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Gastropod
See text.Diversity65,000 to 80,000 species[3][4]The Gastropoda
Gastropoda
or gastropods, more commonly known as snails and slugs, are a large taxonomic class within the phylum Mollusca. The class Gastropoda
Gastropoda
includes snails and slugs of all kinds and all sizes from microscopic to Achatina achatina, the largest known land gastropod. There are many thousands of species of sea snails and sea slugs, as well as freshwater snails, freshwater limpets, land snails and land slugs. The class Gastropoda
Gastropoda
contains a vast total of named species, second only to the insects in overall number. The fossil history of this class goes back to the Late Cambrian
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Precambrian
The Precambrian
Precambrian
(or Pre-Cambrian, sometimes abbreviated pЄ, or Cryptozoic) is the earliest part of Earth's history, set before the current Phanerozoic
Phanerozoic
Eon. The Precambrian
Precambrian
is so named because it preceded the Cambrian, the first period of the Phanerozoic
Phanerozoic
eon, which is named after Cambria, the Latinised name for Wales, where rocks from this age were first studied. The Precambrian
Precambrian
accounts for 88% of the Earth's geologic time. The Precambrian
Precambrian
(colored green in the timeline figure) is a supereon that is subdivided into three eons (Hadean, Archean, Proterozoic) of the geologic time scale
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Biodiversity
Biodiversity, a portmanteau of "bio" (life) and "diversity", generally refers to the variety and variability of life on Earth. According to the United Nations Environment Programme
United Nations Environment Programme
(UNEP), biodiversity typically measures variation at the genetic, the species, and the ecosystem level.[1] Terrestrial biodiversity tends to be greater near the equator,[2] which seems to be the result of the warm climate and high primary productivity.[3] Biodiversity
Biodiversity
is not distributed evenly on Earth, and is richest in the tropics
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Abyssal Zone
The abyssal zone or abyssopelagic is a layer of the pelagic zone of the ocean. "Abyss" derives from the Greek word ἄβυσσος, meaning bottomless. At depths of 4,000 to 6,000 metres (13,000 to 20,000 ft), this zone remains in perpetual darkness
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Mudflat
Mudflats or mud flats, also known as tidal flats, are coastal wetlands that form when mud is deposited by tides or rivers. They are found in sheltered areas such as bays, bayous, lagoons, and estuaries. Mudflats may be viewed geologically as exposed layers of bay mud, resulting from deposition of estuarine silts, clays and marine animal detritus. Most of the sediment within a mudflat is within the intertidal zone, and thus the flat is submerged and exposed approximately twice daily. In the past tidal flats were considered unhealthy, economically unimportant areas and were often dredged and developed into agricultural land.[1] Several especially shallow mudflat areas, such as the Wadden Sea, are now popular among those practising the sport of mudflat hiking. On the Baltic Sea
Baltic Sea
coast of Germany
Germany
in places, mudflats are exposed not by tidal action, but by wind-action driving water away from the shallows into the sea
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Estuaries
An estuary is a partially enclosed coastal body of brackish water with one or more rivers or streams flowing into it, and with a free connection to the open sea.[1] Estuaries form a transition zone between river environments and maritime environments. They are subject both to marine influences—such as tides, waves, and the influx of saline water—and to riverine influences—such as flows of fresh water and sediment. The mixing of sea water and fresh water provide high levels of nutrients both in the water column and in sediment, making estuaries among the most productive natural habitats in the world.[2] Most existing estuaries formed during the Holocene
Holocene
epoch with the flooding of river-eroded or glacially scoured valleys when the sea level began to rise about 10,000–12,000 years ago.[3] Estuaries are typically classified according to their geomorphological features or to water-circulation patterns
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Clade
A clade (from Ancient Greek: κλάδος, klados, "branch") is a group of organisms that consists of a common ancestor and all its lineal descendants, and represents a single "branch" on the "tree of life".[1] The common ancestor may be an individual, a population, a species (extinct or extant), and so on right up to a kingdom and further. Clades are nested, one in another, as each branch in turn splits into smaller branches. These splits reflect evolutionary history as populations diverged and evolved independently. Clades are termed monophyletic (Greek: "one clan") groups. Over the last few decades, the cladistic approach has revolutionized biological classification and revealed surprising evolutionary relationships among organisms.[2] Increasingly, taxonomists try to avoid naming taxa that are not clades; that is, taxa that are not monophyletic
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Species
In biology, a species is the basic unit of classification and a taxonomic rank, as well as a unit of biodiversity, but it has proven difficult to find a satisfactory definition. Scientists and conservationists need a species definition which allows them to work, regardless of the theoretical difficulties. If as Linnaeus
Linnaeus
thought, species were fixed, there would be no problem, but evolutionary processes cause species to change continually, and to grade into one another. A species is often defined as the largest group of organisms in which two individuals can produce fertile offspring, typically by sexual reproduction. While this definition is often adequate, when looked at more closely it is problematic. For example, with hybridisation, in a species complex of hundreds of similar microspecies, or in a ring species, the boundaries between closely related species become unclear
