Definition: the air-filled cavity within the skull of vertebrates that lies between the outer ear and the inner ear. It is linked to the pharynx (and therefore to outside air) via the Eustachian tube and in mammals contains the three ear ossicles, which transmit auditory vibrations from the outer ear (via the tympanum) to the inner ear
Definition: Appendix I lists species that are the most endangered among CITES-listed animals and plants. They are threatened with extinction and CITES prohibits international trade in specimens of these species except when the purpose of the import is not commercial, for instance for scientific research. In these exceptional cases, trade may take place provided it is authorized by the granting of both an import permit and an export permit (or re-export certificate). Article VII of the Convention provides for a number of exemptions to this general prohibition.
Definition: An aquatic biome that comprises systems of open-ocean and unprotected coastal habitats, characterized by exposure to wave action, tidal fluctuation, and ocean currents as well as systems that largely resemble these. Water in the marine biome is generally within the salinity range of seawater: 30 to 38 ppt.
Definition: Hydrofoils, or fins, are used to push against the water to create a normal force to provide thrust, propelling the animal through water. The reduction of fin cross-sectional area helps to minimize drag, and therefore increase efficiency. Regardless of size of the animal, at any particular speed, maximum possible lift is proportional to (wing area) x (speed)<sup>2</sup>. Dolphins and whales have large, horizontal caudal hydrofoils, while many fish and sharks have vertical caudal hydrofoils.
Definition: Capable of creating a new organism by combining the genetic material of two gametes, which may come from two parent organisms or from a single organism, in the case of self-fertilizing hermaphrodites.
Definition: Because of the difference in refractive index between air and water (or corneal tissue), a curved cornea is an image-forming lens in its own right. Its focal length is determined by the radius of curvature of the cornea. Many corneal eyes (eg: in land vertebrates) also have lenses, but the lens is flattened and weakened compared with an aquatic lens; most of the refractive power is provided by the cornea. Corneal eyes cannot focus in aquatic habitat.