An ancient ichthyosaur graveyard may have been a breeding ground

3-D: Short for three-dimensional. This term is an adjective for something that has features that can be described in three dimensions — height, width and length. 

behavior: The way something, often a person or other organism, acts towards others, or conducts itself.

biology: The study of living things.

bloom: (in microbiology) The rapid and largely uncontrolled growth of a species, such as algae in waterways enriched with nutrients.

breed: (verb) To produce offspring through reproduction.

chemical: A substance formed from two or more atoms that unite (bond) in a fixed proportion and structure. For example, water is a chemical made when two hydrogen atoms bond to one oxygen atom. Its chemical formula is H2O. Chemical also can be an adjective to describe properties of materials that are the result of various reactions between different compounds.

chemistry: The field of science that deals with the composition, structure and properties of substances and how they interact. Scientists use this knowledge to study unfamiliar substances, to reproduce large quantities of useful substances or to design and create new and useful substances. (about compounds) Chemistry also is used as a term to refer to the recipe of a compound, the way it’s produced or some of its properties. People who work in this field are known as chemists. (in social science) A term for the ability of people to cooperate, get along and enjoy each other’s company.

embryo: The early stages of a developing organism, or animal with a backbone, consisting only one or a few cells. As an adjective, the term would be embryonic — and could be used to refer to the early stages or life of a system or technology.

eruption: (in geoscience) The sudden bursting or spraying of hot material from deep inside a planet or moon and out through its surface. Volcanic eruptions on Earth usually send hot lava, hot gases or ash into the air and across surrounding land.

fossil: Any preserved remains or traces of ancient life. There are many different types of fossils: The bones and other body parts of dinosaurs are called “body fossils.” Things like footprints are called “trace fossils.” Even specimens of dinosaur poop are fossils. The process of forming fossils is called fossilization.

generation: A group of individuals (in any species) born at about the same time or that are regarded as a single group. Your parents belong to one generation of your family, for example, and your grandparents to another. Similarly, you and everyone within a few years of your age across the planet are referred to as belonging to a particular generation of humans. The term also is sometimes extended to year classes of other animals or to types of inanimate objects (such as electronics or automobiles).

ichthyosaur: A type of giant marine reptile that looks similar to a porpoise. Its name means “fish lizard.” It was not related to fish or marine mammals, however. And although it was not a dinosaur, it lived at the same time as dinosaurs.

insight: The ability to gain an accurate and deep understanding of a situation just by thinking about it, instead of working out a solution through experimentation.

laser: A device that generates an intense beam of coherent light of a single color. Lasers are used in drilling and cutting, alignment and guidance, in data storage and in surgery.

marine: Having to do with the ocean world or environment.

millennia: (singular: millennium) Thousands of years.

model: A simulation of a real-world event (usually using a computer) that has been developed to predict one or more likely outcomes. Or an individual that is meant to display how something would work in or look on others.

paleontologist: A scientist who specializes in studying fossils, the remains of ancient organisms.

reptile: Cold-blooded vertebrate animals, whose skin is covered with scales or horny plates. Snakes, turtles, lizards and alligators are all reptiles.

scanner: A machine that runs some sort of light (which includes anything from X-rays to infrared energy) over a person or object to get a succession of images. Such systems are often used to see inside the human body or solid objects without breaching their surface.

sea: An ocean (or region that is part of an ocean). Unlike lakes and streams, seawater — or ocean water — is salty.

trove: A collection of valuable things.

whale: A common, but fairly imprecise, term for a class of large mammals that lives in the ocean. This group includes dolphins and porpoises.

X-ray: A type of radiation analogous to gamma rays, but having somewhat lower energy.

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