSCELIDES

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Acanthoscelides is a genus of Seed Beetles (Bruchidae).
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ACANTHUS

The acanthus is a herbaceous plant of south Europe, Asia and Africa. It has large hairy, shiny leaves.
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ACARINA

Acarina is the mite and tick order of the Arachnida. They have a rounded body with no demarcation between the prosoma and the opisthosoma.
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ACCENTOR

An accentor is a type of bird of the prunelliadae family.
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ACCIPITRES

The Accipitres (Accipitridae) are the birds of prey order of the Aves (birds) class of animals. They are characterised by a strong, crooked beak with an acute, downward curving point with sharp edges. The base of the beak is enveloped in a naked skin (the cere) in which the nostrils are placed. The feet are muscular. The toes are armed with powerful talons, long, curved and pointed, of which those of the hind and innermost toes are the strongest. The wings are adapted for vigorous, lofty and long-sustained flight.
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ACCIPITRINAE

Accipitrinae is the hawk subfamily of the Falcon family (Falconidea). This subfamily is distinguished by the possession of long legs and short wings; the bill is short, curves directly the cere, and is never notched. The sexes vary greatly in size.
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ACCIPITRINOE

The Accipitrinoe is a sub-family of the Falconidae family of birds, including the Goshawk and the Sparrowhawk. The beak is strong, short and curved from the base. The upper mandible bears a prominent festoon beyond the middle. The nostrils are oval. The wings are rounded and short reaching only to the middle of the tail and the middle toe is much the longest.
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ACELLULAR

Acellular is a biological term describing tissues or organisms that are not made up of separate cells, but often have more than one nucleus. Examples of
acellular structures are muscle fibres.
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ACEPHALA

The Acephala are the headless Mollusca with a bivalve shell.
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ACER

Acer is a genus of plants of the family Aceraceae to which belongs the Maple.
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ACHENE

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In botany, an achene is a small, dry carpel containing a single seed, the pericarp of which is closely applied but separable and which does not open when ripe.
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ACHILLAEA

The Achillaea are a milfoil genus of plants.
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ACHIMENES

The Achimenes are a genus of tropical American plants with scaly underground tubers. They are of the family Gesneraceae.
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ACILIUS

Acilius is a genus of predacious diving beetles of the family Dytiscidae, represented by two species in Britain.
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ACIPENSER

The acipenser is a genus of cartilaginous ganoid fishes to which the sturgeon belongs.
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ACLYPEA

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Aclypea is a genus of beetles of the carrion beetle, Silphidae, family. They are vegetarian and often damage beet and turnip crops.
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ACMAEODERA

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Acmaeodera is a genus of jewel beetle (Buprestidae) found chiefly in the Mediterranean region of Europe. They are characterized by the absence of a scutellum and by fused elytra. The larvae develop in oak.
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ACMAEOPS

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Acmaeops is a genus of longhorn beetles (Cerambycidae) with a single species - Acmaeops - collaris found in Britain.
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ACONITE

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Aconite (Monkshood) is a genus of hardy herbaceous plants of the family Ranunculaceae. The are remarkable for their poisonous and medicinal properties. Aconite is found in temperate regions of Europe in woods and on shaded stream banks.
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ACORN

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The acorn is the fruit of the oak tree.
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ACORN WEEVIL

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The Acorn Weevil (Curculio glandium) is a species of Snout Beetle (Curculionidae) related to the Nut Weevil, but the larvae develop in acorns.
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ACORUS

Acorus is a genus of plants of the natural order Araceae which includes the calamus.
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ACOTYLEDONS

Acotyledons are plants not furnished with cotyledons or seed-lobes, such as ferns, mosses and sea-weeds.
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ACOUCHI

The acouchi is a cavy-like rodent of the genus Myoprocta, family Dasyproctidae. They are found in the Amazon forests where they eat plants.
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ACRITA

Acrita is another name for the Phylum Protozoa.
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ACRITUS

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Acritus is a genus of tiny beetles of the family Histeridae. They live under decaying vegetable matter, in rotten wood, under bark and in ants' nests.
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ACROCANTHOSAURUS

Acrocanthosaurus was a dinosaur of the Cretaceous period, remains of which were first discovered in 1950 in Oklahoma, USA, Acrocanthosaurus was a carnivore, about 12 metres long, believed to walk semi-upright on two hind legs and had 30 cm long spines on its backbone which may have supported a ridge or sail along its back.
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ACROCHORDIDAE

Acrochordidae is the 'File Snakes' family of reptiles of the suborder Serpentes (snakes). The family consists of a single genus and three species found in India, south-east Asia, New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and northern Australia. The members are almost completely aquatic, and live in fresh water, brackish water and sometimes sea water where they feed on live fish. They grow to a length of 250 cm, and the head and body is covered with small, finely-heeled and pointed scales with a rasp-like texture.
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ACROGASTER

Acrogaster is a genus of fossil fish of the order Beryciformes, found in the Cretaceous period.
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ACROGEN

Acrogen is a term used to describe ferns, mosses and liverworts which grow by extension upwards. The avcrogens are a division of plants. The acrogens are distinguished by a distinct stem or axis of groeth which increases by the evolution of new cells only at its summit or apex. Cels in other parts of the plant may enlarge, but do not multiply themselves.
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ACROLOCHA

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Acrolocha is a genus of rove beetles, Staphylinidae, which lives in dung, decomposing fungi and plant material.
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ACROPHYLLA

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Acrophylla is a genus of stick-insects of the order Phasmida found in Eucalyptus forests in Queensland, Australia. They are brown or brownish-green in colour and about 180 to 230 mm long, depending upon species, with wings covering roughly three-quarters of the body.
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ACROTRICHIS

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Acrotrichis is a genus of featherwing beetles, Ptiliidae. At least 24 species of the genus occur in Britain. They are broad, but not very convex, dark in colour and measure from 0.5 to 1.1 mm in length. The posterior pronotum partly overlaps the anterior part of the elytra.
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ACTENICERUS

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Actenicerus is a genus of click beetle (Elateridae).
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ACTIDIUM

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Actidium is a genus of featherwing beetles, Ptiliidae. They are dull black in colour and live in damp places, marshes, river banks and the sea shore.
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ACTINIA

Actinia is a member of the order Zoantharia.
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ACTINOMYCETES

The Actinomycetes are a group of Gram-positive mostly anaerobic non-motile bacteria. All species are fungus-like, with filamentous cells producing reproductive spores on aerial branches similar to the spores of certain moulds. The group includes bacteria of the genera Actinomyces, some species of which cause disease in animals and man; and Streptomyces, which are a source of many important antibiotics (including streptomycin).
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ACTINOPTERYGII

Actinopterygii is a division of bony fishes. The paired fins have broad bases and lack fleshy lobes. External nares are double, internal nares are absent. Scales are of the ganoid type.
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ACTINOPTERYX

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Actinopteryx is a genus of featherwing beetles, Ptiliidae.
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ACTINOZOA

Actinozoa are a class of animals belonging to the sub-kingdom Coelentera. They have rayed tentacles around the mouth.
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ACUPALPUS

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Acupalpus is a genus of small (three to five millimetres in length) beetles of the ground beetle family, Carabidae. They are mostly found in damp, swampy localities, though also in sunny open localities and agricultural land.
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ADALIA

Adalia is a genus of ladybird (Coccinellidae).
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ADAM'S NEEDLE

Adam's Needle is a popular name for the Yucca plant.
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ADAM'S PEARMAIN

Adam's Pearmain is a late dessert apple, probably from Norfolk, which was a Victorian favourite because of its rich aromatic flavour and crisp texture. It was widely grown in the nineteenth century, when fruiterers ' always paid good prices because it was attractive for windows'. The pear shaped fruits are of a medium size and can be stored until March. The vigorous trees have a spreading habit and pretty blossom.
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ADAXIAL

In botany, the term adaxial describes something facing towards the axis, such as the suface of a leaf that faces the stem.
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ADDA

The adda is a species of lizard also called the skink.
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ADDAX

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The addax (Oryx nasomaculata) is a species of antelope found in North African deserts. It has wide-sweeping twisted horns about 1.2 metres long.
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ADDER

