Wisconsin Sea Grant: Frogs Glossary


algae
Any of a variety of simple, aquatic plants that lack stems, roots and leaves but usually contain chlorophyll, a green pigment that helps plants use sunlight to produce energy.

bufotoxins
Poisonous substances that are produced and secreted by certain toad species.

dissection
The act of cutting apart or separating body tissues, especially to help study an organism’s anatomy.

dorsolateral folds
Ridges of skin that run along either side of the back, from behind the head area to near the hind legs; these folds are present in some but not all frog species.

food chain
The feeding pattern among organisms in a community whereby food energy moves from one organism to another; members of a food chain eat others below them on the chain, and in turn they are eaten by members higher than them on the chain. For example, a wolf is at the top of its food chain; the wolf will eat a rabbit, which is lower on the food chain.

glycerol
A sweet, colorless or yellowish liquid obtained from fats and oils and used as a solvent, antifreeze or sweetener; also produced naturally by some organisms.

habitat
The area or type of environment in which an organism or group of organisms normally lives.

herbicides
A substance used to kill unwanted plants.

hibernate
To pass the winter in an inactive, dormant or sleep-like condition.

invertebrate
A type of animal that lacks a backbone or spinal column.

mucus
A wet, slippery substance secreted by certain glands and used for protection or lubrication.

pesticides
Chemicals used to kill animals considered as pests, especially insects and rodents.

tadpole
The water-dwelling, early life stage of a frog or toad, having a tail and fish-like gills that eventually disappear as legs develop and the adult stage is reached.

toxin
A poisonous substance that is secreted by certain organisms and can be dangerous to other organisms.

wetlands
A low-lying area, such as a swamp or marsh, that is saturated with water.

 

copyright 2000 University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute