Animals And Plants (A)

see "Aal"

Aal (A'l, Ach, Aich) is the native name for Morinda tinctoria and Morinda citrifalia, two plants extensively cultivated in India for the reddish dye-stuff (Suranji) which their roots contain. The name is also sometimes used to describe the dye.

The aardvark is a south African ant eating animal.

The aardwolf is a carnivorous mammal.

Aaron's Rod
Aaron's Rod is the only British species of Golden-rod (Hag Taper). It is found in woods and thickets.

The aasvogel are south African vultures.

The abalone is the popular name for various species of the shell-fish of the Haliotidae family. They have a richly coloured shell yielding mother-of-pearl. This sort of Haliotis is also commonly called ear-shell, and in Guernsey the ormer. The abalone shell is found especially at Santa Barbara and other places on the southern Californian coast, and when polished makes a beautiful ornament. The mollusc itself is often eaten, and dried for consumption in China and Japan

Abele is an alternative name for Populus alba, the white poplar.

Abelmoschus is a genus of tropical plants of the mallow family. It yields edible fruits, called okro (okra, ochro) which is used in soups.

see "Angus"

see "Siskin"

see "Bream"

The Abroma is a genus of small trees which are native to India.

Abscess Root
see "Blue Bell"

The Abutilon are a genus of plants of the order Malvaceae, also known as The Indian Mallows and American Jute.

Abyssinian cat
The Abyssinian cat (Rabbit Cat) is a breed of domestic shorthaired cat, possibly descended from antiquity. In modern times, it was imported from Abyssinia to Britain in the 1860s. The coat of the usual variety is ruddy brown with each hair ringed with two or three darker coloured bands. It has a medium-length body, long, slender legs, large wideset ears, and deep gold or green eyes. It resembles cats that appear in ancient Egyptian wall paintings. The breed was recognized in Britain 1882 and is now most widely bred in the USA. There are many varieties.

Acacia is a genus of plants of the order Leguminosae sub order Mimoseae consisting of trees or shrubs with compound pinnate leaves. They grow in Africa, Arabia, Australia and the East Indies.

Acalepha was a name once used to describe the Medusae (jelly-fishes).

Acamthocephala are a compact group of cylindrical, parasitic worms, with no near allies in the animal kingdom. Its members are quite devoid of any mouth or alimentary canal, but have a well-developed body cavity into which the eggs are dehisced and which communicates with the exterior by means of an oviduct. The size of the animals varies greatly, from some forms a few millimetres in length to Gigantorhynchus gigas, which measures from 10 to 65 cms. The adults live in great numbers in the alimentary canal of some vertebrate, usually fish, the larvae are as a rule encysted in the body cavity of some invertebrate, most often an insect or crustacean, more rarely a small fish. The body is divisible into a proboscis and a trunk with sometimes an intervening neck region.

The Acanthaceae are a natural order of dicotyledonous herbaceous plants or shrubs with opposite leaves and mono-petalous corolla. There are around 1400 species, mostly tropical.

see "Acanthaceae"

The acanthus is a herbaceous plant of south Europe, Asia and Africa. It has large hairy, shiny leaves.

Acaridae is the mite family of insects

Acarina is the mite and tick order of the arachnida. They have a rounded body with no demarcation between the prosoma and the opisthosoma.

An accentor is a type of bird of the prunelliadae family.

The Acephala are the headless Mollusca with a bivalve shell.

Acer is a genus of plants of the order Aceraceae to which belongs the Maple.

In botany, an achene is a small, dry carpel containing a single seed, the pericarp of which is closely applied but separable and which does not open when ripe.

The Achillaea are a milfoil genus of plants.

The Achimenes are a genus of tropical American plants with scaly underground tubers. They are of the order Gesneraceae.

The acipenser is a genus of cartilaginous ganoid fishes to which the sturgeon belongs.

Aconite (Monkshood) is a genus of hardy herbaceous plants of the order Ranunculaceae. The are remarkable for their poisonous and medicinal properties. Aconite is found in temperate regions of Europe in woods and on shaded stream banks.

The acorn is the fruit of the oak tree.

Acorus is a genus of plants which includes the calamus.

see "Acotyledons"

Acotyledons are plants not furnished with cotyledons or seed-lobes, such as ferns, mosses and sea-weeds.

The acouchi is a cavy-like rodent of the genus Myoprocta, family Dasyproctidae. They are found in the Amazon forests where they eat plants.

Acrita is another name for the animals called Protozoa.

Acrogaster is a genus of fossil fish of the order Beryciformes, found in the Cretaceous period.

Acrogen is a term used to describe ferns, mosses and lichens which grow by extension upwards.

Actinia is a member of the order zoantharia.

Actinopterygii is a division of bony fishes. The paired fins have broad bases and lack fleshy lobes. External nares are double, internal nares are absent. Scales are of the ganoid type.

Actinozoa are a class of animals belonging to the sub-kingdom Coelenterata. They have rayed tentacles around the mouth.

The adda is a species of lizard also called the skink.

The addax is a species of antelope found in North African deserts. It has wide-sweeping twisted horns about 4 feet long.

The adder is a venomous snake of the viper family (Viperidae) found in England and Australia. There are three species, the Vipera berus (European adder) is the only venomous British snake.

Adder's-tongue is a species of British fern whose spores are produced on a spike which resembles a snake's tongue.

Adder's-wort is a plant supposed to be able to cure snake bites.

The Adder-pike is a small species of the weever fish. Also called the Lesser Weever or Sting-fish.

Adenanthera is a genus of trees and shrubs native to the East Indies and Ceylon of the order Leguminosae.

Adiantum is a genus of ferns.

The adjutant-bird is a large wading bird of the stork family. It is native to the warmer parts of India where it is called Hurgila or Argala.

Admiral is any of several species of butterfly in the same family (Nymphalidae) as the tortoiseshells. The red admiral Vanessa atalanta, wingspan 6 cm, is found worldwide in the northern hemisphere. It migrates south each year from northern areas to subtropical zones.

Adonis (pheasant's eye) is a genus of ranunculaceous plants. They are found throughout Europe, Asia and America and are highly poisonous.

Aechmophorus clarki
see "Clark's Grebe"

Aechmophorus occidentalis
see "Western Grebe"

The aegagrus are a wild species of ibex found in the Caucasus and other Asiatic mountains.

Aegilops is a genus of grasses native to southern Europe closely allied to wheat.

Aepyornis was a genus of gigantic birds once found in Madagascar. It had three toes and laid eggs 14 inches in length.

Aesculus is a genus of plants which includes the horse-chestnut.

Aesculus californica
see "California Buckeye"

Afghan hound
The Afghan hound is a breed of fast hunting dog resembling the saluki in build, though slightly smaller. It was first introduced to the West by British army officers serving on India's North-West Frontier along the Afghanistan border in the late 19th century. The Afghan hound hunts by sight. It is about 70 cm tall and has a long, silky coat that may be black, grey, or a wide range of beige or tawny colours.

The Africana (Pelona, Camura, Red African, Rojo Africana, Colombian Wooless, West African) is a breed of sheep found in Colombia and Venezuela. They are usually brown, ranging in shade from tan to brown and cherry-red to dark red. They are very similar to the Pelibuey in size and confirmation. The breed is polled and the male is sometimes maned.

The Africander (Afrikaner) is a native South African breed of cow. It belongs to the Sanga type and is used primarily for meat production. The breed is usually red with long lateral horns. Sanga type cattle, in huge herds, were owned by the Hottentots when the Dutch established the Cape Colony in 1652. The animals were obtained by the colonists who improved them for use as draft animals. It was Africander oxen that drew the wagons which carried Boer farmers and families on the Great Trek of 1835 - 1836 from the Cape of Good Hope to the Orange Free State, Natal and the Transvaal to escape British rule. The Africander is South Africa's most popular native breed, comprising 30% of the cattle population. Africander cattle exhibit good resistance to heat, a high level of tick resistance, quiet temperament and a satisfactorily high level of fertility under harsh conditions. Mature cows weigh approximately 525 to 600 kg and bulls weigh 750 to 1000 kg. The Africander was used with Shorthorn in developing the Bonsmara breed and with Holstein in creating the Drakensberger.

Agama is a genus of several species of lizards allied to the iguana common in Africa and Asia.

Agama Stellio
Agama Stellio is a lizard of the genus Agama. It is brown in colour, reaches a length of 35 cm and is found in Egypt, Asia Minor and parts of Greece.

Agami (Psophia crepitans) is a family of birds of the trumpeters found in tropical America.

The Agamidae are a family of lizards in which the teeth are inserted on the edge of the jaw (acrodont). The family includes Draco volans, Moloch horridus and Chlamydosaurus.

Agapanthus or African Lily (Agapanthus umbellatus) is a plant native to South Africa. It has white or blue flowers and is grown indoors in England.

The agaric is a family of fungus including the cultivated mushroom.

Agave is a genus of plants of the order Amaryllidaceae which includes the daffodil and narcissus. They are popularly known as American aloes and formerly called the century plant from the mistaken belief that it lives a hundred years before flowering, then flowers and dies. It lives for a varying number of years before flowering; the flowering axis sometimes rises to 6 meters or more; then the plant apparently dies down to the ground but a lateral bud springs from the underground part of the stem and a new plant is formed. The Mexicans grew the plant to form dense hedges, and removed the buds for the sugary sap which exudes from the wounds thus made. The sap was collected and fermented and distilled to form pulque.

Ageratum is a genus of composite plants found in the warmer parts of America.

The agnatha are a branch of the sub-phylum craniata group of animals. They are the lampreys and hagfishes. These are the most primitive of the craniates. The mouth is round and not bounded by jaws. The brain is primitive.

Agnus Castus
Agnus Castus is a shrub of the order Verbenaceae native to Mediterranean countries. It has white flowers and acrid aromatic fruits. It was thought to have the property of preserving chastity, hence the name Castus from the Latin chaste.

The agouara is a crab-eating racoon of South America.

The agouta is an insectivorous mammal peculiar to Haiti. It is of the tanrec family and somewhat larger than a rat.

The agouti is a small rodent of the genus Dasyprocta, family Dasyproctidae. It is found in the forests of Central and South America. The agouti is herbivorous, swift-running, and about the size of a rabbit.

Agrimony is a genus of plants of the order Rosaceae consisting of slender perennial herbs found in temperate regions. The leaves of common agrimony are used as a yellow dye.

Agrostis is a genus of pasture grasses.

see "Aal"

Aigrette is a term used to describe the feathery crown attached to the seeds of various plants such as the thistle and dandelion.

Air-plants (Epiphytes) are plants that live upon other plants or trees apparently without receiving any nutriment other than by the air. They are abundant in Java and tropical America.

Airedale terrier
The Airedale terrier breed of large terrier, about 60 cm tall, with a wiry red-brown coat and black saddle patch. It originated about 1850 in England, as a cross between the otterhound and Irish and Welsh terriers.

The ajolote is a Mexican reptile of the genus Bipes. It and several other tropical burrowing species are placed in the Amphisbaenia, a group separate from lizards and snakes among the Squamata. Unlike the others, however, which have no legs, it has a pair of short but well-developed front legs. In line with its burrowing habits, the skull is very solid, the eyes small, and external ears absent. The scales are arranged in rings, giving the body a worm-like appearance.

Ajowan is an umbelliferous plant which is cultivated in India, Persia and Egypt for the seeds which are used in cooking and medicine.

The ajuga are a genus of plants belonging to the Labiate family.

The alactaga is a rodent mammal closely allied to the jerboa but larger. It is found across central Asia.

The albacore is a species of fish.

The albatross is a long winged oceanic bird.

An albino is an animal with no skin pigment and pink eyes.

The alburnum is the recently formed wood in trees.

Alcelaphus albifrons
see "Blesbok"

Alcelaphus pygarga
see "Bontebok"

Alchemilla is a genus of plants of the order Rosaceae. The flowers are small and greenish; the leaves rounded in outline. The alpine species has compound leaves like a miniature lupine and is found over the Scottish Highlands.

The alco is a small variety of dog, with a small head and large pendulous ears found wild in Mexico and Peru.

Alcyonaria is an order of anthozoa. They have eight pinnate tentacles and eight mesenteries.

Alcyonium is a member of the order of alcyonaria.

The alder is a genus of plants of the order Betulaceae, consisting of trees and shrubs found in the temperate and colder regions of the world.

Alexanders (Smyrnium olusatrum) is a plant of the order Umbelliferae, formerly used as celery.

Alfa is a name for esparto grass obtained from Algeria.

Alfalfa or lucerne (Medicago sativa) is a prolific perennial tall herbaceous plant of the pea family Leguminosae. It is native to Eurasia and bears spikes of small purple flowers in late summer. It is now a major fodder crop, generally processed into hay, meal, or silage. Alfalfa sprouts, the sprouted seeds, have become a popular salad ingredient.

Algarobilla are the seed-pods of trees of the Prosopis genus, valued for their tannin.

Alimentary canal
The alimentary canal is a tube beginning at the mouth and passing through the body to the anus. It is primarily used for the reception of food.

see "Water-Plantain"

Alkanet is a perennial Boraginaceae found in warmer parts of Europe. It has a black taproot and funnel-shaped flowers which commence red and then turn blue.

Allamanda is a genus of American tropical plants of the order Apocynaceae, with large yellow or violet flowers.

Alliaria is a genus of plant of the order Cruciferae.

An alligator is a crocodilian reptile. It differs from the true crocodile by having a shorter and flatter head, much less webbed feet, and cavities in the upper jaw into which the long canine teeth of the lower jaw fit.

Alligator lizard
The Alligator lizard is a reptile of the family Anguidae, the legless lizards; it is the only member of the group to have well developed limbs. It is found in North and Central America.

The alligator-apple is a narcotic fruit similar to the custard-apple. It is found in marshy areas of Jamaica.

Alligator-pear is an old name for the Avocado-pear (Avocado).

Allium is a genus of plants of the order Liliaceae which are distinguished by a peculiar pungent smell and taste characterised as alliaceous. These include the onion, garlic, leek and shalot.

Allosaurus was the biggest and fiercest carnivorous dinosaur of the jurassic period. It was 15m tall and weighed about 3 tons.

Aloe is a genus of plants of the order Liliaceae. They are natives of Africa and other hot regions. The leaves are fleshy, thick and spinous at the edges. The flowers have a tubular corolla.

Alopecurus is a genus of grasses.

Alopias vulpes
see "Thresher"

The alpaca (paco) is a close relative of the llama and a native of South America. It is smaller than the llama and has a fleece of around 24 inches long from which cloth is woven.

Alpine Crow
The Alpine Crow or Alpine Chough is a European bird closely akin to the chough of England.

Alpine Warbler
The alpine warbler is a European bird of the same family as the hedge-sparrow.

Alsatian is another name for the German shepherd dog.

Alstroemeria are a genus of South American plants of the order Amaryllideae.

The Altay is a breed of sheep that originated in the in the regions of China typified by dry, cold mountain basins. They belong to the Kazakh group of sheep which are found in the desert and mountainous areas in west Xinjiang. Altay belong to the fat-rumped carpet wool type. They gradually formed the fat tail (or rump) as a biological characteristic. The tail (or rump) weighs about 7 kg. The rams average 82 kg and the ewes 69 kg at maturity. Due to the sharp seasonal contrast in forage availability in these pastorial areas the sheep tend to deposit a large amount of fat in the body in order to meet nutritional demands during the winter and spring. In addition, the herdsmen working under these climatic conditions need fat as the main source of energy supply, and so have selected towards sheep with high fat deposits.

The alveoli are air-sacs within the lung at the end of bronchioles.

Alyssum is a genus of cruciferous plants including the madwort.

The amadavat is a small Indian singing bird allied to the finches.

Amadou is the name of several fungi of the genus Polyporus, they have a leathery appearance and grow on trees. When cut into slices and beaten into a felt it was used to plug wounds and to stop bleeding. The felt steeped in saltpetre forms German tinder.

Amanita is a genus of fungi including fly-agaric.