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The adder is a venomous snake of the viper family (Viperidae) found in England and Australia. There are three species, the Vipera berus (European
adder) is the only venomous British snake.
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ADDER'S-TONGUE

Adder's-tongue is a species of British fern whose spores are produced on a spike which resembles a snake's tongue. The American adder's-tongue is a very different plant, see dog's tooth violet.
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ADDER'S-WORT

Adder's-wort is a plant supposed to be able to cure snake bites.
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ADDER-PIKE

The Adder-pike (also called the Lesser Weever or Sting-fish) is a small species of the weever fish.
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ADELIDAE

Adelidae is the longhorns or fairy moths family of insects of the order Lepidoptera, distinguished by their long antennae and distinct maxillary palps.
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ADENANTHERA

Adenanthera is a genus of trees and shrubs native to the East Indies and Ceylon of the family Leguminosae. Adenanthera pavonina is one of the largest and most handsome trees of India, and yields hard solid timber called red sandal-wood. The bright scarlet seeds, from their equality in weight (each weighing four grains), are used by goldsmiths in the East as weights.
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ADERIDAE

Aderidae is a family of beetles of the order Coleoptera.
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ADERUS

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Aderus is a genus of small beetles of the family Aderidae.
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ADIANTUM

Adiantum is a genus of ferns.
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ADJUTANT-BIRD

The adjutant-bird (Leptoptilus argala) is a large grallatorial or wading bird of the stork family. It is native to the warmer parts of India where it is called Hurgila or Argala. The adjutant-bird stands about 150 cm high, has an enormous bill, nearly bare head and neck, and a pouch hanging from the under part of the neck. It is one of the most voracious carnivorous birds known, and in India, from its devouring all sorts of carrion and noxious animals, is protected by law. From underneath the wings are obtained those light downy feathers known as marabou feathers, from the name of an allied species of bird (Leptoptilus marabou) inhabiting Western Africa, and also producing them.
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ADMIRAL

Admiral is any of several species of butterfly in the same family (Nymphalidae) as the tortoiseshells. The red admiral Vanessa atalanta, wingspan six centimetres, is found worldwide in the northern hemisphere. It migrates south each year from northern areas to subtropical zones.
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ADONIA

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Adonia is a genus of ladybird (Coccinellidae). The species vary greatly in colouring and the number of spots, but all eat aphids.
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ADONIS

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Adonis (pheasant's eye) is a genus of ranunculaceous plants. They are found throughout Europe, Asia and America and are highly poisonous.
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ADONIS BLUE

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The Adonis Blue (Lysandra bellargus) is a butterfly of the family Lycaenidae found in warmer parts of Europe and the Middle East in dry sunny, locations. It produces two generations annually that fly from May to June and from July to September.
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ADRASTUS

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Adrastus is a genus of small click beetle (Elateridae).
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ADZUKI

The adzuki (Vigna angularis) is a bushy leguminous plant, cultivated in China and Japan for its edible bean.
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AEGAGRUS

The aegagrus are a wild species of ibex found in the Caucasus and other Asiatic mountains.
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AEGIALIA

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Aegialia is a genus of small dung beetle of the family Scarabaeidae.
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AEGILOPS

Aegilops is a genus of grasses native to southern Europe closely allied to wheat and somewhat remarkable from the alleged fact that by cultivation one of the species becomes a kind of wheat.
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AEGRAGUS

Agagrus (Capra aegagrus) is a wild species of ibex, found in troops on the Caucasus, and many Asiatic mountains, believed to be the original source of at least one variety of the domestic goat.
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AEPYORNIS

Aepyornis was a genus of gigantic birds once found in Madagascar, where it is supposed to have lived perhaps not longer than 200 years ago. It had three toes and is classed with the cursorial birds (ostrich, etc.) and laid eggs 35 centimeters in length - about six times the bulk of those of the ostrich. The bird which laid them may well have been. the roc of Eastern tradition.
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AESALUS

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Aesalus is a genus of very small (about six millimetres long) rare stag beetles (Lucanidae).
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AESCULUS

Aesculus is a genus of plants which includes the horse-chestnut.
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AESTIVATE

To aestivate is to lay dormant for the summer. Aestivation is similar to the familiar hibernation that many animals do, but is carried out by those creatures that don't like hot, dry weather. Such as the snail. Aestivation is not uncommon in animals who live in hot climates, especially those who require a degree of moisture, thus both land and water tortoises frequently retire into cavities of the ground during heat and drought and remain there until the recurrence of the rainy season.
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AFFENPINSCHER

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The Affenpinscher or Monkey Dog, is a breed of small dog originating in Germany sometime before the 18th century, but not recognised by the British Kennel Club until 1980. It is sometimes known as the Monkey Dog on account of its facial features which somewhat resemble those of a primate. In France the breed is also known as 'the moustached little devil' on account of the bushy area of hair above the mouth. The breed is lively, loyal and affectionate, and stubborn. the coat is wiry in texture and relatively long.
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AFGHAN HOUND

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The Afghan Hound is a breed of fast hunting dog from Afghanistan, resembling the saluki in build, though slightly smaller. It was first introduced to the West by British army officers serving on India's North-West Frontier along the Afghanistan border in the late 19th century. The Afghan Hound was developed for hunting deer, hares and wolves, and has very keen eyesight and plenty of stamina. The Afghan Hound stands about 70 centimetres tall and has a long, silky coat that may be black, grey, or a wide range of beige or tawny colours.
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AFRICAN ARROW-POISON

African Arrow-Poison (Strophanthus Kombe) is a climbing shrub of the natural order Apocynaceae, native to tropical Africa. It has opposite oval leaves and funnel-shaped flowers. The fruits are woody pods, 25 cm long, filled with yellow seeds, each furnished with a tuft of silky hairs. From the silky seed-coat may be extracted a deadly poison (of which the active principle is strophantin) which is used to smear arrow tips.
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AFRICAN CROWNED CRANE

The African Crowned Crane (Balerica reguorum gibbericeps) is a colourful bird found in the wetlands and open grassland of Uganda, northern Kenya, Zimbabwe and northern Mozambique. The African Crowned Crane has large wings, a straight beak and is noticeable by an orange-coloured 'crown' on its head. The African Crowned Crane feeds on the seed heads of plants, the fresh tips of grasses, insects, frogs and crabs, being active during the day, roosting at night in water, trees or on man-erected tall poles such as telegraph poles. The nest is constructed by both the male and female and comprises uprooted grasses piled into a circle and flattened, both parents taking turns to incubate the eggs and rear the young. After reaching sexual maturity at the age of two or three, the birds form pairs which usually last a life time, breeding together each year, with an average of two eggs being laid each year.
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AFRICAN HUNTING DOG

The African hunting dog is a small, wild member of the dog family, Canidae. The single species, Lycaon pictus, is found in Africa south and east of the Sahara and is also known as the African wild dog or Cape hunting dog. The black-skinned, long-legged body weighs up to 23 kg and is covered with short, sparse fur in a wide range of black, yellow, and white patterns. The ears are large and rounded. Each paw has only four toes. The animal lives and travels in packs numbering from a few to more than 50 individuals. They sometimes range widely in their search for food. The dogs exhibit complex social patterns; both parents care for the young, who learn much about hunting and game-trail patterns from the older dogs in the pack. A large pack of dogs can bring down large animals, such as lions and antelopes. After a gestation period of about 70 days, six to eight young are born to a litter.
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AFRICAN MANATEE

The African manatee (Trichechus senegalensis) is a species of manatee inhabiting the coastal waters, lagoons and river mouths of west Africa, discovered by Link in 1795. The African manatee rests most of the day and feeds at night on seaweed, marine grasses, fresh water vegetation and overhanging river plants. It is an important animal for the destruction of water hyacinths.
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AFRICANA

The Africana (Pelona, Camura, Red African, Rojo Africana, Colombian Wooless, West African) is a breed of sheep found in Colombia and Venezuela. They are usually brown, ranging in shade from tan to brown and cherry-red to dark red. They are very similar to the Pelibuey in size and confirmation. The breed is polled and the male is sometimes maned.
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AFRICANDER

