GLOSSARY
AMBIENT TEMPERATURE
Surrounding temperature; room air temperature
ASPIRATE
Inhaling fluids into the lungs
AQUATIC
Lives in, or mostly in, water
BASKING LIGHT
A light or overhead heating element that produces an area of higher heat in an enclosure; required by the reptile for digestion
BEAK
Hard or bony mouthparts on chelonians
BRUMMATION
Torpor induced by prolonged periods of low temperatures
CARAPACE
Top part of shell in turtles and tortoises
CAUDAL
Towards the tail end of the body
CHELONIAN
Collective term referring to turtles and tortoises
CLOACA
Passage used for eliminating fecal, urinary and reproductive discharges
DEHYDRATION
Reduction of water in body tissues and blood; can be life-threatening
DIURNAL
Active during the day
DYSTOCIA
Abnormal or difficult labor or egg laying
ECTOPARASITE
Parasites living outside (or on) the body
ECTOTHERMIC
"Cold-blooded"-body temperature varies according to ambient external temperatures
ECTOTHERM
Having to regulate internal body temperature by seeking out different external heat sources
ENDOPARASITE
Parasites living inside the body
ESTIVATION
Torpor brought on by extended periods of drought or heat
GLOTTIS
Opening at the back of the tongue leading into the trachea (wind pipe)
HERPETOLOGY
The study of reptiles and amphibians
HERP
A reptile or amphibian. "Herpers" refers to people who are interested in or who keep herps. Herpetoculture refers to the keeping and breeding of herps
HEPATIC
Relating to the liver
HIBERNATION
Torpor brought on by extended cold temperatures
HYPOVITAMINOSIS
A condition of vitamin deficiency
INGUINAL POCKETS
The area of concealed skin between the legs and shell of turtles.
KEEL
The ridge of keratin found on the midline of the carapace of Terrapene carolina
MANDIBLE
Lower jaw
MAXILLA
Upper jaw
MEDIAL
Toward the midline (center) of the body
NECROTIC
Dead skin or tissue, often the result of burns or infection
NEPHROTOXIC
Chemically damaging to the kidneys
OMNIVORES
Eats live prey and plants
OSTEOMALACIA
Softening of the bones
OVIPAROUS
Reproduces by laying eggs
PATHOGEN
Disease-causing organism
PHOTOPERIOD
Day/night cycle of light/dark
PLASTRON
The bottom part of a turtle or tortoise shell
PROLAPSE
Expulsion of internal organ from the vent; can be harmful
RENAL
Relating to the kidneys
SCUTES
The individual segments of the turtle’s shell
SEMI-AQUATIC
Lives on land but spends some or much time in water
SUBCUTANEOUS
Just beneath the skin (as in SQ, subq, subcutaneous fluids)
TEMPERATURE GRADIENT
A range of temperature needed to enable a reptile to regulate its internal (core) body temperature
TERRESTRIAL
Lives on land
THERMOREGULATE
In reptiles, their ability to change their body temperature by moving from warm to cool places
ULTRAVIOLET (UV) LIGHT
UV is present in sunlight and is necessary for maintaining adequate levels of active vitamin D in box turtles
URATES
The non-fecal part of the excreta
VENT
Exterior opening of the cloaca; anus
VENTRAL
Towards the belly
VERTEBRATE
Animals having backbones (mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish).

By Tess Cook


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Disclaimer: Please use all information contained on this web site at your own risk. Last updated on December 30, 2010 .