Dictionary > Terns


(Science: ornithology) Any one of numerous species of longwinged aquatic birds, allied to the gulls, and belonging to sterna and various allied genera.
Terns differ from gulls chiefly in their graceful form, in their weaker and more slender bills and feet, and their longer and more pointed wings. The tail is usually forked. most of the species are white with the back and wings pale gray, and often with a dark head. The common European tern (sterna hirundo) is found also in asia and America. Among other American species are the arctic tern (S. Paradisaea), the roseate tern (S. Dougalli), the least tern (S. Antillarum), the royal tern (S. Maxima), and the sooty tern (S. Fuliginosa). Hooded tern. See fairy bird, under Fairy. Marsh tern, any tern of the genus Hydrochelidon. They frequent marshes and rivers and feed largely upon insects. River tern, any tern belonging to Seena or allied genera which frequent rivers. Sea tern, any tern of the genus Thalasseus. Terns of this genus have very long, pointed wings, and chiefly frequent seas and the mouths of large rivers.
Origin: Dan. Terne, taerne; akin to Sw. Tarna, Icel. Erna; cf. NL. Sterna.
Threefold; triple; consisting of three; ternate.
(Science: botany) Tern flowers, a three-masted schooner.
Origin: L. Pl. Terni three each, three; akin to tres three. See Three, and cf. Trine.

You will also like...

Digestion and Absorption of Food
Digestion and Absorption of Food

The gastrointestinal system breaks down particles of ingested food into molecular forms by enzymes through digestion and..

Running Water Freshwater Communities

This tutorial introduces flowing water communities, which bring new and dithering factors into the equation for possible..

"Cronopio dentiacutus", a prehistoric mammal (an illustration)
Mammalian Ancestors

Mammals are a diverse group of organisms, where most of them develop their offspring within the uterus of the mother. Ov..


Muscle cells are specialized to generate force and movement. Learn about the different types of muscle tissues in this t..

Neurology of Illusions
Neurology of Illusions

Illusions are the perceptions and sensory data obtained from situations in which human error prevents us from seeing the..

Animal Water Regulation

Animals adapt to their environment in aspects of anatomy, physiology, and behavior. This tutorial will help you understa..