Carnivore: an animal that eats only the flesh of
other animals; a meat-eater.
Cereal: a seed-bearing grass which can be harvested
and domesticated by man.
Domestication: The process by which a wild plant
or animal species is bred under human control, for the purposes of
providing humans with a steady supply of food and/or other raw materials.
A species which has been domesticated is therefore entirely dependent
on human interference for its propagation and sustenance.
Anything which has a permanent presence, sustained at a constant level
- for instance, tropical diseases like malaria
Anything which spreads rapidly over a short period of time until it
becomes all-encompassing. In the case of viral diseases like smallpox,
epidemics tend to reach critical mass and then disappear just as rapidly
once all potential victims have either died or survived.
Fertile Crescent: A crescent-shaped region of the
modern Middle East in which the earliest experiments in plant and
animal domestication are believed to have occurred; later the location
for the earliest known human settlements, villages, cities and civilizations.
Herbivore: An animal that eats only plants.
Indigenous: Anything which is native to, or has its
origins in, a particular region.
Latitude: A line of universal distance north or south
from the equator, along which any given day length is the same, at
any location, east or west. Latitudes are expressed in degrees north
or south from the equator, taking the center of the earth as the point
Mammal: Any hot-blooded, vertebrate animal whose
young are nourished by their mother's milk. Mammals include marsupials,
rodents, and amphibious creatures like hippos and whales.
Neolithic: The final stage of prehistoric cultural
and technological evolution, usually dated from the end of the last
Ice Age, approximately 10,000 years ago, to the rise of literate civilizations.
Neolithic translates as, 'new tool', the term refers to new techniques
of stone tool manufacture and use – and includes grinding, polishing
and weaving. Common sub-divisions include 'Stone Age', 'Iron Age',
'Bronze Aage', 'Pre-Pottery' and 'Pottery'.
Omnivore: An animal that eats both plants and other
Parasite: An organism that survives by exploiting,
and depending upon, another organism.
Temperate: Those parts of the world which lie between
66.33 degrees and 23.25 degrees north or south of the equator, between
the Arctic circles and the Tropics. Because of their angle from the
equator, and from the direction of the Sun, these parts of the world
experience seasonal variation throughout the year, with light, hot
and dry summers and dark, cold and wet winters.
Tropical: Those parts of the world which lie within
23.25 degrees either side of the equator and bordered by lines of
latitude called the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. The word "tropics"
comes from the Ancient Greek tropos meaning "turn" because
the apparent position of the Sun was observed to oscillate between
the two tropics during the course of a year. Tropical is also used
to describe any climate which tends to be hot and humid all year round.
Virus: An infectious agent of microscopic proportions,
comprising little more than a single strain of replicating DNA, which
multiplies only in living cells of animals, plants, or bacteria. Derived
from the Latin, meaning 'slimy liquid' or 'poison.'
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