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The Africander (Afrikaner) is a native South African breed of cow. It belongs to the Sanga type and is used primarily for meat production. The breed is usually red with long lateral horns. Sanga type cattle, in huge herds, were owned by the Hottentots when the Dutch established the Cape Colony in 1652. The animals were obtained by the colonists who improved them for use as draft animals. It was
Africander oxen that drew the wagons which carried Boer farmers and families on the Great Trek of 1835 - 1836 from the Cape of Good Hope to the Orange Free State, Natal and the Transvaal to escape British rule. The
Africander is South Africa's most popular native breed, comprising 30% of the cattle population.
Africander cattle exhibit good resistance to heat, a high level of tick resistance, quiet temperament and a satisfactorily high level of fertility under harsh conditions. Mature cows weigh approximately 525 to 600 kg and bulls weigh 750 to 1000 kg. The Africander was used with Shorthorn in developing the Bonsmara breed and with Holstein cows in creating the Drakensberger.
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AGABUS

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Agabus is a genus of predacious diving beetles of the family Dytiscidae, with twenty species occurring in Britain ranging from eight to eleven millimetres in length. They are mostly dark brown and the males have tiny suction pads or patches of adhesive hairs on the under side of the widened first segments of the fore and middle tarsi. They live chiefly in cold, clear water.
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AGAMA

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Agama is a genus of several species of lizards allied to the iguana common in Africa and Asia.
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AGAMA STELLIO

Agama Stellio is a lizard of the genus Agama. It is brown in colour, reaches a length of 35 centimetres and is found in Egypt, Asia Minor and parts of Greece.
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AGAMI

Agami (Psophia crepitans) is a family of birds of the trumpeters found in tropical America.
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AGAMIDAE

The Agamidae are a family of lizards in which the teeth are inserted on the edge of the jaw (acrodont). The family includes Draco volans, Moloch horridus (the Moloch lizard) and Chlamydosaurus.
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AGAPANTHIA

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Agapanthia is a genus of longhorn beetles (Cerambycidae) represented by a single British species -
Agapanthia villosoviridescens, which ranges from ten to twenty-two millimetres in length, and develops in herbaceous plants, chiefly thistles.
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AGAPANTHUS

Agapanthus or African Lily (Agapanthus umbellatus) is a plant native to South Africa. It has white or blue flowers and is grown indoors in England.
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AGARIC

The agaric is a large and important genus of fungi, characterized by having a fleshy cap or pileus, and a number of radiating plates or gills on which are produced the naked spores. The majority of this species are furnished with stems, but some are attached to the objects on which they grow by their pileus. Over a thousand species are known, and are arranged in five sections according as the colour of their spores is white, pink, brown, purple, or black. Many of the species are edible, like the common mushroom (Agaric campestris), and supply a delicious article of food, while others are deleterious and even poisonous.
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AGARICACEAE

Agaricaceae is a large family of fungi including many familiar mushrooms.
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AGATHIDIUM

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Agathidium is a genus of beetles of the family Leiodidae. They have a pronotum with completely rounded posterior corners and are more or less able to roll themselves into a ball. They generally live on wood and in mouldy fallen leaves, sometimes in mushrooms.
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AGAVE

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Agave is a genus of plants of the family Amaryllidaceae which includes the daffodil and narcissus. They are popularly known as American aloes and formerly called the century plant from the mistaken belief that it lives a hundred years before flowering, then flowers and dies. They are generally large, and have a massive tuft of fleshy leaves with a spiny apex. They live for many years - ten to seventy according to treatment - before flowering. When this takes place the tall flowering stem springs from the centre of the tuft of leaves, and grows very rapidly until it reaches a height of 15, 20, or even 40 feet, bearing towards the end a large number of flowers; then the plant apparently dies down to the ground but a lateral bud springs from the underground part of the stem and a new plant is formed.

The best-known species is Agave americdna (common American aloe), introduced into Europe 1561, and now extensively grown in the warmer parts of this continent as well as in Asia (India in particular). This and other species yield various important products. The Mexicans grew the plant to form dense hedges, and removed the buds for the sugary sap which exudes from the wounds thus made. The sap was collected and fermented and distilled to form pulque, a drink resembling cider. The leaves are used for feeding cattle; the fibres of the leaves (called pita, sisal hemp, or henequen} are formed into thread, cord, and ropes; an extract from the leaves is used as a substitute for soap; slices of the withered flower-stem are used as razor-strops.
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AGELENIDAE

Agelenidae are a family of spiders, the members of which vary, with genera being moved into other families by some naturalists. The Agelenidae spin a tubular retreat from which extends either a small collar of silk, or a sheet of silk which may be large or small, and may be slightly funnel-shaped. The spiders grab prey falling onto or landing on the sheet and drag them back into their retreat to be eaten. Some times the retreat is not a web but a crevice in a wall or the junction of a wall and a garden fence post.
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AGERATUM

Ageratum is a genua of composite plants of the warmer parts of America, one species of which, Ageratum mexicdnum, is a well-known flower-border annual with dense lavender-blue heads. From it have been derived several varieties with flowers of different colours used chiefly as bedding plants.
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AGGREGATE

In botany aggretae is a term applied to flowers composed of many small florets having a common undivided receptacle, the anthers being distinct and separate, the florets commonly standing on stalks, and each having a partial calyx.
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AGNATHA

The agnatha are a branch of the sub-Phylum craniata group of animals. They are the lampreys and hagfishes. These are the most primitive of the Craniates. The mouth is round and not bounded by jaws. The brain is primitive.
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AGNUS CASTUS

Agnus Castus is a shrub of the family Verbenaceae native to Mediterranean countries. It has white flowers and acrid aromatic fruits. It was thought to have the property of preserving chastity, hence the name Castus from the Latin chaste.
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AGONUM

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Agonum is a genus of beetles of the ground beetle family, Carabidae, with 22 species occurring in Britain, most are black or metallic in colour, like wet and marshy locations, and range from 4 to 10 mm long. They are rather flat bodied, with slender antennae and legs.
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AGOUARA

The agouara is a crab-eating racoon of South America.
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AGOUTA

The agouta (Solenodon paradoxus) is an insectivorous mammal peculiar to Haiti. It is of the tanrec family and somewhat larger than a rat. It has the tail devoid of hair and covered with scales, the eyes small, and an elongated nose like the shrews. Another species {Solendon cubanus) is found in Cuba.
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AGOUTI

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The agouti is a small rodent of the genus Dasyprocta, forming the family Dasyproctidae. There are eight or nine species found in the forests of Central and South America. The agouti is herbivorous, swift-running, and about the size of a rabbit, but resembling a slender-limbed pig, brown to yellow in colour with a white line along the abdomen. It burrows in the ground or in hollow trees, lives on vegetables, doing much injury to the sugar-cane, is as voracious as a pig, and makes a similar grunting noise. Its flesh is white and well tasted.
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AGRARIAN

In botany, agrarian means growing wild in fields.
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AGRILUS

Agrilus is a genus of jewel beetle (Buprestidae). They are mostly small and elongate with a double margined pronotum.
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AGRIMONY

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Agrimony is a genus of plants of the family Rosaceae consisting of slender perennial herbs found in temperate regions. The leaves of common agrimony are used as a yellow dye.
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AGRIOTES

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Agriotes is a genus of click beetle (Elateridae). The larvae are a serious garden pest, living in the soil and eating roots.
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AGROPHIS

Agrophis is a genus of typical snake of the subfamily Calamarinae of the family Colubridae.
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AGROSTIS

Agrostis is a genus of pasture grasses consisting of many species. The bent-grasses belong to the genus.
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AGRYPNUS

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Agrypnus is a genus of large click beetle (Elateridae), the larvae of which live in soil and eat roots.
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AHASVERUS

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Ahasverus is a genus of beetle of the family Cucujidae.
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AIGRETTE

Aigrette is a term used to describe the feathery crown attached to the seeds of various plants such as the thistle and dandelion.
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AILANTHUS

Ailanthus is a genus of large, quick growing trees allied to the quassia, with long, compound leaves. The ailanthus are natives of China and were imported into the USA.
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AIR-PLANTS