The Amaranthaceae (amaranths) are an order of apetalous plants mainly found in tropical countries. They are remarkable for the white or reddish scales of which their flowers are composed.

see "Amaranthaceae"

Amaranthus is a genus of plants of the family Amaranthaceae, found in tropical and temperate climates.

Amaryllidaceae is an order of monocotyledonous plants which are generally bulbous with a highly coloured flower, six stamens and an inferior three-celled ovary. They are native to Europe and most other warm parts of the world.

Ambatch is a thorny leguminous shrub with yellow flowers growing in the shallows of the Upper Nile and other rivers of tropical Africa. It grows to around 15 to 20 feet tall. The wood is very light and spongy and is used to make rafts.

Amblyopsis is a genus of blind fishes comprised of a single species found in the Mammoth Cave of Kentucky.

Amelanchier is a genus of small trees native to Europe and North America.

Amentaceae is the family of trees and plants where the flowers are arranged in the form of catkins.

Amentum is a botanical term for the catkin.

American Bittern
The American Bittern (Botaurus lentiginosus) is a medium-large heron-like bird of the order Ciconiiformes, family Ardeidae, with a brown back, brown-streaked front, black cheek stripe and blackish primary feathers. It is an uncommon winter visitor and resident in freshwater marshes of southern california.

American Greek Valerian
see "Blue Bell"

American Kestrel
The American Kestrel (Falco sparverius) is a small falcon of the order Falconiformes, family Falconidae, with white cheeks and two black vertical cheek stripes. The male has a rusty back and tail, grey wings. The female is brownish. It forages for mice, lizards and insects by hovering above the ground, then diving for its prey. It occurs in many habitats, including borders of wetlands.

American Orioles
see "cassicus"

Ametabola are a division of insects which are wingless and do not undergo any metamorphosis, but which hatch from the egg nearly in the same form they keep throughout their life. This includes the lice and spring-tails.

Amia calva
see "Bowfin"

An ammonite is one type of extinct sea creature, often found as a fossil.

The amoeba (subphylum Sarcodina) is a simple single celled animal of the group sarcomastigophora. They move by extending lobelike projections of their cytoplasm called pseudopodia. Food is obtained by phagocytosis.

The amoebina is an order of rhizopoda. The order is comprised of the amoeba and its relatives. Reproduction is usually by binary fission.

see "amoebina"

Amomum are a genus of plants of the order Zingiberaceae which includes ginger. They are native to warm climates and are remarkable for the pungency and aromatic properties of their seeds.

Amphibia is a class of craniates which during their evolution have only partialy adapted to life on land. They breed in water.

see "amphibia"

see "amphibia"

The amphineura is a class of phylum mollusca. The body is bilaterally symmetrical. The mouth and anus are at opposite ends of the body. The foot is flattened and the mantle bears calcareous plates.

Amphipoda is an order of malacostraca where the carapace is absent and the body is laterally compressed. The abdomen is elongated.

Anableps is a genus of fish of the order Cypriniformes, found in tropical America. They are remarkable for their projecting eyes, which are divided horizontally into upper and lower halves, for vision above and below water. They reach up to 30 cm in length.

Anacardium occidetale
see "Cashew"

The anaconda is a South American snake, a member of the python and boa family, the Boidae. One of the largest snakes, growing to 9m more, it is found in and near water, where it lies in wait for the birds and animals on which it feeds. The anaconda is not venomous, but kills its prey by coiling round it and squeezing until the creature suffocates. The anaconda is a climber as well as a swimmer, and may be found in trees along river banks.

see "Pimpernel"

The anapsida are a subclass of reptiles in which there are no temporal vacuities.

see "Cat-fish"

Anatomy is the study of animal's structure.

The anchovy is a small fish (Engraulis encrasicholus) of the herring family. It is fished extensively, being abundant in the Mediterranean, and is also found on the Atlantic coast of Europe and in the Black Sea. It grows to 20 cm. Pungently flavoured, it is processed into fish pastes and essences, and used as a garnish, rather than eaten fresh.

Ancylostoma is a phylum nematoda.

The anemone is any plant of the genus Anemone, of the buttercup family Ranunculaceae. The function of petals is performed by its sepals. The white or lavender-tinged wood anemone (Anemone quinquefolia) grows in open woods, flowering in spring.

