Glossary

calcaneus

heel bone.

callus

a woven bone formation (unorganized) in response to a bone fracture.

cancellous bone

spongy bone.

canine

a single cusped tooth located between the first premolar and the lateral incisor.

capitate

the largest write bone; situated in the center of the deistal row of carpals.

caries

decay on bone or tooth; sometimes referred to as a cavity on the tooth.

carnivore

a dietary category that describes animals that specialize in eating only meat; animals included in the taxonomic order Carnivora.

catarrhine

in taxonomic classification, any member of the infraorder Catarrhini including Old World monkeys, apes and humans.

caudal

the relative term used for quadrupedal animals (those that travel on four legs) to describe features that are closer to the tail of the trunk; the opposite of cranial; the term inferior is a synonym commonly used when referring to bipedal hominins.

cercopithecoid

in taxonomic classification, members of the family Cercopithecidae, including Old World monkeys.

character

an anatomical, physiological, or behavioral features of an organism.

character state

the absence, presence, or developmental state (e.g., size and shape) of a character.

cheek teeth

a post-canine tooth in primates used for crushing.

childhood

stage in human development after infancy and before juvenile; considered to be between the ages of 3 and 12 years old in most cultures.

chromosome

a large molecule found in cells that contains DNA. Humans have 46 chromosomes (44 autosomal and 2 sexual), but different species have different chromosomal numbers.

clade

in cladistics, a species or group of species that represents the descendants from a single common ancestor; a holophyletic group.

cladistic analysis

a type of classification that looks at evolutionary histories based on the analysis of shared derived traits.

cladogenetic speciation

a splitting or diversification event, usually over a short period of geologic time. As populations begin to differ more and more from one another, they may eventually be recognized as different geographic variants of the same species. Given enough time, they will be recognized as separate species.

cladogram

a chart that demonstrates evolutionary relationships based on derived traits; the ultimate result of cladistic analysis.

classification

arrangement of organisms into groups based on comparable characteristics.

clavicle

collarbone.

closed environment

an geographic area with a substantial canopy of foliage limiting the amount of light that is able to reach the ground.

Colles fracture

a break in the bone that crossing the distal end of the radius.

conchae

shell shaped bones of the nasal cavity; located on the lateral nasal walls.

condyle

an articular prominence of a bone.

congenital

from birth.

conspecific

organisms belonging to the same species.

context

place in space and time.

convergence

[syn. convergent evolution] the adaptations of similar traits in two or more unrelated species either by chance or through similarity of function; the opposite of divergent evolution. Bat wings and butterfly wings are an example of convergent evolution.

coronal suture

the suture between the frontal and parietal bones in the cranium.

cortical bone

the thick exterior layer of smooth bone..

costal

an adjective that describes the ribs.

cranial

refers to the skull and mandible; a relative term used for quadrupedal organisms (those that travel on two legs) to describe features that are closer to the head or top of the body; opposite of caudal. The term superior is a synonym commonly used when referring to bipedal hominin anatomy.

Cranial shaping

intentional creation of abnormally shaped skulls through pressure on developing cranial skeletal tissue.

cranium

the bones that surrounds the brain case; the skull excluding the mandible and hyoid bones.

crepuscular

describes organisms that are mostly active during dusk and dawn.

crest

a ridge on the chewing surface of a tooth that connects the cusps to one another.

cusp

a rounded or pointed projection made of enamel on the chewing surface of a tooth