anatomy: (adj. anatomical) The study of the organs and tissues of animals. Or the characterization of the body or parts of the body on the basis of structure and tissues. Scientists who work in this field are known as anatomists.
bacteria: (singular: bacterium) Single-celled organisms. These dwell nearly everywhere on Earth, from the bottom of the sea to inside other living organisms (such as plants and animals). Bacteria are one of the three domains of life on Earth.
breed: (noun) Animals within the same species that are so genetically similar that they produce reliable and characteristic traits. German shepherds and dachshunds, for instance, are examples of dog breeds. (verb) To produce offspring through reproduction.
canine: Members of the biological family of canids. These are carnivores and omnivores. The family includes dogs, wolves, foxes, jackals and coyotes.
conservation: The act of preserving or protecting something. The focus of this work can range from art objects to endangered species and other aspects of the natural environment.
coronavirus: A family of viruses named for the crown-like spikes on their surface (corona means “crown” in Latin). Coronaviruses cause the common cold. The family also includes viruses that cause far more serious infections, including SARS.
DNA: (short for deoxyribonucleic acid) A long, double-stranded and spiral-shaped molecule inside most living cells that carries genetic instructions. It is built on a backbone of phosphorus, oxygen, and carbon atoms. In all living things, from plants and animals to microbes, these instructions tell cells which molecules to make.
domestication: A process of producing a tame version of an animal from a wild one, which can take thousands of years. A domesticated animal is one that has been bred in captivity.
ice age: Earth has experienced at least five major ice ages, which are prolonged periods of unusually cold weather experienced by much of the planet. During that time, which can last hundreds to thousands of years, glaciers and ice sheets expand in size and depth. The most recent ice age peaked 21,500 years ago, but continued until about 13,000 years ago.
invasive: An adjective that refers to something that can invade some environment (such as an invasive species) or alter some environment (such as invasive medical procedures).
pup: A term given to the young of many animals, from dogs and mice to seals.
species: A group of similar organisms capable of producing offspring that can survive and reproduce.
tone: (in psychology) Changes in a voice that express a particular feeling or mood.
virus: Tiny infectious particles consisting of RNA or DNA surrounded by protein. Viruses can reproduce only by injecting their genetic material into the cells of living creatures. Although scientists frequently refer to viruses as live or dead, in fact no virus is truly alive. It doesn’t eat like animals do, or make its own food the way plants do. It must hijack the cellular machinery of a living cell in order to survive.
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