Cibol (Allium fistulosum) is a perennial plant of the onion genus. It is a native of Siberia, with hollow stems larger than those of chives and is used for culinary purposes.
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Cicada is the popular and generic name of certain insects belonging to the order Hemiptera, sub-order Homoptera, of many species. The males have on each side of the body a kind of drum, with which they can make a considerable noise. This, regarded as the insect's song, was much admired by the ancients, and is frequently referred to by their poets. The largest European species are about an inch long, but some American species are much larger, and can be heard a mile off. They are nearly all natives of tropical or warm temperate regions. The female has the posterior extremity of the abdomen furnished with two serrated horny plates, by means of which it pierces the branches of trees to deposit its eggs. An English species (Cicada anglica) is found in the New Forest. The seven years' locust (Cicada septemdecim) is well known in the United States.
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In botany, a cicatrix is a scar on tree bark where a leef was formerly attached.
In zoology, a cicatrix is a mark left by an organ, such as for example the mark left by a muscle in a clam shell.
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Cicely is a popular name applied to several umbelliferous plants. Sweet cicely, or sweet chervil, is Myrrhis odordta, a plant common in Britain and in other parts of Europe. It was formerly used in medicine, and in some parts of Europe is used as an ingredient in soups, etc. It has a hollow stem about 75 cm high with fine fern-like foliage.
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Cicindela is the tiger beetle genus of the ground beetle family, Carabidae. The species are native chiefly of the warmer regions, with five British species occuring. All have a similarly shaped body, though colourings vary and are the only ground beetles to fly away instantly when disturbed. They are predacious, the larvae lying in wait for their prey at the mouth of their burrow.
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The Ciconiiformes are an order of birds including the storks, herons, ibises, flamingos and related species.
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Cidaris is a genus of sea-urchins, including fossil and living forms. They are regular urchins characterized by thick massive spines.
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Cidnopus is a genus of click beetle (Elateridae) characterised by the basal antennal segments being capable of being tucked into a groove on the underside of the prothorax. The larvae feed on grass roots, and the adults are generally found on grasses, but also on other plants.
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Cidnorhinus is a genus of tiny Snout Beetles (Curculionidae) that live on stinging nettles.
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Cilea is a genus of gregarious rove beetles, Staphylinidae found under decaying plants, in dung and in warm compost.
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Ciliata are a highly organised class of the Protozoa, characterised by the possession of cilia, which may be distributed all over the body, and act as swimming organs, as in the slipper animalcule, or may be restricted to certain parts of it, as in the stalked bell animalcule, in which their action serves to sweep food-particles into the gullet.
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Ciliata vera are a subclass of ciliophora. They are free swimming animals.
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Ciliophora are a class of Protozoa with relatively simple life-histories. The locomotor structures are cilia arranged in definite tracts. The cilia arise from grooves in the pellicle. Ciliophora have a unique nuclear structure, comprised of a meganucleus concerned with trophic activities, and a micronucleus concerned with reproduction.
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Cimbicidae is a sawfly family of insects of the super-family Tenthredinoidea, sub-order Symphyta, order Hymenoptera.
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The cinchona is a genus of trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants of the order Cinchonaceae native to South America which consists of gamopetalous, calycifloral dicotyledons, sometimes regarded as a sub-order of Rubiaceae.with fragrant white or pink flowers. They have simple opposite leaves, flowers arranged in panicles or corymbs; calyx adherent, entire or toothed; corolla regular; stamens attached to corolla; ovary two-celled; fruit inferior, dry or succulent. The bark contains quinine and other related alkaloids. The tree was named in honour of the countess of Chinchon, the vice-Queen of Peru after she was cured of fever by cinchona bark in 1638.
The genus Cinchona consists of trees seldom exceeding 14 metres in height, with simple, opposite, entire leaves and small flowers, inhabiting chiefly the east side of the Andes of Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Colombia. The valuable Peruvian bark is yielded by various species; crown or loxa bark by Cinchona Condaminea, gray or huanuco bark by Cinchona micrantha and Cinchona nitida, red-bark by Cinchona succirubra, yellow or calisaya bark by Cinchona Calisaya. From the wasteful method of cutting down the trees to get their bark it was believed that there would soon be a dearth of the valuable medicine, and hence cinchona plants were taken from their native regions and plantations formed in various tropical countries including Sri Lanka, India, Java, etc.
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Cineraria is a genus of plants of the natural order Compositae, consisting of herbs or small shrubs with small-sized heads of yellow flowers. They are chiefly found in South Africa, but a number of varieties have been much cultivated for garden purposes.
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The Cinnabar Moth (Tyria jacobaeae) is a tiger moth of the Arctiidae family, found in localised pockets across Europe and Asia flying from May to July. The caterpillar of the Cinnabar Moth is about 15 mm long and marked by equal transverse bands of yellow and black, lives gregariously (perhaps twenty-four in a group) feeding upon the leaves of common kinds of field and meadow groundsels including dandelion and ragwort. From the leaves of the plants the caterpillars store poisonous alkaloids. Birds quickly learn that the Cinnabar Moth caterpillar is not good to eat, and having eaten one leave the others alone - there are a few exceptions, and Cuckoos are particulary fond of the caterpillars. The adult moths have a wing span of about 35 mm and are mainly red in colour with a brown or black body and brown forewings patterned with red areas.
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Cinnamomum is a genus of plants, of the natural order Lauraceae, natives of tropical Asia and the Polynesian Islands. All the species possess an aromatic volatile oil, and one of them yields true cinnamon spice, while others yield cassia.
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Cinnamon is a species of laurel (Cinnamomum zeylanicum), which is chiefly found in Sri Lanka, but grows also in Malabar and other parts of the East Indies. The tree attains the height of about nine meters, has oval leaves, pale-yellow flowers, and acorn-shaped fruit. The Ceylonese bark their trees in April and November, the bark curling up into rolls or quills in the process of drying; the smaller quills being introduced into the larger ones. These are then assorted according to quality by tasters, and made up into bundles. An oil of cinnamon is prepared in Sri Lanka, but the oil of cassia is generally substituted for it; indeed, the cassia bark is often substituted for cinnamon, to which it has some resemblance, although in its qualities it is much weaker. The leaves, the fruit, and the root of the cinnamon plant all yield oil of considerable value; that from the fruit, being highly fragrant and of thick consistence, was formerly made into candles for the sole use of the King of Ceylon (Sri Lanka).
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Cionus is a genus of Snout Beetles (Curculionidae).
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In botany, circinate is a term said of leaves or fronds, as those of ferns, that are rolled up like a watch-spring before expanding.
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In an organism, circulation is the flowing of sap or blood through the veins or channels, by means of which the perpetual and simultaneous movements of composition and decomposition manifested in organic life are carried on. Although Galen, who had observed the opposite directions of the blood in the arteries and veins, may be said to have been upon the very point of discovering the circulation, the discovery was reserved for William Harvey, who in 1628 pointed out the continuity of the connections between the heart, arteries, and veins, the reverse directions taken by the blood in the different vessels, the arrangements of valves in the heart and veins so that the blood could flow only in one direction, and the necessity of the return of a large proportion of blood to the heart to maintain the supply.
In 1661 Malpighi exhibited microscopically the circulation in the web of a frog's foot, and showed that the blood passed from arteries to veins by capillaries or intermediate vessels. This finally established the theory with regard to animals, but the movements of sap in vegetables were only traced with difficulty and after numerous experiments.
Many physiologists were reluctant to ascribe the term 'circulation' to this portion of the economy of plants; but though sap, unlike the blood, does not exhibit movements in determinate vessels to and from a common centre, a definite course is observable. In the stem of a dicotyledonous tree, for example, the sap describes a sort of circle, passing upwards from the roots through the newer woody tissue to the leaves, where it is elaborated under the action of air and light; and thence descending through the bark towards the root, where what remains of it is either excreted or mixed with the new fluid, entering from the soil for a new period of circulation.
In infusorial animalcules the movement of the fluids of the body is maintained by that of the animal itself and by the disturbing influence of nutritive absorption. In the Coelentera (zoophytes, etc) the movement receives aid besides from the action of cilia on the inner walls of the body. The Annelids, as the earth-worm, possess contractile vessels traversing the length of the body. The Insects, Crustaceans, Myriapods, and Spiders have a dorsal tube, a portion of which may be specially developed as a heart. The blood is driven to the tissues, in some cases along arterial trunks, being distributed not in special vessels, but simply through the interstices of the tissues. From the tissues it is conveyed, it may be by special venous trunks to a venous sinus which surrounds the heart and opens into it by valvular apertures. The Mollusca have the heart provided with an auricle and a ventricle, as in the snail and whelk; two auricles, one on either side of the ventricle, as in the fresh-water mussel; or two auricles and two ventricles, as in the ark-shells. Among the ascidians, which stand low in that division of animals to which the molluscs belong, the remarkable phenomenon is encountered of an alternating current, which is rhythmically propelled for equal periods in opposite directions.
All vertebrated animals (except Amphioxus) have a heart, which in most fishes consists of an auricle and ventricle, but in the mud-fishes (Lepidosiren) there are two auricles and one ventricle; and this trilocular heart is found in the amphibians, and in most reptiles except the crocodiles, which, like birds and mammals, have a four-chambered organ consisting of two auricles and two ventricles. In these two last-named classes the venous and arterial blood are kept apart; in the trilocular hearts the two currents are mixed in the ventricle.
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Circumnutation is a name given by Charles Darwin to the continuous motion of every growing part of every plant, in which it describes irregular elliptical or oval figures. The apex of the stem, for instance, after pointing in one direction, moves round until it points in the opposite direction, and so on continuously.
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The cirl bunting (Emberiza cirlus) is a European and Asian bird very similar to the yellow hammer with the exception of its black chin and throat and its dislike of cold.
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Cirripedia is the Cirrepedes subclass of crustacea. These are the barnacles and acorn shells. They are sedentary animals with a reduced head and abdomen. The most striking appendages are usually the six pairs of biramous thoracic feet, which are used in catching food, being swept through the water after the fashion of a fishing net. They are crustaceans which have undergone retrograde metamorphosis, being free-swimming in the larva form, but becoming after a time attached by the head. When adult a cirriped is affixed to some substance, either set directly upon it, as in the genus Balanus; or placed on a foot-stalk, as the barnacle; or sunk into the supporting substance, as the whale-barnacle.
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Cis is a genus of small beetles of the family Cisidae.
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Cisidae is a family of beetles of the order Coleoptera. They are brown or black, with a cylindrical body and live on tree fungi.
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Cistaceae is a natural order of polypetalous exogens, consisting of low shrubby plants or herbs with entire leaves and crumpled, generally ephemeral, showy flowers. Some exude a balsamic resin, such as ladanum from a Levant species of Cistus. Four species of the genus Helianthemum are found in Britain, and are popularly known as the 'rock-rose.'
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Cistus, the rock-rose, is a genus of plants of the order Cistaceae native to Europe and the countries bordering the Mediterranean. They are called rock-roses because of the resemblance of their flowers to those of roses. The flowers are large, and delicately coloured and textured but last only a day.
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The citron is a tree related to the lemon, bearing large yellowish fruits shaped like a lemon, but with coarse, thick, furrowed skin which is preserved in sugar for confectionary and cakes. The citron is native to India but is cultivated through the Mediterranean and in California and Florida.
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Citrus is a genus of trees and shrubs of the rue family, natural order Aurantiacese which includes the lemon, orange, lime and tangerine. They are widely cultivated for their edible fruit. They are characterized by simple ovate acuminate leaves or leaflets united by a distinct joint to the leaf-like stalk; by having the stamens united by their filaments into several irregular bundles, and by yielding a pulpy fruit with a spongy rind. Citrus medica is the citron. Other species are the lemon (Citrus limonum), the sweet orange (Citrus aurantium), the bitter orange (Citrus vulgaris), the shaddock (Citrus decumana}, and the forbidden fruit (Citrus paradisi), sometimes used as an ornamental addition to dessert. The genus Citrus furnishes the essential oils of orange and lemon peels, of orange flowers, of citron peel, of bergamot, and oil of orange leaves - all much esteemed in perfumery.
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The civet (Viverridae) are a family of carnivorous animals similar to the cats. They inhabit tropical Asia and North Africa and are celebrated for producing a scented substance used in perfume.
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Cladium is a genus of plants, of wide distribution, of the natural order Cyperaceae (the sedges). The Cladium Mariscus, or twig-rush, has keeled leaves, with a sharp point and prickly serratures. It is very common in certain fenny districts in Cambridgeshire, etc, and is used for thatching.
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The clam is a marine Lamellibranch mollusc (Lamellibranchiata) of the Pecten genus, akin to the cockle. The giant clam is the largest known bivalve mollusc with a shell as large as one metre across and weighing around 120 kg. Clams are found in the Indian Ocean and the Pacific.
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Clambidae is a family of tiny beetles, characterised by a broad head and the ability to roll themselves into a ball.
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Clambus is a genus of beetles of the family Clambidae found living under rotting plants.
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Clamour is the collective noun for a group of rooks.
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Claosaurus was a duck-billed dinosaur of the Cretaceous period. Remains of
Claosaurus were first found in 1872 in the USA. Claosaurus was a small dinosaur, about 3.7 metres long and standing about 1 metre tall.
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Clark's Grebe (Aechmophorus clarkii) is a medium-sized diving bird of the order Podicipediformes, family Podicipedidae with a long slender neck, slender pointed yellow bill. Grey back; black cap; white cheek, breast and neck; eye in white area of cheek. It is a common winter visitor along the California coast, in bays and the Salton Sea breeding on inland lakes.
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Clary (Salvia sclarea) is a biennial herb of the Sage genus, family Labiatae, with a square, erect, little-branched stem, large almost sessile, opposite leaves which are broadly ovate, wrinkled and irregularly shallow lobed or toothed. The flowers are white, violet or pink in colour, two-lipped, and arranged in whorls in a terminal spike, interspersed with bracts of the same colour. The fruit consists of four nutlets.
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Claviger is a genus of beetles of the family Pselaphidae (formerly classified as belonging to the family Clavigeridae). They are devoid of eyes and have very short tarsi and antennae of six segments, the first of which is hidden. They live with ants of the genus Lasius.
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A claw is a sharp, hooked, horny nail in the foot of an animal or bird. The word claw is extended in everyday language to anything which resembles a claw.
Claw is the name given to the pincer-like gripping attachment of some shellfish, such as the lobster, crab etc.
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The Clay Moth (Mythimna ferrago) is a moth of the family Noctuidae with a wing span of between 35 and 40 mm found through Europe eastwards to central Asia flying from July to August.
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Claytonia is a genus of low-growing North American herbs of the purslane family, named after the American botanist John Clayton. The genus includes 'Spring Beauty' (Claytonia virginica) found in the eastern USA.
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The clear-wings are a family of moths, related to the clothes moth, but distinguished by the absence of the scales from the wings. Many of them mimic hymenoptera, notably the hornet clear-wing, which closely resembles the large wasp, after which it is named.
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Cleaver or Goose Grass (Galium aparine) is a British plant with rough stems and six to eight leaves in a whorl with distinctive curled prickles. The flowers are axillary and greenish white. The fruit is rough with hooked prickles and the seed vessels are globular and tenacious, clinging to the coat of any animal that touches them. The alternative name of Goose Grass comes from the fact that geese like to eat the entire plant.
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The cleg (clegg, breeze-fly, gad-fly) is a name applied to the members of the insect family Tabanidae, which are flies furnished with a lancet-like proboscis, of powerful flight, and a habit of sucking blood. It is only the female which sucks blood, and in some examples - such as the Hadrus lepidotus of Brazil - they may inflict wounds which bleed very freely. The common cleg (Tabanus bovinus) is a large insect resembling a bee which produces a deep hum which panics horses and cattle. It also attacks man, and its hard proboscis can penetrate even thick clothing.
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In botany, cleistogamous describes a plant as having flowers which do not open and are self-fertilising, such as those of the closed gentian.
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Clematis is a genus of woody climbing plants of the order Banunculaceae. The most common species, Clematis Vitalba, virgin's bower or traveller's joy, is conspicuous in the hedges both of England and the south of Scotland, first by its copious clusters of white blossoms, and afterwards by its feather-tailed silky tufts attached to the fruits. Among the exotic species in greatest favour with horticulturists are Clematis flammula, which produces abundant panicles of small white flowers, and has a fine perfume; Clematis cirrhosa, remarkable for its large greenish-white flowers; and Clematis viticella, with its festooning branches adorned with pink or purple bells.
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Cleonus is a genus of Snout Beetles (Curculionidae).
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The clepsine are hirudinea.
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Cleridae is the chequered beetles family of insects of the order Coleoptera, so named after their variegated patterning.
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The Cleveland Bay is an indigenous British breed of riding horse dating back to the Middle Ages when they originated in the Cleveland district of Yorkshire from the Chapman Horse. The Cleveland Bay stands 16.2 hands high and is bay with black points in colour. By the 1960s the breed had almost died out, but intervention by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II who purchased a stallion for breeding has resulted in the breed's continuation.
