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IELTS & TOEFL Animals Vocabulary

One of the popular topics for IELTS & TOEFL is Zoology.

Animals Vocabulary

Class

Reptiles – a class of animals that are cold-blooded, with scales
Amphibians – a class of animals that can live in the water and on land, no scales
Mammals — a class of warm-blooded, usually hairy animals, that feed their young with milk secreted by
the mammary glands of females
Fish — are vertebrates which live in water and respire (get oxygen) with gills.
Birds — a class of warm-blooded animals that can fly

Mammals

there are three main types of mammal:
monotremes — egg-laying mammals
marsupials — pouched mammals
placental mammals — placental mammals

Body types

Homeotherms — animals that have a constant body temperature.
Poikilotherms — animals whose body temperature adjusts depending on the environment.
Endotherms/endothermic animals/warm-blooded animals – use internally generated heat to maintain body temperature. Their body temperature tends to stay steady regardless of environment.
Ectotherms/ectothermic animals/cold-blooded animals – depend mainly on external heat sources, and their body temperature changes with the temperature of the environment.

Vision

Binocular vision — seeing with two eyes that have an overlapping field of view; see stereoscopic vision
Foveal vison — capable of eye contact, focus, and acute sighting
Stereoscopic vision — the ability to see things in three dimensions; allows for depth perception; see binocular
vision

Activity

Crepuscular — active at dawn and dusk
Diurnal
 — active by day
Nocturnal
 — performing most actions (feeding, breeding, etc.) at night

Movement

Locomotion — the act of moving from place to place (swim, jump, walk, etc.)
Brachiation
— movement by use of forelimbs/arms, swinging from one handhold to another in trees (e.g.
gibbons)
Bipedal — moves upright on two feet (e.g. humans)
Palmigrade — walking with the palm of the hand down on the ground (e.g. apes)
Quadrupedal — moves with all four limbs for locomotion

Eating habits

Detritivore  — animals that feeds on dead plant and animal matter
Insectivore — an animal that feeds on insects
Herbivores
— animals eating plants, leaves, and vegetation
Carnivores — animals feeding on other animals; flesh-eating
Omnivores — animals feeding on a variety of different foodstuffs, both animal and vegetable
Ruminant — a hoofed and herbivorous mammals that has a specialised digestive system with more than one stomach chamber
Predator — an animal which must hunt and kill other animals for food
Prey — an animal which is hunted by other animals for food

Habitat

Enclosure — the man-made habitat of an animal in captivity
Biome — a group of areas with similar climates, weather patterns, seasons, and vegetation (tundra,
rainforest, etc.)
Environment — the total conditions in which an organism exists (climate, terrain, food, light, presence of
other living organisms)
Habitat — a place that contains all the nutrients, water, shelter, and resources that an individual needs to survive; the place in which an animal or plant normally eats, drinks, sleeps, and moves around
Territory — the space within an animal’s habitat that it actively defends
Terrestrial — of or relating to land as distinct from water or air; living on, or in, or growing from land

 

Color

Camouflage — the color and patterns of animals’ skin, feathers, or fur which makes them harder to see
when in their natural surroundings
Disruptive coloration — color patterns that break up an animal’s outline– e.g. spots, stripes– often making individuals harder to discern in the wild

Features

Feature — a part of the body
Fur – animal hair
Underfur — the dense layer of fur that is closet to the body of the animal to keep it warm
Feathers – long special hair on a bird
Proboscis  — the nose of an animal, or parts of the mouth which are nose-like in shape
Canines — four sharp, pointed teeth located between incisors and pre-molars
Opposable — one finger or toe capable of being places against one or more of the remaining digits; used to grasp in the manner of a human thumb
Vestigal — a small or imperfectly developed body part or organ that remains from one more fully developed in an earlier stage of the individual, in a past generation, or in closely related forms
Hooves – animal feet, like horses and goats

Characteristics

Endangered — in peril or danger of extinction as a species
Extinct — plant or animal species that no longer exists
Prehensile — adapted for seizing or grasping, especially by wrapping around, e.g. tails of some New World monkeys
Domesticated – living in a house with people (such as pets)

Apes

Great apes — the gorillas, chimpanzees, and bonobos of Africa, and the orangutans of Southeast Asia; the largest apes
Lesser apes — the gibbons and siamangs of Southeast Asia; the smallest apes
Macaque — any of numerous short-tailed, Old World monkeys of Macaca and related genera having
distinctly ischial callosities and usually tufted eyebrow

Other

Adaptation — genetically determined specialization of an animal’s physical structure or behavior which
helps the animal survive
Altricial — offspring born immature and helpless, requiring extensive care during growth and
development (birds, carnivores, primates, etc.)
Amphibian — a cold-blooded, smooth-skinned vertebrae such as a frog or salamander that hatches from
an egg with gills then transforms into an adult with air-breathing lungs.
Arboreal — living in trees and traveling mainly among tree branches
Behavior — any action performed by a living thing; anything that an organism does involving an action
or response to stimulation
Bushmeat — the meat of African wild animals (illegal commercial bushmeat is one of the most serious
threats to animals in Africa, exacerbated by logging and construction projects)
Climate — how the atmosphere behaves over relatively long periods of time; the prevailing set of
weather conditions in any place
Competition — the struggle between two or more living things using the same limited resource
Conservation — a careful preservation and protection of something, especially planned management of a
natural resource to prevent exploitation, destruction, or neglect
Defenses — the methods or characteristics a living thing has to protect itself
Dimorphism — the existence of two different forms of a species in the same population; different color
(dichromatism) or size (sexual dimorphism) in animals and birds
Enrichment — Providing challenging, stimulating, and beneficial activities, environments, and objects for Zoo animals; toys (made without tape, glue, or chemicals), habitat design, sensory awareness, increased food variety and foraging opportunities, interactivity, training and handling
Evolve — to change over a long period of time, through many generations
Groom — the cleaning of one animal by another (this seems to strengthen social bonds in some
primate species)
Keeper — individual that cares for animals by providing all the care required to maintain an exotic animal in a healthy, caring environment (cleaning quarters, providing enrichment, feeding, etc.)
Lemur — arboreal primates now confined to Madagascar that are related to monkeys; resemble monkeys in general form and habits but usually have a fox-like muzzle, large eyes, wooly fur, and a tail which is sometimes rudimentary but is usually long, furry, and never prehensile
Monogamous — Having only one mate at a time (often misinterpreted as ‘mating for life’)
Polygamous — When male animals often made with several female animals throughout the breeding season
Niche — the place or role occupied by a species in the community structure of which it is a part; the way in which an organism utilizes its ecosystem
Natural selection — the survival of individuals or groups who are best adapted to their environment; this
process perpetuates desirable genetic qualities and eliminates undesirable ones
Oviparous — reproducing by laying eggs
Precocial — offspring capable of a high degree of independent activity from birth (prey animals such as zebra, bison, antelope, deer, giraffe, etc.)
Prosimian — a lower primate; includes lemurs, lorises, tarsiers, and many fossil forms
Temperate — having a climate which does not get extremely hot or cold

Synonyms

For both TOEFL and IELTS it’s extremely important to be able to paraphrise. Study synonymic words and collocations and make them a part of your active vocabulary to succed at the exam.

species=animals=creatures
herbivores = herbivorous animals = the plant eaters
omnivores= omnivorous animals=eat both meat and plants
carnivores = predators = the meat eaters
endotherms = endothermic animals = warm-blooded animals
ectotherms = ectothermic animals = cold-blooded animals

 


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