TaxaGloss is an illustrated multilingual glossary to help biodiversity researchers and conservation practitioners understand the technical terms used to describe marine organisms.
One of the greatest challenges in using taxonomic keys and other resources to identify organisms is learning the complex vocabularies used to describe their morphology. This is made more difficult by the fact that taxonomic documentation of the world's biodiversity is an international endeavour. English-speaking taxonomists often have difficulty understanding original species descriptions from the classical literature, which was often published in other European languages. Modern taxonomists are more often based in non-English speaking countries and yet recent literature is virtually entirely in English.
TaxaGloss can be used to create an illustrated glossary in a single language to help understand terms. It can also be used to create custom translation tables between different languages. Many terms have different definitions depending on the group of organisms they are applied to. Users first select the taxon and language, and can then browse terms or create a printable glossary.
TaxaGloss is a living database compiled by an international community of experts. To report errors or contribute images or translations please contact us.
This project is supported by the National Science Foundation's Division of Environmental Biology through an award titled "Advancing Revisionary Taxonomy and Systematics: Integrative Research and Training in Tropical Taxonomy" (DEB-1456674). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed on this website are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.