Anemone coronaria
see "Poppy anemone"

Anemone quinquefolia
see "Anemone"

Angelfish is any of a number of unrelated fishes. The freshwater angelfish, genus Pterophyllum, of South America, is a tall, side-to-side flattened fish with a striped body, up to 26 cm long, but usually smaller in captivity. The angelfish or monkfish of the genus Squatina is a bottom-living shark up to 1.8m long with a body flattened from top to bottom. The marine angelfishes, Pomacanthus and others, are long narrow-bodied fish with spiny fins, often brilliantly coloured, up to 60cm long, living around coral reefs in the tropics.

Angler is any of an order of fishes Lophiiformes, with flattened body and broad head and jaws. Many species have small, plant-like tufts on their skin. These act as camouflage for the fish as it waits, either floating among seaweed or lying on the sea bottom, twitching the enlarged tip of the threadlike first ray of its dorsal fin to entice prey. There are over 200 species of angler fish, living in both deep and shallow water in temperate and tropical seas. The males of some species have become so small that they live as parasites on the females.

The angora is a small domesticated goat with a thick flat fleece kept for milk production. They are found in Turkey, South Africa and the USA.

The Turkish angora is a breed of long-haired cat renowned for its ability to remain immobile for long periods and for its love of water and bathing. The coat is very fine, silky, and wavy. The ears are large, wide at the base, and pointed, the tail is long, tapering, and usually carried curled, the eyes are large and almond-shaped.
The angora is very responsive to its owner's wishes and enjoys retrieval games.

The angus (Aberdeen-Angus) is a hornless, black, compact, low-set domestic breed of beef cattle. It originated in Scotland and is now found throught the USA and UK.

An animal is a living creature endowed with voluntary movement.

Annelid is any segmented worm of the phylum Annelida. Annelids include earthworms, leeches, and marine worms such as lugworms. They have a distinct head and soft body, which is divided into a number of similar segments shut off from one another internally by membranous partitions, but there are no jointed appendages.

see "phylum annelida"

An ant is a small hymenopterous insect. Ants have a complex social structure, and instincts.

The anteater is a mammal of the family Myrmecophagidae, order Edentata, native to Mexico, Central America, and tropical South America. An anteater lives almost entirely on ants and termites. It has toothless jaws, an extensile tongue, and claws for breaking into the nests of its prey. Species include the giant anteater Myrmecophaga tridactyla, about 1.8m long including the tail, the tamandua or collared anteater Tamandua tetradactyla, about 90cm long, and the silky anteater Cyclopes didactyla, about 35cm long. The name is also incorrectly applied to the aardvark, the echidna, and the pangolin.

The antedon is a type of crinoidea.

An antelope is any of several cloven hoofed ruminates.

see "antelope"

Anthomyia brassicae
see "Cabbage Fly"

The anthozoa is the class of marine animals known as sea anemones, sea fans, sea pens and stony corals. They are solitary or colonial animals in which only hydroid individuals are represented.

The anthropoidea are an order of eutheria. They have the most highly developed Brain of the mammals. The digits bear nails.

Antiaris toxicaria
see "Upas"

Antilocapra americana
see "Prong Buck"

Antilope cervicapra
see "Blackbuck"

see "ant"

Anura is a subclass of amphibia. They are the frogs and toads. These are amphibians which lose their tail at the metamorphosis. In the adult the gill slits close. The hind limbs are very powerful and have webs between the digits.

Apatosaurus was a herbivore dinosaur from the jurassic period. It was 20m long and weighed 30 tonnes. It digested food with the aid of stones in the stomach.

see "apes"

The Apennine (Appenninica) is a breed of sheep found in the Appennine Mountain, Emilia and Abruzzi Regions of Italy. It is a medium wool breed kept primarily for meat production. It is polled and has semi-lopped ears.

Apes are a group of primates closely related to humans.

Aphetohyoidea is a subclass of fish. They have a bony endoskeleton and primitive jaws.

