Glossary


Anadromous  a life history strategy of fish in which fish use a marine environment for the primary feeding and growing, and a freshwater environment for spawning (see also: resident).   
Antlers bony protuberances which are grown and shed each year by males (and female caribou) of the deer family. Horns differ from antlers in being permanent: they keep growing for the whole of an animal's lifetime.   
Baleen  tough, horn-like material that grows from the upper jaw of certain whales, hanging down in parallel rows and used to filter food from ingested water. Baleen consists of a tough protein material similar to human fingernails, and has hair-like bristles on the outer edge to trap food.  
Benthic Amphipods small, ocean bottom-dwelling crustaceans.  
Carnivore an animal (predator) that kills and eats other animals (prey).  
Cirque  a steep hollow, often containing a small lake, at the upper end of a mountain valley.  
Deciduous  having parts (leaves) that fall off seasonally or at a certain stage of development. Examples of deciduous trees include birch and alder.  
Delayed Implantation A phenomenon whereby a developing embryo pauses, or delays, its development before implanting (attaching) in the uterus.  
Dormancy a period of reduced biological activity. Bears, though not true hibernators, enter a period of winter dormancy. During this period their body temperature is slightly reduced and their need for food eliminated. Bears are more easily aroused from their dormancy than true hibernators.  
Echolocation a process for locating distant or invisible objects. This is accomplished by emitting sound waves, which are reflected back to the emitter by objects in their path.  
Emergent vegetation erect plants rooted underwater that grow above (emerge from) the surface of the water (i.e. cattails).  
Erosion the process of being eroded (worn away or formed by wearing away); natural processes, such as weathering or gravity, by which material is moved on the earth's surface.  
Gestation the period of carrying developing offspring in the uterus after conception.  
Glacial Relating to or caused by a glacier (huge mass of moving ice formed from compacted snow); characterized by the existence of glaciers.  
Haulout (noun) a location where a marine mammal will lay on the shore to rest; (verb) to actively move from the sea to dry land .  
Herbivore an animal that preys on (consumes) living plants or their fruit and seeds.  
Hibernation  reduction of biological activity by organisms during winter, or, more generally, during cold periods. True hibernators, such as hoary marmots and Arctic ground squirrels, reduce their body temperatures close to freezing and cannot be readily awoken.  
Home Range An area, from which intruders may or may not be excluded, to which an individual restricts most of its normal activities (see also: territory).  
Invertebrates  animals lacking a spinal column.  
Marine  in or of the ocean; oceanic.  
Moraine debris, such as boulders or stones, deposited by a glacier.  
Nocturnal mainly active at night.  
Omnivore an animal that consumes both living plants and animals.  
Pelage the hairy covering of a mammal.  
Piscivorous Having a diet consisting mainly of fish.  
Predator  an individual that eats all or part of other live individuals.  
Prey an individual that gets eaten, all or part of, by another individual. The individal that eats they prey is said to be "preying upon" it.  
Primeness or prime In a fully prime pelt, both the guard hairs and the underfur have reached maximum length and density.  
Redd  A nest created by a salmon or other fish to deposit its eggs. The redd is formed by the fish turning on its side and fanning the small gravel and sand downstream with powerful thrusts of the tail. A redd is comprised of a upstream pit and a downstream tailspill of gravel.  
Resident  A life history strategy of fish in which the fish spends its entire life in freshwater (see also: anadromous).  
Riparian relating to, living, or located on the bank of a natural watercourse such as a river.  
Rodent  any of an order (Rodentia) of relatively small gnawing mammals that have in the upper jaw a single pair of incisors with a chisel-shaped edge (i.e. mouse, squirrel, beaver).  
Rookeries colonies or breeding grounds for marine mammals.  
Rut  the breeding period of deer (i.e. moose and caribou).  
Seal or sealing  The placement of an official marker or locking tag (seal) by an authorized Alaska Department of Fish and Game representative on an animal hide and/or skull and may include: collecting and recording biological information concerning the conditions under which the animal is taken; measuring the specimen submitted for sealing; retaining specific portions of the animal for biological information.  
Scavenger  an animal that eats dead material.  
Sedimentary  Of or relating to rocks formed from sediment (fine solids that settle to the bottom of a liquid) or from fragments of other rocks deposited in water.  
Spawning  The reproductive act of fish. In most fish external fertilization occurs, where the female deposits the eggs and the male simultaneously ejects milt that contains sperm which fertilizes the eggs.  
Tectonic  Relating to or resulting from structural deformation in the earth's crust.  
Terrestrial  land-dwelling or spending the majority of life on land. 
Territory   An area defended by one or more individuals against intrusion by others of the same or different species (see also: home range). 
Vibrissae   a stiff, hair-like projection or whisker. 
Weaned  when a young animal becomes accustomed to take food other than by nursing. 
Yolk Sac  The nutrient body attached to the belly of a larval salmon, from which it derives its nourishment while the mouth and internal organs develop to allow external feeding.