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

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(Gr. kentron, a point, spine, + gonos, progeny, generation). A larva of the cirripede order Rhizocephala (subphylum Crustacea) that functions to inject the parasite cells into the host hemocoel.


(Gr. kera, horn, + in, suffix of proteins). A scleroprotein found in epidermal tissues and modified into hard structures such as horns, hair, and nails.

keystone species

A species (typically a predator) whose removal leads to reduced species diversity within the community.


(Gr. kinesis, movement). Movements by an organism in random directions in response to stimulus.


(Gr. kinein, to move, + choris, asunder, apart). A disc of proteins located on the centromere, specialized to interact with the spindle fibers during mitosis.


pl. kinetodesmata (Gr. kinein, to move, + desma, bond). Fibril arising from the kinetosome of a cilium in a ciliate protozoan, and passing along the kinetosomes of cilia in that same row.


(Gr. kinetos, moving, + soma, body). The selfduplicating granule at the base of the flagellum or cilium; similar to centriole, also called basal body or blepharoplast.


(Gr. kinein, to move). All the kinetosomes and kinetodesmata of a row of cilia.


(Gr. kinein, to move, + in, suffix of hormones). A type of local hormone that is released near its site of origin; also called parahormone or tissue hormone.


(from the K term in the logistic equation). Natural selection under conditions that favor survival when populations are controlled primarily by density-dependent factors.

Kupffer cells

Phagocytic cells in the liver, part of the reticuloendothelial system.


(from Ghana). Malnutrition caused by diet high in carbohydrate and extremely low in protein.

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