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Clianthus is a small genus of tender shrubs belonging to the family Leguminosae, with pinnate leaves and uniquely showy flowers.
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The click beetles, elaters or Skip-Jacks are beetles of the Elateridae family, related to the fire-flies, which when lying on their back, have the power of throwing themselves to a considerable height in the air and regaining their feet, by a rapid jerk accompanied by a clicking sound produced by the jumping mechanism in the thorax. The larvae, known as wire worms, live in the ground and some species feed on the roots of cereals damaging crops. When alarmed, the click beetle fakes death. They live in flowers, grass, and decaying wood and are almost always found singly. The fireflies of America belong to the family. They possess luminous properties, which are unlike those of the glow-worm, etc, being seated near the head. The Pyrophorus noctilucus, called cocuyo in Brazil, was formerly used as a personal ornament by ladies.
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The Clifden Nonpareil (Catocala fraxini) is a moth of the family Noctuidae with a wing span of between 75 and 95 mm found in deciduous forests of the Palaearctic flying from July to October.
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The cliff swallow or eaves swallow (Petrochelidon lunifrons) is a North American bird which builds its nest against cliffs.
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The Climbing Perch (Anabas scandens) is a freshwater fish about 20 centimetres long, with a compressed body and a long spiny dorsal fin. It is found in India and countries to the east, and can travel long distances on land, breathing air by means of a bony labyrinth richly supplied with blood- vessels and situated in the upper part of the bronchial chamber.
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Climbing Plants are divided by Darwin into four classes. The first group twine spirally round a support, the second are aided by sensitive, modified leaves, branches or flower stems. These two grade into one another. The third ascend by the aid of hooks, and the fourth by rootlets.
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Clintonia is a genus of low-growing plants of the lily family, bearing clusters of yellow or white flowers and dull blue or black coloured berries. Clintonia is named after the American statesman De Witt Clinton.
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Cliona is a boring sponge, important in that it brings about the rapid disintegration of shells, especially oyster-shells.
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Clivina is a genus of small (five or six millimetres in length) beetles of the family Carabidae, subfamily Scaritinae.
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In birds and reptiles, the cloaca is the chamber into which the intestinal, urinary and generative canals discharge.
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The Cloaked Carpet (Euphyia biangulata) is a moth of the family Geometridae with a wing span of between 25 and 30 mm found in temperate Europe and Asia in natural beech woods flying from June to August in two generations.
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The Cloaked Pug (Eupithecia abietaria) is a moth of the family Geometridae with a wing span of between 20 and 25 mm found in central and northern Europe and western Asia flying from May to July.
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Clostridium botulinum is a bacillus found especially in improperly sterilized tinned meats and other preserved foods. The bacteria causes the potentially fatal botulism poisoning.
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Clothes-moth is a general name for a great variety of small, so-called Tineine moths, the larvae of which feed mainly on dried animal substances, and are very destructive to woollen goods, furs etc.
Cloud is the collective noun for a group of gnats.
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Cloud is the name given to an area of dark colouration on the forehead between a horse's eyes.
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Cloudberry or mountain Bramble (Rubus chamoemorus}, a fruit found in the north of Europe, Asia, and America, and common in some of the more elevated moors of Britain, of the same genus with the bramble or blackberry. The plant is from 10 to 25 cm high, with a rather large handsome leaf, indented and serrated at the edges. The flowers are large and white, and the berries, which have a very fine flavour, are orange-yellow in colour, and about the size of a blackberry.
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The Clouded Apollo (Parnassius mnemosyne) is a very rare European butterfly of the Swallowtails family (Papilionidae). The Clouded Apollo lives in damp, grassy localities in hilly landscapes and on the outskirts of deciduous forests supplied with rich undergrowth.
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The Clouded Border (Lomaspilis marginata) is a moth of the family Geometridae with a wing span of between 20 and 25 mm found in the forest zone of the Palaearctic flying from April to August.
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The Clouded Drab (Orthosia incerta) is a moth of the family Noctuidae with a wing span of between 35 and 40 mm found in Europe, Asia and America and flying from March to May.
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The Clouded Leopard or Clouded Tiger (Neofelis nebulosa) is a large species of wild cat ranging from Nepal to eastern Borneo. It has a relatively large head, short legs and a long tail and its pattern consists of large, black-edged dark patches. It is about two metres in total length and weighs around 20 kg. It lives in the forest feeding on birds and small mammals, but is not closely related to either the leopard or the tiger.
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The Clouded Magpie (Abraxas sylvata) is a moth of the family Geometridae with a wing span of between 30 and 38 mm found in the forest zone of the Palaearctic flying from May to August.
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The Clouded Silver (Lomographa temerata) is a moth of the family Geometridae with a wing span of between 22 and 26 mm found in the temperate parts of the Palaearctic flying from April to July.
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The Clouded Yellow (Colias croceus) is a species of butterfly of the family Pieridae. It has two or three generations a year which fly from April to May and then from July until autumn.
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Cloven-hoofed describes animals with a cleft foot, such as cattle, goats and other ruminant quadrupeds. By association of goats being cloven-hoofed, the term is also used to describe someone as being satanic or devilish.
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Clover (Trifolium) also known as trefoil known from the division of the leaf into three leaflets, is a name of different species of plants of the natural order Leguminosse. There are about 150 species, of which 18 are natives of Britain. Some are weeds, but many species are valued as food for cattle. Trifolium pratense, or common red clover, is a biennial, and sometimes, especially on chalky soils, a triennial plant. This is the kind most commonly cultivated, as it yields a larger product than any of the other sorts. Trifolium repens, or white clover, is a most valuable plant for pasturage over the whole of Europe, Central Asia, and North America, and has also been introduced into South America. The bee gathers much of its honey from the flowers of this species.
Trifolium hybridum, Alsike, hybrid, or Swedish clover, has been long cultivated in the south of Sweden, and for some time also in other countries; it is strongly recommended for cold, moist, stiff soils. It resembles the common red clover in duration, stature, and mode of growth. Trifolium medium, perennial red or meadow clover, much resembles the common red, but differs somewhat in habit, and the bright red flowers are larger and form a less compact head. Its produce is less in quantity, and not so nutritive, as that of the common red. The name clover is often applied to plants like medick and melilot, cultivated for the same purpose and belonging to the same natural order, although not of the same genus.
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Clowder is the collective noun for a group of cats.
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The clown fish (Amphiprion percula) is a marine damselfish which lives in the Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean in close proximity with anemones. The clown fish is orange-brown in colour with black-bordered white stripes.
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The Club-Mosses (Lycopodium) are a group of epiphytic land plants, with dichotomous branching of root and stem, and numerous small, closely-placed leaves; with sporophylls resembling the vegative leaves, grouped as cones at the end of some shoots, bearing single sporongia on the upper side.
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The Clumber Spaniel (named after the Duke of Newcastle's estate - Clumber Park) is a French breed of gundog. A stocky animal, the Clumber is the heaviest of the Spaniels, weighing between 25 and 31 kg, and standing between 40 and 45 cm tall. Clumber spaniels were bred for their scenting skills, but are also good companions and retrievers as well.
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Clump is the collective noun for a group of trees.
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Clupeidae is the herring family, the typical genus being Clupea, the herring, a family of fishes which includes the herring, sprat, white-bait, pilchard, etc.
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Clusia or Lecluse is a genus of evergreen shrubs and trees belonging to the family Guttiferae. They are natives of tropical countries and are popularly known as balsam trees.
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Cluster is the collective noun for a group of grapes.
Cluster is the collective noun for a group of spiders.
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Clustered dock (Rumex conglomeratus) is a short lived perennial plant of the family Polygonaceae found in most parts of Europe in damp places, especially near rivers, ponds and on waste ground. It has rectangular leaves which are wedge-shaped or nearly heart-shaped at the base. The flowers are borne in whorls in sparse, widely branched inflorescences.
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Clutch is the collective noun for a group of eggs.
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Clutter is the collective noun for a group of spiders.
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The Clydesdale Horse is a breed of Scottish heavy horse developed during the 18th century as a replacement to the Shire horse. The Clydesdale Horse stands 16 to 18 hands high, is mostly bay in colour, has an attractive head with a straight profile, large intelligent eyes, a broad forehead, and feathering. Formerly they were used in Lanarkshire for hauling coal, and during the 19th century as for general draught work.
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Clytra is a genus of leaf beetles (Chrysomelidae) whose larvae develop in ants' nests.
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Clytus is a genus of longhorn beetles (Cerambycidae). The genus includes the 'Wasp Beetle' (Clytus arietis).
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The coal-fish or coalfish (Pollachius virens) also called the Saithe, Coley and Greencod, is a predaceous member of the cod family, distinguished by its dark, almost black back, white lateral line, and long lower jaw with a barbel. It extends from the Arctic to the Mediterranean. It feeds on other fish, particularly herring.
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The coal-tit (Parus ater) or coal-titmouse, is a British bird so named from its black colour. It has a glossy blue-black head with white spots.
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The Coastal Mountain Kingsnake (Lampropeltis zonata multifasciata) is a species of King snake found in wooded and shaded areas in and around canyons often close to streams in central California.
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The coati (Coati Mundi or Nasua) is a carnivorous mammal related to the racoon. Found in south America and Mexico. It has a long mobile snout, a long tail, and feet armed with strong claws for digging and climbing.
Coatis often hunt in companies, and feed on lizards, birds, insects and other animals and eggs.
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The Cob is a type of horse comprising two breeds: the Welsh Cob and the Norman Cob, both resulting from the Irish Draft either purebred or crossed. Cobs are renowned carriers of weight, able to carry a man hunting all day. Cobs are fairly small horses, calm and gentle.
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The cob nut is a domesticated variety of the hazel.
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The cobra is a venomous snake found in Africa and south Asia.
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A cobweb (corrupted from the Anglo-Saxon 'cop-web', meaning spider-web) is the fine network of threads comprised of scleroprotein spun by many species of spider for catching their prey.
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Coca (Erythroxylum coca) is a South American shrub yielding a powerful narcotic (cocaine).
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Coccidia are a group of the Sporozoa exclusively parasitic on animals of various kinds, both vertebrate and invertebrate. They are mostly found in such organs as the liver or kidneys, but are not blood parasites. Their reproduction is both sexual and asexual, and they undergo a complicated series of changes in their life history, but each species is restricted to a particular host.
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The coccidia vera are a suborder of coccidiomorpha. They are parasites found chiefly in invertebrates, but also in vertebrates. The trophic phase is typically intracellular.
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The coccidiomorpha are an order of Sporozoa.
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Coccidula is a genus of small (about three millimetres in length) ladybird (Coccinellidae). They are relatively long, with almost parallel sides and live on marsh and aquatic plants where they feed on aphids.
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Coccinella is a genus of ladybird (Coccinellidae).
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Cocculus is a genus of East Indian menispermaceous plants, consisting of climbers with heart-shaped leaves and small flowers. The species are generally powerful bitter febrifuges. The fruit of the Cocculus Indicus forms a considerable article of commerce, and is sometimes added to malt liquors to give bitterness.
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Coccus is a genus of insects of the order Hemiptera, family Coccidae, or scale-insects. The males are elongated in their form, have large wings, and are destitute of any obvious means of suction; the females, on the contrary, are of a rounded or oval form, about an eighth of an inch in length, have no wings, but possess a beak or sucker, by which they suck up the juices of the plants on which they live. At a certain period of their life the females attach themselves to the plant or tree which they inhabit, and remain thereon immovable during the rest of their existence. In this situation they are impregnated by the male; after which their body increases considerably, in many species losing its original form and assuming that of a gall, and, after depositing the eggs, drying up and forming a habitation for the young. Some of these insects are troublesome in gardens, plantations, and hot-houses, while others are of great value. for example, kermes, cochineal, lac-lake, lac-dye, and gum-lac are either the perfect insects dried, or the secretions which they form.
Kermes consist of the dried females of Coccus ilicis, found in great abundance upon a species of oak (Quercus coccifera), a native of the Mediterranean basin, and gathered before the eggs are hatched. It was known as a dye-stuff in the earliest times, but has partly fallen into disuse since the introduction of cochineal. Cochineal consists of the bodies of the females of the Coccus cacti, a native of Mexico, which feeds on various species of cactus, particularly on one called nopal (Opuntia cochinillifera).
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The Cochin is an Asian breed of large domestic chicken with heavily feathered legs.
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Cochineal is a scaled insect (Dactylopius coccus or Coccus cacti) found on cacti in Mexico. The dried body of the female is used to prepare the red dye, also called cochineal.
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A cock is a male domestic fowl.
Cock is the term for a male bird.
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Cock's-foot is a perennial pasture-grass (Dactylis glomerata) of a coarse, harsh, wiry texture, but capable of growing on barren, sandy places, and yielding a valuable food for sheep very early in the spring. It is a native of Britain and Europe generally, also of Asia and America. The name has been given to it because of the resemblance of its three-branched panicle to the foot of a fowl.
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Cockatoo is the name of any of several crested parrots, especially of the genus Cacatua, family Psittacidae, of the order Psittaciformes. They usually have light-coloured plumage with tinges of red, yellow, or orange on the face, and an erectile crest on the head. They are native to Australia, New Guinea, and nearby islands. There are about 17 species, one of the most familiar being the sulphur-crested cockatoo (Cacatua galerita) of Australia and New Guinea, about 50 centimetres long, white with a yellow crest and dark beak.
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The cockchafer (Melolontha vulgaris) is a common European beetle, about three centimetres long and destructive to the foliage of fruit and forest trees.
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The Cocker Spaniel or English Cocker Spaniel (originally known simply as a Cocker) is an English-Welsh breed of gundog named 'cocker' after their use in hunting woodcocks (the Cocker was originally used for raising woodcocks and snipes from their haunts in woods and marshes). Cocker Spaniels are easy to train, sociable animals but can be aggressive at times.
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The Cockle (Cardium) is a genus of Lamellibranchia bivalve mollusc (Lamellibranchiata) found on British shores. The general characteristics are: shells nearly equilateral and equi-valvular; hinge with two small teeth, one on each side near the beak, and two larger remote lateral teeth, one on each side; prominent ribs running from the hinge fo the edge of the valve.
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The cockroach (Blatta orientalis) is an insect of the order Orthoptera. In the common species the male is fully winged and the female wingless. The eggs are enclosed in horny purse-like cases attached to the abdomen of the female and carried about until the young are ready to hatch. The larvae resemble the adults, but are wingless. The American cockroach is larger than the British species, and both sexes are fully winged. The German species is very much smaller, and both sexes are winged and it also has the ability to climb smooth surfaces such as window panes.
Cockscomb (Rhinanthus Crista-galli) is a tall, single stemmed British plant of the family Schrophulariaceae. It bears a loose spike of yellow flowers in June.
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Cockspur-Thorn is the Crataegus crus-galli, a North American shrub which has long been cultivated in Britain as a shrubbery ornament. There are several varieties, which are admired for their snowy blossoms in May.
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Cocoa (Cacao) is a small tree (Theobroma cacao) of the family Sterculiaceae, natural order Byttneriaceae native to tropical America. The tree is five to six metres high and much cultivated in the tropics of both hemispheres, especially in the West Indian Islands, Central and South America and Africa. The leaves are about 10 cm in length, smooth but not glossy, and of a dull-green colour; the flowers are saffron-coloured, and very beautiful.
The fruit consists of pointed, oval, ribbed pods 15 to 25 cm long. The cultivated trees bear fruit all the year round, but the gathering is chiefly in June and December. The pods are removed by knives attached to the ends of poles. The pods are at first green, but as they ripen they change to a fine bluish-red, or almost purple colour, and in some varieties to a yellow or lemon colour. Each pod encloses 50 or more seeds in a white, sweetish pulp; and the seeds or 'beans' have each a parchment-like covering enclosing a whitish pulp. These are very nutritive, containing 50 per cent of fat, are of an agreeable flavour, and used, both in their fresh state and when dried, as an article of diet. Cocoa and chocolate are made from them, the former being a. powder obtained by grinding
the seeds, and often mixed with other substances when prepared for sale, the latter being this powder mixed with sugar and various flavouring matters and formed into solid cakes. The seeds when roasted and divested of their husks and crushed are known as cocoa nibs. The seeds yield also an oil called butter of cacao, used in pomatum and for making candles, soap, etc.
The best quality cocoa comes from Venezuela, Ecuador, the Caribbean (Jamaica, Trinidad and Greanada) and Madagascar. This accounts for about two percent of the cocoa produced, the remaining 98 per cent is low grade cocoa lacking aroma and quality, and which is used in 99.99 per cent of commercial chocolate.