Aploppas (Bixa orillana) is a small South American tree rising almost ten meters tall, with broad, heart-shaped leaves and pointed, rose-coloured flowers which occur in bunches. The fruit is heart-shaped, three centimeters long, reddish-brown and covered with stiff prickles. Annatto is obtained by pulping the seeds, allowing the pulp to dry naturally and pressing it into cakes.

Apocynum Cannabinum
see "Canadian Hemp"

The apoda are a subclass of amphibia. They are limbless, burrowing animals with a sub-terminal anus and small practically useless eyes covered by opaque skin.

see "Apennine"

An apple is the edible fruit of the trees of genus malus, rosaceae family.

The apricot (Prunus armeniaca) is a species of of the plum division of the Rosaceae. It is a native of China, brought to England from Italy in 1652. It is a hardy tree bearing stone fruit closely related to the peach. The leaves are broad and roundish with a pointed apex, finely serrated and petiole, about two centimeters long. The flowers are sessile, white, tinged with a dusky red. The fruit ripens around the end of July, to the middle of August and is a drupe like the plum with a thin, downy outer-skin enclosing the yellow flesh surrounding a woody, large, smooth compressed stone. The oil of the stone is used in cosmetics as a skin softener.

Apterygota is a subclass of insecta.

Apulian Merino
see "Gentile di Puglia"

Aquilegia vulgaris
see "Columbine"

see "Awassi"

The Arabi is a breed of sheep found in southwestern Iran, southern Iraq and northeastern Arabia, the Arabi is a meat breed of the Near Easter Fat-Tailed type. The wool is of carpet quality. The breed is usually black, pied, or white with a black head. The males are horned and the females are hornless (polled). The Arabi is the foundation breed of the Wooled Persian of South Africa.

Arachnida is a class of arthropods. They are the spiders, scorpions, king-crabs and mites. The body is divided into an anterior prosoma and a posterior mesosoma. There are four pairs of walking legs on the mesosoma.

see "Baluchi"

Aralia is a genus of the ivy order, natives of the temperate and tropical regions. Ginseng is produced by one species.

Araneida is the spider order of arachnida. Spinnerets are present in the abdomen for spinning the web.

Arapawa Island
The origin of the Arapawa sheep is not certain but they have been on the New Zealand island of Arapawa for at least 135 years. They are considered a rare and endangered breed. There are many theories on the origin of the sheep. One theory implies that they are Middle Eastern breed introduced by the whalers. Another theory suggests that they originated from Austalian Merinos. The most intriguing theory is that the sheep landed on the Arapawa island from a Spanish galleon as far back as the 1500s. According to the Maori legend on the island, the Spanish galleon sailed into a bay 400 years ago and befriended the people. But when the Spaniards stole the Maori Women, the men turned upon them and burned the ship. The ancestors of the Arapawa sheep escaped the wreck and swam ashore. The sheep are prehistoric looking wild sheep with fine black wool and white points. They are also horned.

The araroba (Andira Araroba) is a large, smooth Brazilian tree with a yellowish wood from which goa powder is obtained.

see "Arrowroot"

Araucaria is a genus of Coniferae with evergreen leaves, of a singularly geometric habit of growth.

Archaeopteryx was the first bird. It appeared on earth during the jurassic period. It was about 35cm long and unlike modern birds had teeth.

The archerfish is a surface-living fish of the family Toxotidae, such as the genus Toxotes, native to South-East Asia and Australia. The archerfish grows to about 25 cm and is able to shoot down insects up to 1.5 m above the water by spitting a jet of water from its mouth.

The archiannelida are a class of phylum annelida.

Arctium Lappa
see "Burdock"

Ardea herodias
see " Great Blue Heron"

The arenicola are polychaeta.

see "Adjutant-bird"

The argali is a wild sheep found in Siberia.

The argus-flounder is a species of flounder found in American seas.

The armadillo is a mammal native to South and Central America.

Armeria (Thrift) is a genus of plants of the order Plumbaginaceae.

Arolla Pine
see "Cembra Pine"

Arrow worm
see "phylum chaetognatha"

Arrowgrass (Triglochin palustris and Triglochin maritima) are plants of the family Juncaginaceae. The former species is common in marshes and pools and the latter grows in saltwater marshes in Britain.

