Browse "Nature & Geography"

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Animal Issues

Anything involving animals that creates public interest and publicity, no matter how briefly it maintains that interest, may be considered an animal issue.

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Animals in Winter

Winter is the season that begins December 21 (winter solstice) and ends on March 21 (spring Equinox). In Canada cold and snow is associated with this season.

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Annelida

Annelids are mostly vermiform (worm-shaped), with an anterior (frontal) mouth preceded only by the prostomium, bearing sensory organs; the anus is posterior. Most have bristles (chaetae or setae), usually arranged in 4 groups on each segment.

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Ant

Ant, common name for small, mostly ground-dwelling social insects of family Formicidae, order Hymenoptera.

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Antimony

Antimony (Sb) is a silvery-white, lustrous, crystalline solid. Uncharacteristically for metals, it is brittle and conducts heat and electricity poorly. Antimony melts at 630°C and boils at 1380°C. The mineral stibnite is the most important source of antimony.

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Aphid

Aphid, or plant louse, small, soft-bodied insect that sucks plant sap. Aphids belong to order Hemiptera, suborder Homoptera.

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Apricot

Apricot is the common name for certain members of genus Prunus of the rose family, which produce sweet, round or oblong, nearly smooth fruit (resembling a small peach), with a large, flat stone.

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Arachnida

Arachnida is a large class of chelicerate arthropods (segmented, jointed-limbed animals) including the orders Araneae, Scorpiones, Opiliones, Pseudoscorpiones, Solifugae and the subclass Acari.

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Arboretum

Representative specimens are usually labelled with their common and scientific names, family name and the country of origin may appear as well. The parents of hybrids may also be indicated.

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Arctic Animals

Arctic animals are those that have adapted physically and behaviourally to the particular conditions of life in the most northerly regions on the planet.

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Arctic Exploration

Arctic exploration began in the Elizabethan era when English seamen sought a shortcut to the Spice Islands of the Far East by the seas north of America — the so-called Northwest Passage.

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Arctic Haze

Once one of the purest and cleanest places on Earth, the Arctic has been tarnished, dimmed by a dirty blanket of reddish-brown smog. Coined in the 1950s, the arctic haze which arrives each fall and winter is a totally unexpected phenomenon recorded nowhere else on Earth.

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Arctic Oceanography

The Subarctic covers a relatively large area in eastern Canada; its western counterpart, formed where Pacific and Arctic waters meet and mix, is restricted to a narrow band along the shore of the Beaufort Sea (see Coastal Waters).

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Arthropoda

Arthropoda, phylum of bilaterally symmetrical animals having external skeletons (exoskeletons), multisegmented bodies and paired, jointed appendages.

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Artiodactyla

Artiodactyla is an order of even-toed mammals that walk on their toenails (unguis). This and the other order of hoofed mammals, the Perissodactyla, are collectively called ungulates.

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Asbestos (Mineral)

The name asbestos comes from a Greek word meaning "inextinguishable" (often mistaken to mean "incombustible"). Asbestos is a collective term that is used to designate 2 separate groups of silicates: the serpentine group and the amphibole group.

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Ash

Ash (Fraxinus), genus of trees or shrubs of olive family (Oleaceae). About 60 species occur worldwide, primarily in cold temperate regions; 4 are native to Canada.

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Asparagus

Asparagus (Asparagus officinalis) is a perennial vegetable of the Lily family. Of Eurasian origin, asparagus was grown for food and medicinal purposes over 2000 years ago.