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Coconut (formerly Cocoa-nut, or coco-nut), IS a woody fruit of an oval shape, from 7 or 10 to 15 or 20 cm in length, covered with a fibrous husk, and lined internally with a white, firm, and fleshy kernel. The tree (Cocos nucifera) which produces the coconut is a palm, from 12 to 18 metres high. The trunk is straight and naked, and surmounted by a crown of feather-like leaves. The nuts hang from the summit of the tree in clusters of a dozen or more together. The external rind of the nuts has a smooth surface. This encloses an extremely fibrous substance, of considerable thickness, which immediately surrounds the nut. The latter has a thick and hard shell, with three black scars at one end, through one of which the embryo of the future tree pushes its way. This scar may be pierced with a pin; the others are as hard as the rest of the shell. The kernel encloses a considerable quantity of sweet and watery liquid, of a whitish colour, which has the name of milk.
This palm is a native of Africa, the East and West Indies, and South America, and is now grown almost everywhere in tropical countries. Food, clothing, and the means of shelter and protection are all afforded by the coconut tree. The kernels are used as food in various modes of dressing, and yield on pressure an oil which is largely imported into various countries. When dried before the oil is expressed they are known as copra. The fibrous coat of the nut is made into the well-known coconut matting; the coarse yarn obtained from it is called coir, which is also used for cordage. The hard shell of the nut is polished and made into a cup or other domestic utensil. The fronds are wrought into baskets, brooms, mats, sacks, and many other useful articles; the trunks are made into boats or furnish timber for the construction of houses.
By boring the tree a white sweetish liquor called toddy exudes from the wound, and yields by distillation one of the varieties of the spirit called arack. A kind of sugar called jaggery is also obtained from the juice by inspissation.
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The Coconut Crab is a large land crustacean about 60 centimetres or more in length and massive in proportion. It is related to the hermit-crab and is found in many of the Indo-Pacific islands. It lives in holes at the roots of palm trees and feeds upon fallen coconuts, fruit, carrion and its injured companions. It uses its powerful claws to tear the husk off the coconut and hammers at the ' eyes' until a hole is made. It then either extracts the fruit directly or smashes the coconut against the ground to break the shell.
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Cocoon is the name given to the silken case enveloping the chrysalis of several Lepidoptera, especially the silk moths. The term is also applied to the silk sack in which spiders wrap their eggs.
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The Cod (Gadus) is a genus of fish of the family Gadidae. They are found in the Atlantic and Baltic. Cod are distinguished by the following characters: A smooth, rectangular, or fusiform body, covered with small soft scales; ventrals attached beneath the throat; gills large, seven-rayed, and opening laterally; a small beard at the tip of the lower jaw; generally two or three dorsal fins, one or two anal, and one distinct caudal fin.
The most interesting species is the common or Bank cod (Gadus morrhua). Though once found plentifully on the coasts of other northern regions, as Britain, Scandinavia, and Iceland, a stretch of sea near the coast of Newfoundland is the favourite annual resort of formerly countless multitudes of cod, which visit the Grand Banks to feed upon the crustaceous and molluscous animals abundant in such situations, and thus attract fleets of fishermen - by the end of the 20th century the number of cod was so severely depleted by industrial fishing that fears grew that the ocd might become extinct.
Cod has long been recognised as a good food stuff and the oil extracted by heat and pressure from the liver is of great medicinal value, and contributes considerably to the high economic value of the cod. The cod is enormously prolific, the ovaries of each female containing more than 9,000,000 of eggs; but the numbers are kept down by a host of enemies. The spawning season, on the banks of Newfoundland, begins about the month of March and terminates in June; The cod takes from three to four years to reach maturity and achieves an average length of around one meter, and a weight between 30 and 50 lbs, though sometimes formerly cod were caught weighing three times this. The colour is a yellowish-gray on the back, spotted with yellowish and brown; the belly white or reddish, with golden spots in young individuals.
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Codlin or codling is a name for several varieties of kitchen apple with large or medium-sized fruit suitable only for cooking. The term is aslo extended to unripe or poor quality apples deemed fit only for stewing.
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The Codlin moth is a pretty little moth which in its larval stage is very destructive to apples, devouring principally the pips and causing the condition known as 'worm eaten'. When full sized, the grub eats its way through the rind and pupates in a crevice of the tree.
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A codling is a young cod.
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The Codling Moth (Cydia pomonella) is a moth of the family Tortricidae with a wing span of between 14 and 18 mm native to the western Palaearctic and introduced to all apple-growing areas of the world. The adults fly from May to August, the caterpillars develop within ripening apples.
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The Coelacanthini is a rare order of Crossopterygii which was thought to be extinct, until a specimen was caught off west Africa in 1939.
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Coelambus is a genus of predacious diving beetles of the family Dytiscidae, with four species occurring in Britain. Almost all the species have longitudinal stripes on a yellow to yellowish-red background.
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Coelentera (Coelenterata) are a sub-kingdom of animals, including those whose alimentary canal communicates freely with the general cavity of the body ('the somatic cavity'). The body is essentially composed of two layers or membranes, an outer layer or 'ectoderm' and an inner layer or 'endoderm.' No circulatory organs exist, and in most there are no traces of a nervous system. Peculiar stinging organs or 'thread-cells' are usually, if not always, present, and in most cases there is a radiate or starlike arrangement of the organs, which is especially perceptible in the tentacles, which are in most instances placed round the mouth. Distinct reproductive organs exist in all, but multiplication also takes place by fission and budding. The Coelentera are divided into two great sections, the Actinozoa and the Hydrozoa, and include the medusas, corals, sea-anemones, etc. They are nearly all marine animals.
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Coeliodes is a genus of tiny Snout Beetles (Curculionidae) that live on various deciduous trees, chiefly young oaks.
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Coelogyne is a genus of tropical Asiatic orchidaceous plants.
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Coelophysis was a cunning and agile carnivorous dinosaur from the Triassic era. It was 2.5 metres long and about 1m tall when standing on its back legs. Remains of Coelophysis were first found in 1889, and then in 1947 a mass of over 100 specimens were found in New Mexico, USA. Some of the specimens were found with small Coelophysis bones inside. These may have been unborn young, or may indicate that the dinosaur was cannibalistic.
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Coelostoma is a genus of water scavenger beetles of the family Hydrophilidae. They live in shallow, stagnant water and moss and detritus at the water's edge.
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Coelurus was a small dinosaur of the Jurassic period. Coelurus was a carnivore, about two metres long, with a long tail comprised of hollow bones. The bones of Coelurus were light, the hands had three fingers, a short thumb and the other two digits served with long, sharp, curved claws. The first remains of Coelurus were discovered in about 1879.
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Coffee is a genus of evergreen trees and shrubs of the family Rubiaceae. This shrub (Coffea arabica) is from 4 to 6 metres in height. The leaves are green, glossy on the upper surface, and the flowers are white and sweet-scented. The fruit is of an oval shape, about the size of a cherry, and of a dark-red colour when ripe.
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The coffer-fish (Ostracion) are members of the order Plectognathi, and are remarkable for the hard shield or carapace with which the body is covered, which is made up of six-sided scutes, joined together in a mosaic. They are found only in tropical and sub-tropical seas.
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The coffin is the name given to the hollow part of a horse's foot.
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The coffin bone is the foot bone of the horse and allied animals, enclosed within the hoof, and corresponding to the third phalanx of the middle finger, or toe, of most mammals.
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The coffin joint is the joint next above the coffin bone.
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Cola acuminata is a tropical African tree of the family Sternuliaceae. It produces the fruit known as the kola nut which forms the basis of Coca-Cola.
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The Cola-nut Gall Wasp (Andricus lignicola) a hymenopterous insect of the family Cynipidae widespread through almost all Europe. The Cola-nut Gall Wasp produces very firm, woody, spherical galls which grow from axillary and sometimes terminal buds on the branches of various species of oak tree.
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Colchicum is a genus of autumnal-blooming plants of the family Liliaceae which includes the meadow saffron. Many of them are very handsome, the colours being mostly purple or white, and the flowers similar to crocuses. The colchicums are natives of southern Europe and western Asia.
From a small corm or bulb buried about 15 cm deep, and covered with a brittle brown skin of the meadow saffron there rises in the early autumn a tuft of flowers having much the appearance of crocuses, flesh-coloured, white, or even variegated. They soon wither, and the plant disappears until the succeeding spring, when some broad leaves are thrown up by each corm along with a triangular oblong seed-vessel. The plant is acrid and poisonous, and cattle are injured by eating it, but it yields a medicine - colchicin - valuable in gout and rheumatism.
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Cold-blooded is the term applied to those living organisms where the blood temperature is the same as the ambient surroundings. Reptiles are cold-blooded, while mammals are not.
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Coleoptera is the beetle and weevil order of insects, of the group Endopterygota, distinguished by the forewings modified to form shell-like protective covers (elytra) for the posterior pair of wings.
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Coleus is a genus of tropical Labiate shrubs and herbs, natives of Asia and Africa. Many varieties have wonderful foliage colouration.
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Collembola is the springtail sub-order of Apterygota. They are small, wingless insects which have a forked organ turned forwards under the abdomen. When this organ is suddenly released, it strikes the surface on which the insect is standing and throws the insect up into the air. Springtails are commonly found under stones, bark and flowerpots. Some of the species are aquatic, and one, the glacier flea, is found on the ice in the Alps.
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The Collie is various breeds of Scottish sheep dog which first attracted widespread attention when Queen Victoria brought some back to her kennels following a visit to Scotland in 1860. The Rough Collie, as featured in the Lassie films, is perhaps the more popular variety. All Collies are strong- willed and require a lot of exercise, but are easy to train and enjoy human company.
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Collinsia is a genus of annual flowering plants of the family Scrophulariaceae. The species have a wide variety of colours, but no yellow.
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Colobopterus is a genus of dung beetle of the family Scarabaeidae with four British species found in horse and cow dung.
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Colobus is a genus of endangered African monkeys whose members are remarkable for their silky hair and tufted tails. Colobus monkeys live in the rain forests of Liberia, Ivory Coast and Ghana in west Africa.
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The colocynth or bitter apple is a plant of the goud family (Cucurbitaceae). Colocynth is native to the shores of the Mediterranean Sea and to southern Asia. It has a bitter tasting, orange-shaped, spongy-pulped fruit which a powerful purgative.
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Colon is a genus of beetles of the family Colonidae, with nine species found in Britain and a further eleven in Europe. They generally have an elongate oval body and short antennae with claviform tips.
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Colonidae is a family, or subfamily of the family Leiodidae, of beetles, containing a single genus, Colon.
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Colony is the collective noun for a group of gulls.
Colony is the collective noun for a group of frogs.
Colony is the collective noun for a group of penguins.
Colony is the collective noun for a group of ants.
Colony is the collective noun for a group of beavers.
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The Colorado Beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata) is a North American leaf beetles (Chrysomelidae) that attacks potatoes. It is a striped beetle resembling a ladybird in shape. It reached Europe in 1877 and were wiped out, but reappeared in 1922 and gained a footing in France. Since 1936 they regularly invaded Germany and since 1948 Germany has been plagued by them, but has so far been prevented from establishing itself in England. Originally the Colorado Beetle in its native environment fed upon nightshades, but with the cultivation of potatoes developed a preference for them.
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The Colorado Ranger (or Rangerbred Horse) is an American bred of riding and cow-work horse standing between 14.2 and 16 hands high and occurring in many colours, often spotted. The breed originates from two stallions presented to General U S Grant in 1878 and subsequently lent out for stud.
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The Colourpoint Longhair or Himalayan Cat is a man-made longhaired breed of cat, that occurred from crossing the Persian Cat with the Siamese. The Colourpoint Longhair has a round head, round eyes and long whiskers. The coat is similar to that of a Persian Cat but has markings like those of a Siamese, and ideally bright blue eyes. In temperament the Colourpoint Longhair is placid and adaptable like the Persian Cat.
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A colt is a male, young horse (foal).
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Colt's-foot (Tussildgo Farfara) is a British weed of the order Compositae, the leaves of which were once much employed as a remedy for asthma and coughs. The name is given from the leaf somewhat resembling the foot of a colt, being broad and heart-shaped; the flowers are yellow.
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Coltsfoot (Tusilago farfara) is a perennial herb of the family Compositae, native to Britain and Europe, with a much-branched creeping rhizome and erect, purplish woolly and scaly stems, which bear solitary, terminal, yellow flowers in early spring. The basal leaves are long-stalked, roundish cordate with black edged teeth and white-felted below. The fruit is a smooth achene with a long white pappus. Coltsfoot contains mucilage, and is used in herbal teas for treating coughs, bronchitis, laryngitis, asthma and catarrh.
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Colubridae is the 'Typical Snakes' family of reptiles of the suborder Serpentes (Sakes). The family contains about 2000 species in 290 genera and about 14 subfamilies, the members being found in tropical, subtropical and temperate zones, and varying widely in habit and choice of habitat.
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Colubriformes is a sub-order of snakes, including forms without poisonous fangs.
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Colubrinae is a subfamily of reptiles of the family Colubridae (the Typical Snakes) of the sub-order Serpentes (Snakes). The subfamily comprises about fifty genera and 300 species found in Africa, Asia and the Americas, with a few species found in Europe and one in Australia. Many of the species are quite long, between 150 and 300 centimetres, they are slender and agile. None of the species are venomous, some are constrictors and others simply grab and swallow their prey.
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Columbidae is the pigeon family of birds of the order Gallinae. They are characterized by the hind toe being nearly on the same plane as the others. The bill is moderate and deflected at the tip, the upper mandible covered at the base with a soft membrane. The tarsi are devoid of spurs and the tail is comprised of twelve feathers. They have considerable powers of flight, and perch freely on trees and rocks. They feed principally on grain, seeds and the leaves of herbaceous plants. The young are fed on a milky fluid secreted in the crop of the older birds.
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Columbine (Aquilegia vulgaris) is a branched perennial of the Ranunculaceae family. The leaves are divided into three lobes, each lobe itself three-lobed, and usually hairy on the underside. The flowers are nodding, with five petal-like sepals and are purple, blue or white with five petals each ending in a spur.
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Colydiidae is a family of beetles of the order Coleoptera.
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Colymbetes is a genus of predacious diving beetles of the family Dytiscidae, represented by a single species, Colymbetes fuscus, in Britain.
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Colymbidae (or Gaviidae) is the Divers family of birds of the order Natatores. They are characterized by a slightly compressed bill, not covered with a membranous skin; the edges of the mandibles are unarmed or but slightly toothed; the wings are short; the legs are placed far behind; the tarsi are very much compressed. They feed on fish and other aquatic animals obtained by diving.
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In botany, comate is an adjective describing something as being covered with hair or tufted.
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Combretaceae is an order of shrubby or arborescent polypetalous exogens, tropical shrubs or trees, with leaves destitute of stipules, and long slender stamens. Some of them are astringent and used for tanning (the myrobolans), and the kernels of others are edible. They are chiefly valued for their brightly-coloured showy flowers, especially in the genus Combretum.
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The comeback is a type of sheep which was first developed by crossing a British long-wool cross back to the Merino. More recently Comebacks have been produced by crossing breeds such as the Corriedale and Polwarth with the Merino. Australia has approximately three million Comebacks which are mainly concentrated in cool wet areas. Although close to the Merino in type,
Comebacks are selected to maximize production of meat as well as wool.
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Comfrey (Symphytum) is a large, handsome plant of the borage family. It is common in watery places and on the banks of rivers. The stems are branched and leafy, almost one metre high, winged in part with elliptical leaves. The flowers are white, pink or purple and droop in forked clusters. The roots abound in mucilage, which is useful in irritations of the throat, intestines, and bladder.
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The Comisana (Lentinese, Red Head, Testa rossa, Faccia rossa) is a breed of sheep found in south-eastern Sicily. It is a diary breed with course to medium wool quality and a reddish-brown face. It originated from the Maltese and Sicilian breeds in the late 19th and early 20th century. The breed has semi-lop ears and is polled.
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The Comma (Polygonia c-album) is a European butterfly of the brush-footed butterflies (Nymphalidae) family.
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In biology, a commensal is an animal or plant which attaches itself to, or lives with another, but without causing any detriment or harm to either.
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Commensalism is the regular association of different species and genera of plants and animals living together, but independently. Either or both species may benefit by the association. For example, certain bacteria and fungi grow together on a substratum on which either will grow separately, but when the bacteria are present the fungi grow better and are more fruitful.
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The Common Blue (Ployommatus icarus) is a butterfly of the family Lycaenidae found in the Palaearctic region in lowlands and highlands to an altitude of 2000 metres. Two or three overlapping generations occur during a year depending upon climatic conditions.
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Common Bryony (Bryonia dioica) is the only native British species of Bryony. It is a climbing plant found in hedges and has cordate palmate leaves and axillary bunches of flowers and red berries which are highly poisonous. The thick long fleshy root has acrid emetic and purgative properties and has been used medicinally.