Air-plants (Epiphytes) are plants that live upon other plants or trees apparently without receiving any nutriment other than by the air. The name is restricted to flowering plants (mosses or lichens being excluded) and is suitably applied to many species of orchids. The conditions necessary to the growth of such plants are excessive heat and moisture, and hence their chief localities are the damp and shady tropical forests of Africa, Asia, and America. They are particularly abundant in Java and tropical America.
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AIREDALE TERRIER

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The Airedale terrier breed of large terrier, about 60 centimetres tall, with a wiry red-brown coat and black saddle patch. It originated about 1850 in Yorkshire, England, as a cross between the Otterhound and Irish and Welsh terriers and was named after the River Aire, although the breed was known by various names until the name Airedale Terrier was established at the 1879 Airedale Agricultural Show.
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AIZOACEAE

Aizoaceae is a family of plants found mainly in warmer climates, especially South Africa, but represented by a few species in Europe. They are herbs with thick fleshy leaves. The flowers superficially resemble those of the daisy family, with numerous strap-shaped, petal-like segments.
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AJOLOTE

The ajolote is a Mexican reptile of the genus Bipes. It and several other tropical burrowing species are placed in the Amphisbaenia, a group separate from lizards and snakes among the Squamata. Unlike the others, however, which have no legs, it has a pair of short but well-developed front legs. In line with its burrowing habits, the skull is very solid, the eyes small, and external ears absent. The scales are arranged in rings, giving the body a worm-like appearance.
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AJOWAN

Ajowan is an umbelliferous plant which is cultivated in India, Persia and Egypt for the seeds which are used in cooking and medicine.
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AJUGA

The ajuga are a genus of plants belonging to the family Labiatae.
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AKEE

Akee (Blighia sapida) is a tree of the natural order Sapindacese, much esteemed for its fruit. The leaves are somewhat similar to those of the ash; the flowers are small and white, and produced in branched spikes. The fruit is lobed and ribbed, of a dull orange colour, and contains several large black seeds, embedded in a succulent and slightly bitter arillus of a pale straw colour, which is eaten when cooked. The akee is a native of Guinea, from whence it was carried to theWest Indies by Captain Bligh in 1793.
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AKHAL-TEKE

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The Akhal-Teke is a Turkmenistan breed of light horse, originating around 1000 BC or before. The Akhal-Teke stands between 14 and 15 hands high and is dun, palomino, bay chestnut or grey in colour and have a sparse mane and tail. They are very long and slender through the frame with a finely modelled head and an unusually long and muscular neck. The shoulders are sloping, allowing a soft gait. The withers are high, and the back is long with a shallow ribcage. The legs are long and fine boned. The Akhal-Teke makes a good riding horse, having a brave but stubborn temperament. Traditionally they are used for racing, and are respected for their endurance.
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AKIMERUS

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Akimerus is a genus of rare longhorn beetles (Cerambycidae).
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AKITA

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The Akita is a breed of Japanese dog dating back to the 17th century, and first bred in the province of Akita on the island of Honshu from spitz stock. The breed was developed as a hunting dog to work in pairs. The Akita became popular in the USA during the 1950s, and during the 1970s and 1980s started to gain popularity in Britain. The Akita is a powerful, slightly stubborn, intensely loyal bred standing about 65 cm tall.
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ALACTAGA

The alactaga (Alactaga jaculus) is a rodent mammal closely allied to the jerboa but larger, with a still longer tail. It is found across central Asia.
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ALAMOSAURUS

Alamosaurus was a dinosaur of the late Cretaceous period, remains of which were first discovered near to the Alamo fort in Texas, USA, in 1922. A herbivore,
Alamosaurus was 21 metres long, walked on four legs and had a long neck and tail.
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ALANS

Alans were large dogs of various species used for hunting deer.
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ALAR

In botany alar means axillary, growing out of an axil or fork.
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ALATE

In botany, alate means winged or having wing-like attachments, such as the seed pods of trees of the maple family.
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ALAUDIDAE

The Alaudidae are the Lark family of Conirostral birds. They are characterized by a bill forming an elongated cone, the mandibles of equal length, the upper convex, slightly curved. The nostrils are at the base of the bill, oval, and partly covered by small feathers directed forwards. The feathers of the head are capable of being erected so as to form a crest. The first primary is very short, the second shorter than the third which is the longest in the wing. The toes are divided to the base. The hind claw is nearly straight and longer than the toes. They are granivorous birds, frequenting open fields, and singing during their flight. They nest and feed on the ground. They take dust baths instead of water baths.
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ALBACORE

The albacore is a species of fish.
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ALBATRELLUS

Albatrellus is a genus of fungi belonging to the family Polyporaceae.
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ALBATRELLUS DISPANSUS

Albatrellus dispansus is a rare fungus having a large (up to 20 centimetres wide) yellow fruiting body with multiple individual caps and a broad central stalk and a fragrant odour.
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ALBATRELLUS OVINUS

Albatrellus ovinus is a fungus with a whitish often circular cap and a white pore surface and small pores and a white central stalk. It is found under conifers and is edible but not popular.
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ALBATROSS

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The albatross is a long winged, powerful oceanic bird. There are some thirteen species of albatross, all related to the petrels, and constituting the family Diomedeidae. Albatross have large heads, stout bodies and extremely long narrow wings. The bill is straight and strong, the upper mandible hookedat the point and the lower mandible truncated. The bill is covered with distinctive horny plates. The feet are webbed with three toes on each foot. The upper part of the body is of a greyish brown colour, the belly white. The albatross is the largest known sea bird, with a wing span of some 533 cm. Albatross often accompany ships for days on end without ever landing, and are regarded with feelings of attachment and traditionally superstitious awe by sailors - it being considered bad luck to kill an albatross.
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ALBERTOSAURUS

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Albertosaurus was a dinosaur from the late Cretaceous period, remains of which were first found in 1905 in the USA. A carnivore. Albertosaurus walked on its hind legs and had small, relatively poorly formed forward legs. In 1923a skeleton of a juvenile Albertosaurus was discovered and at the time identified as a distinct species and given the name Gorgosaurus, however it was later found that the animal grew heavier and stronger as it aged, and the skeleton was that of an Albertosaurus.
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ALBINO

An albino is an animal with no skin pigment and pink eyes.
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ALBIZZIA

Albizzia is a genus of leguminous trees and shrubs, allied to the genus Acacia, with doubly-pinnate leaves and white, yellow, or red flowers, often in globular heads, and broad, straight, flat pods. They number over fifty species, and inhabit tropical and subtropical Asia, Africa, and Australia. Albizzia lopkanta, a native of south-western Australia, has a bark that contains tannin. Albizzia Lebbek, a. native of Asia and Africa, yields valuable timber, and in Egypt is much cultivated as a shade tree. Albizzia Julibrissin, a tree with rose-red flowers, is found in Asia and Africa, and has been introduced into Southern Europe.
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ALBURNUM

Alburnum or sapwood is the soft white substance which, in trees, is found between the liber or inner bark and the duramen or heartwood, and, in the progress of time acquiring solidity, becomes itself the duramen or heartwood. A new layer of alburnum, is added annually to the tree in every part just under the bark, noticeable by the familiar 'rings' which are visible when a trunk or branch is cut through.
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ALCHEMILLA

Alchemilla is a genus of plants of the family Rosaceae. The flowers are small and greenish; the leaves rounded in outline. The alpine species has compound leaves like a miniature lupine and is found over the Scottish Highlands. The genus is so named from its association with alchemists in former times, who collected dew from its leaves for their operations.
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ALCHYMIST MOTH

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The Alchymist Moth (Catephia alchymista) is a moth of the family Noctuidae with a wing span of between 35 and 40 mm found in warmer parts of Europe and in Asia Minor. A single generation is on the wing from May to July in oak and mixed forests.
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ALCIDAE

Alcidae is the auks family of birds of the order Natatores. They are characterized by a bill which is much flattened vertically; short wings; legs placed at the extremity of the body; the feet are three-toed and palmated; the tail is short. They feed mostly on fish captured by diving.
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ALCO

