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aquatic (adjective) : Living or growing in water.

bioacoustics (noun) : a branch of science that studies sound and its uses among living things.

biology (noun) : The scientific study of living things.

blubber (noun) : The fat under the skin of a whale or seal.

camouflage (noun) : Coloring that makes animals, people, and objects blend in with their surroundings.

captive (noun/adjective) : An animal that has been removed from its natural habitat that is cared for by humans; taken prisoner.

cartilage (noun) : A strong, elastic tissue that connects bones in human beings and animals. The outside of your ear is also mostly cartilage.

cetacean (noun) : The cetacean scientific order includes all whales, dolphins and porpoises. This large order is divided into three suborders: the toothed whales, or Odontoceti, the baleen whales, or Mysticeti, and the Archaeoceti, which are all now extinct.

classify (verb) : To put things into groups according to their characteristics.

data (plural noun) : Information or facts.

debate (verb) : To consider or discuss something between people who have different views.

detect (verb) : To notice or discover something.

dolphin (noun) : A water mammal with a long snout that is a small member of the whale group.

dorsal fin (noun) : The fin located on or near the back of a sea creature.

echolocate (verb) : To send sound waves through air or water that reflect back to the sender to locate distant or invisible objects (prey). See also sonar.

endangered (adjective) : To be in danger of becoming extinct.

flipper (noun) : One of the broad, flat limbs of a sea creature such as a dolphin or seal that help it swim.

fluke (noun) : Part of the tail of a sea creature such as a whale or dolphin. Two flukes make up a tail.

fragment (noun) : A small piece or a part that is broken off.

hypotheses (plural noun) : Temporary predictions that can be tested about how a scientific investigation or experiment will turn out. The singular of hypotheses is hypothesis.

kingdom (noun) : One of the main groups into which all living things are divided, such as the animal kingdom and the plant kingdom.

lagoon (noun) : A shallow pool of seawater separated from the sea by a narrow strip of land.

mammal (noun) : A warm-blooded animal with a backbone. Female mammals produce milk to feed their young.

marine (adjective) : To do with the sea, as in marine life.

necropsy (noun) : An examination of tissue after death to find the cause of death.

novel (adjective) : New and unusual.

objective (noun) : A goal you are working toward.

parasite (noun) : An animal or plant that gets its food by living on or inside another animal or plant.

rehabilitate (verb) : To treat sick or injured animals with the goal of returning them to the wild.

research (verb) : To study and find out about a subject, usually by reading a lot of books about it or by doing experiments.

sonar (noun) : Sonar stands for SOund Navigation And Ranging. It is the ability to calculate where underwater objects are by sending sound waves through the water and listening for when they bounce back off something. In animals, this ability is called biological sonar, or {echolocation.}

species (noun) : One of the more detailed groups into which animals and plants are divided according to their shared characteristics. Members of the same species can mate and have offspring.

trawling (noun) : Fishing by dragging a large net shaped like a bag through the water.

Adapted from Scholastic Children's Dictionary. By the Editors of Scholastic Inc., Scholastic Reference, 1996. ISBN 0-590-25271-2

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