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The Common Carpet (Epirrhoe alternata) is a moth of the family Geometridae with a wing span of between 20 and 25 mm found in the deciduous forest belt of Europe and Asia flying in two generations from April to September.
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The Common Clothes Moth (Tineola bisselliella) is a moth of the family Tineidae with a wing span of between 10 and 16 mm found all over the world following introduction. The adult moths are on the wing from May to September. The caterpillars in nature feed on animal remains found in birds' nests and mammals dens, but they will also eat woollen clothes and fabrics.
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The Common Death Adder (Acanthophis antarcticus) is a venomous snake of the family Elapidae. The Common Death Adder is ovoviviparous, feeds on small mammals and reptiles and grows to a length of about 60 cm.
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The common dolphin or Fraser's dolphin (Delphinus delphis) is a widely distributed pelagic mammal of the family Delphinidae, order Cetacea, found in all waters of tropical and warm temperate seas. They often accompany ships and play around boats and ride the bow-waves of large whales such as the fin whale. They are distinguished by a V-shaped black or dark grey saddle with a downward-orientated apex on the sides directly below the dorsal fin and a conspicuous white thoracic patch. The common dolphin feeds on small fish including blue whiting, pilchards, whiting, pollack and lantern fish and can dive to depths of 280 metres and stay under for as long as eight minutes. They are social animals, congregating in mixed sex schools of between ten and a few thousand animals.
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The Common Emerald (Hemithea aestivaria) is a moth of the family Geometridae with a wing span of between 24 and 27 mm found in temperate Europe and Asia in deciduous forests and shrubby biotopes flying from May to August.
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Common Figwort (Scrophularia nodosa) or throatwort as it was once called, is a perennial herb of the family Scrophulariaceae native to Britain and Europe where it grows in damp and wet woods. It has a short, knotted rhizome, a tall, erect, square stem, and opposite, short-stalked, pointed ovate or cordate, coarsely serrate leaves. The flowers are small, two-lipped, flask- shaped, and brownish-red in colour arranged in loose terminal panicles. The fruit is an ovoid capsule containing pitted seeds. It was formerly used in medicine to treat scrofula, and more recently to treat skin complaints.
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Common fumitory (Fumaria officinalis) is an annual herb of the family Papaveraceae with a weak, low-branching, leafy stem and stalked, alternate, grey-green leaves which are several times pinnately divided into flattened lanceolate segments. The flowers are arranged in long racemes and have pink petals with red tips, the upper petal being spurred. The fruit is a rough achene.
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The Common Garden Slug (Arion distinctus) is a small British slug, about three centimetres in length, that damages crops.
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The Common Garter Snake (Thamnophis sirtalis) is an American species of Garter snake varying in colour from greenish, to brown, grey or black in colour with light or dark coloured stripes and occurring both with and without spotting.
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The Common Glider (Neptis sappho) is a species of butterfly of the brush- footed butterflies (Nymphalidae) family, found from central Europe east to Japan in lowland deciduous forests and slopes covered with forest-steppes where it flies from May to July.
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The Common Heath (Ematurga atomaria) is a moth of the family Geometridae with a wing span of between 22 and 30 mm found in Europe and Asia in heaths, peat-bogs, alpine meadows and clearings, flying from April to September in two generations.
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The Common Loon (Gavia immer) is a water bird of the family Colymbidae. Like all loons, the common loon has a straight, pointed bill, swims low in the water and has feet placed at the posterior of the body, making it a poor walker. It is an expert fisher, diving from the surface. It is a common winter visitor in ocean waters along the California coast. Also found in estuaries and bays.
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The Common Lutestring (Ochropacha duplaris) is a moth of the family Thyatiridae with a wing pan of between 27 and 32 mm found from Central Europe east to Siberia flying from May to September.
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The Common Marbled Carpet (Chloroclysta truncata) is a moth of the family Geometridae with a wing span of between 24 and 30 mm found in central and northern Europe and Asia flying from May to September in either one or two generations.
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The common mole or northern mole (Talpa europaea) is a short, black, velvety furred mammal with a broad cylindrical body and heavily clawed feet, a tail carried erect and a generally bright pink nose. The common mole is abundant in deciduous woodland, arable fields and permanent pasture, avoiding stony, sandy, waterlogged soil because it cannot construct a proper burrow system, and acid soil because of a lack of suitable earthworm species. The common mole builds semi-permanent burrows (ranging from shallow to more than 100 cm deep) plus one or more sleeping chamber which is lined with moss, grass and leaves, woven into a tight ball in which the animal climbs in and re-seals the entrance. The nest may form the hub from which burrows radiate - sometimes creating a large fortress built over the nest. The hills often contain a large supply of the mole's food - earthworms
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The common nettle (Urtica dioica) or stinging nettle, is a coarse perennial plant of the family Urticaceae covered with stinging hairs. It has tough yellow roots and often forms large patches. The four-angled stems have opposite, ovate, pointed and toothed leaves, the lower with blades longer than their stalks. The flowers are greenish, small, with four petals and borne in loose axillary spikes. Male and female flowers are borne on separate plants.
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The common poppy (Papaver rhoeas) or red poppy or corn poppy is an annual herb of the family Papaveraceae with a slender, erect or ascending branched stem. The lower leaves are stalked and pinnately lobed with narrow toothed segments tipped with a bristle; the upper leaves are sessile, usually with only three toothed lobes. The flowers are a large, solitary red flower of four petals borne on a long stalk growing from the leaf axils. The fruit is an ovoid hairless capsule, rounded at the base and with a ring of pores near the top when ripe.
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The Common Pug (Eupithecia vulgata) is a moth of the family Geometridae with a wing span of between 15 and 18 mm found in Europe and Asia flying from May to July.
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Common Rue (Ruta graveolens) is a strong smelling yellowish-flowered British garden plant. The leaves are pinnately divided, lanceolate or narrowly rectangular. It was once used as a charm against witches and is mentioned in Shakespeare's works as the 'herb of grace'.
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The Common Rustic (Mesapamea secalis) is a moth of the family Noctuidae with a wing span of between 27 and 30 mm found in Europe, Asia and North America flying from July to September.
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The common scoter (Melanitta nigra) is a migrant duck that sometimes visits coastal waters in Britain in winter. The male is the only all-black British duck, with a yellow ridge on the bill. The female is dark brown with pale cheeks. The common scoter dives well and is to be seen out to sea diving for crustaceans and molluscs, especially mussels.
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The common seal (Phoca vitulina) is the smaller of the two native British species of seal, about two metres in length, with the females smaller than the males. They have a rather rounded, disc-like face with a short snout and very variable colourings, the coat usually being some shade of grey or white with darker spots. The females give birth to the pups on land, but the pups can swim straight away. The adults dive well for fish, staying submerged for up to ten minutes.
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The Common Sexton Beetle or Common Burying Beetle (Nicrophorus vespillo) is a beetle of the carrion beetle family Silphidae found throughout the Palaearctic region and North America.
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The Common Spangle Gall Wasp (Neuroterus quercusbaccarum formerly known as Neuroterus lenticularis) is a hymenopterous insect of the family Cynipidae found in Europe, Asia Minor and North Africa. The wasp develops on Oak trees, producing two different galls: a lens-shaped gall of about 5 mm diameter grown from July onwards on the underside of leaves, and a second generation of spherical juicy galls of about 7 mm diameter produced on the underside of the leaves and in male catkins during the spring.
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The Common Swallowtail (Papilio machaon) is a butterfly of the family Papilionidae found across Europe - where it is now rare - North Africa, and North America. The caterpillars live on umbelliferous plants, primarily carrot, caraway and fennel.
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The Common Swift (Hepialus lupulinus) is a moth of the family Hepialidae with a wing span of between 22 and 35 mm found in the temperate regions of Europe and Asia flying from May to June before dusk.
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The Common Tortoise-shell (Vanessa Urticae) is a British butterfly whose caterpillar lives on nettles.
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The Common Wainscot (Mythimna pallens) is a moth of the family Noctuidae with a wing span of between 30 and 35 mm and peculiar to meadow biotopes in the Palaearctic and also North America. In cooler regions a single generation is produced flying from July to August. In warmer regions two generations occur flying from May to October.
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The Common White Wave (Cabera pusaria) is a moth of the family Geometridae with a wing span of between 24 and 28 mm found in temperate Europe and Asia flying from spring until autumn.
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Company is the collective noun for a group of wigeon.
Company is the collective noun for a group of parrots.
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The Compass Plant (Silphium laciniatum) is a Composite plant growing in the prairies of the Mississippi valley, and remarkable from the fact that its erect radical leaves stand so that their edges point almost exactly north and south, especially in midsummer. This is said to be due to the action of light, and to depend on the leaves having an equal number of stomata on either face.
Compass plant is a term loosely applied to any of several other plants whose leaves stand ina north-south plane or which turn edgewise to the sun's direct rays.
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Compositae is the largest known family of plants containing over 23,000 species of herbs or shrubs found all over the world. The flowers (generally called florets) are numerous (with few exceptions) and sessile, forming a close head on the dilated top of the receptacle, and surrounded by an involucre of whorled bracts. The flowers are monopetalous, and the order is divided into three natural groups from the form of the corolla: (1) Tubuliflorae, in which it is tubular, with five, rarely four, teeth; (2) Labiatiflorae, in which it is divided into two lips; and (3) Liguliflorae, in which it is slit or ligulate. The stamens are inserted on the corolla, and their anthers are united into a tube (syngenesious). The style is two-cleft at the apex. The fruit is dry and seed-like. The head of numerous florets was called by the older botanists a compound flower, hence the name. Many are common weeds, like the daisy, dandelion, thistle, etc; many are cultivated in gardens, such as the asters, marigold, etc; others have some economic or medicinal value, as chicory, artichoke, chamomile, lettuce, wormwood, arnica, etc.
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In botany, the term composite describes a plant s belonging to the family Compositae.
In botany the adjective composite describes having small flowers arranged compactly in heads, the outer flowers often appaering to be a ring of petals and the whole head resembling a single flower, as for example in the case of the daisy, the aster and the ragweed.
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In botany compressed describes something as being flattened lengthwise.
In zoology, compressed means flattened or narrow from side to side, like the bodies of most fish.
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Compsognathus was a tiny carnivorous dinosaur of the family Coelurosaurs, from the late Jurassic period related to Coelurus, but remains have been found in Europe rather than the USA. It was 70cm tall, about the size of a hen, and about 140 cm long, half of the length being a long thin tail. It was probably a fast and agile creature, running on its hind legs. The first remains of Compsognathus were found around 1859 and later in Germany in 1861 a complete skeleton was found. In 1972 a new species, Compsognathus corallestris was described based upon the remains of a larger animal found in France, but it is probable that this is the same species as the remains found earlier, but a larger specimen.
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The Comtois is an ancient breed of French heavy horse originating from the Comte region during the 4th century. The Comtois stands 14 to 15 hands high and is usually a dark chestnut colour with a flaxen mane and tail. They have a large head, a straight profile, small, alert ears and short, strong legs. Today they are used in France for working in steep and rough areas and are bred for meat.
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The Conant's Milk Snake (Lampropeltis triangulum conanti) is a Mexican species of Milk snake named after Roger Conant. The Conant's Milk Snake is distinguished by its dorsal pattern of small black rings, spaced far apart. The Conant's Milk Snake occurs mainly in the Sierre Madre del Sur and parts of Oaxaca in Mexico.
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Conchology is the science of shells, forming that department of zoology which treats of the nature, formation, and classification of the shells with which the bodies of many mollusca are protected; or the word may be used also to include a knowledge of the animals themselves, in which case it is equivalent to malacology. In systems of conchology shells are usually divided into three orders, Univalves, Bivalves, and Multi-valves, according to the number of pieces of which they are composed.
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The condor (Sarcorhamphus gryphus) is the largest of the vultures. It is found in South America, principally in the Andes. One of the largest of the Vulturidas or vulturine birds, in its essential features it resembles the common vultures, differing from them mainly in the large cartilaginous caruncle which surmounts its beak, and in the large size of its oval and longitudinal nostrils placed almost at the extremity of the cere. It is mainly black in colour with some grey on the wings and a collar of white down on the neck. The wingspan is roughly three metres. Condors are found in greatest numbers in the Andes chain, frequenting regions from 10,000 to 15,000 feet above the level of the sea, where they breed, depositing their two white eggs on the bare rock. They are generally to be seen in groups of three or four, and only descend to the plains under stress of hunger, when they will successfully attack sheep, goats, deer, and bullocks. They prefer carrion, however, and, when they have opportunity, gorge themselves until they become incapable of rising from the ground, and so become a prey to the Indians.
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In botany, conduplicate means folded together lengthwise along the midrib. The term is applied to certain leaves and petals in the bud.
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In botany, a cone is a dry compound fruit, consisting of many open scales, each with two seeds at the base, as in the conifers; also called a strobile or strobilus.
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Cone-flower is a popular name for plants of the genus Rudbeckia., a coarse perennial herb with yellow flowers. The name is also applied to related plants such as those of the genus Brauneria.
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Confervaceae is a family of marine or fresh-water algae having green fronds which are composed of articulated filaments simple or branched. The cells are shortish and cylindrical, and they are reproduced not by conjugation, but by zoospores formed from the cell-contents and furnished with two or four cilia. The typical genus Conferva is found, either attached to various bodies or floating, swollen up with bubbles of gas in dense masses on ponds.
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The Conger eel is a genus of marine eels characterized by a long dorsal fin beginning near the nape of the neck, immediately above the origin of the pectoral fins, and by having the upper jaw longer than the lower. The common conger eel grows to about three metres long and weighs more than 100 pounds. It is pale-brown above, greyish-white below, with whitish dorsal and anal fins fringed with black. Its flesh is eaten, but is somewhat coarse.
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The Congo clawless otter (Aonyx congica) is a species of African otter discovered in 1910 by Lonnberg in west Africa in the lower and mid-Congo basin and eastwards into the south Central African Republic. Little is known about the habits of the Congo clawless otter except that it lives along brooks and rivers, and is especially fond of swamps. It is more nocturnal than diurnal and eats fish, crabs, frogs, lizards, birds, eggs, small mammals and earthworms.
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Congregation is the collective noun for a group of plovers.
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In botany, conidia are the simple dust-like asexual reproductive cells produced on some lichens and fungi, as in the potato-blight.
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Coniferae (the Conifers) are the pines, firs, and their allies, a natural order of gymnospermous exogens, the essential character of which consists in the manner in which the ovules, not inclosed in an ovary, receive directly the action of the pollen without the intervention of a stigma. The ovules in these plants are borne on scales or modified leaves, which are spread out, not folded, and generally grouped in such a manner as to form a cone composed of a greater or smaller number of these leaves, of which only a portion may be fertile and bear ovules. The disposition, of the ovules in relation to these scales permits of a division of the Coniferae into three distinct families or tribes.
In the Cupressineae, which include the juniper, cypress, etc, the cones are formed of simple scales, each of which bears towards the base of its superior surface the ovules erect and sessile.
The second family, Abietineae, has in place of simple scales, scales actually double or formed of two parts; the lower one usually designated the bract; the other bearing at its base the ovules reversed. This family includes the pines, firs, and larches, the araucarias, Wellingtonias, dammaras, etc. In these two families the ovules are completely covered by the scales which constitute the cones, which unite after fecun-dation, and inclose the seed till their maturity.
In the Taxineae, which constitute the third family, the scales are short, imperfect, and partly sterile, and neither cover the ovules at the period of fecundation nor at that of maturation. The ovules are usually set in the same manner as in the Cupressineae. The yew, the gingko, etc, belong to this family.
The Conifers are found in large forests in the north of Europe and America, and are of great importance as timber trees. They abound also in resinous juices and yield turpentine, pitch, tar, succinic acid, etc. The leaves are usually alternate, and awl or needle shaped, the naked flowers are monoecious or dioecious, the male flowers being in deciduous catkins, the female in cones.
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In the classification of birds, Conirostral refers to members of the Conirostres tribe.
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Conirostres are a tribe of hard-billed birds characterised by a thick and strong bill, more or less conical in form, and in general devoid of any notch at the tip. The feet are robust and formed more for perching than walking. They feed principally on seeds and grain and also birds and insects, the nestlings of nearly species being fed on insects. The best-known genera are the larks, tits, finches, sparrows, goldfinches, linnets, bullfinches, crossbills, starlings, crows, and birds of paradise.
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Conjugation is a form of sexual reproduction seen in some algae, some bacteria, and ciliate Protozoans. Two individuals are united by a tube formed by outgrowths from one or both of the cells. Genetic material from one cell (designated the male) then passes through the tube to unite with that in the other (female) cell.
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The Connemara is an old breed of Irish pony native to the Connaught region or Ireland and a descendant of the Celtic pony. The Connemara stands 14 hands high, is placid and good natured and usually grey, bay, brown or dun in colour though occasionally chestnut and roan colours occur. They are good jumping ponies, and with their gentle nature are used by novices for competitions.
