Amplexus: The physical contact during sexual reproduction in amphibians, a male clasping a female during mating when eggs are released and fertilized by sperm.
Anal Plate: Also called anal scale, the ventral scale that covers the cloacal opening or vent. It is either entire or divided across the middle.
Anterior: Located at or near the head end of an organism.
Anuran: A subclass of amphibians without tails in adult form; toads and frogs.
Boss: A bony or glandular bump on top of the head and between the eyes; spadefoots.
Carapace: The dorsal, top shell in turtles.
Carnivore: An organism that gets its energy and nutrition from eating animal tissue.
CL: Abbreviation for carapace length; the straight-line distance between the anterior and posterior edge of the carapace.
Cloaca: A common urogenital cavity receiving the contents from the excretory, digestive, and reproductive tracts of amphibians and reptiles.
Community: A group of organisms, plant and animal, interacting in a common environment.
Cranial Crest: A raised ridge on top of the head and between the eyes; toads.
Crepuscular: Active during dawn and dusk.
Disjunct: A population that is separate or isolated from a larger population.
Diurnal: Active during daylight.
Dorsal: Located on or near the top surface.
Fossorial: An underground lifestyle adapted for digging or burrowing.
Granular: Small, rounded scales; smooth without a ridge.
Gravid: A female containing and distended with eggs.
Gular Fold: A pleat or wrinkle of loose skin located on the throat.
Habitat: The natural environment where an organism lives.
Hibernaculum: A den or place used during winter and usually located underground beneath frost line.
Hemipenis: A paired copulatory organ in snakes and lizards located within the cloaca; singular hemipene.
Incubation: Period of time from fertilization until hatching from the egg occurs.
Insectivore: A specialized carnivore that gets its energy and nutrition from eating insects or other similar organisms.
Keeled: Scales with a distinct midline ridge.
Larvae: The developmental stage of amphibians that is between the egg stage and metamorphosis to the adult stage; tadpoles are the larval stage of anurans.
Metamorphosis: The transformation in amphibians that occurs when larvae change into the adult body form.
Nocturnal: Active during night.
Oviparous: Animals that lay eggs with little or no embryonic development occurring inside the mother’s body.
Ovoviviparous: Animals that produce eggs and the development of the embryos occurs within the eggs while inside the mother’s body until they are ready to hatch.
Parapatric: A type of distribution where the range of two subspecies or closely related species of animals lay adjacent to each other but individuals do not interbreed.
Parotoid Gland: A large gland located behind the eye in toads (frogs); the secretions are sometimes poisonous.
Plastron: The ventral, lower shell in turtles.
Posterior: Located at or near the tail end of an organism.
Rostral: The scale at the tip of the snout in snakes.
Scute: Large scales covering the main body of turtles.
SVL: Abbreviation for snout-vent length; used to describe the distance between the tip of the snout to the trailing edge of the cloacal opening.
Sympatric: A type of distribution where two subspecies, species, or closely related species of animals occupy the same geographic space without interbreeding.
TL: Abbreviation for total length; used to describe the distance between the tip of the snout to the tip of the tail.
Tubercle: A bony, horny, or keratinized growth on the hind feet of toads and spadefoots.
Tympanum: A membrane covering the inner parts of the ear in frogs.
Vent: The cloacal opening.
Ventral: Located on or near the bottom or lower surface.
Viviparous: Animals that give birth to live young that have developed within the mother’s body rather than developing and hatching from eggs.
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