The alco is a small variety of dog, with a small head and large pendulous ears found wild in Mexico and Peru.
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ALCYONARIA

Alcyonaria are coelenterate animals forming a great division of the class Actinozoa. These animals are nearly all composite, and the individual polyps have mostly eight tentacles. They include the organ-pipe corals, sea-pens, fan-corals, etc, as also the red coral of commerce. The polyps essentially resemble those of the genus Alcyonium in structure, and in the number and arrangement of the tentacles.
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ALCYONIUM

Alcyonium is a genus of coelenterate animals, one familiar species of which, dredged around the British coasts - Alcyonium digitdtum - is named ' Dead-Men's Fingers,' or 'Cow's Paps', from its lobed or digitate appearance. It grows attached to stones, shells, and other objects. It consists of a mass of little polyps, each polyp possessing eight little fringed tentacles disposed around a central mouth. The Alcyonium forms the type of the Alcyonaria.
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ALDER

The alder is a genus of plants of the birch family Betulaceae, consisting of trees and shrubs found in the temperate and colder regions of the world. Common alder (Alnus glutinosa) is a tree which grows in wet situations in Europe, Asia, and the United States. Its wood, light and soft and of a reddish colour, is used for a variety of purposes, and is well adapted for work which is to be kept constantly in water. The roots and knots furnish a beautifully-veined wood well suited for cabinet work. The bark is used in tanning and leather dressing, and by fishermen for staining their nets. This and the young twigs are sometimes employed in dyeing, and yield different shades of yellow and red. With the addition of copperas it yields a black dye.
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ALDER KITTEN

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The Alder Kitten (Furcula bicuspis) is a puss moth of the family Notodontidae with a wing span of between 30 and 35 mm found in Europe and Asia flying from May to July.
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ALDER LEAF BEETLE

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The Alder Leaf Beetle (Agelastica alni) is a species of leaf beetle (Chrysomelidae) about six millimetres long, blue-black or violet in colour. It is believed to now be extinct in Britain.
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ALDER MOTH

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The Alder Moth (Acronicta alni) is a moth of the family Noctuidae with a wing span of between 33 and 38 mm found throughout Europe except the extreme south and in western Asia. The moth lives in damp deciduous forests, valleys and on watersides flying from May to June.
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ALECDINIDAE

Alecdinidae is the kingfishers family of Fissirostral birds. They have a long, stout, pointed beak with angular sides. The feet are small and feeble with the middle and outer toes united to the last joint. The wings are rounded and hollow, ill adapted for protracted flight. The birds have a robust form with a large head and usually a short tail. They are predatory, feeding on fish, insects, and even reptiles, birds, and small quadrupeds. The members of the family are found all over the world, but Australia and South America contain the greatest number of species.
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ALEOCHARA

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Aleochara is a genus of rove beetles, Staphylinidae, mostly with a broad oval, fusiform body, a small head, fusiform antennae and a coat of soft hair.
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ALEWIFE

The Alewife (Alosa tyrannus) is a fish similar to the shad, growing to a length of 30 cm, and taken in great quantities in the mouths of the rivers of New England, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia.
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ALEXANDERS

Alexanders (Smyrnium olusatrum) is a plant of the family Umbelliferae. A native of Britain, Alexanders was once cultivated for its leaf-stalks, which, having a pleasant aromatic flavour, were blanched and used instead of celery - a vegetable that has taken its place.
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ALFA

Alfa is a name for esparto grass obtained from Algeria.
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ALFALFA

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Alfalfa or lucerne (Medicago sativa) is a prolific perennial tall herbaceous plant of the pea family Leguminosae. It is native to Eurasia and bears spikes of small purple flowers in late summer. It is now a major fodder crop, generally processed into hay, meal, or silage. Alfalfa sprouts, the sprouted seeds, have become a popular salad ingredient.
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ALGAROBILLA

Algarobilla are the seed-pods of trees of the Prosopis genus, valued for their tannin.
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ALGAU

The Algau is a breed of domestic cattle originating from the south-western portion of Bavaria.
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ALGERIAN HEDGEHOG

The Algerian Hedgehog (Atelerix algirus) is a species of hedgehog that has a paler underside than Western and Eastern Hedgehogs, with a wider 'parting' free of spines on the crown of head. The external ears larger than in the Western and Eastern species.
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ALHAGI

Alhagi is a genus of spiny leguminous shrubs. The species yield a kind of manna.
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ALIMENTARY CANAL

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The alimentary canal is a tube beginning at the mouth and passing through the body to the anus. It is primarily used for the reception of food.
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ALISMACEAE

Alismacese is the water-plantain family, a natural order of endogenous plants, the members of which are herbaceous, annual or perennial; with petiolate leaves sheathing at the base, hermaphrodite (rarely unisexual) flowers, disposed in spikes, panicles, or racemes. They are floating or marsh plants, and many have edible fleshy rhizomes, They are found in all countries, but especially in Europe and North America, where their rather brilliant flowers adorn the pools and streams. The principal genera are Alisma (water-plaintain) and Sagittaria (arrow-head).
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ALKANET

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Alkanet (Alkanna tinctoria) is a perennial Boraginaceae found in warmer parts of Europe. It has a black tap root and funnel-shaped flowers which commence red and then turn blue. Alkanet has long been cultivated for a red dye which is extracted from its root and bark.
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ALLAMANDA

Allamanda is a genus of American tropical plants of the family Apocynaceae, with large yellow or violet flowers.
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ALLANTOIS

The allantois is a structure appearing during the early development of vertebrate animals - Reptiles, Birds, and Mammalia. It is largely made up of blood-vessels, and, especially in birds, attains a large size. It forms the inner lining to the shell, and may thus be viewed as the surface by means of which the respiration of the embryo is carried on. In Mammalia the allantois is not so largely developed as in birds, and it enters largely into the formation of the placenta.
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ALLECULA

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Allecula is a genus of beetle of the family Alleculidae found in rotting wood.
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ALLECULIDAE

Alleculidae is a family of beetles of the order Coleoptera with eleven genera and thirty-three species eight of which occur in Britain, with various life styles.
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ALLELE

In biology, an allele is any of a number of alternative forms of one gene. The term is principally used in genetics.
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ALLEY CAT

An alley cat is a homeless, usually mongrel, stray cat that scavenges for food in a town.
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ALLIACEOUS

Alliaceous plants are plants belonging to the genus Allium of the order Liliaceae, that to which the onion, leek, garlic, shallot, etc, belong, or to other allied genera, and distinguished by a certain peculiar pungent smell and taste characterized as alliaceous. This flavour is also found in a few plants having no botanical affinities with the above, as in the Alluaria officinalis or jack-by-the-hedge, a plant of the order Cruciferae.
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ALLIARIA

Alliaria is a genus of plant of the family Cruciferae, containing two species, one of which Alliaria officinalis, commonly called jack-by-the-hedge, is widely spread in Europe, and often used as a pot-herb.
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ALLICE

Allice is a name of the common shad.
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ALLIGATOR

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An alligator is a genus of crocodilian reptile of the family Alligatoridae. They differ from the true crocodiles in having a shorter and flatter head, in having cavities or pits in the upper jaw, into which the long canine teeth of the under jaw fit, and in having the feet much less webbed. Their habits are less perfectly aquatic. They are confined to the warmer parts of America, where they frequent swamps and marshes, and may be seen basking on the dry ground during the day in the heat of the sun. They are most active during the night, when they make a loud bellowing. The largest of these animals grow to the length of about six metres. They are covered by a dense armour of horny scales, and have a huge mouth, armed with strong, conical teeth. They swim with wonderful celerity, impelled by their long, laterally-compressed, and powerful tails. On land their motions are proportionally slow and embarrassed because of the length and un-wieldiness of their bodies and the shortness of their limbs.