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Conopalpus is a genus of false darkling beetles (Melandyridae).
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Conus is a genus of gastropod molluscs of the family Conidae (the cone-shells). They are found in the southern and tropical seas.
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Convallaria is a genus of plants of the family Liliaceae, the only species being the lily-of-the-valley.
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Convocation is the collective noun for a group of eagles.
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Convoluta is a member of the family Rhabdocoelida.
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Convolvulaceae is a family of plants comprising about 700 species of climbers having large and very beautiful flowers. They are abundant in the tropics, and are important as medicines.
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Convolvulus is a genus of plants of the family Convolvulaceae consisting of slender twining herbs with milky juice., bell-shaped flowers and five free stamens. Some British varieties are popularly known as bindweeds, others are cultivated for their flowers.
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The Convolvulus Hawkmoth (Agrius convolvuli) is a moth of the family Sphingidae with a wing span of between 80 and 120 mm native to tropical Africa, Asia, Australia and North America but migrating north thousands of kilometres to the temperate parts of the world to produce a summer generation.
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Cony (or coney) is an old English name for the rabbit (properly the adult rabbit).
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Conyza is a genus of plants of the natural order Compositae. They are annual or perennial herbs found throughout warmer regions of the world, a few being found in temperate countries.
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Coopworth are a breed of sheep imported to Australia in 1976, after being developed in New Zealand in the 1950s from a cross of Border Leicester and Romney. Coopworths have been selected on visual criteria, wool quality, frame and carcass attributes, and measured performance, including fertility and lamb survival, growth rate to weaning, growth rate to yearling stage, leanness, growth and fleece production of 30-35 micron wool. This selection program has produced an efficient, dual-purpose sheep ideally suited to most environments in Australia. It is easy to care for and produces high milk yields for lamb production. Coopworths are performing well in Australia from the hot country of Riverina of New South Wales and Western Australia, to the wet, cold country of Victoria and Tasmania.
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Cooser is an old Scottish word for a stallion (a non-castrated male adult horse).
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The common coot (Fulica atra) is a British water bird of the rail family frequenting lakes and ponds. There are four toes, the three anterior long, not fully webbed, but with fringing membranes to each. The plumage is black below, and slate-grey above, with a white bar on the wings. The forehead is bald. The nest is an elevated structure built of flags and reeds, very large, strong, and compact, built sometimes near the water's edge, and sometimes on small islets at some distance from the shore. Should the nest be set adrift by a rise of water, the female coot seems in no way disturbed, but sits composedly on her eggs, until it is stranded.
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Copaiba is the common name of several plants of the genus Copaifera, family Leguminosae, which grow in Brazil, Peru and other countries in South America.
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Copelatus is a genus of predacious diving beetles of the family Dytiscidae, ranging from six to eight millimetres in length and living in stagnant water with plenty of vegetation.
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Copepoda is a subclass of free-living or parasitic small, aquatic, crustaceans without a carapace. The antennules are frequently enlarged and used for swimming. The thoracic appendages are biramous.
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The copper head (Trigonocephalus contortrix) is a poisonous North American snake of the pit viper family (Crotalidae) allied to the rattlesnake. It is generally a small snake, but occasionally exceeds one metre in length. The
copper head bears living young, usually between four and eight at each birth. The snake lives in rocky and woody habitats and eats mice, other small mammals, frogs, lizards and insects. The colouration is generally a reddish body marked with brown crossbands and a reddish head.
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The Copper Underwing (Amphipyra pyramidae) is a moth of the family Noctuidae with a wing span of between 40 and 52 mm found in deciduous forests across Europe and Asia. A single generation is produced flying from July to September.
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The coppersmith is a south Asiatic bird of the barbet family, so called from the sound it makes which resembles the sound of hammering metal.
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Coprophilus (formerly known as Elonium) is a genus of rove beetles, Staphylinidae, represented by the single species Coprophilus striatulus in Britain where it lives in compost and decaying plant matter.
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Coptis is a small genus of plants of the family Ranunculaceae. Two species of which, Coptis trifolia (gold-thread), found in Canada and the northern parts of the United States, and Coptis teeta of Assam, yield a bitter tonic used medicinally.
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Coptocephala is a genus of leaf beetles (Chrysomelidae).
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The coquito (Juboea spectabilis) is a palm tree found in Chile and allied to the coconut. It grows to about 15 metres and its sap when boiled makes palm- honey.
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Coral is a vast commune made up of tiny marine organisms called polyps, which are related to sea anemones.
Corals are of two types: perforate and imperforate. Perforate corals have porous skeletons with connections between the polyps through the skeleton. Imperforate corals have solid skeletons. Many corals have different growth forms. They can be plocoid as in Tubastrea coccinea (orange cup coral) and Favia fragum (golf ball coral). They can also be meandroid in which corallites form a series within the same walls, as in the species Dendrogyra cylindrus (pillar coral). Other growth forms include cocoid, spherical shaped and phalecoid, as in Eusmilia fastigiata.
Corals can obtain food in a variety of ways. Reef-building corals rely on the photosynthetic products of zooxanthellae for the majority of their nutrients. However, corals also capture zooplankton for food using their tentacles.
Coral is essential to the world's eco-system as it absorbs vast quantities of carbon dioxide from the water and converts it into calcium carbonate. More carbon dioxide is absorbed by the world's coral reefs than by the rain- forests on land. In 1998 70% of the world's coral was destroyed by a freak weather system, leading to fears that global warming could increase.
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Coral snakes are small highly poisonous reptiles belonging to the family Colubridae. They are found in the forests of South America and have vivid and characteristic colouring.
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Coral tree is a popular name for any of several tropical trees of the genus Erythrina, family Fabaceae, with bright red or orange flowers and producing a very lightweight wood.
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Corallium is a member of the order Alcyonaria.
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Corchorus is a genus of plants belonging to the family Tiliaceae. The two most important species are the tropical annuals Corchorus olitorius and Corchorus capsularis (the jute plant) found in India, from which jute is obtained and the young shoots used as flavouring herbs.
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Cord-grass, (Spartina stricta) is a tough British grass, formerly used for making ropes.
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Cordalia is a genus of rove beetles, Staphylinidae.
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In botany and zoology, the term cordate describes something as being heart-shaped. That is pointed at one end and rounded and indented at the other end.
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Cordiceps is a genus of fungi, some of which are remarkable for growing on the larvae of insects, which they latterly kill.
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Coreopsis (Tickseed) is a genus of showy American composite plants.
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The Corgi is a breed of small Welsh dog originally bred for herding cattle, which they did by moving among the cows and nipping the heels of any animal reluctant to move forward. Two breeds of Corgi exist, the Pembroke Corgi which is kept by the British monarchy and the slightly larger Cardigan Corgi which has a longer tail. Corgis are intelligent, easy to train working dogs but with a tendency to nip even royal owners.
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Coriander (Coriandrum sativum) is an umbelliferous plant native to Italy. It is a hairless annual with one to three-pinnate leaves, the lower segments of which are ovate to wedge shaped. The flowers are white, and borne on three to ten simple umbels in a compound umbel. The fruit, often called a seed though it is not, is dried and used in cookery.
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Coriaria is a genus of shrub plants found in southern Europe. They are used in tanning and a black dye is extracted from them.
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The Cork Oak is a tree native to southern Europe and north Africa. It rarely exceeds 12 metres in height, and has egg-shaped ever-green leaves and flowers produced in April and May. The acorns ripen in October and are edible with a sweet taste resembling chestnut. The bark of the tree is stripped off for cork.
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In botany, a corm or cormus is a solid bulb, the dilated base of the stems of some plants, as the crocus, cyclamen, etc.
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The Cormo is a breed of sheep that were developed in the earlier part of the 1960's in Tasmania, Australia. To arrive at the current day Cormo rams of the Corriedale breed were crossed with Superfine Saxon Merinos. The name
Cormo is from the names of two of the parent breeds, Corriedale and Merino.
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Cormogens are those plants in which there is a distinct axis of growth. They comprise the phanerogams and the higher cryptogams.
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The cormorant (Phalacrocorax) so named from the Latin meaning sea-crow, is a genus of birds of the Pelican (Pelicaniformes) family or sometimes forming a family by themselves. They have a longish and strongly-hooked bill, long neck, short wings, and rather long rounded tail; all the toes are united by a web, and, though excellent swimmers, they are able to perch on trees. Their colour is generally black or dark. The common cormorant of Europe (Phalacrocorax carto) is larger than a goose, but with smaller wings. It occupies cliffs by the sea, feeds on fish, and is extremely voracious. It dives and swims with great power, and pursues its prey beneath the surface of the water, often to a great depth. Amongst the Chinese cormorants have long been trained to fish for man. At first a ring is placed on the lower part of the bird's neck to prevent it swallowing the prey, and in time it learns to deliver the fish to its master without such a precaution being necessary. Another British cormorant is the green cormorant or shag (Phalacrocorax graculus). It is smaller than the common cormorant. Both these species are found also on the eastern coasts of America, and there are various other American as well as Australian species.
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The Corn Bunting (Emberiza calandra) is a British bird of the Finch family, Fringillidae, and the largest of the Buntings. The Corn Bunting may be found in open country where it nests on the ground or in a low bush and lays between four and six nearly white, reddish tinged eggs in May and June.
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The Corn marigold (Chrysanthemum segetum) is a rich orange coloured British wild flower.
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The Corn Moth (Nemapogon granella) is a moth of the family Tineidae with a wing span of between 8 and 12 mm found all over the world following its introduction with corn. The caterpillars are a serious pest feeding on plant remains, seeds, dry fruits and fungi. The adult moths fly in two generations from April to May and then again from July to August.
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Corn Salad (lamb's-lettuce, Valerianella olitoria) is a plant of the family Valerianaceae native to Britain and Europe. It is a weak succulent herb which grows to about 25cm tall and is used as a salad in early spring.
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The Corn-beetle (Cucujus testaceus) is a minute beetle, the larva of which is often very destructive to stores of grain, particularly wheat.
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The corn-cockle (Agrostemma Githago) is a plant of the family Caryophyllaceae, with large purple flowers. Corn-cockle is very troublesome amongst crops of grain. Its seeds are said to be poisonous to geese, ducks, swine, etc.
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Corn-fly is a popular name of several insects of the family Muscidae.
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The Corn-moth (Tinea granella) is a small moth the larva of which destroys corn sheaves in the field.
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Corn-thrips is a minute species of thrips which feeds on the juice of corn.
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Cornaceae is a family of polypetalous exogens consisting of about 100 species of plants, two of which are found in Britain, Cornus suecica, a lowly alpine plant, and Cornus sanguinea, the common dogwood or prickwood. Several plants of this order are of service as tonics and for the cure of ague, and in America the bark of the Cornus florida is sometimes used as a substitute for Peruvian bark.
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The Corncrake or landrail (Crex pratensis) is a species of bird of the order Grallae of the family Rallidae. It is a wading bird, reddish-brown in colour and feeds on worms and insects. It is about the size of a partridge, and spends much of its time on the ground hunting for insects and worms. It nests in high grass or corn and at nightfall utters a harsh call. The corncrake is found throughout Europe and visits Britain in the summer and Africa in the winter.
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The cornel or cornelian tree (Cornus mascula) is a species of dogwood tree of the family Cornaceae. It is native to Asia and southern Europe. It is distinguished by the hardness of its wood and is cultivated as an ornamental plant in Britain. Its leaves are oval; the flowers, in small heads, are yellow; the berries are red and rather harsh, but were formerly made into sweetmeats.
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The Cornflower (Centaurea cyanus) or bluebottle, is a favourite annual garden flower of the family Compositae. The flowers are double and blue, white, rose or carmine in colour and borne on long stalks. The stem is erect, branched, wiry and alternate with downy greyish linear-lanceolate leaves. Cornflowers are effective as cut flowers or for border cultivation. They are hardy annuals, and may be sown in April or May.
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The Cornish Gilliflower is a famous old Cornish variety which was once said to be the best dessert apple of all. Medium sized apples with a richly perfumed clove flavour.
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The Cornish Rex is a breed of domestic cat, first noticed in a litter of farm cats on Bodmin Moor, Cornwall, England in 1950. The Cornish Rex has a curly coat, the result of a mutant gene, but unlike the Devon Rex the Cornish Rex coat has no guard hairs, and the coat has a plush feel. the Cornish Rex is a fine-boned and elegant cat, slender, standing tall on long straight legs. The paws are small and dainty and oval in shape. The head is medium sized with a flat skull.
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Cornus is a genus of plants of the family Cornaceae.
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Coroebus is a genus of small jewel beetle (Buprestidae), about six millimetres long. The larvae develop in the roots of Rosaceous plants, the adults live chiefly in rockrose flowers.
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Corolla is a botanical term referring to a flower's petals collectively. What in popular terms may be thought of as the 'flower' of a plant.
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Corolliflorae is one of the great subdivisions of exogenous plants, distinguished by the corolla being gamopetalous, inserted below the ovary, and by the stamens being inserted on the corolla. The primrose, heath, gentian, verbena, etc, are included in this division.
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Coronellidae is the smooth snake family of non-venomous snakes.
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The Coronet Moth (Craniophora ligustri) is a moth of the family Noctuidae with a wing span of between 30 and 35 mm found in the temperate zone of the Palaearctic living in forests and producing two generations the first flying from May to July and the second from August to September.
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Corozo-nuts are the seeds of a tropical American palm, the Phytelephas macrocarpa, whose hardened albumen, under the name of vegetable ivory, is used for small articles of turnery-ware.
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The Corsac, or Corsak (Vulpes corsac) is a species of yellowish fox or dog found in Central Asia, Siberia, and India. It is gregarious, prowls by day, burrows, and lives on birds and eggs.
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Corticaria is a genus of Mould Beetle (Lathridiidae).
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Corticeus is a genus of darkling beetles (Tenebrionidae) found under the bark of trees attacked by bark beetles.
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Cortinicara is a genus of tiny Mould Beetle (Lathridiidae).
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The cortland is a large red-skinned species of eating apple.
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Cortodera is a genus of longhorn beetles (Cerambycidae).
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The Corvidae is the crow family of Conirostral birds and includes rooks, crows, ravens, magpies, jays and choughs. The members are characterized by a powerful beak, more or less compressed at the sides, with the upper mandible more or less arched to the point and the gape nearly straight. The nostrils are concealed by stiff bristles. They are birds of firm and compact structure, with long, powerful, pointed wings. Their feet and claws are robust. They are bold and daring birds with a propensity for stealing bright gaudy objects which they hide away.
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Corvus is a genus of birds of the family Corvidae, order Passeriformes, which includes the rook, jackdaw, raven, carrion crow and others.
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Corylophidae (or Orthoperidae) is a family of tiny beetles. They are distinguished by an oval or round shape and the head invisible from behind as it is hidden by the pronotum. They live in mouldy wood, under bark, on rotting vegetation, in fungi and in wet, marshy situations.
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The Coryne is of the order Gymnoblastea.
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Corypha is a genus of palms which includes the fa-palm, gebang palm and taliput.
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Coryphaena is a genus of fishes of the mackerel family (Scomberidae). The body is elongated, compressed, covered with small scales, and the dorsal fin extends the whole length of the back, or nearly so. The dolphin of the ancients is the Coryphaena hippuris. All the species, natives of the seas of warm climates, are very rapid in their motions, and very voracious. They are of brilliant colours.
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Corythosaurus was a herbivore dinosaur from the Cretaceous period. It had a duck-like bill filled with hundreds of tiny teeth which were probably used for mincing leaves. Corythosaurus was about 10 metres long, walked on its hind legs and had a hollow crescent on top of its head which varied between species and individuals, the crest developing as the animal grew older.
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Cossidae is the goat moths family of insects of the order Lepidoptera.
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Cossonus is a genus of Snout Beetles (Curculionidae). The larvae live in rotting wood.
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Costus is a genus of perennial herbaceous plants belonging to the family Scitaminaceae. They occur in the tropical parts of the world. The flowers are borne in brilliant spikes, the bright effect being due to the lip, or enlarged staminodium of each flower.
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Cotinga is a common name for any of about 90 species of birds constituting the family Cotingidae, probably native to tropical South America but now ranging through Central America and into the south-western USA. They are mainly fruit-eating forest dwellers. Cotingas vary in size but may be up to 45 centimetres long. Many are brilliantly coloured, with striking crowns and wattles. The cries of several species, such as the bellbirds, are distinctive and can be heard for long distances. Their nests range from crude affairs to sophisticated domes. Among the cotinga species are the cock-of-the-rock and the umbrella bird.
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Cotoneaster is a genus of trees and shrubs belonging to the family Rosaceae, having entire, ovate leaves, smooth above and cottony on the underside. It has small pinkish solitary flowers and small reddish berries. In Britain, it occurs wild only in part of Wales but is cultivated in the south of England.
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A Cotswold lion is a breed of sheep from the Cotswold hills.
