Anatomy and Physiology of Animals/Glossary/M-N

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Word Meaning
Macrophage A large phagocytic cell present in many tissues
Mammary gland The milk producing gland
Mandible The bone of the lower jaw
Marrow The soft sponge like material in the cavities of bone
Matrix The substance of a tissue in which the more specialised structures are embedded
Maxilla The bone of the upper jaw
Medial Towards the midline
Mediastinum The tissue that separates the two sides of the lung
Medulla Inner part of an organ
Medulla oblongata The part of the brain stem or hind brain
Meiosis The type of cell division for production of gametes. Halves the number of chromosomes
Melanin The dark pigment in the skin and hair
Melatonin The hormone produced by the pineal gland
Membrane A thin, flexible sheet of tissue
Meninges The membranes covering the brain and spinal cord
Mesentery The membrane attaching the small intestine to the abdominal wall
Metacarpals The bones of the “hand”
Metastasis The distant spread of disease especially a malignant tumour from its site of origin
Metatarsals The five bones of the foot that connect the “ankle” to the toes
Microfilaments A solid contracting strand in the cytoplasm of cells that brings about cell contraction.
Microtubule A hollow rod of protein in the cytoplasm of all eukaryotic cells and in cilia, flagella, and the cytoskeleton
Microvilli The microscopic fingerlike projections from the membrane of the cells covering the villi of the small intestine
Middle ear The cavity in the skull between the eardrum and inner ear housing the auditory ossicles
Milk teeth The first set of teeth in a young animal
Minute volume The volume of air inspired or expired during a minute of normal tidal breathing
Mitochondrion The organelle in cell cytoplasm that produces energy
Mitosis The cell division for growth and repair. Produces 2 cells identical to parent and each othe
Molars The more posterior cheek teeth
Monocyte The largest leukocyte. It is phagocytic and has no granules in the cytoplasm
Monosaccharide The simplest carbohydrate. Also known as simple sugar
Morula The solid mass of cells produced by successive divisions of the fertilized ovum
Mucus A thick fluid secretion
Myelin The fatty insulating coating to an axon of a neuron
Nasal cavity The space just inside the nostril
Negative feedback Control in which the stimulus initiates actions that reverse or reduce the stimulus
Nephron The functional unit of the kidney
Nerve A bundle of nerve fibres
Nerve impulse The nerve “current’ that passes along a neuron
Neuron A nerve cell
Neurotransmitter Molecules released at a synapse to transmit the nerve impulse from one neuron to the next
Neutral fat A fat or triglyceride. Biological compound consisting of three fatty acids linked to one glycerol molecule
Neutrophil White blood cell with granules in the cytoplasm involved in phagocytosis
Nictitating membrane The third eyelid in the cat, tuatara and crocodiles
Normal saline A 0.9% solution of sodium chloride
Nuclear membrane The double layered membrane that surrounds the nucleus
Nucleolus The spherical body within the nucleus, containing RNA
Nucleus The spherical or oval body in the cell that contains the DNA
Nutrient A chemical substance in food that provides energy or assists various body processes