Alligators feed on fish, and any small animals or carrion, and sometimes catch pigs on the shore, or dogs which are swimming. They even sometimes make man their prey. In winter they burrow in the mud of swamps and marshes, lying torpid until the warm weather. The female lays a great number of eggs, which are deposited in the sand or mud, and left to be hatched by the heat of the sun, but the mother alligator is very attentive to her young. The most fierce and dangerous species is that found in the southern parts of the United States Alligator Lucius, having the snout a little turned up, slightly resembling that of the pike. The alligators of South America are there very often called Caymans. Alligator sclerops is known also as the Spectacled Cayman, from the prominent bony rim surrounding the orbit of each eye. The flesh of the alligator is sometimes eaten. Among the fossils of the south of England are remains of a true alligator Alligator Hantoniensis in the Eocene beds of the Hampshire basin.
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ALLIGATOR LIZARD

The Alligator lizard is a reptile of the family Anguidae, the legless lizards; it is the only member of the group to have well developed limbs. It is found in North and Central America.
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ALLIGATOR-APPLE

The alligator-apple (Anona palustris) is a narcotic fruit similar to the custard-apple. It is found in marshy areas of Jamaica.
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ALLIGATOR-PEAR

Alligator-pear is an old name for the Avocado-pear (Avocado).
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ALLIGATORIDAE

Alligatoridae is the alligators family of the order Crocodilia.
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ALLIUM

Allium is a genus of plants of the family Liliaceae which are distinguished by a peculiar pungent smell and taste characterised as alliaceous. These include the onion, garlic, leek and shallot.
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ALLOGAMY

In botany, allogamy refers to cross-fertilization. That is the pollination of one plant by the pollen of another plant of the same species.
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ALLOSAURUS

Allosaurus was the biggest and fiercest carnivorous dinosaur of the Jurassic period. It was 15m tall, about 12 m long and weighed about three tons. Remains of Allosaurus were first discovered in Colorado in 1869 and then in 1877 more were discovered by Dr O C Marsh.
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ALMOND

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The almond or amygdala (Prunus dulcis, formerly Amygdalus communis) is a deciduous shrub or small tree native to the Caucasus region, of the family Rosaceae with a smooth reddish coloured bark, spreading branches and alternate, stalked, rectangular to lanceolate, glossy and finely serrate leaves. The almond grows usually to the height of six meters, and is akin to the peach and nectarine. The flowers are sessile, white or pink in colour and appear in early spring before the leaves. The fruit is an elliptical, light-green coloured, velvety drupe which contains one oval seed in a hard- pitted shell. The almond was introduced to southern Europe in ancient times, and started being grown in Britain in the 16th century for its blossom, since the fruit doe not ripen in Britain.
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ALOCONOTA

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Aloconota is a genus of rove beetles, Staphylinidae, with twelve British species which are all narrow, rather parallel-sided, and mostly brown in colour. They have long legs and live chiefly beside running water.
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ALOE

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Aloe is a genus of plants of the family Liliaceae. They are natives of Africa and other hot regions. The leaves are fleshy, thick and spinous at the edges. The flowers have a tubular corolla. Some species are a few centimeters tall, others grow to a height of more than ten metres.
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ALOPECURUS

Alopecurus is a genus of grasses, including the foxtail-grass.
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ALOPHUS

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Alophus is a genus of Snout Beetles (Curculionidae).
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ALOSTERNA

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Alosterna is a genus of longhorn beetles (Cerambycidae).
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ALPACA

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The alpaca (paco) is a close relative of the llama and a member of the family Camelidae. It is a native of South America. It is smaller than the llama and has a fleece of around 24 inches long from which cloth is woven.
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ALPHITOBIUS

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Alphitobius is a genus of darkling beetles (Tenebrionidae), about six millimetres long found in mouldy flour and cereal products.
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ALPHITOPHAGUS

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Alphitophagus is a genus of darkling beetles (Tenebrionidae), about two millimetres long. The larvae live in damp corn flour, mouldy grain and chaff.
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ALPINE CROW

The Alpine Crow or Alpine Chough is a European bird closely akin to the chough of England.
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ALPINE PLANTS

Alpine Plants is the name given to those plants whose habitat is in the neighbourhood of the snow, on mountains partly covered with it all the year round. As the height of the snow-line varies according to the latitude and local conditions, so also does the height at which these plants grow. The mean height for the alpine plants of Central Europe is about 6000 feet; but it rises in parts of the Alps and in the Pyrenees to 9000, or even more. The high grounds clear of snow among these mountains present a very well marked flora, the general characters of the plants being a low dwarfish habit, a tendency to form thick turfs, stems partly or wholly woody, and large brilliantly-coloured and often very sweet-smelling flowers. They are also often closely covered with woolly hairs. In the Alps of Middle Europe the eye is at once attracted by gentians, saxifrages, rhododendrons, primroses of different kinds, etc. Ferns and mosses of many kinds also characterize these regions. Some alpine plants are found only in one locality. Considerable success has attended the attempt to grow alpine plants in gardens.
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ALPINE SHREW

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The Alpine shrew (Sorex alpinus) is a uniformly dark coloured shrew, with pale feet and underside of the tail. The lower canine and premolars are clearly bicuspid; the 4th and 5th uni-cuspid teeth the same size. The tail is as long as the head and body. Alpine shrews are found in Alpine meadows and moors at altitudes from 200 to 3335 metres often in rocky habitats, frequenting the stony banks of mountain streams. The alpine shrew is a good climber, using its tail for balance and support. It feeds on snails, earthworms, spiders, isopods, chilopods, insects and insect larvae. The breeding season is from May to October, with two or three litters a year each averaging five or six young, but maybe as many as nine.
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ALPINE WARBLER

The alpine warbler is a European bird of the same family as the hedge- sparrow.
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ALSATIAN

Alsatian is another name for the German shepherd dog.
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ALSIKE

Alsike (Alsyke) is a low-growing clover found in Sweden bearing pinkish or white flower heads.
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ALSTROEMERIA

Alstroemeria are a genus of South American plants of the family Amaryllideae.
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ALTAY

The Altay is a breed of sheep that originated in the in the regions of China typified by dry, cold mountain basins. They belong to the Kazakh group of sheep which are found in the desert and mountainous areas in west Xinjiang.
Altay belong to the fat-rumped carpet wool type. They gradually formed the fat tail (or rump) as a biological characteristic. The tail (or rump) weighs about seven kg. The rams average 82 kg and the ewes 69 kg at maturity. Due to the sharp seasonal contrast in forage availability in these pastoral areas the sheep tend to deposit a large amount of fat in the body in order to meet nutritional demands during the winter and spring. In addition, the herdsmen working under these climatic conditions need fat as the main source of energy supply, and so have selected towards sheep with high fat deposits.
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ALTER-REAL

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The Alter-Real is a Portuguese breed of light horse developed by the Braganza royal family in 1747 from 300 imported Andalusian mares. The Alter-Real stands between 15 and 16 hands high, is mostly bay but can be chestnut, grey or brown in colour. They have an average-sized head with a pronounced jaw and a short, muscular, arched neck. The Alter-Real is a difficult horse, suitable only for experienced and skilled riders.
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ALTERNATE

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In botany, the term alternate is applied to leaves which are arranged successively on opposite sides of the stem.
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ALTERNATE GENERATION

Alternate generation or metagenesis is that kind of multiplication, seen in some invertebrate animals or even in plants, in which parents produce progeny unlike, sometimes extremely unlike, themselves, while this unlike progeny give rise to others resembling the original forms. Sometimes there are more than one unlike form between these like forms. The Hydrozoa abundantly illustrate this phenomenon, also the Echinoderms, Polyzoa, Tunicata, the wheel animalcules, Nematoid worms, flat-worms, tape-worms, several of the true Annelids; among Crustaceans, Daphnia, the Phyllopods; among Insects, the plant-lice.