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Cotton is the name given to the soft cellular hairs which encircle the seeds of plants of the genus Gossypium, natural order Malvaceae. The genus is indigenous to both the Old and the New World, and the plants are now cultivated all over the world within the limits of thirty degrees north and south of the equator. All the species are perennial shrubs, though in cultivation they are sometimes treated as if they were annuals. They have alternate stalked and lobed leaves, large yellow flowers, and a three or five celled capsule, which bursts open when ripe through the middle of the cell, liberating the numerous black seeds covered with the beautiful filamentous cotton.
The North American cotton is produced by Gossypium bartadense, and two well-marked varieties are cultivated, the long-staple cotton, which has a fine soft silky fibre, about five centimetres long, and the short-staple cotton, which has a fibre little over three centimetres long adhering closely to the seed. The long-staple variety known as Sea Island cotton holds the first place in the market. It is grown in some of the southern states of America, especially on islands bordering the coast.
The cotton grown in South America is obtained from Gossypium peruvianum, called also kidney cotton. The indigenous Indian species is Gossypium herbaceum, which yields a short-stapled cotton. It is grown throughout the Mediterranean region as well as in Asia.
The mode of cultivation is traditionally as follows: The seeds are sown in the spring in drills of about a metre in width, the plant appearing above ground in about eight days afterwards. The rows of young plants are then carefully weeded and hoed, a process which requires to be repeated at two or three subsequent periods. No hoeing takes place after the flowering has commenced, from which a period of seventy days generally elapses until the ripening of the seed. To prevent the lustre of the cotton wool from being tarnished, the pods must not remain ungathered longer than eight days after coming to maturity. The cotton wool is collected by picking with the fingers the flakes from the pods, and then spreading out to dry, an operation which requires to be thoroughly performed. The cotton now comes to be separated from the seeds, a process formerly effected by manual labour, but which since the late 19th century is generally accomplished by machinery. After being cleansed from the seeds, the cotton wool is formed into bales, and is now ready for delivery to the manufacturer.
Cotton has been cultivated in India and the adjacent islands from time immemorial. It was known in Egypt in the 6th century before the Christian era, but was then probably imported from India. It was not until a comparatively late period that the nations of the West became acquainted with this useful commodity, and even then it appears only to have been used as an article of the greatest luxury. The introduction of the cotton-shrub into Europe dates from the 9th century, and was first effected by the Spanish Moors, who planted it in the plains of Valencia. Cotton manufactories were shortly afterwards established at Cordova, Granada, and Seville; and by the 14th century the cotton stuffs manufactured in Granada had come to be regarded as superior in quality to those of Syria. About the 14th century cotton thread began to be imported into England.
In China the cotton-shrub was known at a very early period, but cotton does not appear to have been turned to any account as an article of manufacture until the 6th century of the Christian era, nor was it extensively used for that purpose until nearly the middle of the 14th century. In the New World the manufacture of cotton cloth appears to have been well understood by the Mexicans and Peruvians long before the advent of Europeans. It was planted by the English colonists of Virginia in 1621, but only as an experiment, and the amount produced was long very small. About 1780-1790 the British West Indies supplied Britain with most of its raw cotton, other sources being Asia Minor and the Levant, Brazil, and the East Indies. The United States then began to export cotton in large quantities, and soon outdistanced all other countries, though much cotton is also exported from India and Egypt.
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The Cotton Boll Weevil is the larva of a Noctuid moth which destroys the cotton bolls and the fruit of other useful plants in North America and elsewhere.
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Cotton tree is a name given to various tropical trees of the genera Bombax and Ceiba, so called on account of their producing a cottony floss. The Jamaican Cotton tree has a squat trunk and an enormous buttress that enables it to withstand hurricanes and live for hundreds of years. One large Cottontree known as 'Tom Cringle's' and found at Spanish Town in Jamaica was known to be more than 300 years old in 1930.
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Cotton-grass (Eriophorum vaginatum) is a group of sedges belonging to the family Cyperaceae. They are plants of the colder parts of the northern hemisphere and have long silky hairs springing from the base of the ovary to envelop the seed. The hairs were once used to stuff pillows, but cannot be spun because they do not twist, as do cotton fibres.
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The cotton-wood is a North American tree.
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The cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus) is species of aquatic North American venomous pit viper of the family Crotalidae found in the south-eastern USA living in any form of water including coastal marshes and rivers. The cottonmouth is a heavy-bodies, large snake growing to about 190 cm in length, olive, dark-brown or black in colour becoming darker with age. The cottonmouth is am opportunist feeder, eating both live prey and carrion and will eat whatever is available including fish, frogs, mammals and birds.
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The cotyledon is the first leaf of an embryo plant and is formed within the seed.
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Couch-grass, also known as Quitch-grass and Quick-grass (Triticum repens), is a noxious weed whose spiked flowers somewhat resemble an ear of wheat in structure. It is a perennial grass and the rhizome spreads rapidly in all directions in light soil, sending up leafy stems from the nodes. Crouch-grass is also propagated by seeds. When it first appears above-ground its blade is readily eaten by sheep. The roots are readily eaten by pigs, and when cleaned and boiled or steamed become a farinaceous and nutritious food for cows and horses. It is the grass eaten by dogs as a vomit.
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The cougar or puma (Felis concolor) is a large American cat, inhabiting most parts of America. Its colour is a uniform fawn or reddish-brown, without spots or markings of any kind. It may attain a length of 2.7 meters, inclusive of the tail. In habits it is stealthy and nervous, and seldom or never attacks man. It is by some called the panther or red tiger, and is one of the most destructive of all the animals of America, particularly in the warmer climates, where it carries off fowls, dogs, cats, and other domestic animals.
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The Courser, or courier (Cursorius), is a genus of grallatorial birds belonging to the plover tribe. They are found chiefly in Africa, but one species, the cream-coloured courser (Cursorius isabellinus), has been met with in Britain.
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Covert is the collective noun for a group of coots.
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Covey is the collective noun for a group of partridges.
Covey is the collective noun for a group of grouse.
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A cow is a female ox. Also the female of the elephant, rhinoceros, whale and seal.
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The cow-bunting (Molothrus pecoris) is a North American bird of the Sturnidae (Starling) family. It leaves its own eggs in other birds nests for them to hatch. The cow-bunting is about the size of the European sky-lark and is migratory, spending its winters regularly in the lower parts of North and South Carolina and Georgia, and appearing in Pennsylvania about the end of March. These birds often accompany cattle, feeding on seeds, worms, etc.
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Cow-Parsnip or hogweed (Heracleum sphondylium) is a tall-growing umbelliferous plant with a hairy stem and large, roughly-serrated leaves. the umbels are compound, and the flat fruit is composed of two carpels, which, being neither beaked nor prickly, are united at their faces. The plant bears white flowers in late summer.
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Cow-tree is a name given to various trees having an abundance of milky juice, especially of Brosimum Galactodendron, a South American tree, of the order Artocarpacese (bread-fruit), which, when wounded, yields a rich milky nutritious juice in such abundance as to render it an important article of food. This fluid resembles in appearance and quality the milk of the cow. The tree is common in Venezuela, growing to the height of 30 metres. The leaves are leathery, about 30 cm long and 7 or 8 cm broad. In Guyana the name is given to the Hya-hya (Tabernce-montdna utilis), a large much-branched tree belonging to the Apocynacese; in the country of the Rio Negro to Collophora, a tree of the same family; and in Para to a species of Mimusops.
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The cow-wheats are British plants of the family Scrophulariaceae. Yellow cow- wheat (Melampyrum pratense) is a slender plant with smooth, narrow leaves arranged in pairs, and long-tubed yellow flowers arranged in pairs in the axils of the leaves. It occurs in woodlands. The purple cow-wheat (Melampyrum arvense) bears rosy purple bracts and long terminal spikes of yellow and purple flowers in late summer and is sometimes found in corn fields.
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Cowbane (Cicuta virosa) or water hemlock as it is also known, is a very poisonous perennial herb of the family Umbelliferae with a hollow, rigid, furrowed stem which is tuberous and horizontally chambered at the base. The basal leaves are long-stalked, bi- or tripinnate with lanceolate, sharply serrated segments. The stalk leaves have sheath-like stalks clasping the stem. The small white flowers are arranged in a compound umbel. The fruit is a curved, ribbed double achene. Cowbane grows in shallow water marshes, ditches and similar moist locations throughout northern and Central Europe and some parts of Britain.
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Cowberry or Red Whortleberry (Vaccinium vitis-idaea) is a low evergreen sub shrub of the family Ericaceae native to Europe, with a creeping rhizome and numerous erect, leafy, arched and rounded stems. The leaves are alternate, short-stalked, obovate, leathery, often notched, dark green and glossy above, gland dotted below with inrolled margins. The flowers are white or a pinkish colour, bell-shaped with short turned-back lobes and are arranged in short drooping terminal racemes. The fruit is a globose, red, edible berry. In Scotland it is frequently called the cranberry.
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Cowitch, or cowage (named from the Hindu kiwanch) is the hairs of the pods of leguminous plants of the genus Mucuna, natives of the East and West Indies. The pod is covered with a thick coating of short, stiff, brittle, brown hairs, the points of which are finely serrated. They easily penetrate the skin, and produce an intolerable itching. They were formerly employed medicinally (being taken in honey or syrup) as a mechanical vermifuge.
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The Cowrie or Cowry (Cyproea) is a marine gastropod mollusc with an oval shell which in some species is the size of a hen's egg. In all species the spire present in the young shell is concealed in the adult, and the outer lip of the shell is thickened and inflected, so that the aperture becomes long and narrow.
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The Cowslip or fairy cup, petty mullein, or paigle (Primula veris) is a wild flower found in British pastures and hedge-rows. The cowslip is a hairy perennial with leaf-rosettes similar to those of the Primrose. The lobes of the calyx are acute at the apex, and the bright yellow flowers are funnel- shaped with orange spots at the base of each lobe, all drooping to one side in a cluster of between ten and thirty flowers on a long naked stalk. The flowers possess sedative properties and used to be made into wine.
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Cox's Orange Pippin is an English species of eating apple with a tangy sweet flesh and a red-tinged green skin. Coxs can often be distinguished by their rattling core. The species was propagated in the 19th century by Richard Cox.
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The Coxcomb Prominent (Ptilodon capucina) is a moth of the family Notodontidae with a wing span of between 35 and 40 mm generally distributed throughout the temperate part of the Palaearctic in mixed and deciduous forests and in urban parks. Two generations are produced, flying in July and from August to September.
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The coyote or prairie wolf (Canis latrans) is a type of wild dog or small wolf found on the prairies of North America.
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The Coypou (Coypu Myopotamus coypus) is a South American rodent about the size of and resembling a beaver, growing to about 75 cm in length. Its limbs are short, its tail in part bare and scaly, and it swims with great ease, its hind-feet being webbed. The coypou inhabits burrows by the banks of streams. It has long been valued for its fur (called nutriafur).
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Crab is a popular name for crustacea of the sub-order Brachyura and to many of the Anomura of the order Decapoda. The true crabs (Brachyura) are characterised by having a small abdomen and the head and breast are united, forming the cephalothorax, and the whole is covered with a strong carapace.
The mouth has several pairs of strong jaws, in addition to which the stomach has its internal surface studded with hard projections for the purpose of grinding the food. The stomach is popularly called the 'sand-bag'; a little behind it is the heart, which propels a colourless lymph (the blood) to the gills (' dead man's fingers'). The liver is the soft, rich yellow substance, usually called the fat of the crab. They 'moult' or throw off their calcareous covering periodically.
They have ten legs, of which the first pair are modified as claws, and the remaining pairs are used for locomotion. There are many genera, distinguished from the lobster and other macrurous or long-tailed decapods by the shortness of their tail, which is folded under the body. Their eyes are compound, with hexagonal facets, and are pedunculated, elongated, and movable. Like most individuals of the class, they easily lose their claws, which are as readily renewed. They are generally scavengers, living on decaying animal matter, though others live on vegetable substances, as the racer-crabs of the West Indies, which suck the juice of the sugar-cane.
Most crabs inhabit the sea, others fresh water, some the land, only going to the sea to spawn. Of the crabs several species are highly esteemed as an article of food, and the fishery constitutes an important trade on many coasts. The large edible crab (Cancer pagurus) is common on the British shores, and is much sought after.
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The Crab-apple (Pyrus Malus) is a small, wild and very sour species of English Apple.
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In ornithology, crakes is the name given to the members of the genus Crex for example the corncrake, and allied genera.
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Crambe is a genus of cruciferous plants, natives of Europe and Asia. They are perennial herbs, with stout branched stems and. broad leaves. One species, Crambe maritima, known as sea kale, is a native of the sandy and shingly coasts of Britain.
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Cranberry (Vaccinium oxycoccus) is a prostrate evergreen shrub of the natural order Vacciniaceae (whortleberry group) with oval leaves, red wheel-shaped corolla and red berries. It is native to Europe, north Asia and North America where it is extensively cultivated for its fruit. It is also called Moss-berry or Moor-berry, as it grows only on peat-bogs or swampy land, usually among masses of sphagnum. The berry, when ripe, is globose and dark red, and a little more than six millimetres in diameter. These berries form a sauce of exquisite flavour, and were originally used for tarts, before being used for an accompaniment to turkey and as a juice drink. The American cranberry, a native of Canada and the United States, has larger berries than the European species, and is extensively cultivated in some localities. Vaccinium vitis-idaea, the cowberry, is often called the cranberry in Scotland.
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The Cranberry Blue (Vacciniina optilete) is a butterfly of the family Lycaenidae found in central and northern Europe and cooler parts of Asia in peat-bogs and tundra, flying from June to August.
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The Cranberry Fritillary (Boloria aquilonaris) is a Boreo-Alpine butterfly of the brush-footed butterflies family (Nymphalidae) often found on peat- bogs. The butterfly gets its name from the caterpillars which live on cranberries.
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Crane is the common name of birds of the genus Grus, order Grallae, or Grallatores. They are generally of considerable size, and remarkable for their long necks and stilt-like legs, which eminently fit them for living in marshes and situations subject to inundations, where they usually seek their food. This is partly of vegetable matter, but they also devour insects, worms, frogs, lizards, reptiles, small fish, and the spawn of various aquatic animals. They build their nests among bushes or upon tussocks in marshes, and lay but two eggs.
Cranes annually migrate to distant regions, and perform voyages astonishing for their great length. The common crane (Grus cinerea) has the general plumage of an ash-grey colour, the throat black, the rump ornamented with long, stiff, and curled feathers, the head with bristly feathers; legs black and is about 120 cm long. It inhabits Europe, Asia, and the north of Africa.
The crowned crane (Grus pavonina, or Balearica pavonina) has the general plumage of a bluish ash-grey colour, the tail and primary quills black, the wing-coverts pure white and the head is crowned with a tuft of slender yellow feathers, which can be spread out at pleasure. It inhabits North and West Africa.
The demoiselle crane (Anthropoides virgo) is so called from the elegance of its form. It is an ash-grey colour, and the head is adorned with two tufts of feathers formed by a prolongation of the ear-coverts. Its habitat is Africa and the south of Europe. Among North American species are the whooping crane (Grus americana), a larger species than the common crane, and the brown or sand-hill crane (Grus canadensis).
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Crane's-bill is the popular name given to the species of Geranium, from the long slender beak of their fruit. Eleven species are found in Britain.
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The Crane-fly (Tipula longicornis) is a genus of two-winged insects (commonly known as Daddy-long-legs). It is a common British dipterous insect whose larvae are very destructive to grass. The adult is remarkable for the great length and fragility of the legs.
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Crangon is the genus to which the common shrimp belongs.
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The cranium is the skeleton enclosing the brain.
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Crash is the collective noun for a group of rhinoceros.
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Crassulaceae is the house-leek or Stonecrop family of herbs and shrubs, a natural order of polypetalous exogens. They have thick fleshy leaves and star like flowers and are found in most parts of the world, especially South Africa. They grow in the driest regions where grass and moss cannot grow, on naked rocks, old walls and on hot sandy plains.
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Crataegus is a genus of plants of the family Rosaceae, including certain shrubs and trees, which bear oval or globular fruit enclosing a bony stone. The genus includes the English hawthorn.
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Crataraea is a genus of rove beetles, Staphylinidae.
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Crayfish or crawfish are various crustaceans allied to and resembling the lobsters, of the order Decapoda. The common crayfish (Astacus fluviatilis) is also known as the river lobster which resembles the lobster in appearance and habits. It inhabits the fresh waters of Europe and the north of Asia, and is common in some of the streams of England and Ireland, but not of Scotland. It lurks under stones or in holes in the banks. Its food consists of small molluscs or fishes, the larvae of insects, and almost any sort of animal matter. Crayfish are found in fresh waters of all continents except Africa and range from two centimetres to forty centimetres in length, depending on the species.