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Class (biology)
In biological classification, class (Latin: classis) is:a taxonomic rank. Other well-known ranks in descending order of size are life, domain, kingdom, phylum, order, family, genus, and species, with class fitting between phylum and order. As for the other well-known ranks, there is the option of an immediately lower rank, indicated by the prefix sub-: subclass (Latin: subclassis). a taxonomic unit, a taxon, in that rank. In that case the plural is classes (Latin classes)Example: Dogs are in the class Mammalia.The composition of each class is determined by a taxonomist. Often there is no exact agreement, with different taxonomists taking different positions. There are no hard rules that a taxonomist needs to follow in describing a class, but for well-known animals there is likely to be consensus. In botany, classes are now rarely discussed
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Extinct
In biology and ecology, extinction is the termination of an organism or of a group of organisms (taxon), normally a species. The moment of extinction is generally considered to be the death of the last individual of the species, although the capacity to breed and recover may have been lost before this point. Because a species' potential range may be very large, determining this moment is difficult, and is usually done retrospectively
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Family (taxonomy)
In biological classification, family (Latin: familia, plural familiae) is one of the eight major taxonomic ranks; it is classified between order and genus. A family may be divided into subfamilies, which are intermediate ranks above the rank of genus. In vernacular usage, a family may be named after one of its common members; for example, walnuts and hickory trees belong to the family Juglandaceae, commonly known as the walnut family. What does or does not belong to a family—or whether a described family should be recognized at all—are proposed and determined by practicing taxonomists. There are no hard rules for describing or recognizing a family, or any taxa. Taxonomists often take different positions about descriptions of taxa, and there may be no broad consensus across the scientific community for some time
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Furongian
The Furongian is the fourth and final series of the Cambrian. It lasted from 497 to 485.4 million years ago. It succeeds the still unnamed 3rd series of the Cambrian
Cambrian
and precedes the Lower Ordovician Tremadocian stage. It is subdivided into three stages: the Paibian, Jiangshanian and the unnamed 10th stage of the Cambrian.[1]Contents1 Naming 2 Definition 3 Subdivisions 4 Biostratigraphy 5 ReferencesNaming[edit] The Furongian was also known as the "Series 4" of the Cambrian
Cambrian
and replaced the older term "Upper Cambrian" and equivalent to the local term "Hunanian". The name "Furongian" was ratified by the International Commission on Stratigraphy in 2003
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Insect
See text.SynonymsEctognatha EntomidaInsects or Insecta (from Latin
Latin
insectum) are by far the largest group of hexapod invertebrates within the arthropod phylum. Definitions and circumscriptions vary; usually, insects comprise a class within the Phylum
Phylum
Arthropoda. As used here, the term is synonymous with Ectognatha. Insects have a chitinous exoskeleton, a three-part body (head, thorax and abdomen), three pairs of jointed legs, compound eyes and one pair of antennae
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Cambrian
The Cambrian
Cambrian
Period ( /ˈkæmbriən/ or /ˈkeɪmbriən/) was the first geological period of the Paleozoic
Paleozoic
Era, of the Phanerozoic
Phanerozoic
Eon.[6] The Cambrian
Cambrian
lasted 55.6 million years from the end of the preceding Ediacaran
Ediacaran
Period 541 million years ago (mya) to the beginning of the Ordovician
Ordovician
Period 485.4 mya.[7] Its subdivisions, and its base, are somewhat in flux
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Class (taxonomy)
In biological classification, class (Latin: classis) is:a taxonomic rank. Other well-known ranks in descending order of size are life, domain, kingdom, phylum, order, family, genus, and species, with class fitting between phylum and order. As for the other well-known ranks, there is the option of an immediately lower rank, indicated by the prefix sub-: subclass (Latin: subclassis). a taxonomic unit, a taxon, in that rank. In that case the plural is classes (Latin classes)Example: Dogs are in the class Mammalia.The composition of each class is determined by a taxonomist. Often there is no exact agreement, with different taxonomists taking different positions. There are no hard rules that a taxonomist needs to follow in describing a class, but for well-known animals there is likely to be consensus. In botany, classes are now rarely discussed
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Taxonomic
Taxonomy (from Ancient Greek τάξις (taxis), meaning 'arrangement', and -νομία (-nomia), meaning 'method') is the science of defining and naming groups of biological organisms on the basis of shared characteristics. Organisms are grouped together into taxa (singular: taxon) and these groups are given a taxonomic rank; groups of a given rank can be aggregated to form a super-group of higher rank, thus creating a taxonomic hierarchy. The principal ranks in modern use are domain, kingdom, phylum (division is sometimes used in botany in place of phylum), class, order, family, genus and species
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