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Glossary of Terms

Perennial
A plant which lives for a long period of time, producing seeds annually.
Paleontology
The branch of science that deals with prehistoric life on Earth through the study of fossil remains.
Parasite
An organism that lives on or inside another animal (called a host) and derives nutrients at its expense, often resulting in death.
Pelagic
Of or relating to the open sea. When referring to animals, this can mean species (like fish) which inhabit the upper layer of the open sea or spend most of their lives on the open ocean.
Peninsula
A piece of land almost completely surrounded by water or projecting out into a body of water such as a lake or ocean.
Photic Zone
In a lake or pond, the area nearest the surface where sunlight can penetrate through the water and reach the bottom.
Phytoplankton
Microscopic plant-like organisms which live in aquatic environments such as lakes and oceans.
Pioneer Species
A species which colonizes disrupted or damaged land, allowing for the succession of new species and leading to a more diverse ecosystem.
Plant Community
Groups of plants that exist together in a particular environment or area.
Photophore
A light-producing organ found in some animals.

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