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Last updated on April 17, 2014 at 12:17 EDT

Nature Reference Libraries

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Biology
2014-01-12 00:00:00

Biology is the study of living organisms. Before the 19th century, biology was known as natural history (the study of all living things). Gottfried Reinhold Treviranus was the first person to coin the term biology. Biology comes from the Greek words bios (meaning "life") and logia (meaning "study of"). It is a common science that is a standard subject in schools and universities around the...

Chemistry Main
2014-01-12 00:00:00

Chemistry is a physical science concerned with the composition, structure, and properties of matter. It also deals with the changes that matter undergoes during chemical reactions. It incorporates the studies of various atoms, molecules, crystals and other aggregates which can be combined or isolated and concepts of energy and entropy through which chemical processes occur. Modern chemistry...

Black Rat
2007-10-24 12:45:46

The Black Rat (Rattus rattus), also known as the Asian Black Rat, Ship Rat, Roof Rat or House Rat, is a common long-tailed rodent of the genus Rattus (Old World rodents). The species originally came from the tropical areas of Asia, but eventually spread throughout the Near East in Roman times before reaching Europe by the 6th century and spreading with Europeans across the world. Today,...

Saiga
2007-10-23 14:30:39

The Saiga (Saiga tatarica), is a species of antelope which originally inhabited a vast area of the Eurasian steppe zone from the foothills of the Carpathians and Caucasus into Dzungaria and Mongolia. Today they can only be found in a few areas in Russia, Kazakhstan, and western Mongolia. During the Ice Age they occurred from the British Isles through central Asia and the Bering Strait into...

Icefish
2007-03-26 13:02:10

The Icefish (or White-blooded fishes) are a family (Channichthyidae) of perciform fish found in the cold waters around Antarctica and southern South America. Their blood is transparent because they have no hemoglobin and only defunct red blood cells. Their metabolism relies only on the oxygen dissolved in the liquid blood, which is believed to be absorbed directly through the skin from the...

Sand lance
2007-02-13 15:21:44

A Sand lance or Sandlance is a fish belonging to the family Ammodytidae. Several species of sand lance are commonly known as "Sand eels" or "Sandeels", though they are not related to true eels. Another variant name is launce, and all names of the fish are references to its slender body and pointed snout. The family name (and genus name, Ammodytes) means "sand burrower", which describes the sand...

Northern cavefish
2007-02-13 15:17:56

The Northern cavefish or Northern blindfish, Amblyopsis spelea, is found in caves through Kentucky and southern Indiana. It is listed as a threatened species in the United States and the IUCN lists the species as vulnerable. The White River, flowing east to west south of Bedford, Indiana, delimits the northern range of Amblyopsis spelea. These fish are not found in caves north of the White...

Blue Tang
2007-02-13 12:40:21

The Blue tang, Palette surgeonfish, Regal tang, Hippo tang, Indo-Pacific tang, Flagtail surgeonfish or Blue surgeonfish, Paracanthurus hepatus, is a fish often found in marine aquaria, the only member of the genus Paracanthurus. It has a royal blue body, yellow tail, and black 'palette' design. It grows to a maximum of generally 12.25 inches and is mostly herbivorous. Its range varies widely...

Okinawa Rail
2009-03-27 17:40:34

The Okinawa Rail (Gallirallus okinawae) is a species of bird in the rail family Rallidae. It is endemic to Okinawa Island in Japan. It is found only in Yambaru, the northern part of Okinawa Island in the Ryukyu Islands of southern Japan. Its range is only 160 square miles. It is found from sea-level to the highest mountains at about 1630 feet above sea-level. Some birds may move lower in...

Asbestos
2005-05-26 12:16:31

Asbestos (Greek a-, "not"; sbestos, "extinguishable") is a group of fibrous metamorphic minerals. The name is derived for its historical use in lamp wicks; the resistance of asbestos to fire has long been exploited for a variety of purposes. It was used in fabrics such as Egyptian burial cloths and Charlemagne's tablecloth, which, according to legend, he threw in a fire to clean. When...