Anatomy and Physiology of Animals/Glossary/C-D

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Word Meaning
Callus A thickening of the skin or growth of new bone tissue in and around a fracture
Canines The long, cone-shaped teeth just behind the incisors
Carbohydrate An organic compound containing carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. Made up of sugar subunits
Cardiac cycle A complete heartbeat consisting of systole and diastole
Cardiac muscle The muscle that makes up the wall of the heart. Striated branched fibres
Cardiovascular system The body system comprising the heart, blood vessels and blood
Carnassial teeth The modified premolars and molars in carnivores that slice against each other like scissors for shearing flesh and bone.
Carotid artery The artery from aorta that supplies the head and brain
Carpal A bone of the “wrist”
Cartilage Dense connective tissue found at ends of long bones, in trachea, ear pinna. Also forms the skeleton of the foetus
Cataract A condition in which the lens becomes cloudy resulting in blurred vision.
Caudal Nearer to the tail than
Caudal vena cava The large vein that collects blood from the body caudal to the heart
Cell The basic structural and functional unit of all organisms
Cell division The process by which a cell reproduces itself. Two types: mitosis and meiosis
Cell inclusion A substance produced by cell that is free in cytoplasm i.e. not enclosed by a membrane
Cellular respiration The chemical pathway that produces energy in the cell

It consumes a fuel, generally glucose, in the presence of oxygen

Central nervous system The part of the nervous system consisting of the brain and spinal cord
Cephalic To do with the head
Cerebellum The part of the vertebrate hindbrain located dorsally; functions in unconscious coordination of movement and balance
Cerebral cortex The surface of the cerebrum; the largest and most complex part of the mammalian brain, containing sensory and motor nerve cell bodies of the cerebrum
Cerebrospinal fluid The fluid that circulates around and within brain and spinal cord
Cerebrum The dorsal portion of the brain composed of right and left hemispheres;

the integrating center for memory, learning, emotions

Cervical vertebrae The neck vertebrae
Cervix The neck of the uterus
Chemoreceptor A receptor that detects chemicals
Chorionic gonadotrophin The hormone secreted by the placenta that prevents uterine contractions before labour

and prepares the mammary glands for lactation


The middle coat of the eyeball

Chromosome One of the small dark staining bodies in the cell nucleus. Contains the DNA
Chyle The milky fluid found in the lacteals of the small intestine
Chyme The semi fluid mixture of partly digested food and digestive secretions in the stomach and small intestine
Cilium (pl. cilia) A hair like process projecting from a cell. Used to move cell substances along the surface of the cell
Class The taxonomic grouping of related, similar orders; category above order and below phylum
Clavicle The collar bone
Clot The process that changes liquid blood to a gelatinous mass
Coagulation The process by which blood clots
Coccyx The tail bones
Coccygeal vertebrae The vertebrae of the tail
Cochlea The coiled tube forming the portion of the inner ear that converts sound waves to nerve impulses
Collagen A protein that is the main organic constituent of connective tissue
Colon Part of the large intestine.
Colostrum The first milk, it contains antibodies.
Common bile duct The duct that carries both bile and pancreatic juice into the small intestine
Compact bone Dense bone made up of Haversian systems
Conditioned Reflex The response that is elicited by a stimulus after training has taken place
Condyle A rounded protuberance at the ends of some bones where it forms an articulation with another bone
Cone A light sensitive receptor in the retina that responds to colour
Congenital Present at the time of birth
Conjunctiva The delicate membrane covering the cornea of the eye
Connective tissue One of the 4 basic tissue types of the body. Binds and supports. Consists of cells and fibres in a matrixs
Constipation Decreased defecation due to decreased mobility of the intestines
Continuous breeding When breeding continues throughout the year
Cornea The transparent anterior layer of the eye through which the iris can be seen
Coronary artery The artery that supplies the heart muscle
Corpus luteum A yellow endocrine gland formed in the empty ovarian follicle after ovulation
Cortex The outer layer of an organ
Costal To do with a rib
Cowper’s gland One of the accessory glands of the male reproductive system
Cranial Towards the head
Cranial nerve One of the 12 nerves that leave the brain
Cranium The brain case that surrounds and protects the brain
Crop The bag-like structure at the base of the oesophagus in birds.In many birds it stores food before it enters the stomachA
Crop-milk Secretion produced by glands in the wall of the crop of in pigeons and doves Parents regurgitate it to feed their young
Cross section Crosswise slice of an animal or organ
Cryptorchidism Undescended testes
Cutaneous To do with the skin
Cytology The study of cells
Cytosol The semi fluid portion of the cytoplasm
Dehydration Excessive loss of water from the body or its parts
Denaturation Disruption of the structure of a protein by heat, acids etc. to make it inactive
Dendrite A nerve cell process that carries the nerve impulses towards the cell body
Dental formula The formula that describes the numbers of the different kinds of teeth
Dentine The tissue below the enamel in teeth
Dermis The layer of dense connective tissue lying under the epidermis
Diabetes insipidus The condition caused by under secretion of antidiuretic hormone (ADH). Symptom: excretion large amounts dilute urine
Diabetes mellitus The condition caused by under secretion of insulin. Symptoms: raised blood glucose levels, glucose in urine
Diaphragm The dome shaped skeletal muscle separating the thoracic from the abdominal cavities
Diaphysis The shaft of a long bone
Diarrhoea Frequent defecation of liquid faeces
Diastema The space in the jaw in animals that have no (or reduced) canines
Diastole The phase of the heartbeat involving the relaxation of the ventricles
Diastolic blood pressure Blood pressure in the arteries between the passage of the pulses
Diffusion A passive process of movement of molecules from a region of high concentration to one of low concentration
Digestion The mechanical and physical breakdown of food
Digitigrade locomotion Locomotion on the “fingers” as in cats and dogs
Dilate To expand or swell
Diploid Having a double set of chromosomes one maternal, one paternal
Directional terms Terms that describe the locations of structures in relation to other structures or locations in the body
Disaccharides Double sugar, consisting of two joined monosaccharides
Distal Farther away from the trunk of the body or point of origin
Diuretic A chemical that reduces Antidiuretic hormone production and increases urine volume
Dorsal Nearer the back of the animal than
Duodenum First part of the small intestine