Glossary terms



active transport - the movement of substances across a biological membrane against its concentration gradient, with the help of energy input and specific transport proteins.


alimentary canal - a hollow, tubular cavity extending through animals open at both ends; for ingestion, digestion, and secretion of food materials.


apical - opposite to the base; apex.


basolateral membrane- the cell membrane along the base and sides of the cell.


countercurrent system - a pair of opposed channels containing fluid flowing in opposite directions and having an energetic gradient directed across one channel to the other.


countercurrent multiplier - a countercurrent system where the exchange between the two channels is a function of the distance along the gradient.


elasmobranch - the cartilaginous fishes (the sharks, skates, and rays).


epithelium - a tissue consisting of tightly adjoining cells that cover a surface or line a canal or cavity, and that serves to enclose and protect.


euryhaline - able to tolerate wide variations in salinity.


fenestrated - many- pored.


hemolymph - the blood of invertebrates with open circulatory systems.


homeostasis - relative internal stability maintained by physiological control systems.


hyperosmotic - containing a higher solute concentration than the surrounding environment.


hypertonic - see "hyperosmotic."


hypoosomotic - containing a lower solute concentration than the surrounding environment.


hypotonic - see "hypoosmotic."


integument - a covering or envelope. In animals, the skin, exoskeleton, tunic, cuticle, or other covering.


interstitial fluid - fluid between cells or tissues.


lumen - the interior of a cavity or duct.


metazoan - all animals other than sponges.


osmoconformer - an organism that exhibits little or no osmoregulation; body fluids follow changes in osmolarity of environment.


osmolarity - the effective osmotic pressure; solute concentration expressed as molarity.


osmolyte - a substance that serves the special purpose of raising osmotic pressure, or lowers the freezing point of body fluid.


osmoregulator - an organism that controls internal osmolarity with changes in environmental osmolarity.


osmosis - the movement of pure solvent form a solution of an area of low solute concentration to an area of high solute concentration through a semipermeable membrane separating the two solutions.


oxidative metabolism - metabolic water is produced by cellular respiration when electrons and hydrogen are added to oxygen.


renal clearance - that volume of plasma containing the quantity of a freely filtered substance that appears in the glomerular filtrate per unit time.


stenohaline - able to tolerate only a narrow range of salinities.


teleost - one of the bony fishes.