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Authenticated: Information that has been verified through a scientific review process by an individual or organization. Authenticated information appears in EOL on a white background. Information that has not been authenticated appears on the EOL species page with a yellow background.
BioBlitz: a 24-hour event in which teams of scientists, volunteers, and community members join together to find, identify, and learn about as many local plant and animal species as possible. (Source: National Geographic Society)
Biodiversity: the variety of living organisms on Earth. This includes the number of different species and the genetic variation within those species and is one measure of ecosystem health. There are currently 1.9 million named and known species of organisms on the planet. Scientists estimate there may be as many as 10 to 30 million or more species on Earth, many of which are invertebrates and microorganisms and are yet to be discovered.
Bioinformatics: the field of science in which biology, computer science, and information technology merge to form a single discipline. (Source: National Center for Biotechnology Information)
Citizen science: projects in which volunteers, such as students, the general public and nature enthusiasts partner with scientists to collect information and answer real-world questions.
Classification: in the life sciences, taxonomic classification refers to the organization of organisms by traits, such as size, color, or form, or by their degree of genetic relatedness. Since 1990 most scientists have agreed on a scheme that classifies all life on Earth into three Domains; each Domain is further divided into Kingdoms, Phyla, Classes, Orders, Families, Genera, and Species.
Comments: On the EOL website, Comments and Commenting refer most often to text appended by users to text or images using the Comment button, rather than to posts on the site’s Forum.
Common name: any of several nonscientific names for a species used in everyday speech by nonscientists, such as domestic dog for Canis familiaris.
Curator: an EOL member, usually a scientist by training, responsible for quality control of the information or content (these are known as data objects) on an EOL species page.
Data object: is one of several types of content on a species page in the form of a text block (such as a species description), image, or other media that, when combined with other objects, make up a full species page.
Domain: a taxonomic classification category above Kingdom. The three domains are Archaea, Bacteria and Eukaryota. (See Classification.)
Endemic species: a species that is found in a specific geographic location and not found anywhere else in the world.
EOL: the Encyclopedia of Life, the global project founded in 2007 to create a web page for each unique species on Earth.
Fauna: fauna is all of the animal life in any particular region or time.
Flickr: a photo-sharing website that hosts, among many others, the Encyclopedia of Life Flickr Group; a place where anyone can share images that, when tagged with a species name, can be displayed on the EOL website.
Flora: refers to all the plant life occurring in a particular region or time period.
Group: see Classification
Kingdom: see Classification
LifeDesk: an online collaborative environment developed by EOL that provides a space for taxonomists and others to develop and share information about one or more species.
Organism: a living thing (plant, animal, or microbe) (Source: Animal Diversity Web)
Phenology: the study of the timing of biological events and their relationship to climate (for example: the budding dates of flowers, migration of birds, and hibernation times).
Phylogenetcis: the study of how organisms are related in terms of evolution.
Phylum: see Classification
Reviewed: a term that refers to species information (images, text, video, etc.) that has been checked for authenticity by an expert.
Scientific name: the two-part Latin name assigned to a species under the system of binomial nomenclature established in the 1700s by Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus Species: A taxonomic division that generally refers to a group of animals which are similar in structure and descent and are able to breed among themselves. (Source: Animal Diversity Web)
Species page: a single webpage of the Encyclopedia of Life, presenting peer-reviewed information about a single species in a standard format. Content (i.e., images, text) submitted by other pariticpants will also appear on a species page, but will appear with a yellow background.
Tags: a descriptive keyword or term that has been associated with species images on EOL that can be used to help it to be found again by browsing or searching.
Taxonomy: Referring to the science of hierarchically classifying organisms by groups (e.g. genus and species) which share common features and are thought to have a common descent. (Source: Animal Diversity Web)
Taxonomist: a scientist who is trained in the classification of living things.
Taxon: A particular group of organisms of any taxonomic rank. For example, a phylum, a genus, or a species. Plural is taxa. (Source: Animal Diversity Web)
Tree of Life: a graphic representation of the six kingdoms of living things, in which the roots and trunk represent ancestral forms and outer branches more recent forms.