Urchin mobs can literally dis-arm a predator



algae: Single-celled organisms, once considered plants (they aren’t). As aquatic organisms, they grow in water. Like green plants, they depend on sunlight to make their food.

anatomy: (adj. anatomical) The study of the organs and tissues of animals. Or the characterization of the body or parts of the body on the basis of structure and tissues. Scientists who work in this field are known as anatomists.

appetite: A desire to eat or drink, often because of hunger.

behavior: The way something, often a person or other organism, acts towards others, or conducts itself.

behavioral ecologist: A scientist who studies how animal behavior relates to where animals live.

biologist: A scientist involved in the study of living things.

chemical: A substance formed from two or more atoms that unite (bond) in a fixed proportion and structure. For example, water is a chemical made when two hydrogen atoms bond to one oxygen atom. Its chemical formula is H2O. Chemical also can be an adjective to describe properties of materials that are the result of various reactions between different compounds.

colleague: Someone who works with another; a co-worker or team member.

defense: (in biology) A natural protective action taken or chemical response that occurs when a species confronts predators or agents that might harm it. (adj. defensive)

density: The measure of how condensed some object is, found by dividing its mass by its volume.

diet: (n.) The foods and liquids ingested by an animal to provide the nutrition it needs to grow and maintain health. (v.) To adopt a specific food-intake plan. People may adopt a specific diet for religious or ethical reasons, to address food allergies, to control their body weight or to control a disease such as high blood pressure or diabetes.

ecologist: A scientist who works in a branch of biology that deals with the relations of organisms to one another and to their physical surroundings.

ecosystem: A group of interacting living organisms — including microorganisms, plants and animals — and their physical environment within a particular climate. Examples include tropical reefs, rainforests, alpine meadows and polar tundra. The term can also be applied to elements that make up some an artificial environment, such as a company, classroom or the internet.

ethology: The science of behavior in animals, including humans, from a biological point of view.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada: A department of the federal government with responsibility for managing the health of Canada’s fisheries, oceans and freshwater resources (lakes and rivers). In addition to running the Canadian Coast Guard, it also conducts research across 17 institutes, laboratories and centers.

invertebrate: An animal lacking a backbone. About 90 percent of animal species are invertebrates.

kelp: A type of large seaweed that is usually a type of brown algae. They grow underwater and form large forests, providing habitat for many organisms. Some kelp forests are so large they can be seen from space.

literally: A term that the phrase that it modifies is precisely true. For instance, to say: “It’s so cold that I’m literally dying,” means that this person actually expects to soon be dead, the result of getting too cold.

marine: Having to do with the ocean world or environment.

marine biologist: A scientist who studies creatures that live in ocean water, from bacteria and shellfish to kelp and whales.

nervous system: The network of nerve cells and fibers that transmits signals between parts of the body.

offense: (in biology) A natural intentional action taken by a species to control prey or take on challengers. (adj. offensive)

organ: (in biology) Various parts of an organism that perform one or more particular functions. For instance, an ovary is an organ that makes eggs, the brain is an organ that makes sense of nerve signals and a plant’s roots are organs that take in nutrients and moisture.

physiologist: A scientist who studies the branch of biology that deals with how the bodies of healthy organisms function under normal circumstances.

predator: (adjective: predatory) A creature that preys on other animals for most or all of its food.

premature: Too early; before something should occur. Premature births, for instance, are when babies are born weeks or months early — potentially before they are ready for life on their own, outside their mom’s protective womb.

risk: The chance or mathematical likelihood that some bad thing might happen. For instance, exposure to radiation poses a risk of cancer. Or the hazard — or peril — itself. (For instance: Among cancer risks that the people faced were radiation and drinking water tainted with arsenic.)

sea stars: Another name for starfish, these animals are not true fish. They are related to sand dollars, sea urchins and sea cucumbers.

species: A group of similar organisms capable of producing offspring that can survive and reproduce.

starfish: A type of sea creature that is shaped like a star. Starfish, also known as sea stars, are not true fish. They are related to sand dollars, sea urchins and sea cucumbers.

tactic: An action or plan of action to accomplish a particular feat.

technology: The application of scientific knowledge for practical purposes, especially in industry — or the devices, processes and systems that result from those efforts.

urchin: Small, spine-covered sea animals without eyes or limbs which are related to sand dollars and starfish.


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