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sunandshadow
07-08-2014, 11:00 AM
I'm trying to talk about the life cycle of an imaginary animal. The stages go like this:
1. Egg
2. Puppy (quadrapedal stage, age 0-5)
3. Child (first bipedal stage, age 6-11)
4. Juvenile (age 12-17 is not fertile and is a different color from both children and adults)
5. Adult (age 18, reproductive cycle kicks into gear)
6. Menopause/senescence (at approximately age 60 fertility ends, healing abilities decrease, ability to build muscle ends, ability to accumulate fat stores ends, mental abilities decrease, sleep needs decrease and half-sleep trance states become more common, etc. until death occurs at approximately age 70.)

But since I'm trying to sound formal, official, and sciency, I'd like a set of terms for these stages that all come from the same root language, like Greek or Latin, and I want adjective and verb forms of them, so I can say stuff like "In the ovonic phase, blah blah..." and "Juvenation occurs at approximately age 12..." But I googled ovonic and it doesn't seem to be a word. Ovicular is apparently a word, but it sounds terrible. And there doesn't seem to be a Greek or Latin term for teenage which is distinct from that for child. Just, ugh! All I want to do is a passable impression of a discovery channel narrator. Where do they learn all those special biology terms and how to properly conjugate and decline them to the desired part of speech?

King Neptune
07-08-2014, 04:24 PM
I'm trying to talk about the life cycle of an imaginary animal. The stages go like this:
1. Egg
2. Puppy (quadrapedal stage, age 0-5)
3. Child (first bipedal stage, age 6-11)
4. Juvenile (age 12-17 is not fertile and is a different color from both children and adults)
5. Adult (age 18, reproductive cycle kicks into gear)
6. Menopause/senescence (at approximately age 60 fertility ends, healing abilities decrease, ability to build muscle ends, ability to accumulate fat stores ends, mental abilities decrease, sleep needs decrease and half-sleep trance states become more common, etc. until death occurs at approximately age 70.)

But since I'm trying to sound formal, official, and sciency, I'd like a set of terms for these stages that all come from the same root language, like Greek or Latin, and I want adjective and verb forms of them, so I can say stuff like "In the ovonic phase, blah blah..." and "Juvenation occurs at approximately age 12..." But I googled ovonic and it doesn't seem to be a word. Ovicular is apparently a word, but it sounds terrible. And there doesn't seem to be a Greek or Latin term for teenage which is distinct from that for child. Just, ugh! All I want to do is a passable impression of a discovery channel narrator. Where do they learn all those special biology terms and how to properly conjugate and decline them to the desired part of speech?

I think you may trying too hard, and I would think that "juvenation" means something becoming youthful. You would be safer using ordinary terms:
1. Ovum
2. infant
3. childhood
4. adolescence.
5. Adult
6. Senescence

The idea that people from age eight to whenever were becoming adults, adolescent, is fairly recent. In ancient times anyone capable of reproduction was an adult.

sunandshadow
07-09-2014, 04:12 AM
I think you may trying too hard, and I would think that "juvenation" means something becoming youthful. You would be safer using ordinary terms:
1. Ovum
2. infant
3. childhood
4. adolescence.
5. Adult
6. Senescence

The idea that people from age eight to whenever were becoming adults, adolescent, is fairly recent. In ancient times anyone capable of reproduction was an adult.
These are animals, not people, just in case I was unclear about that. Their juvenile/subadult phase is visually obvious and has unique behavior, so it would be hard for any zoologist to talk about the species and not mention this phase. I'm specifically trying for a formal register, like something a professor with a phd in biology would write for formal publication. Words like child and adult seem a bit too informal for the context. Ovum usually means an egg cell, it's not usually used in biology for an egg in a nest.

StephanieZie
07-09-2014, 04:54 AM
What about pre-pubescent, pubescent, and post-pubescent?

I think "adolescence" is appropriate for animals that are pre-pubescent, but I'm not so sure about your 12-17 year olds. Is the period marked by sexual development? If so, puberty is probably the term you want. If not, I'm wondering what the point of this stage is. The answer to that question will probably factor into what you should call it.