In the United States crayfish of the genus Astacus and Cambarus occur. Some of them by their burrowing habits injure mill-dams and the levees of the Mississippi. Crayfish are regarded by many as furnishing a delicate dish for the table. The term crayfish or crawfish, especially the latter form, is also applied to the spiny lobster, Palinurus vulgaris, a large marine crustacean wanting the large claws of the lobster; often eaten in the south and west of England.
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The Cream-Bordered Green Pea (Earias clorana) is a moth of the family Noctuidae with a wing span of between 16 and 20 mm found in the Palaearctic in deciduous forests. Two generations are produced flying from May to August.
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The creeper is the Certhiadae family of birds which resemble the woodpecker in their habit of creeping up tree trunks with the aid of the strong quills which project from the tail-feathers, and of securing their insect food by an exsertile tongue. The common creeper (Certhia familiaris) is European, but is represented by American species. It is a pretty and interesting little bird, which builds its nest usually in holes crcrevices of trees. The wall-creeper (Tichodroma muraria} of Southern Europe searches for its insect food on rocks. The family is found in all parts of the world.
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Creophilus is a genus of rove beetles, Staphylinidae. A single species occurs in Europe, Creophilus maxillosus, which is between 15 and 25 mm long with black and whitish grey patches on its pronotum and abdomen.
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Crepidodera is a genus of leaf beetles (Chrysomelidae) represented by three British species found mainly on hemp-nettles.
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Cress is the name of several species of plants, most of them of the family Cruciferae. Watercress is used in salad and was used as a medicine for its antiscorbutic properties.
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The Crested is a breed of duck.
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The Crevecour is a breed of chicken.
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Cricetidae is the voles family of rodents belonging to the suborder Myomorpha.
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Cricoceris is a genus of leaf beetles (Chrysomelidae) able to produce quite a loud chirping sound by rubbing the tip of their abdomen and the underside of their elytra together. Both the larvae and the adults live on asparagus.
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The crinoidea are the sea lily class of Phylum echinodermata consisting of animals attached during the whole or a portion of their lives to the sea-bottom by means of a calcareous jointed stem, from the top of which radiate feather-like flexible appendages or arms, in the centre of which is the mouth.. The body is cup shaped and attached to the substratum by a stalk. Both the mouth and anus are on the side of the body away from the stalk. The five main arms bifurcate, and on the branches are small side branches. Though comparatively few in number now, they lived in immense numbers in former ages, many carboniferous limestones being almost entirely made up of their calcareous columns and joints.
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Crinum is a genus of bulbous plants belonging to the family Amaryllidaceae. The crinum have strap-shaped leaves and flowers are borne in umbels, and are mostly fragrant and brightly coloured. There are numerous species found in Asia, Australia, South America, and certain parts of Africa, and interesting hybrids have been produced by European gardeners. The Crinum asiaticum has a bulb above ground, which is a powerful emetic, and is used by the natives to produce vomiting after poison has been taken.
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The Criollo is an Argentine breed of riding horse which originated during the 16th century from Spanish horses imported by Pedro de Mendoza. The Criollo stands between 14 and 15 hands high and is mostly dun in colour, but also occurs in other colours. The Criollo is used by cowboys and has contributed to the Argentinean polo pony.
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Crispin or Mutsu is a variety of apple with Japanese origins. This 1930 cross of Golden Delicious and the Japanese variety Indo was named Mutsu upon its 1949 release. It was renamed Crispin in 1968 in the United Kingdom, and New York adopted that name several years ago. In Michigan it is still widely known as Mutsu. It is one of the later varieties, with a mid-October harvest in Michigan, and does double duty as a fresh apple and a processing apple. It is typically greenish on the outside and creamy white on the inside with firm-textured juicy flesh. It has a moderately sweet flavour.
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The Croad Langshan is a breed of chicken.
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Crocodile is a popular name for saurian reptiles of the family Crocodylidae.
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The crocodile bird (Pluvianus aegyptius) is a plover-like courser so named from its association with the Nile crocodile from which it picks and eats parasites from the crocodile's mouth. The crocodile and the crocodile bird exhibit symbiosis, the crocodile bird providing a lookout for danger for the crocodile and a tooth cleaning service in exchange for food.
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Crocodilia (the crocodiles and alligators) is an order of Diapsida. They are large reptiles adapted to life in rivers and lakes. The head is held horizontally in front of the body, four legs project from the sides, they have heavy scales which function as armour, and a heavy muscular tail. The front feet have five separate toes and the rear feet have four partially- webbed toes. The eyes are on the top of their head, close together to allow for binocular vision. The nostrils are crescent-shaped and valvular, and set at the end of the snout, which allows breathing even when the animal is almost entirely submerged. The tail is flattened from side to side and is a powerful swimming tool.
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Crocodylidae is the crocodile family of the order Crocodilia.
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The Crocus is a genus of plants of the family Iridaceae or Iris, forming one of the most common ornaments of the garden. They are natives to the northern parts of the Old World, especially southern Europe and the Middle East, and three grow wild in Britain. They may be divided, according to their period of flowering, into vernal and autumnal. Among the vernal crocuses may be mentioned the white and purple Crocus vernus; Crocus versicolor, distinguished by the yellow tube of its flower bearded with hairs, and its sweet scent; Crocus biflorus, the Scotch crocus, with beautiful pencilled sepals, and clear or bluish-white petals. Among the autumnal species are Crocus nudiflorus and Crocus sativus, whose long, reddish-orange, drooping stigmas, when dried, form saffron.
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Croesus is a genus of insects of the Typical Sawflies family, Tenthredinidae of the super-family Tenthredinoidea, sub-order Symphyta, order Hymenoptera. Croesus septentrionalis has a predominantly red abdomen and flies during May. The larvae of this species are found on the leaves of deciduous trees, particularly birch and alder.
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Crone is the technical term for a female sheep (ewe) whose teeth have worn out.
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The crossbill (Loxia) is a genus of birds of the finch family. They are distinguished and derive their name from a peculiarity of their bill, the mandibles of which are curved at the tips, so as to cross each other, sometimes on the one side and sometimes on the other. The form of the bill enables them to extract with ease the seeds of the pine, their usual food, from underneath the scales of the cones. They build and also breed at all seasons of the year, in December, as in March, April, or May. The common crossbill (Loxia curvirostra) is found in the northern countries of Europe. It is from 15 to 16 cm in length. The male has a red plumage, the female is of a yellowish-green colour. The Loxia pityopsittacus, or parrot crossbill, sometimes visits Britain. Two species of crossbill inhabit Canada and the northern States, Loxia Americana and Loxia leucoptera, the latter rarely found in Britain.
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The Crossopterygii is a division of fish known as the lung fishes. They have a single or double lung, and a modified heart and vascular system. They live in shallow fresh water where oxygen levels are insufficient for gills.
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Crotalidae is the 'Pit Vipers' sub-family of reptiles of the sub-order Serpentes (Snakes) comprising some seven genera and 130 species native mainly to the Americas with some found in south and south-east Asia. The members have a large, often triangular head which is distinct from a robust body by a relatively narrow neck. The members are characterized by a 'pit' situated on each side of the head between the nostril and the eye. This 'pit' is actually an infra-red heat sensitive detecting organ which presumably allows the animal to hunt in the dark.
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Crotalus is a genus of snakes which includes the rattlesnake.
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Croton is a genus of herbaceous plants, shrubs, and trees, of the natural order Euphorbiaceae, comprehending a great number of species, many of which possess important medical properties. The more remarkable species are Croton Cascarilla, a native of the West Indies and Florida, which yields the cascarilla bark, a valuable aromatic tonic; Croton lacciferum, a native of the East Indies, said to furnish the finest of all the sorts of lac; Croton Tiglium, an inhabitant of the East Indies, from the seeds of which croton-oil is extracted; and Croton Draco, a Mexican plant, which yields a red resinous substance used in making varnish. Croton Pseudo-china, the copalche plant, yields the bark of that name, but Croton bidsamiferum, Croton aromaticum, and Croton thuriferum are merely aromatic.
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Crottles is a popular name of various species of lichens collected for dyeing purposes, and distinguished as black, brown, white, etc, crottles.
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The crow (Corvus) is a family of some 35 species of birds, the type of the family Corvidae. It includes, as British species, the carrion-crow, the hooded or Royston crow, the raven, the rook, and the jackdaw.
The crow family are among the cleverest birds, many species developing techniques and learning to use tools in the pursuit of food. The New Caledonian Crow of New Caledonia uses a thin stick to catch wood-boring beetle larvae. It uses the stick to gently irritate the larvae inside a log, until the larvae bites the stick with its strong jaws. The stick is then withdrawn, with the still attached larvae, and the larvae eaten. Some New Caledonian crows carry the same stick around with them, others collect a new stick near a log at which they are hunting. Young New Caledonian Crows learn the art from older birds, taking about a year to become proficient.
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Crowberry or Crakeberry (Empetrum) is a genus of hardy, trailing evergreen shrubs found in northern Europe, Asia, England and Scotland. The stamens and pistils are borne in different plants. The flowers are very small, and purplish in colour, the perianth being composed of three outer and three inner scales. The fruit is a small drupe. The crowded leaves are very narrow with recurved margins. The crowberries grow in damp, mountainous peaty districts.
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Crowd is the collective noun for a group of ibis.
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Crowfoot is a popular name for some plants of the genus Ranunculus.
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Crown vetch (Coronilla varia) is a highly poisonous perennial herb of the family Leguminosae with a deep root and a straggling, branched, ascending stem. The leaves are alternate, odd pinnate and without a tendril. The flowers are white, purple or pink and arranged in a solitary rounded umbel at the end of a long stalk which is longer than the leaves and grows from the leaf axils. The fruit is a four-angled, erect, slender, jointed pod with a terminal beak.
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The Crucian Carp (Carassius vulgaris) is a near relation of the goldfish, deep yellow in colour, widely distributed in stagnant freshwater over Central and Northern Europe. It differs from the true carp in not having barbells.
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Cruciferae is a very extensive natural order of dicotyledonous plants, consisting of herbs which all have flowers with six stamens, two of which are short, and four sepals and petals, the spreading limbs of which form a Maltese cross, whence their name. The fruit is a pod with a membranous placenta dividing it into two cells. The mustard, water-cress, turnip, cabbage, scurvy-grass, radish, horse-radish, etc, belong to this family. They have nearly all a volatile acridity dispersed through every part, from which they have their peculiar odour and sharp taste, and their stimulant and antiscorbutic qualities. None are really poisonous. Some are found in our gardens because of their beauty or fragrance, as the wallflower, stock, candytuft, etc.
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Crustacea is the crustacean class of arthropods. They are mainly aquatic animals breathing by gills. There are two pairs of antennae and three pairs of jaws.
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Cry is the collective noun for a group of hunting dogs.
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Cryphalus is a genus of tiny beetles of the family Scolytidae that breed in the twigs and branches of trees.
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Crypticus is a genus of darkling beetles (Tenebrionidae).
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Cryptocephalus is a genus of leaf beetles (Chrysomelidae) represented by nineteen British species.
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Cryptogam is a general term embracing all the lower or non-seed bearing plants. The name was given to them before the advent of the microscope made it possible to study their sexual reproduction. The cryptogams are the ferns, mosses, fungi and algae.
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Cryptolestes is a genus of beetle of the family Cucujidae often found in grain, flour and dried fruit.
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Cryptophagidae is a family of beetles of the order Coleoptera. They are mostly very small, elongate beetles measuring less than six millimetres in length. They live chiefly in rotting and mouldy vegetable matter.
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Cryptophagus is a genus of beetle of the family Cryptophagidae represented by over forty British species.
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Cryptopleurum is a genus of water scavenger beetles of the family Hydrophilidae. They live in dung.
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Cryptorrhynchus is a genus of Snout Beetles (Curculionidae) that live on trees, mainly alders.
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Cryptosporidium is an intracellular Protozoan parasite that causes diarrhoea, although in people who are immuno-suppressed it can also cause respiratory and gallbladder infections. It is transmitted by the faecal-oral route.
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Ctenicera is a genus of large click beetle (Elateridae), ranging from sixteen to eighteen millimetres in length.
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Ctenistes is a genus of beetles of the family Pselaphidae.
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Ctenoid is a term applied to the scales of fishes when they are jagged or pectinated on the edge like the teeth of a comb, as in the perch, flounder, and turbot.
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The Ctenophora are a Phylum, sub-Phylum, order or class of animals represented by a number of marine forms (the sea gooseberries) which somewhat resemble jelly-fish. They are solitary, transparent, globular animals moving by means of ctenophores, or parallel rows of cilia disposed in comb-like plates. They develop no coral. Pleurotrachia (or Cydippe) may be taken as the type of the order, which includes the Beroidae, the Cestum or Venus' girdle, etc.
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Ctenuchidae is the ctenuchids family of moths.
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Cubebs are the dried unripe fruit of Cubeba officinalis, or Piper Cubeba, a native of Java and other East India isles, of the order Piperaceae. They resemble black pepper, and are globular, wrinkled, blackish-brown, with a warm, even acrid taste and peculiar odour. They have been used in medicine from the time of Hippocrates, and are still employed in diseases of the urinary system.
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The Cuckoo (Cuculus) or gowk, is a scansorial or climbing bird, the type of the family Cuculidae, now almost extinct in Britain. The note from which it derives its name is a love-call used only in the mating season. The greater number of species belonging to the genus are confined to hot countries, more especially India and Africa, though some are summer visitants of colder climates. In America no true cuckoos are found, the genus Coccyzus, to which the so-called American Cuckoo belongs, differing very essentially from them in its habits. The species best known in Europe, the Cuculus canorus, is a bird about the size of a small pigeon, though the length of the tail gives it at a little distance a strong resemblance to a hawk.
The adult bird is ashy-grey in colour, with a white breast barred across with narrow lines of grayish black; tail spotted and barred with white; bill black, touched at the gape with yellow; eyes and feet yellow. It appears in England about the middle of April, and in May begins to deposit its eggs in the nests of other species, giving the preference to those of the hedge-sparrow, meadow-pipit, or pied wagtail. The young Cuckoo ejects from the nest its young companions, and monopolizes the attentions of its foster-parents, which feed it for about five weeks after it is fledged. The young birds do not leave the country until the end of August or even September; but the adult birds commence their flight southward in July or at latest early in August. Their food consists largely of caterpillars (especially hairy ones), Cuckoos are one of only three species of birds that eat Cinnabar Moth caterpillars, with cockchafers, moths, dragon-flies, and other insects.
The female Cuckoo lays six or eight eggs, and each is placed in a different nest, by means of the bird's bill, as has been ascertained, being first deposited on the ground. Different strains of Cuckoo utilise different species of bird, each strain concentrating only on one species, and laying an egg which is identical in appearance to the eggs of the host species. Thus, one British strain of Cuckoo targets the nest of Reed Warblers only, and lays an egg identical in appearnce to that laid by the Reed Warbler, and it is possibly this factor which enables the Cuckoo chick to remain being cared for by its adoptive parents, even though the chick may grow many times larger than its parents.
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Cuckoopint (Arum maculatum) or Lords-and-Ladies, is a highly poisonous perennial herb with a tuberous rhizome and basal, long-stalked sagittate leaves. The flowering stem bears a pale yellow-green, trumpet-shaped spathe, edged and sometimes spotted with purple, which encloses the purplish, cylindrical flower head. The flowers are all unisexual, the flowers of the lower spadix being female, those at the middle sterile and those at the top male. The spadix has a strong, unpleasant smell which attracts insects which crawl down inside the spathe, and in so doing pollinate the plant. The Cuckoopint bears scarlet berry fruits and is found throughout Europe in damp woods, shady copses and hedgerows particularly on soils rich in lime.
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Cucujidae is a family of mostly flat-bodied beetles of the order Coleoptera.
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Cuculidae is the Cuckoo family of birds of the order Scansores. They have a moderate bill, rather deeply cleft, both mandibles compressed, and more or less curved downwards. the nostrils are exposed and the wings for the most part are short, the tail lengthened. They have four toes, two pointing forwards and two backwards, but the outer hind toe of each foot can be placed at right angles with either the inner or outer toe. They are tropical birds, many of which migrate to the temperate regions in summer. They are not so decidedly climbers as the Woodpecker and Creepers, but have the power of clinging. Their flight is feeble, their food soft-bodied insects, varied in many cases with berries and other fruits, and some of the larger species occasionally prey on mice, reptiles and the eggs and young of birds. They lay their eggs in the nests of other birds.
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The Cuculiformes are an order of birds comprising the cuckoo and turaco families.
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In botany, a cucullate leaf is a leaf having the shape of a hood (cucullus).
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Cucumber is the fruit of Cucumissativus, or the plant itself, belonging to the Cucurbitaceae or gourd order, and supposed to have been originally imported into Europe from the Levant. Though grown in England in the 14th century, it did not become generally used until after the reign of Henry VIII. Cucumber is an annual with rough trailing stems, large angular leaves, and yellow male and female flowers set in the axils of the leaf-stalks. Other species of the cucumber genus are Cucumis Melo, the common melon, and the water melon, Cucumis Citrullus.
