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Saguenay–St.Lawrence Marine Park

Glossary

Calving: the birth of mammal offspring.

Cetacean: mammal group that includes whales, dolphins and porpoises. There are about eighty species throughout the world. They always live in the water and breathe air.

Climate changes: slow change of the Earth’s global climate that can be from natural causes or human activities. It can cause elevated sea levels, heightened extreme climate conditions (drought, flooding, cyclones, etc.), threats to fresh water resources, desertification, a loss in biodiversity, the spreading of tropical diseases, etc.

Crustacean: generally aquatic invertebrate from the arthropod class that has two pairs of antennas and is covered by a shell. They are often edible. Examples of edible aquatic crustaceans: crabs, shrimps, lobsters, and scampi.

Echolocation: sense of direction belonging to animals that live in the dark (bats) or underwater (cetaceans) using the echo of their sounds (ultrasound or high-pitched sound) to avoid obstacles and detect prey.  

Ecosystem: system formed by the environment and the living things that live in it.

Embryo: initial stage of development for a plant or animal.

Estuary: generally large area in the mouth of a river, subject to the tide and currents, that forms a transition area between fresh stream water and sea water.

Gestation period: period during which the young develops in the mother’s uterus, right up until birth.

Gregarious: quality of animals that live in groups or communities.

Haulout: area on the bank where seals gather and rest.

Invertebrate: animal without a spine. E.g. insects, earthworms, and snails.

Larva: stage of development for certain animals before adulthood. E.g. insects, amphibians, batrachia. The living habits of a larva are very different to that of an adult.

Mammal: vertebrate animal that reproduces with a gestation period. Female mammals feed their young with their teats. They can maintain a constant internal temperature and usually have fur. E.g. humans, belugas, cows, mice.

Mollusk: soft-bodied invertebrate animal that usually lives in a protective shell. E.g. mussels, snails, oysters.

Nesting: entire reproduction process of birds including choosing a place for the nest, and building and occupying the nest to brood and raise offspring.

Overfishing: excessive fishing (legal or illegal) of certain fish, crustaceans or mollusks which could lead to a significant decline in their populations.

Predator: animal that eats living prey.

Prey: living thing that serves as food for a predator.

Quota: determined or limited number.

Spawn: laying of eggs by female fish and the fertilization of eggs by the males.

Specimen: individual that represents a species.

Sport fishing: fishing done purely for enjoyment, where consuming the fish is not the main objective.

Tentacle: long, flexible and retractable structure that anemones and sea cucumbers use to catch their prey.

Venomous: quality of plants and animals that can inject a venom (toxic substance, poison) into their predators or prey. E.g. sea anemones, snakes.

Vertebrate: animal having a skeleton with a spine.