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reptile

(Encyclopedia) reptile, name for the dry-skinned, usually scaly, cold-blooded vertebrates (see Chordata ) of the order Reptilia. Reptiles are found in a variety of habitats…

Ditmars, Raymond Lee

(Encyclopedia) Ditmars, Raymond Lee dĭt´märz [key], 1876–1942, American naturalist and author, b. Newark, N.J., grad. Barnard Military Academy, 1891. His early skill in preparing…

monotreme

(Encyclopedia) monotreme mŏn´ətrēm˝ [key], name for members of the primitive mammalian order Monotremata, found in Australia, Tasmania, and New Guinea. The only members of this order…

Mesozoic era

(Encyclopedia) Mesozoic era mĕz˝əzō´ĭk [key] [Gr.,=middle life], major division of geologic time (see Geologic Timescale , table) from 65 to 225 million years ago. Great crustal…

amphibian

(Encyclopedia) amphibian, in zoology, cold-blooded vertebrate animal of the class Amphibia. There are three living orders of amphibians: the frogs and toads (order…

Williston, Samuel Wendell

(Encyclopedia) Williston, Samuel Wendell, 1851–1918, American paleontologist and entomologist, b. Boston, grad. Kansas State Agricultural College (B.S., 1872) and Yale (M.D., 1880; Ph.D…

Plesiosaurus

(Encyclopedia) Plesiosaurus plē˝sēəsôr´əs [key], genus of extinct predatory marine reptiles that arose in the Triassic period of geologic time and continued into the Jurassic and…

secretary bird

(Encyclopedia) secretary bird, common name for a long-legged African bird, Sagittarius serpentarius, related to the hawk and about 4 ft (122 cm) tall. Its crest of black…

cloaca

(Encyclopedia) cloaca klōā´kə [key], in biology, enlarged posterior end of the digestive tract of some animals. The cloaca, from the Latin word for sewer, is a single chamber…