Glossary: N


living in the Nearctic biogeographic province, the northern part of the New World. This includes Greenland, the Canadian Arctic islands, and all of the North American as far south as the highlands of central Mexico.

World Map


living in the southern part of the New World. In other words, Central and South America.

World Map


the paired openings of the nasal cavity in vertebrates, nostrils. Singular: naris.


Associated with an animal's birth.


specialized for swimming

native range

the area in which the animal is naturally found, the region in which it is endemic.

nauplius larva

A free-swimming larvae with three pairs of appendages (antennules, antennae and mandibles)on an unsegmented body. Synapomorphy of the Crustacea.


an animal that mainly eats nectar from flowers


a specialized cell in the tentacles of cnidarians (Phylum Cnidaria, jellyfish, corals, and anemones) and ctenophores (Phylum Ctenophora, comb jellies). Each nematocyst typically contains a barbed and/or venomous coiled thread that can be ejected in defense or to capture prey. Synapomorphy for Cnidaria.


retaining larval characteristics after reaching sexual maturity. The rate of growth of somatic (nonreproductive) parts of the body is slowed whereas development of reproductive organs proceeds normally.


a structure for protection from the elements and/or predators, usually used for protecting and raising babies.

neural crest cells

Cells which migrate during neurulation and form most of the peripheral nervous system (as well as many other structures) in the embryo. Synapomorphy of the Craniata.

nitrogenous waste

waste products of the metabolism of proteins and nucleic acids.

no parental involvement

Indicates there is no parental involvement by either males or females after fertilization of the egg(s). As in broadcast spawning species that simply release eggs and sperm into the environment and have no further involvement with their offspring.

See Also: parental care; parental investment

active during the night


generally wanders from place to place, usually within a well-defined range.

non-insect invertebrates

invertebrate prey besides insects and spiders. For example, crustaceans (shrimp or crabs), molluscs (snails, clams, or squid), echinoderms (starfish or sea urchins), or cnidarians (jellyfish, coral).


A rodlike cellular structure running the length of the organisms body which strengthens and supports the body in place of a vertebral column, and supports muscle attachment and bends to support a broad range of locomotory movements. Remains as a cellular structure in protochordates and jawless vertebrates; in jawed vertebrates it is largely or completely replaced during development by cartilage or bony vertabrae. Synapomorphy of the Chordata.