Archive for the ‘Wildlife Words’ Category

Wildlife Words – conservation

April 27, 2008
Some of the animals in the Noah’s Pals collection are endangered and vulnerable. In order to protect and restore these animals, we all need to do a part to help with…


Pronunciation: \ˌkän(t)-sər-ˈvā-shən\
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French, from Latin conservation-, conservatio, from conservare
Date: 14th century

1: a careful preservation and protection of something; especially : planned management of a natural resource to prevent exploitation, destruction, or neglect

2: the preservation of a physical quantity during transformations or reactions

Conservation is an important part of Noah’s Pals… We donate 5% of our net profits to the Wildlife Conservation Society to ensure that your collecting helps animals directly!


Wildlife Word – omnivorous

March 16, 2008
We’ve defined carnivores as meat eaters and herbivores as plant eaters. What type of animal eats both meat and plants?


Pronunciation: \äm-ˈniv-rəs, -ˈni-və-\
Function: adjective
Etymology: Latin omnivorus, from omni- + -vorus -vorous
Date: circa 1656

1 : feeding on both animal and vegetable substances
2 : avidly taking in everything as if devouring or consuming <an omnivorous reader>
— om·niv·o·rous·ly adverb

Omnivores “devour all” and are very opportunistic — if they see food they like, they eat it!

Wildlife Words – folivorous

March 9, 2008

We’ve defined herbivores as the plant eaters and identified a frugivorous animal as a fruit eater. The next Wildlife Word is not in the Merriam-Webster dictionary but is often used by biologists…


Function: adjective

: Leaf-eating.

In our collection, Keelan + Krista Koala (Southern) represent an example of a folivorous animal as they enjoy munching on eucalyptus leaves. The leaf eaters have to carefully conserve their energy — leaves do not provide a lot of nutrients. Many folivorous animals have long digestive tracks to extract as much energy as they can from their hard-to-eat diet.

Wildlife Words – frugivorous

March 2, 2008

In our last post on Wildlife Words, we learned about herbivores. We can use more specific terms to describe these type of animals, and our first related word is…


Pronunciation: \frü-ˈji-və-rəs\
Function: adjective
Etymology: Latin frug-, frux + English -vorous
Date: 1713

: feeding on fruit
— fru·gi·vore \ˈfrü-ji-ˌvȯr\ noun

Frugivores are efficient eaters and enjoy the sugars and vitamins that come with eating fruit.

Wildlife Words – herbivorous

February 26, 2008
We’ve spent the last few posts on Wildlife Words talking about meat eaters, and now it’s time to learn about another way for animals to eat…


Pronunciation: \ˌ(h)ər-ˈbiv-rəs, -ˈbi-və-\
Function: adjective
Etymology: New Latin herbivorus, from Latin herba grass + -vorus -vorous
Date: 1661

: feeding on plants
— her·biv·o·ry \-ˈbi-və-rē\ noun

(Source: Merriam-Webster)

Herbivores love to eat plants…  If they were humans, we would call them vegetarians!

While herbivores are not meat eaters, they can still be dangerous and will attack other animals (and humans) to defend themselves.  The elephant is a great example!

Wildlife Words – scavenge

February 19, 2008

Carnivores are meat eaters and many find meat through predation. There is another method to eating meat, and that strategy is to:


Pronunciation: \ˈska-vənj, -vinj\
Function: verb
Inflected Form(s): scav·enged; scav·eng·ing
Etymology: back-formation from scavenger
Date: circa 1644

transitive verb

1 a (1): to remove (as dirt or refuse) from an area (2): to clean away dirt or refuse from : cleanse <scavenge a street> b: to feed on (carrion or refuse)
2 a: to remove (burned gases) from the cylinder of an internal combustion engine after a working stroke b: to remove (as an undesirable constituent) from a substance or region by chemical or physical means c: to clean and purify (molten metal) by taking up foreign elements in chemical union
3: to salvage from discarded or refuse material; also : to salvage usable material from
intransitive verb
: to work or act as a scavenger

(Source: Merriam-Webster)

We have a scavenger in our Noah’s Pals collection and you might be surprised to know that it is the Marabou Stork!

Wildlife Words – predation

February 12, 2008

In the last post, we learned that carnivore refers to meat eaters. The main way that animals find meat is through…


Pronunciation: \pri-ˈdā-shən\
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English predacion, from Latin praedation-, praedatio, from praedari
Date: 15th century

1 : the act of preying or plundering : depredation
2 : a mode of life in which food is primarily obtained by the killing and consuming of animals

(Source: Merriam-Webster)

Predation is a reality in the animal kingdom and some animals need to eat other animals to survive. While animals like Lance + Linda Lion look cute, they are dangerous predators that hunt and eat other species.

Wildlife Word – carnivorous

February 5, 2008

Our last set of Wildlife Words looked at the times of day when animals like to be active:
diurnal (day)
nocturnal (night)
crepuscular (twilight)
matutinal (dawn)
vespertine (dusk)

We now turn to words that describe how animals like to eat, and our first word in this group is…

Pronunciation: \kär-ˈni-v(ə-)rəs\
Function: adjective
Etymology: Latin carnivorus, from carn-, caro + -vorus -vorous
Date: 1592

1: subsisting or feeding on animal tissues

2 of a plant : subsisting on nutrients obtained from the breakdown of animal protoplasm (as of insects)
3: of or relating to the carnivores4: rapacious
— car·niv·o·rous·ly adverb
— car·niv·o·rous·ness noun
— car·niv·ory noun

(Source: Merriam-Webster)

Carnivores are the meat eaters of the animal kingdom…  In future posts, we will learn about two main ways these carnivores seek their food.

Wildlife Words – vespertine

January 29, 2008

Our last Wildlife Word post described a matutinal animal that likes mornings, which is a specific type of crepuscular animal. Of course, there’s a word for the animals that enjoys nights…


Pronunciation: \ˈves-pər-ˌtīn\
Function: adjective
Etymology: Latin vespertinus, from vesper
Date: 15th century

1 : of, relating to, or occurring in the evening <vespertine shadows>
2 : active, flowering, or flourishing in the evening

(Source: Merriam-Webster)

Wildlife Words – matutinal

January 22, 2008

Our next Wildlife Word describes a specific type of crepuscular animal…


Pronunciation: \ˌma-chu̇-ˈtī-nəl; mə-ˈtüt-nəl, -ˈtyüt-, -ˈtü-tə-nəl, -ˈtyü-\
Function: adjective
Etymology: Late Latin matutinalis, from Latin matutinus — more at matinee
Date: circa 1656

: of, relating to, or occurring in the morning : early

(Source: Merriam-Webster)

A matutinal animal enjoys early morning and is thus active in the dawn.