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acquired characteristic a change in the structure or function of a living organism that is caused by environmental factors and may not be transmitted genetically.
adaptation in biology, a change in an organism, over time, that better enables it to survive and multiply. [1/3 definitions]
aerobe an organism, such as a bacterium, that needs oxygen to live.
air chamber a compartment in which air is confined for a special use, as in a pump, a hydraulic fluid regulator, or a living organism.
air sac an air-filled space or cavity in a living organism, esp. any of the ends of certain bronchial tubes in a bird's body that connect with the larger body cavity and assist in breathing.
ala a wing or winglike part or structure on a living organism.
allometry the growth rate of part of an organism in comparison with the growth rate of the entire organism or some other part of it. [1/2 definitions]
amoeba a one-celled organism that changes its shape as it moves and engulfs food.
amphioxus a tiny fishlike marine organism characterized by a primitive vertebra and dorsal nerve tissue; lancelet.
anatomy the structure of an organism or of its parts. [2/4 definitions]
ancestor in biology, an organism or species from which present life forms have evolved. [1/4 definitions]
armature any part of an organism that provides its defense or offense, esp. an armor-like covering. [1/4 definitions]
assimilation in biology, the process by which foods or nutrients taken into the organism are transformed into living tissue. [1/3 definitions]
atavism the reappearance of a biological characteristic in an organism after it has not appeared for several generations, or an organism displaying such a characteristic. [1/2 definitions]
atavistic of a trait, behavior, or the like, existing or playing a role at an earlier stage or time and recurring or reappearing within an organism or within a society after long absence or seeming disappearance.
autonomous free and independent, as a state or an organism; self-governing.
basal metabolism the minimum expense of energy that is necessary for life in a resting organism.
behavioral of or concerning the behavior of a person, animal, or other organism.
bioavailability the extent to which a substance in the soil can be taken up by a living organism. [1/2 definitions]
bisexual an organism having both male and female sexual organs; hermaphrodite. [1/5 definitions]
blocker a drug or other substance that inhibits or prevents a biochemical reaction in an organism. [1/2 definitions]