Bruce Rauner, Governor

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Vocabulary words are indicated in the text by bold lettering


Common names for organisms are often confusing because anyone can make them up, and they may apply to more than one species. A scientific name is assigned after careful research. A scientific name is official name for each organism. It is made up of two parts, a genus name (written first) and a species name. Sometimes a third part, the subspecies name, is also used. The name is always in Latin because when this naming process started, most people everywhere knew Latin. It must be underlined or in italics when written. Often a scientific name tells you something about the species or someone who studied it. Scientific names help scientists to study organisms, especially when working with other scientists. In this booklet, the scientific name for each species is listed below the common name.


ANNELID-a segmented worm, such as an earthworm or leech

ARTHROPOD-animal with an exoskeleton and jointed appendages (leg, antenna); examples-spider, tick, crayfish, centipede, millipede, insect

CARNIVORE-animals that receives nutrition by eating other animals

CLUTCH-a group of eggs in a nest

CONSTRICTOR-snake that coils around its prey to prevent the prey from breathing

CRUSTACEAN-arthropod that breaths with gills and has jaws, two pairs of antennae and two compound eyes; examples-crayfish, pill bug, water flea

HERBIVORE-an organisms that feeds on plants

METAMORPHOSIS-a series of changes in body structures from egg to adult

MOLLUSK-a soft-bodies animal that may or may not have a shell; examples-snail, slug, mussel, clam

MUCUS-a slimy, protective lubricant secreted by glands

MUSK-a greasy secretion with a powerful odor produced by a gland

OMNIVORE-animal that receives nourishment from plants and animals

TERRESTRIAL-land based

TRANSFORM-to change from a larval to an adult form


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