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Glossary of Terms

Abiotic
Something which is physical rather than biological.
Abyssal Plain
A flat area of deep ocean floor, usually found between 10,000 to 20,000 feet (approximately 3,000 to 6,000 m).
Acidification
A term used to describe significant changes to the chemistry of the ocean. It occurs when carbon dioxide gas (CO2) is absorbed by the ocean and reacts with seawater to produce acid.
Acidity
The level of acid found in water or soil. This acid level is often important in determining the types of plants which can grow in a certain area.
Airfoil
A structure with curved surfaces designed to use air currents to create lift or drag. Examples of airfoils are sails on boats or propellers on airplanes. Airfoils also occur in nature, such as in wing shapes for birds and insects.
Alaska
The largest state in the United States, Alaska is located at the northwestern corner of the North American continent. It is bordered by Canada on the east, the Arctic and Pacific Oceans and various seas on the north, west and south.
Algae
Simple aquatic plants lacking roots, leaves and stems.
Alluvium
Deposits of silt, sand or gravel left behind by flowing streams or rivers, resulting in a particularly rich soil.

Amphipods
A type of small crustacean characterized by a compressed body and no carapace. There are approximately 9,500 species of amphipods found in every ocean on Earth.
Ampullae of Lorenzini
Special sensory organs located in the heads of fish that allow them to sense the electrical signature of other animals.

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