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  Section: Zoological Terms used in General Zoology
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I - Zoological Terms

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The adult and sexually mature insect.

immediate hypersensitivity

Inflammatory reaction based primarily on humoral immunity.


Ability by tissues in an organism to recognize and defend against nonself invaders. Innate immunity is a mechanism of defense that does not depend on prior exposure to the invader; acquired immunity is specific to a nonself material, requires time for development, and occurs more quickly and vigorously on secondary response.


(L. immunis, free, + globus, globe). Any of a group of plasma proteins, produced by plasma cells, that participates in the immune response by combining with the antigen that stimulated its production. Antibody.


(im´print-ing) (L. imprimere, to impress, imprint). Rapid and usually stable learning pattern appearing early in the life of a member of a social species and involving recognition of its own species; may involve attraction to the first moving object seen.


The tendency among members of a population to mate preferentially with close relatives.


dominance See intermediate inheritance


(L. incus, anvil). The middle of a chain of three bones of the mammalian middle ear.

indeterminate cleavage

A type of embryonic development in which the fate of the blastomeres is not determined very early as to tissues or organs, for example, in echinoderms and vertebrates; regulative cleavage.


(L. indigena, native). Pertains to organisms that are native to a particular region; not introduced.


(L. inducere, inductum, to lead). Reasoning from the particular to the general, that is, deriving a general statement (hypothesis) based on individual observations. In embryology, the alteration of cell fates as the result of interaction with neighboring cells.


(L. inducere, to introduce, lead in). In embryology, a tissue or organ that causes the differentiation of another tissue or organ.


(L. inflammare, from flamma, flame). The complicated physiological process in mobilization of body defenses against foreign substances and infectious agents and repair of damage from such agents.


(L. infra, below, + cilia, eyelashes). The organelles just below the cilia in ciliate protozoa.


(L. funnel). Stalk of the neurohypophysis linking the pituitary to the diencephalon.


(L. innatus, inborn). A characteristic based partly or wholly on genetic or epigenetic constitution.


(L. form). Stage in the life of an insect or other arthropod between molts.


(L. instinctus, impelled). Stereotyped, predictable, genetically programmed behavior. Learning may or may not be involved.


(L. integumentum, covering). An external covering or enveloping layer.


(L. inter, among, + cellula, chamber). Occurring between body cells.


Several cytokines encoded by different genes, important in mediation of natural immunity and inflammation.


A cytokine produced by macrophages that stimulates T helper lymphocytes.


A lymphokine produced by T helper lymphocytes that leads to proliferation of T helper cells and other T lymphocytes.


A series of cytokines produced primarily by various leukocytes, such as macrophages and T cells, whose target cells are various leukocytes and other cells. Given the name "interleukins" when it was believed that they were produced only by leukocytes and their target cells were limited to leukocytes.

intermediary meiosis

Meiosis that occurs neither during gamete formation nor immediately after zygote formation, resulting in both haploid and diploid generations, such as in foraminiferan protozoa.

intermediate host

A host in which some development of a symbiont occurs, but in which maturation and sexual reproduction do not take place.

intermediate inheritance

Neither of alternate alleles of a gene are completely dominant, and heterozygote shows a condition intermediate between or different from homozygotes for each allele.


(L. inter, among, + sistere, to stand). Situated in the interstices or spaces between structures such as cells, organs, or grains of sand.


(L. intra, inside, + cellula, chamber). Occurring within a body cell or within body cells.

intrinsic growth rate

Exponential growth rate of a population, that is, the difference between the density-independent components of the birth and death rates of a natural population with stable age distribution.


(L. intra, within). Portion of mRNA as transcribed from DNA that will not form part of mature mRNA, and therefore does not encode an amino-acid sequence in the protein product.


(L. intro, inward, + vertere, to turn). The anterior narrow portion that can be withdrawn (introverted) into the trunk of a sipunculid worm.


(L. in, in, + vagina, sheath). An infolding of a layer of tissue to form a sac-like structure.


(L. invertere, to turn upside down). A turning inward or inside out, as in embryogenesis of sponges; also, reversal in order of genes or reversal of a chromosome segment.


An atom or group of atoms with a net positive or negative electrical charge because of the loss or gain of electrons.

ionicn bond

A chemical bond formed by transfer of one or more electrons from one atom to another; characteristic of salts.


(Gr. iris, rainbow, or iris of eye). Iridescent or silvery chromatophores containing crystals or plates of guanine or other purine.


(L. irritare, to provoke). A general property of all organisms involving the ability to respond to stimuli or changes in the environment.


(Gr. isos, equal, + gametes, spouse). Gametes of a species in which gametes of both sexes are alike in size and appearance.


(Gr. isos, equal, + lekithos, yolk, + al). Pertaining to a zygote (or ovum) with yolk evenly distributed. Homolecithal.


A liquid having the same osmotic pressure as another, reference liquid.


(Gr. isos, equal, + tonikos, tension). Pertaining to solutions having the same or equal osmotic pressure; isosmotic.


(Gr. isos, equal, + topos, place). One of several different forms (species) of a chemical element, differing from each other in atomic mass but not in atomic number.

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