Unimportant
07-09-2014, 05:03 AM
These are animals, not people, just in case I was unclear about that. Their juvenile/subadult phase is visually obvious and has unique behavior, so it would be hard for any zoologist to talk about the species and not mention this phase. I'm specifically trying for a formal register, like something a professor with a phd in biology would write for formal publication. Words like child and adult seem a bit too informal for the context. Ovum usually means an egg cell, it's not usually used in biology for an egg in a nest.

Can you choose/create words that reflect that animal's important phases? Frex, people who maintain a breeding colony will talk about breeders and retired breeders; for bees you use the terms worker and drone. Most animals also have specific terms for male and female (bitch and dog, queen and tom, mare and stallion, etc). All of these would be suitable for formal scientific publications.

sunandshadow
07-09-2014, 07:34 AM
What about pre-pubescent, pubescent, and post-pubescent?

I think "adolescence" is appropriate for animals that are pre-pubescent, but I'm not so sure about your 12-17 year olds. Is the period marked by sexual development? If so, puberty is probably the term you want. If not, I'm wondering what the point of this stage is. The answer to that question will probably factor into what you should call it.


Can you choose/create words that reflect that animal's important phases? Frex, people who maintain a breeding colony will talk about breeders and retired breeders; for bees you use the terms worker and drone. Most animals also have specific terms for male and female (bitch and dog, queen and tom, mare and stallion, etc). All of these would be suitable for formal scientific publications.

Hmm, these two ideas fit together pretty well. :) The "pre-adult" phase is _not_ marked by sexual development, instead the point of this stage is gaining the physical ability to be self-sufficient; in predators it is primarily about learning to hunt, and in both predators and prey it is about moving out of the parental nest or den and building one's own. The main biological reason for developing an adult-sized body early is that it's the best way to get enough food to finish maturing; reproduction requires an internal stock of resources that take time spent eating to build them up. For many species the parents territory doesn't produce enough food to support a whole clutch or litter of almost-grown offspring, so it's beneficial to them to be able to move out as soon as they can keep themselves alive and fed. Depending on their main food, an adult-sized body may be necessary to hunt or gather it.

Some other associated behaviors of this phase are about claiming territory - making noise or smells proclaiming ownership, possibly fighting rivals to drive them out, possibly creating displays of interesting objects to attract the opposite sex in. Those are sort of pre-sexual behaviors, but in the pre-adult phase they are mainly for practice, since the individual isn't actually able to mate yet, nor do they look or smell fertile to others of their species. The main use for territory is the non-sexual use of getting food from it.

So I guess animals in this stage might be named after the fact that they are skinny and drab compared to adults, or after the fact that they are focused on leaving home, building a nest, and/or hunting/eating.

Roxxsmom
07-09-2014, 09:21 AM
I'm trying to talk about the life cycle of an imaginary animal. The stages go like this:
1. Egg
2. Puppy (quadrapedal stage, age 0-5)
3. Child (first bipedal stage, age 6-11)
4. Juvenile (age 12-17 is not fertile and is a different color from both children and adults)
5. Adult (age 18, reproductive cycle kicks into gear)
6. Menopause/senescence (at approximately age 60 fertility ends, healing abilities decrease, ability to build muscle ends, ability to accumulate fat stores ends, mental abilities decrease, sleep needs decrease and half-sleep trance states become more common, etc. until death occurs at approximately age 70.)

But since I'm trying to sound formal, official, and sciency, I'd like a set of terms for these stages that all come from the same root language, like Greek or Latin, and I want adjective and verb forms of them, so I can say stuff like "In the ovonic phase, blah blah..." and "Juvenation occurs at approximately age 12..." But I googled ovonic and it doesn't seem to be a word. Ovicular is apparently a word, but it sounds terrible. And there doesn't seem to be a Greek or Latin term for teenage which is distinct from that for child. Just, ugh! All I want to do is a passable impression of a discovery channel narrator. Where do they learn all those special biology terms and how to properly conjugate and decline them to the desired part of speech?