The steps may be seen in certain of the Hydroid Polyps, thus: (1) There is an ovum or egg, free-swimming and impregnated. (2) This ovum attaches itself to a fixed submarine object, and develops into an organized animal. (3) This organism produces buds or zooids, often of two kinds - one set nutritive, the other generative - unlike each other and unlike their parent, the whole forming a hydroid colony. (4) The generative set mature eggs, which on being liberated become the free-swimming ova (No. 1), and the cycle is renewed. A somewhat similar phenomenon is that of parthenogenesis.
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ALTICA

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Altica is a genus of leaf beetles (Chrysomelidae) of the flea beetle group, though none of this genus are serious pests as their host plants are all wild herbaceous plants and bushes. They are comparatively large for flea beetles, about 3 mm long.
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ALUCITIDAE

Alucitidae is the many-plume moths family of insects of the order Lepidoptera.
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ALVEOLI

The alveoli are air-sacs within the lung at the end of bronchioles.
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ALYSSUM

Alyssum is a genus of small cruciferous plants including the madwort. They bear yellow flowers and are so called Alyssum from the former belief as a cure for madness (the name Alyssum derives from the Greek phrase a lussa meaning not mad).
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AMADAVAT

The amadavat is a small Indian singing bird allied to the finches.
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AMADOU

Amadou is the name of several fungi of the genus Polyporus, they have a leathery appearance and grow on trees. When cut into slices and beaten into a felt it was used to plug wounds and to stop bleeding. The felt steeped in saltpetre forms German tinder.
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AMANDA'S BLUE

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Amanda's Blue (Plebicula Amanda) is a rare butterfly of the family Lycaenidae found in the temperate zone of Europe and Asia in dry, flowery meadows and on lowland slopes.
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AMANITA

Amanita is a karge genus of fungi, most of which are very posionous. The species include the fly-agaric and the deadly amanita, both of which closely resemble edible mushrooms.
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AMARA

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Amara is a genus of beetles of the ground beetle family, Carabidae, with some 35 species living in Britain. They vary in shape, but the majority of species have an elongate or compactly oval body. They vary in size from 4 to 15 mm and may be black or brown in colour, often with a metallic sheen. Generally they live in dry localities, hiding under stones, moss and between grass roots living on a mixed diet of insect larvae and vegetable matter.
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AMARANTHACEAE

The Amaranthaceae (amaranths) are a family of apetalous plants mainly found in tropical countries where they are frequently troublesome weeds. They are remarkable for the white or reddish scales of which their flowers are composed, the flowers having three to five sepals but no petals. Most are herbs, but some species are climbers. The leaves are alternate or opposite.
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AMARANTHUS

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Amaranthus is a genus of plants of the family Amaranthaceae, found in tropical and temperate climates.
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AMARYLLIDACEAE

Amaryllidaceae is a family of monocotyledonous plants which are generally bulbous occasionally with a tall, cylindrical, woody stem (as in Agave); with a highly coloured flower, six stamens and an inferior three-celled ovary. They are native to Europe and most other warm parts of the world.
The order includes the snowdrop, the snow-flake, the daffodil, the belladonna-lily (belonging to the typical genus Amaryllis), the so-called Guernsey-lily (probably a native of Japan), the Brunsvigias, the blood-flowers (Haemanthus) of South Africa, different species of Narcissus, Agave (American aloe), etc. Many are highly prized in gardens and hothouses; the bulbs - of some are strongly poisonous.
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AMAUROBIUS

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Amaurobius is a genus of spider. A British species, Amaurobius similis is common and widespread behind walls, on bark and on fences where it builds a tangled web leading back to a crevice where the spider waits for its prey.
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AMAZON ANT

The Amazon Ant (Formicidae rufescens) is a reddish coloured ant, about eight millimetres long found in a large part of the temperate Holarctic region preferring sunny, warm habitats on sandy soil or limestone. Amazon ants have aggressive sword-like mandibles which they use as weapons when raiding. The Amazon ant is remarkable in that it is unable to build a nest, feed itself or rear its offspring. Instead it raids other ant nests, particularly those of Formica fusca, and carries off pupae which soon hatch and are employed as slaves. Amazon ant raids usually occur in late afternoon in July and August. The Amazon ants emerge, and after a while slowly line up into a formation a few centimetres wide and several metres long containing thousands of ants. This formation then marches the tens of metres to another ant nest, kill the defending ants and carry away thousands of pupae to be hatched as slave workers. After mating, the winged male dies, but the winged female sheds her wings and assaults an ant nest of another species, penetrating the nest she kills the queen ant and gradually takes over the entire nest, enslaving the worker ants.
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AMBATCH

Ambatch is a thorny leguminous shrub with yellow flowers growing in the shallows of the Upper Nile and other rivers of tropical Africa. It grows to between four and six metres tall. The wood is very light and spongy and is used to make rafts.
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AMBLYOPSIS

Amblyopsis is a genus of blind fishes comprised of a single species found in the Mammoth Cave of Kentucky.
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AMBULACRAL SYSTEM

The ambulacral system is the locomotive apparatus of the Phylum Echinodermata (sea-urchins, star-fishes, etc), the most important feature of which is the protrusible tube-feet that the animals can at dilate with water at will, and thus move forward.
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AMBUSH

Ambush is the collective noun for a group of tigers.
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AMELANCHIER

Amelanchier is a genus of small trees native to Europe and North America.
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AMENTACEAE

Amentaceae is the family of trees and plants where the flowers are arranged in the form of catkins (amenta). The family is broken up into several orders, the chief of which are Betulaceae (the birch), Salicinese (the willow), Balsamifluae (the liquidambar), Plataneae (the plane), and Cupuliferae (the nut).
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AMENTUM

Amentum (plural amenta) is a botanical term for the catkin.
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AMERICAN BASHKIR CURLY

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The American Bashkir Curly is an American breed of light horse first discovered in 1898 in the Peter Hanson mountain range of Central Nevada. The American Bashkir Curly stands between 14 and 15 hands high, occurs in many colours with a curly haired coat and has a heavy head. The
American Bashkir Curly is a tough and enduring breed able to withstand severe weather conditions, and yet easy to tame and train and are a friendly breed making excellent riding horses.
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AMERICAN BITTERN

The American Bittern (Botaurus lentiginosus) is a medium-large heron-like bird of the order Grallae, family Ardeidae, with a brown back, brown- streaked front, black cheek stripe and blackish primary feathers. It is an uncommon winter visitor and resident in freshwater marshes of southern California.
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AMERICAN COCKER SPANIEL

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The American Cocker Spaniel is an American breed of gundog originating from English Cocker Spaniels imported to the USA, and recognised as a separate breed since the 1940s. The American Cocker Spaniel is smaller than its English counterpart, and was bred for taking smaller game, such as quail. They are a friendly and easy to train breed.
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AMERICAN CREAM

The American Cream (or Albino Horse) is an American breed of light horse developed in Nebraska in 1937 by Caleb Thompson and Hudson Thompson from an Arab/Morgan stallion and a herd of Morgan mares. The American Cream is a breed of horse characterised apart from its white colour by its excellent learning and training ability. The American Cream stands 15 hands high, has a white coat and mane, blue eyes and a pink skin.
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AMERICAN CROW

The American crow (Corvus americanus) is a bird similar to the British Carrion Crow, but is smaller and less robust, and is somewhat gregarious. This crow is common in all parts of the United States, and is deemed a great nuisance by farmers from preying on their corn.
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AMERICAN JABIRU

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The American jabiru (Mycertia Americana) is a white, stork-like bird with a black head, neck, bill and feet. The head and neck are both bare of feathers
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AMERICAN KESTREL

The American Kestrel (Falco sparverius) is a small falcon of the order Falconiformes, family Falconidae, with white cheeks and two black vertical cheek stripes. The male has a rusty back and tail, grey wings. The female is brownish. It forages for mice, lizards and insects by hovering above the ground, then diving for its prey. It occurs in many habitats, including borders of wetlands.
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AMERICAN SADDLEBRED

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The American Saddlebred (formerly Kentucky Saddler) is an American breed of light horse originating from Kentucky during the 19th century. The American Saddlebred stands between 15 and 16 hands high and is usually chestnut in colour, with a small head, muscular neck set high on the shoulders and a broad chest. They are a spirited breed with a willing and calm nature used for riding and hunting with hounds.
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AMERICAN SHETLAND

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The American Shetland is an American bread of trotting pony which developed from 75 Shetland ponies imported to the USA in 1885. The Original Shetland ponies were cross-bred with Hackney ponies and later with small Arabians and small Thoroughbreds to develop a distinct breed of pony with a muscular arched neck, a long and narrow back, broad muscular hindquarters and unusually high withers, standing to about 11 hands high and of a generally good temperament.
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AMERICAN SHORTHAIR

