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O

Oblique : Slanting.

Occiput : The hindmost edge of the top of the head, where the head joins the nape.

Oceanic : Anywhere in the ocean beyond the edge of the continental shelf.

Odontoceti : A suborder of the Order Cetacea, containing all toothed whales, dolphins and porpoises.

P

Pack-ice : A mass of floating pieces of ice driven together to form a solid layer.

Pantropical : Occurring globally between the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn.

Parasite : Organism that benefits from another organism by harming it.

Pelagic : Pertaining to or living in the open waters of seas or large lakes.

Permanent ice : Core areas of ice around both poles which do not melt.

Plankton : Microscopic plants and animals that drift near the surface of open waters.

Plicate : Folded, grooved, or wrinkled.

Pod : A co-ordinated group of cetaceans (term is most often used when referring to large, toothed whales).

Polar : Of the area around the poles.

Population : Group of animals from the same species that is isolated from other such groups and interbreeds over time til this group differ noticeably from other groups.

Porpoise : A small cetacean with a stocky body and an indistinct beak; also used interchangeably with 'dolphin' as a general term.

Porpoising : Leaping out of the water whilst moving forward at speed.

Posterior : Located toward the rear.

Predorsal : Pertaining to the area on the back between the snout and the dorsal fin origin.

Purse Seinging : A fishing method where by a large net is used to encircle a school of fish. The net is slowly pulled in, forcing the fish into a smaller and smaller area until finally the net is hoisted aboard ship. A method which often ensnares dolphins who happen to be in the area feeding on the same fish the fishermen are attempting to catch.

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