The Norway Polar Bear Expedition - Vocabulary

Dictionary / Vocabulary List
These are some the the words you may encounter during our expedition.

Abiotic: Non-living.
Adaptation: How organisms adjust to change in their environment. Organisms adapt by changing form and behavior over time to better survive in a new environment.
Aerobic: Where oxygen is present.
Advancing Glacier: A glacier that is growing in size and moving forward.
Algae: Underwater plants. Algae are food for many aquatic animals.
Aggressive: The hostile behavior of an animal towards other animals.
Anaerobic: Where no oxygen is present.
Archeaologist: A person who studies the past through the collection and analysis of objects or remains of past cultures.
Archipelago: A large group of islands.
Arctic: Having to do with the area above the Arctic Circle.
Arctic Circle: The northern latitude of 66.5° north of the equator.
Arctic Ocean: The ocean surrounding the North Pole.
Arctic Tundra: An ecological biome in the far north where plant grow is limited by low temperatures and short growing seasons.
Artifact: Something that was made by humans.
Aquatic: In water.
Baleen: A comb-like whale food filter. Some whales have these hairy looking plates instead of teeth. Whales use their baleen to strain food from seawater.
Baleen whales: Whales that have baleen in their mouths instead of teeth.
Bay: A wide inlet of a river, lake, sea or ocean. A bay is usually smaller than a gulf.
Blowhole: A nostril on the top of a cetacean’s head used for breathing.
Biodiversity: The number of different species found in a given area.
Biome: A large area of plants and animals that are part of a major habitat.
Blubber: The thick layer of insulating fat under the skin of most marine mammals that helps them stay warm.
Bony Fish: These fish have a skeleton made of bone. Most fish are bony fish.
Brackish: A mixture of fresh and salt water.
Bull: An adult male whale or reindeer.
Calf: A baby whale or reindeer.
Calve: The breaking off and falling into the ocean of a piece of glacier .
Carnivore: An animal that eats flesh.
Cetacean: A whale, dolphin or porpoise.
Colony:A group of plants or animals that are connected or living close together.
Conservation: The care, protection, or management of natural resources.
Cow: An adult female whale or reindeer.
Crustacean: A sea creature that has an outer skeleton, such as a crab, lobster, or shrimp.
Cub: A baby polar bear.
Den: A place where wild animals rest or sleep.
Density: (Physics) The mass of a substance for a given volume.
(Biology) The number of individuals in a given area.
Dig: An archeological excavation.
Dolphin: A cetacean with a large brain, cone-shaped teeth and usually a beak-like snout.
Dorsal: The back of an organism.
Dorsal fin: The back fin of a fish and many marine mammals. The dorsal fin helps the animal swim straight.
Ecology: The relationship between plants and animals and their environment.
Ecosystem: All the living organisms and the physical features within a specific area.
Ecotourism: Guiding tourists to natural places in the world to visit the animals, plants, people, and culture without endangering it.
Environment: Our surroundings, including all of the living and non-living parts.
Endangered: Any kind of plants or animals whose survival is in danger. Endangered wildlife could become extinct because of natural or man-made manatees from harm.
Evaporation: The conversion of a substance into vapor. (i.e. water into water vapor)
Extinct: When all of one kind of animal or plant are dead. Extinct means gone forever.
Fauna: Animals.
Fish: A cold-blooded animal that lives in water, breathes with gills and has a backbone.
Fjord: A long narrow inlet of the ocean between high cliffs.
Flipper: The fins on the side of a marine mammal.
Flora: Plants.
Flukes: The tail of a cetacean.
Food chain: An arrangment of the plants and animals in the order of what they eat or who eats them, where larger animals usually eat smaller animals or plants. Engery necessary for life moves from plants or animals that are eaten to the animal that eats it.
Food web: The interacting food chains within an ecological community.
Footprints: Tracks left by an animal. In water it is tracks left by the whale’s tail. Footprints appear as large smooth spots on top of the water.
Gills: These take oxygen from the water so the fish can breathe.
Glacial Till: A dirt and pulverized rock that is made by the glacier as it grinds along the ground as it slowly moves downhill.
