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Rune Midtgaard



Abbreviations and glossary

  • ASL: above sea level.
  • autotomy: reflex separation of a part (such as an appendage) from the body: division of the body into two or more pieces.
  • CL: carapace (shell) length (of turtles).
  • cryptic species: morphologically similar, but genetically distinct species.
  • IUCN: International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources.
  • NSL: near sea level.
  • oviparous: producing eggs that develop and hatch outside the maternal body.
  • ovoviviparous: producing eggs that develop within the maternal body (as of various fishes or reptiles) and hatch within or immediately after release from the parent.
  • SVL: snout-vent (head + body) length (i.e., excl. tail length). The total lenght (TL) of a reptile may not always reflect the actual size of the animal very well. In some cases, particularly geckos and other lizards, the tail may be lost in defense (autotomy) or simply bitten off by a predator. Consequently, the TL of an animal may be less than in a younger and smaller animal with an undamaged tail. This is why SVL is sometimes preferred as a measurement of size, since it is unaffected by such damages.
  • TaL: tail length (TL = SVL + TaL)
  • terra firme forest: upland rainforest which does not experience periods of inundations, as opposed to varzea.
  • TL: total length (head + body + tail).
  • varzea forest: a seasonal floodplain rainforest which experiences periods of inundations, as opposed to terra firme forest.
  • vitellogenesis: also known as yolk deposition; the process of yolk formation via nutrients being deposited in the oocyte, or female germ cell involved in reproduction.
  • vitellogenic: related to vitellogenesis.
  • viviparous: producing living young instead of eggs from within the body in the manner of nearly all mammals, many reptiles, and a few fishes.