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Wolf

The wolf is the largest wild member of the dog family. Living wolves belong to the Holarctic species Canis lupus (except red wolf, C. rufus of the southeast US).

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Wolverine

Wolverine, or carcajou (Gulo gulo), largest of the weasels, resembles a powerful, miniature bear.

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Woodenware

Woodenware, or treen, simple, small objects made entirely of wood, usually by home craftsmen who were their own carpenters, joiners, carvers and turners. Normally, woodenware was made from a single piece of wood (block or plank, rough or milled), cut, hollowed or turned but rarely joined.

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Woodstock

"Woodstock." Song in the contemporary folk style, in the key of E minor; music and lyrics by Joni Mitchell. "Woodstock" enshrines the seminal August 1969 music festival of that name; Mitchell wrote it while watching the festival on television.

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Wren

The wren is a family (Troglodytidae) of small, mainly brown, insectivorous songbirds, characterized by chunky bodies, tails that are often erect, and forceful rather than musical songs.

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Wrestling

Humans wrestled first for survival and eventually for sport; in fact, drawings on cave walls portray a form of freestyle wrestling. Wall paintings in Egyptian tombs from about 2000 BC depict matches that show moves very similar to those practised today.

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Yachting

Yachting refers to races of watercraft using sail power only. Competitors are required to complete a prescribed course in the shortest possible time, passing marker buoys in the correct order and on the correct side.

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Yarrow

Yellowish disc florets (3-10) make up the central part, which is surrounded by 5 petal-shaped ray florets. They bloom from May to October. Yarrow has a dry, one-seeded fruit. Throughout the ages, yarrow has been used to stop blood flow, hence one common name, "nosebleed.

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Yeast

at genus level is based on the morphology of the spores and vegetative cells and, at species level, by the ability to metabolize different sugars and related compounds.

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Yew

Yew is the common name for evergreen conifers, genus Taxus, of the yew family (Taxaceae).

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Zed

Zed is the name of the letter Z. The pronunciation zed is more commonly used in Canadian English than zee. English speakers in other Commonwealth countries also prefer the pronunciation zed. As zed is the British pronunciation and zee is chiefly American, zed represents one of the rare occasions in which most Canadians prefer the British to the American pronunciation. Use of zee is often stigmatized among Canadian English speakers, which is likely the reason why zee has not taken root as quickly as other influences from American English.

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Zinc

Zinc (Zn) is a bluish-white metal of low to intermediate hardness that melts at 419°C and is estimated to comprise about 0.013% of the earth's crust. Zinc is an essential element for human health; over 200 enzymes in the body require zinc for proper functioning.

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Zoning

Zoning is the term used to describe the control by authority of the use of land, and of the buildings and improvements thereon. Areas of land are divided by appropriate authorities into zones within which various uses are permitted.

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Zooarchaeology

 In Canada most zooarchaeologists study teeth, bone and marine shells, because these materials are commonly preserved on archaeological sites. Preservation of specimens depends on what happened to them before burial, the rate at which they were buried, and the burial environment.

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Zoology

Zoology is the study of ANIMALS. Zoologists have many interests: some study form (morphology) or function (physiology), from gross to molecular levels; behaviour (ethology); association (ecology); or distribution (zoogeography); and some specialize in one kind of animal.

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Zoology

Zoology is the study of animals, including their classification, behaviour and distribution. The Canadian Encyclopedia is home to over 300 articles on Canadian animals and related topics, organized in this collection by category.

Image: ©Paul Nicklen/National Geographic Creative.

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Zooplankton

Zooplankton, weakly swimming animals belonging to many phyla (primary divisions of the animal kingdom), which, as larvae or adults, exist wholly suspended within a water body.

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Zoos

Zoos or zoological gardens are facilities exhibiting wild and domesticated animals for purposes of education, recreation, conservation and research. Zoological gardens can be conventional, dense-occupancy zoos to open animal parks and game farms.

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Zouaves

Between February 1868 and September 1870, 7 contingents totalling 507 Canadians enrolled in the papal army (whose soldiers were known as Papal Zouaves) to help defend Rome from the Italian troops who wanted to bring about Italian unification.