In a strict biological sense, phases of life for something that comes from an egg would be:

1. Egg
2. Embryo/fetus
3. Hatchling/larvae
4. Juvenile
5. subadult
6. Adult
7. Senescent

But terminology varies so much with the type of animal. Of course, the popular terminology for each life stage would likely be different.

froley
07-09-2014, 10:02 AM
Hello, I study zoology and here are some fun words:

zygote/zygotic, neonate/neonatal, larva/pupa/imago (class Hexapoda ), plankton, zoea/megalopa (Malacostraca [crabs]), veliger (Mollusca), miracidium/redia/cercaria (Platyhelminthes). This is the nature/flavour of scientific naming for life stages.

In addition, some life stages are shared by a variety of phyla and have a common name, like trochophore larvae. -phore appears a lot in zoology, and it means 'bearing' or 'carrying.' Phosphorescent means bearing light, polyplacophore means bearing many plates (a very interesting clade of animals!) and so on. Poly- also appears a lot (meaning 'many'), as does mono- (meaning one).

You could conceivably devise scientific-sounding names for your life stages in this way. You might call your adult stage the chromophore stage, i.e. bearing colour, to differentiate them from the subadults (or polychromophores, if you want to get synergistic, etc.). Having said that, adult and subadult are perfectly acceptable terms in science; juvenile has connotations and is usually avoided, but it's not unacceptable. A breeding adult can be a different morph ('shape' or 'form') than an adult, so you could differentiate that way. By the way you can slap -morph on the end of a word to mean 'form.' You can also add -oid to mean 'like' or 'resembling.' Ophioid means 'snake-like,' for instance.

I would suggest you jump on wikipedia and immerse yourself in the animal kingdom; you will pick up a lot by absorption, or at least diffusion. Pay particular attention to life cycles and juvenile stages. The vast majority of animals don't even have a spine, let alone fur, let alone live birth, and many have weird, convoluted life histories (see the Platyhelminthes or Mollusca for instance) with unique names for idiosyncratic stages. Most people assume the vertebrates are all there is, and haven't even heard of tardigrades ('slow walkers') and onychophores ('claw bearers') and poriferans ('sponges'). Cast your net wide; there's a huge volume of scientific jargon out there! If you don't know where to start, google the things I've mentioned above. All those names mean something in Greek or Latin, and all the animals represented by those clades have life unique cycles.

Failing that, become obsessed with dinosaurs. Latin and Greek meanings will become second nature to you (deinos- means 'terrible' and -saurus means 'reptile,' etc.)

Remember, there are almost 40 major divisions in animal life, and all the animals with four legs and a backbone are contained within one subdivision [I]within one of those divisions. Our (as in, vertebrates') closest relatives are sea squirts. It only gets weirder after that. Nobody has any real idea what a placozoan really is (-zoan means 'animal-ish,' by the way).

Anyway, good luck, animals are very interesting!

ETA: Senescence isn't a concept you usually encounter in zoology (most things die after mating or from predation, etc.; few things just 'wear out'). You'd have better luck in botany, where senescence is a core component of leaf management. Post-reproductive stage is the correct term in this case. Menopause is specific to mammals, a couple of fish, and one bird, so I wouldn't use that term (unless your animal is from a clade which exhibits menopause).

King Neptune
07-09-2014, 04:24 PM
These are animals, not people, just in case I was unclear about that. Their juvenile/subadult phase is visually obvious and has unique behavior, so it would be hard for any zoologist to talk about the species and not mention this phase. I'm specifically trying for a formal register, like something a professor with a phd in biology would write for formal publication. Words like child and adult seem a bit too informal for the context. Ovum usually means an egg cell, it's not usually used in biology for an egg in a nest.

For formal uses and for animals the terms I mentioned would work. Adult is certainly appropriate for a scientific journal. You might dig up something else for child; pre-adult is clumsy, but it might work.

Ovum means egg of whatever sort.

LynnKHollander
07-09-2014, 10:55 PM
Well, to talk about humans, there's a gap between sexual maturity and cognitive maturity. A correct term for 12(sexual maturity) to 24 plus(when the adult brain is assumed to kick in) could be 'adolescent'. Are these thinking animals?

sunandshadow
07-10-2014, 04:11 AM
Well, to talk about humans, there's a gap between sexual maturity and cognitive maturity. A correct term for 12(sexual maturity) to 24 plus(when the adult brain is assumed to kick in) could be 'adolescent'. Are these thinking animals?
Yeah, they are like smart dinosaurs. Chimpanzee-level intelligence.