Lizards & Snakes: Alive! Glossary
Adaptation (ad-ap-tay-shuhn)An evolutionary process through which species become better suited to its environment
Camouflage (ka-muh-flahj)Features, such as color pattern and morphology, that conceal an organism in its environment
Characteristic (kar-ik-te-ris-tik)A distinguishable feature of an organism
Chemoreception (kee-mo-re-sep-shun)The use of a sensory system to detect chemical cues in the environment
Crypsis (krip-sis)The concealment of an organism in its environment. Mimicry and camouflage are forms of cyrpsis.
Ecosystem (ee-koh-siss-tuhm)A system composed of organisms and their environment
Ectothermic (ek-to-thur-mic)Animals that control their body temperature by moving to warmer or cooler places in their environment. Ectothermic animals are less accurately referred to as "cold-blooded."
Extinct (ek-stingkt)Species with no living representatives. They are gone forever.
Fossil (foss-uhl)Remains or traces of an organism that have become mineralized, or turned to stone over time.
Habitat (hab-uh-tat)The place where an organism lives
Lizard (li-zerd)A common name for certain limbed or limbless squamates
Mimicry (mi-mik-cree)The close resemblance of an organism to another organism or object, giving it an advantage in its environment
Morphology (mor-fol-uh-jee)The physical structure of organisms
Predator (pred-ah-tur)An organism that hunts another for food
Prey (pray)An organism that is hunted by another animal for food
Snakes (snayk-s)One group of mostly limbless squamates
Species (spee-sheez)A particular kind of plant or animal. Members of a species can interbreed to produce fertile offspring.
Squamata (skwah-maht-a)A group of limbed and limbless lizards, including snakes
Venom (veh-nuhm)A variety of poisonous fluids that several groups organisms use when hunting or defending themselves
Vertebrate (ver-tuh-brit)Animals with backbones, including fish, amphibians, reptiles, and mammals
More About This Resource...
This online glossary was created to complement the Museum’s Lizards & Snakes: Alive! exhibition. It includes 20 easy-to-understand definitions that are useful beyond the exhibit website and activities.
Supplement a study of biology with an activity drawn from this glossary.
- Print out a copy of this online glossary.
- Divide the class into small groups of 4-5 students and give each at least one copy of the glossary.
- Challenge the students to devise a creative worksheet that uses the glossary, for example a matching or unscramble-the-term activity.
- Collect the worksheets, and make copies of the set for everyone. Students can use these worksheets as a study tool.