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aardvark a large mammal with a long snout, long ears, a long tail, and almost no hair. Aardvarks are active at night, when they use their powerful claws to dig open ant or termite nests. They catch their food with long, sticky tongues. Aardvarks live in southern and central Africa. Although they are sometimes called anteaters, aardvarks are not closely related to any other kind of mammal.
alfalfa a plant with purple flowers that is grown as food for cattle and horses. Alfalfa is a member of the legume family of plants.
algae organisms that live mainly in the water and make their food through photosynthesis. Algae are different from plants in that they have no true leaves, roots, or stems. Seaweeds are algae. "Algae" is a plural noun; the singular form is "alga."
alimentary canal the tube in the body through which food travels as it is digested. The alimentary canal goes from the mouth to the anus, and includes the esophagus, the stomach, and the small and large intestines.
almond the hard oval seed of this tree that is like a nut and eaten as food. [1/3 definitions]
amoeba a tiny living thing made of only one cell. Amoebas move by changing their shape. They eat by wrapping their bodies around their food. Amoebas live in fresh and salt water, soil, and in animals. Most kinds of amoebas can only be seen through a microscope.
anchovy a small fish that is related to the herring and is used for food. Anchovies are found mostly in warm ocean waters.
animal one of a large group of living things that can move around by themselves to find food. Animals eat plants, funguses, or other animals. Birds, reptiles, fish, amphibians, mammals, insects, snails, and worms are some of the major kinds of animals. [1/2 definitions]
appetizer a small amount of food or drink served before a meal.
bacteria microscopic organisms that often play a role in the decay of living things, the process of fermentation, and sometimes in causing disease. Bacteria are each made up of only one cell, but different kinds of bacteria can take different shapes. These organisms live in all parts of the earth including oceans, deserts, glaciers, hot springs, and in the bodies of most living things. While some kinds of bacteria are dangerous, most kinds are useful because they help in the digestion of food, in the making of soil, in the creation of medicines, and in many other natural processes.
bait food used to attract and catch fish or animals. [1/4 definitions]
baleen the bony, flexible strips in the upper jaws of whales that feed by filtering food from ocean water. These whales use baleen to strain large amounts of small food such as shrimp from the water.
bar1 a place where drinks and sometimes food are served. [1/9 definitions]
barbecue the food cooked in this way, often having a special sauce. [1/4 definitions]
barley a plant that is like grass and whose grains are used to make food. [2 definitions]
bass2 any of several freshwater or saltwater food fishes with spiny fins.
beaver1 a large rodent, up to four feet long, with thick brown fur and a wide flat tail. Beavers use their long front teeth to cut down trees for food and to build dams and lodges (beaver houses). They use the dams to keep water around their lodges. Beavers live in North America, Europe, and Asia.
beggar a person who begs as a way to meet basic needs such as food and clothing.
bloat to make swollen or too full of air, water, or food.
bluefish a fish that lives in mild Atlantic waters of the North and South American coast. Bluefish are blue and are caught for sport or food.
blue whale a mammal that lives in the ocean. Blue whales are the largest kind of animal that has ever lived. They can grow up to 100 feet long and weigh up to 150 tons. Their large mouths have baleen instead of teeth. Blue whales use baleen to filter lots of very small food such as shrimp from ocean water.