The arrowhead (Sagittaria sagittifolia) also known as Wapatoo and Is-ze-kn, is a water plant of the order Alismaceae wideky distributed throughout Europe, northern Asia and North America. The stem is swollen at the base and throws out creeping stolons or runners, which produce globose winter tubers one cm in diameter, composed almost entirely of starch. The leaves are borne on triangular stalks that vary in length with the depth of the water in which the plant is growing. The leaves don't lie on the surface of the water, but stand above it. The leaves are large, glossy and shaped like an arrowhead. The flower stem rises directly from the root and bears several rings of buds and blossoms, three in each whorl. Each flower is composed of three outer sepals and three large petals which are white in colour with a purple base. The root of the arrowhead has long been eaten by the Chinese, Japanese and North American Indians.

Arrowroot (Maranta arundinaceae) also known as Araruta, is a herbaceous perennial of the order Marantaceae, native to the West Indies and Cemtral America. It has a creeping rhizome with upward-curving, fleshy, cylindrical tubers covered with large, thin scales that leave rings of scars. The flowering stem reaches a height of two meters and bears creamy flowers at the ends of the slender branches that terminate the long peduncles. They grow in pairs. The numerous, ovate, glabrous leaves are from 5 to 25 cm long with long sheaths often enveloping the stem. A starch is extracted from the rhizomes and used in cooking and in herbal medicine for treating scorpion and spider stings.

Artemisia Absinthium
see "Wormwood"

see "phylum arthropoda"

see "arthropod"

Artiodactyla is an order of eutheria. They are even toed ungulates: cattle and sheep.; pigs, deer and camels. They are specialised to deal with large quantities of vegetable food. The cheek teeth are adapted for grinding. The stomach is complex.

Artocarpus incisa
see "Bread-Fruit"

see "Ascaris lumbricoides"

Ascaris lumbricoides
Ascaris lumbricoides are nematode worms ranging from 20-45 cm long and are 5 mm in diameter in the adult form, the female being larger than the male. They cause the disease ascariasis which is caught by ingesting water or food contaminated with feces containing Ascaris ova or from fingers contaminated with polluted soil.

Asexual is a term applied to reproduction by a single parent.

The ash is a type of tree yielding strong elastic timber.

Asiatic wild dog
see "Dhole"

The asp is a type of poisonous snake.

The aspen is a tree native to Europe, north Africa and north Asia.

The ass is an animal related to the horse and zebra.

Asterias is an asteroidea.

Asteroidea is a subclass of stelleroidea. These are the starfishes. Tube feet are in a groove along the under surface of each of the 'arms', these feet can be retracted.

see "Egg-plant"

Auchenia is a genus of animals to which the llama, alpaca, guanaco and vicuna all belong. The genus is confined to South America.

An auricle is a heart chamber which receives blood.

Autumn Scilla
see "Scilla"

The aves are the bird class of craniates. They are similar to the reptiles, but have become adapted to flying. The fore limbs are modified to form wings.

The avocado-pear (avocado) is an evergreen tree of the order Lauraceae. It has a fruit similar to a pear, weighing around one to two pounds. It is a native tree of tropical America and the West Indies.

The Awassi (Ivesti, Arab, Baladi, Deiri, Shami, Gezirieh, Syrian) is a nomadic sheep breed created through centuries of natural and selective breeding to become the highest milk producing breed in the Middle East. The breed is of the Near Eastern Fat-tailed type. The average ewe has single lactions over 300 liters per 210 day lactation and it is not uncommon for outstanding females to have 210 day lactations above 750 liters. The breed is calm around people, easy to work with and easily milked. When machine milked, they can be milked in 4-6 minutes. The breed also has the advantage of natural hardiness and grazing ability. The breed is well suited to a grazing production system as well as a confinement operation. The Awassi has a brown face and legs with the fleece varying in colour from brown to white. Individuals can also be found with black, white, grey or spotted faces. The males are horned and the females are usually polled. The fleece is mostly carpet type with a varying degree of hair.

The ayrshire is a fleshy bodied red or brown coloured breed of domestic dairy cattle found throught the temperate regions of the world.

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