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The American Shorthair is a breed of cat similar to, and originating from the British Shorthair, but of slighter build, more muscular but lighter boned with a more gentle appearance than the classic 'I'm the boss' look of the British Shorthair.
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AMERICAN WALKING PONY

The American Walking Pony is an American breed of pony first registered in 1968. They have an easy-going nature and grow to 14 hands high.
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AMERICAN WIREHAIR

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The American Wirehair is a breed of shorthaired cat that occurred as a spontaneous genetic mutation in a litter of farm cats in 1966. The breed is distinguished by its unique wiry coat. An impatient cat, they are intolerant of other cats and children and are independent and like hunting.
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AMERICAN WORMSEED

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American wormseed (Chenopodium ambrosioides) or Mexican tea as it is also known, is a poisonous annual herb of the family Chenopodiaceae with a branched, reddish, leafy stem. The leaves are alternate and rectangular to lanceolate and coarsely toothed. The numerous small yellowish-green flowers are crowded together in small globose clusters in the leaf axils on the lateral stems. The fruit is an achene. American wormseed was introduced to Europe from tropical America during the 17th century, and acclimatized itself to some parts of Europe, but not Britain. In South America the leaves were formerly used to make an infusion of tea, but the principal use of the plant was in medicine to expel intestinal worms.
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AMETABOLA

Ametabola are a division of insects which are wingless and do not undergo any metamorphosis, but which hatch from the egg nearly in the same form they keep throughout their life. This includes the lice and spring-tails.
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AMIDOBIA

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Amidobia is a genus of rove beetles, Staphylinidae, formerly regarded as a subgenus of Atheta. They live in ants' nests.
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AMISCHA

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Amischa is a genus of rove beetles, Staphylinidae, formerly regarded as a subgenus of Atheta. Males are rare, and parthenogenesis is the apparent rule.
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AMMONITE

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An ammonite is one type of extinct sea creature, often found as a fossil.
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AMMOSAURUS

Ammosaurus was a dinosaur of the Jurassic period remains of which were discovered in a quarry in Connecticut, USA in 1890. Ammosaurus was about 2.4 metres long and is thought to have been able to walk on four legs or just its hind legs.
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AMOEBA

The amoeba (sub Phylum Sarcodina) is a simple single celled animal of the group sarcomastigophora. They move by extending lobe-like projections of their cytoplasm called pseudopodia. Food is obtained by phagocytosis.
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AMOEBINA

The Amoebina is an order of Rhizopoda. The order is comprised of the amoeba and its relatives. Reproduction is usually by binary fission.
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AMOMUM

Amomum are a genus of plants of the family Zingiberaceae which includes ginger. They are native to warm climates and are remarkable for the pungency and aromatic properties of their seeds.
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AMORPHOPHALLUS

Amorphophallus is a genus of herbaceous plants of the aroid family (Araceae) consisting of about 170 species - including the impressive Tian arum - found mainly in lowland secondary forests in the tropics from west Africa eastwards into Polynesia. Plants of the genus have a single leaf that emerges from an underground tuber. This leaf consists of a vertical petiole (stalk) and a horizontal leaf-blade that is dissected into few or numerous small leaflets. Plants of the genus flower rarely, some as infrequently as once every seven years, the flower emerging at night and dying within 24 hours. Most species give off a foul odour of decaying flesh, and attract flying insects that feed upon rotting flesh so as to effect pollination. As the female and male flowers are not receptive at the same time, the plants need to retain visiting insects over night, and achieve this by providing food in the form of protein-rich fleshy warts at the base of the spathe, or in special organs developed on the spadix.
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AMORPHOZOA

Amorphozoa is a term applied to some of the lower groups of animals, as the sponges and their allies, which have no regular symmetrical structure.
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AMPEDUS

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Ampedus is a genus of large click beetle (Elateridae) represented by fourteen British species, the larvae of which are predacious and live in rotting wood.
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AMPELIDAE

Ampelidae is the chatterers family of Passerine birds. They have a stout beak with the upper mandible somewhat broad at the base, flat with the upper edge more or less angular and ridged, and the tip distinctly notched. The feet are usually stout, with the outer toe united to the middle one as far as, or beyond the first joint. They feed principally on berries and other soft fruits, and occasionally also on insects.
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AMPHIBIA

Amphibia (the amphibians) is a class of vertebrate animals, which in their early life breathe by gills or branchiae, and afterwards partly or entirely by lungs. The Frog, breathing in its tadpole state by gills and afterwards throwing off these organs and breathing entirely by lungs in its adult state, is an example of the latter phase of amphibian existence. The Proteus of the underground caves of Central Europe exemplifies forms in which the gills of early life are retained throughout life, and in which lungs are developed in addition to the gills. A second character of this group consists in the presence of two occipital condyles, or processes by means of which the skull articulates with the spine or vertebral column; Reptiles possessing one condyle only. The class is divided into four orders: the Ophiomorpha (or serpentiform), represented by the Blind-worms, in which limbs are wanting and the body is snake-like ; the Urodela or Tailed Amphibians, including the Newts, Proteus, Siren, etc; theAnoura, or Tailless Amphibia, represented by the Frogs and Toads; and the Labyrinthodontia, which includes the extinct forms known as Labyrinthodons.
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AMPHICHROUM

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Amphichroum is a genus of rove beetles, Staphylinidae, with a hairy back, that live on shrubs and bushes in the mountains.
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AMPHINEURA

The Amphineura is a class of Phylum mollusca. The body is bilaterally symmetrical. The mouth and anus are at opposite ends of the body. The foot is flattened and the mantle bears calcareous plates.
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AMPHIOXUS

Amphioxus is a genus of small, burrowing, fish-shaped animals akin to the vertebrates. The genus includes the Lancelet.
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AMPHIPODA

Amphipoda is an order of sessile-eyed crustaceans of the sub-class Malacostraca where the carapace is absent and the body is laterally compressed. The abdomen is elongated. Many species are found in springs and rivulets, others in salt water. The sand-hopper and shore-jumper are examples.
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AMPHISBAENA

The Amphisbaena is a lizard distinguished by having a head and tail almost indistinguishable from each other.
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AMPHISBSENA

Amphisbsena is a genus of serpentiform, limbless, lacertilian reptiles with a body cylindrical, destitute of scales, and divided into numerous annular segments; the tail obtuse, and scarcely to be distinguished from the head, whence the belief that it moved equally well with either end foremost. There are several species, found in tropical America. They feed on ants and earthworms, and were formerly, but erroneously deemed poisonous.
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AMPHIUMA

Amphiuma is a genus of amphibians which frequent the lakes and stagnant waters of North America. The adults retain the clefts at which the gills of the tadpole projected.
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AMPHOTIS

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Amphotis is a genus of sap-beetle (Nitidulidae).
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AMPLEXICAUL

In botany, the term amplexicaul is said of a leaf that embraces and nearly surrounds the stem.
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AMUR LEOPARD

The Amur Leopard of Far Eastern Leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis) is a severely endangered Asian sub-species of Leopard found only in a small part of north-east Asia comprising the south-west region of Primorski Krai province in Russia and eastern Manchukua in north-east China. In 2000 there were less than thirty Amur Leopards living in the wild. Similar to their related African leopards, the Amur Leopard is more heavily built and has longer fur and large areas of white on the underside.
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AMUR TIGER

The Amur Tiger (Panthera tigris altaica) is an endangered sub-species of tiger found in the wild in a small area of north-east Asia. In 1998 there were some 450 Amur Tigers living in the wild, and an international zoo population of some 500
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AMYGDALACEOUS

In botany, amygdalaceous designates a plant belonging to the almond family.
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AMYRIDACEAE

Amyridaceae is a natural order of plants, consisting of tropical trees or shrubs, the leaves, bark, and fruit of which abound in fragrant resinous and balsamic juices. Myrrh, frankincense, and the gum-elemi of commerce are among their products. Among the chief genera of the order are Amyris, Balsamodendron, Boswellia, and Canarium.
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