Glacier: A build-up of snow and ice that is continuously moving to a lower level.
Habitat: The place where an organism lives in an ecological community.
Haul Out: A place where pinnipeds come out of the water to spend time on land.
Herbivore: An animal that eats only plants.
Hibernate: The dormant, sleep-like condition of certain plants or animals in the winter.
Iceberg: A very large piece of floating ice that has broken off a glacier.
Ice Floe: A sheet of floating ice.
Invertebrate: An animal that has no backbone.
Island: Land that is totally surrounded by water.
Krill: Shrimp-like animals that are the favorite food of baleen whales. Krill live in cold ocean areas.
Latitude: The imaginary east-west parallel lines that circle the earth created by geographers to help find locations anywhere on the earth.
Limestone: A hard, light gray rock made from ancient coral reefs.
Longitude: The imaginary north-south lines that circle the earth and all pass through the North and South Poles. They were created by geographers to help find locations anywhere on the earth
Mammal: A warm-blooded animal that breathes with lungs, has a back bone, hair, gives birth to live young, and feeds its babies milk.
Marble: A hard stone with colored streaks in it. It is used for countertops, buildings and sculptures.
Marine: In seawater.
Midnight Sun: The sun when seen at midnight during the summer in the Arctic or Antarctic.
Migration: A long trip some animals make from one place to another to feed or have babies.
Microscopic: Very small. Can only be seen with a microscope.
Natural Resources: Where no oxygen is present.
Negative Buoyancy: Sinking.
Neutral Buoyancy: Being weightless underwater, not sinking to the bottom (negative buoyancy) or rising to the surface (positive buoyancy), but effortlessly maintaining the desired depth.
North Pole: Located in the middle of the Arctic Ocean. It is the northern end of the earth's axis.
Ocean: All the salt water that covers over 70% of the Earth.
Omnivore: An animal that eats flesh and plants.
Pack Ice: A large area of large pieces of floating ice that are packed together.
Permafrost: A thick layer of soil below ground that is permanently frozen.
Photosynthesis: The process that plants use to change C02 and water into sugars using the energy from sunlight. These sugars are the food for the plants.
Phytoplankton: Plankton that are plants.
Pinnipeds: Seals, seal lions and walrus.
Plankton: Microscopic plants and animals that drift with the currents near the surface of the ocean.
Polar Bear: A bear with thick white fur that lives in the Arctic and spends most of its time on sea ice. Polar bears are listed as marine mammals.
Positive Buoyancy: Floating.
Potable: People are able to drink it.
Precipitation: Rain.
Predator: An animal that lives by hunting and eating other animals.
Prey: Animals eaten by predators.
Quarry: A place where stone is dug from the ground.
Refuge: A place safe from danger.
Retreating Glacier: A glacier that is melting and shrinking in size.
Sea: A subdivision of the ocean, usually partly surrounded by land.
Seal: A coastal sea mammal with a streamlined body and flippers.
School: A group of fish or group of swimming sea creatures.
Shark: A type of fish that has no bones. Sharks have a backbone (vertebrae) that is not really bone, but cartilage.
Species: A group of animals that are similar in how they are made, how they look, and how they act.
Spout: The spray of mist a whale makes when it breathes. (Also called a "blow".)
Survival: A continuation of life. Living beyond the death of another.
Symbiosis: How different organisms live together.
Territory: A paticular area that a creature establishes as its own.
Tidewater Glacier: A valley glacier that flows all the way down to the ocean.
Tundra: Areas where there is permafrost below ground.
Tusk: A long pointed tooth that sticks out of the mouth of certain animals.
Valley Glacier: A glacier that forms in a mountain valley.
Vibration: A quick movement or shaking of the ground, water, air, or other objects.
Visibility: The horizontal distance that we can see underwater. Visibility varies from zero to over 200 feet, depending on location, weather conditions, time of day, tides, and other climatic variables.
Whale: Marine mammals that have large brains and catch their food with either teeth or baleen.
Zooplankton: Plankton that are animals.

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