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The cucumber-tree (Magnolia acuminata) is a fine American forest tree, so named from the appearance of its fruit.
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Cucumis is a genus of half-hardy trailing herbs belonging to the family Cucurbitaceae. The flowers are monoecious, the short-stalked staminate ones being in fascicles or clusters while the pistillate flowers are solitary. The stamens are not united in a column as they are in Cucurbita. The species include the cucumber and the melon.
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Cucurbitaceae is the gourd order, a large and important group of herbaceous annual or perennial plants, with alternate leaves palmately veined and scabrous, and unisexual flowers and with succulent stems which climb by means of tendrils which spring from the base of the leaf-stalks. The leaves are usually lobed and rough; the flowers often large, white, red or yellow; the fruit juicy or fleshy. The sterna are scabrous, and the general habit is climbing or trailing, by means of tendrils. The order contains at least fifty-six genera and about 300 known species, and abounds in useful or remarkable plants, including the melon, gourd, cucumber, colocynth, bryony, etc. They are natives of both hemispheres, chiefly within the tropics. The annuals, however, are common in European gardens.
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Cudbear (Lecanora tartarea) is a lichen occurring chiefly in Scotland and Sweden. It was formerly celebrated for the purple dye which it yielded when treated with ammonia.
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Culex pipiens is a species of mosquito found only in the London Underground system. It is believed to have developed from mosquitoes trapped in the tunnels when the system was built in the 19th century.
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Culicadae is a group or sub-family of dipterous insects, of the family Tipulidae. The genus Culex comprehends the common gnat and the mosquito.
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In botany a culm is the jointed and usually hollow stem of grasses, generally herbaceous, but woody and tree-like in the bamboo.
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Cumacea is an order of crustaceans of the sub-class Malacostraca where the carapace is small exposing four or five of the thoracic segments. The abdomen is slender.
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Cumin, or Cummin (Cuimnum Cuminum) is an umbelliferous plant which grows wild in Egypt and Syria, and is largely cultivated in Sicily and Malta, whence it is exported. The fruit, called cumin seeds, is of a light-brown colour, with an aromatic smell and caraway-like taste, and possesses stimulating and carminative properties.
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Cunina is a member of the order Trachylina.
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Cupuliferae is a family of trees distributed chiefly in the temperate zones of the northern hemisphere and also in tropical Asia. The family is so named from the peculiar husk or cup (cupule) in which the fruit is inclosed and includes the beech, chestnut, oak and birch.
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Cur is the name loosely given to any worthless dog of mongrel breed, but applied more strictly to a cross between the sheep-dog and terrier.
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The Curassow pr hocco are a family of gallinaceous game-birds of the genus Crax, family Cradiae inhabiting Central and South America but related to the bush-turkeys of Australia. The crested curassow (Crax alector), found in Guiana, Mexico, and Brazil, is a handsome bird, nearly as large as the turkey and more imposing in appearance, being of a dark violet colour, with a purplish-green gloss above and on the breast; the abdomen is snow-white, and the crest golden. Another species is the red curassow (Crax rubra), also a native of South America, and about the size of a turkey. The cushew-bird (Urax pauxi) is called the galeated curassow.
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Curb is the general term for a hard and callous swelling on various parts of a horse's leg, as the hinder part of the hock, the inside of the hoof, beneath the elbow of the hoof, etc.
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The Curlew (Numenius) is a genus of birds belonging to the order Grallatores, or Waders, and of the same family (Scolopacidae) as the snipe and woodcock. The genus is characterized by a very long, slender, and arcuated bill, tall and partly naked legs, and a short somewhat rounded tail. The bill is more or less covered with a soft sensitive skin by which the bird is enabled to detect its food in the mud.
The common curlew (Numenius arquata) is a British water bird of the family Scolopacidae, found near the sea-side, especially where the tides goes out a long way leaving a wide expanse of muddy sand, and on the banks of tidal rivers. It has a distinctive long and slender curved bill much larger than its head and a general reddish ash colouration, mottled with dusky spots and a white belly. The tail is white with dark brown transverse bars. The overall length of the bird is around 60 centimetres.
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The Currant Clearwing (Synanthedon tipuliformis) is a moth of the clearwing family (Sesiidae) with a wing span of between 16 and 18 mm found in Europe, Asia, North America, Australia and New Zealand having been introduced with currant bushes. It flies from June to August in sunny weather, the caterpillar feeding on the twigs of red currant, black currant and gooseberry bushes.
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The Currant Shoot Borer (Lampronia capitella) is a moth of the family Incurvariidae with a wing span of between 14 and 17 mm found in Europe and Asia flying from May to June when green currant berries are formed. the eggs are planted in the berries and the caterpillars live inside the berries feeding on the seeds, before hibernating at the base of the shrub and emerging to eat the new flower buds. In northern Europe the Currant Shoot Borer is a serious pest, often destroying entire crops.
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The Cursores, or Runners, are an order of birds, which includes the ostrich, rhea, emu, cassowary, and apteryx. The birds of this order are distinguished by their remarkable velocity in running, the rudimentary character of their wings, which are too short to be of use for flight, and by the length and strength of their legs. The breast-bone is destitute of the ridge or keel which it possesses in most birds, hence the name Ratitoe (from the Latin ratis, a raft).
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Cuscus is a genus of animals of the phalanger family, somewhat resembling the opossums, having a dense woolly fur, prehensile tails, and living on leaves. They are natives of the smaller Australian islands.
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The cushat or wood-pigeon or ring dove (Columba palumbus) is a common British bird. Their numbers exploded around 1900 to the present day epidemic in towns and cities due to the destruction of their natural enemies, the birds of prey.
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The cusk (Brosme brosme) is an edible fish found in North Atlantic coastal areas.
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In botany, cuspidate means ending in a hard, sharp point, like the point of a spear. The adjective cuspidate is frequently applied to appropriately shaped leaves,
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The custard-apple (Anona reticulata) is a fruit native to the West Indies, but cultivated in most tropical countries. The fruit is large, and heart-shaped, with a thick, rough exterior, and containing a pulp of a sweet flavour, very cooling and agreeable. To the same genus belong the alligator-apple, sour-sop, sweet-sop, and cherimoyer.
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Cuttings are twigs, shoots, or other parts cut from plants and inserted in soil so that they may take root and become perfect plants of the same kind as those from which they are cut. The root that a cutting acquires when planted is commonly a developed bud, and the cutting selected has generally a bud near its base; but there are plants that may be readily propagated from a leaf or part of a leaf. Many trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants are readily propagated by cuttings - for instance, willows, gooseberries, pinks, geraniums, - but others take root or strike less easily, and in general a specially prepared soil is advisable, though many plants will strike in common garden soil. The soil most commonly employed is silver sand, alone or mixed with earth; and brick-dust, powdered charcoal, burned clay, and other substances are also employed to encourage the rooting of the cuttings; while certain conditions of temperature, moisture, light and shade, shelter, etc, must be attended to.
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The cuttle-fish or cuttlefish is a name popularly applied to various ten-armed molluscs of the class Cephalopoda. They have an elongated body with an undulating lateral fin and the habit of ejecting a black fluid when alarmed and are distinguished from the squid by their internal calcareous shell (known as cuttle-bone).
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Cyamus is a genus of Crustacea, the species of which are parasites on the whale. They are called Whale-lice.
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In botany, the cyanic Series is a series of colours in flowers of which blue is the type, passing into red or white but never into yellow. It is distinguished from the xanthic series, of which the type is yellow, passing into red and white but never into blue.
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Cyathea are a genus of arborescent ferns, of the order Polypodiaceae, characterized by having the spores, which are borne on the back of the frond, inclosed in a cup-shaped indusium. There are many species scattered over the tropical regions of the world. Cyathea medullaris is a fine New Zealand species of comparatively hardy character. The soft pulpy medullary substance in the centre of the trunk is an article of food, somewhat resembling sago.
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Cybocephalidae is a family of beetles of the order Coleoptera characterised by a wide, triangular scutellum, a large sloping head, and their ability to roll into a ball. No members of the family are found in Britain, though some occur in Europe.
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Cybocephalus is a genus of tiny beetles of the family Cybocephalidae. They are predacious, feeding on scale-insects.
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The Cycads are a family of tropical trees and shrubs with usually simple, sometimes dichotomous trunks marked with leaf scars, and resembling palms and tree ferns. The leaves are pinnate, and curled in the bud-like fan fronds. The flowers are always terminal, resembling cones.
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Cycadaceae (Cycads) are a family of gymnospermous plants, resembling palms in their general appearance, and, as a rule, increasing by a single terminal bud. The leaves are large and pinnate, and usually rolled up when in bud like a crosier. The microscopic structure of the wood as well as the general structure of their cones ally them with the conifers.
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Cychramus is a genus of sap-beetle (Nitidulidae).
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Cychrus is a genus of beetles of the family Carabidae, resembling the genus Carabus, but with a longer head. They feed on snails, earthworms and other small creatures by night, hiding under moss and loose bark during the day. The only British species is Cychrus caraboides living in damp woodlands at altitudes below 2000 metres and growing to between 12 and 20 mm in length.
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Cyclamen is a group of low-growing herbaceous plants of the natural order Primulaceae (Primrose family) found in the mountains of the Mediterranean and Central Europe. They have globular, bulb-like roots from which arise long stalked, heart-shaped leaves, and white, pink, lilac or crimson flowers. The fleshy root-stalks, though acrid, are greedily sought after by pigs; hence the common name, Sowbread.
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Cyclamen Tortrix (Clepsis spectrana) is a moth of the family Tortricidae with a wing span of between 16 and 22 mm found in Europe and Asia Minor flying from June to August.
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Cyclas are a genus of minute bivalve molluscs, the members of which are common in rivers. They have a special brood chamber at the base of the gills in which the young are reared.
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The Cyclobranchiata are an order of gasteropods, in which the branchiae or organs of respiration form a fringe around the body of the animal, between the edge of the body and the foot. The order consists principally of the limpets.
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The Cycloid Fishes are an order of fishes according to the arrangement of Agassiz, having smooth, round, or oval scales, such as for example the salmon and herring. The scales are formed of concentric layers, not covered with enamel and not spinous on the margins; they are generally imbricated, but are sometimes placed side by side without overlapping.
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The cyclostomi are a subclass of agnatha. They are modern eel-like creatures which eat fish.
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Cygnet is the name for a young swan.
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Cylindromorphus is a genus of jewel beetle (Buprestidae).
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Cylister is a genus of beetles of the family Histeridae, similar to the genus Platysoma, but with a longer body.
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In botany, cymbiform means shaped like a boat. The adjective is chiefly applied to appropriately shaped leaves.
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In botany, a cyme is a mode of inflorescence in which the principal axis terminates in a flower, and a number of secondary axes rise from the primary, each of these terminating in a flower, while from these secondary axes others may arise terminating in the same way, and so on, giving a flat-topped or rounded mass. Examples may be found in the common elder and the Caryophyllaceae.
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Cymindis is a genus of beetles of the ground beetle family, Carabidae represented by three species in Britain. They live under stones and moss on heathland and at the margins of woods, many of the species of the genus being confined to mountainous regions. They mate in the autumn and both adults and larvae hibernate.
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The Cymric or Longhaired Manx or Manx Longhair is a breed of domestic cat originated in Canada during the 1960s by accident from pure Manx parents. The Cymric is a rounded body cat, without a tail, and variously coloured. Unlike the true Manx, the Cymric has a long coat. The breed is officially recognised in North America, but not in Britain or Europe.
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Cynara is a genus of Compositae, in many respects like the thistle. The two best-known species are the artichoke and the cardoon.
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Cynegetis is a genus of vegetarian ladybird (Coccinellidae). They are about four millimetres long.
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Cynipidae is the Gall Wasps family of insects of the super family Cynipoidea, sub-order Apocrita, order Hymenoptera.
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Cynipoidea is a super-family of insects of the sub order Apocrita, order Hymenoptera. They are tiny animals, a few millimetres long, dark brown, yellow-brown or black in colour with thirteen to nineteen segmented antennae and a laterally compressed abdomen.
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Cynips is the gall-fly genus of hymenopterous insects remarkable for their extremely minute head and large, elevated thorax. The females are provided with an ovipositor by which they make holes where they deposit their eggs in different parts of plants, thus producing those excrescences which are known as galls. The gall of commerce used in manufacturing ink is caused by the Cynips galice tinctoria piercing a species of oak which grows in the Levant. The Cynips rosae, or bedeguar gallfly, produces the hairy excrescences seen on the rose-bush and the sweet-brier.
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Cynoglossum or hound's-tongue is a genus of plants, of the natural order Boraginaceae, consisting of herbs from the temperate zones. Cynoglossum officinale and Cynoglossum montanum are British plants. The former haa a disagreeable smell like that from mice, and was at one time used as a remedy in scrofula. There are about fifty other species, all coarse plants.
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Cynomorium is a genus of plants, of the natural order Cynomoriaceae. Cynomorium coccineum, the fungus melitensis of the old herbalists, is a small plant which grows in Sicily, Malta, and Gozo, and was valued as an astringent and styptic in dysentery and haemorrhage.
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Cyperaceae is the sedge family of plants somewhat resembling grasses, but differing from them in the possession of triangular solid stems, closed leaf sheaths, and no ligules. The inflorescence is a group of spikes of glumes, in the axial of each being three stamens and one carpel.
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Cyperus is a genus of rush-like plants belonging to the family Cyperaceae, characterised by the possession of bisexual flowers, without calyx or corolla borne in small spikes.
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Cypha is a genus of tiny rove beetles, Staphylinidae, with a telescopic pointed abdomen that can be retracted below the elytra.
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Cyphon is a genus of beetle of the family Scirtidae.
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Cypress is a genus of coniferous (evergreen) cone-bearing trees and shrubs, with small adnate opposite leaves, and small globular cones on a few fleshy scale-leaves. The Capressus sempervirens, or common European cypress, is a dark-coloured evergreen with extremely small leaves, entirely covering the branches. It has a quadrangular, or, where the top branches diminish in length, pyramidal shape. Cypress-trees, though of a somewhat sombre and gloomy appearance, may be used with great effect in shrubberies and gardens. They are much valued also on account of their wood, which is hard, compact, and very durable, of a reddish colour and a pleasant smell. It was used at funerals and as an emblem of mourning by the ancients. Amongst other members of the genus are the Indian cypress (Cypress glauca); the Cypress pendula, a native of China and Japan; and the Cypress thurifera, or incense-bearing cypress, a native of Mexico; the evergreen American cypress or White Cedar (Cypress thyoides); etc. The Taxodium distichum, or deciduous cypress of the United States and Mexico, is frequently called the Virginian cypress. Its timber is valuable, and under water is almost imperishable.
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Cyprin'idea is the carp family of soft-finned abdominal fishes, characterized by a small mouth, feeble jaws, gill-rays few in number; body covered with scales; and no dorsal adipose fin, such as is possessed by the silurus and the salmon. The members are the least carnivorous of fishes. They include the carp, barbel, tenche, bream, loaches, etc. The type genus is Cyprinus.
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Cypris is a genus of minute fresh-water crustaceans popularly known as water-fleas. They have the body inclosed in a delicate shell and swim by means of cilia. The Cypris is common in stagnant pools, and is very often found in a fossil state.
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A cypsela is a dry single-seeded fruit that does not split open during seed dispersal and is formed from a double ovary in which only one ovule develops into a seed. It is similar to an achene and is characteristic of members of the family Compositae.
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Cypselus is a genus of birds, the type of the family Cypselidae, including the swifts and their congeners. One peculiarity in this family is that the hind toe is turned forward along with the three anterior toes.
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Cyrtoclytus is a genus of longhorn beetles (Cerambycidae) closely resembling the Cltus genus, but species of this genus have long hairs all over their body.
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The cystoflagellata are a family of Phytomastigina. They are transparent plankton.
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Cystopteris is the bladder-fern, a genus of polypodiaceous delicate flaccid ferns. Two are natives of Britain, Cystopteris fragilis (the brittle fern), which is common, and Cystopteris montana, which is very rare.
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Cytilus is a genus of Pill Beetles (Byrrhidae).
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Cytisus is a genus of leguminous shrubs of the sub-order Papilionaceae, of the which the common broom is one of the best known British species. The members of the genus are shrubs or small trees, sometimes spiny, with leaves composed of three leaflets, and with yellow, purple, or white flowers. They belong to Europe, Asia, and North Africa, and are very ornamental plants. A common species is the common laburnum (Cytisus Laburnum). Another species is the Alpine laburnum (Cytisus alpinus).
D'Arcy Spice is an old russet apple once very popular in East Anglia. The full spicy flavour is best after a warm summer and the fruit stores extremely well, keeping until May.
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