Browse "Nature & Geography"

Displaying 861-880 of 892 results
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Wapiti

The Wapiti (Cervus canadensis) is the second largest (after the moose), most highly evolved Old World deer. It is also known as the American elk.

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Warbler

Warbler is a name applied to several groups of birds, primarily the New World wood warblers, and Old World warblers of which only 3 species commonly breed in Canada.

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Wasp

Wasp is a term applied to stinging insects in the division Aculeata of the order Hymenoptera, which also includes ants and bees.

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Water

Worldwide, over two-thirds of precipitation falling on land surfaces is evaporated and transpired back into the atmosphere. In Canada less than 40% is evaporated and transpired; the remainder, called the water yield, enters into streamflow.

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Waterfall

A waterfall is a phenomenon which occurs when water flowing in a river channel encounters a vertical or near-vertical drop in the channel bed.

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Waterfowl

Waterfowl is a general term used for members of the family Anatidae, composed of closely allied species commonly known as ducks, geese and swans.

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Waxwing

Waxwing is a family of birds comprising 8 species, including the true waxwings, the palmchat of Hispaniola and the silky-flycatchers of the southwestern US and Central America.

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Weasel

The weasel is a small, long-bodied, carnivorous mammal of the family Mustelidae. Three species of weasels are found in Canada: the short-tailed weasel, also known as the ermine or stoat (Mustela erminea), the long-tailed weasel (Mustela frenata), and the least weasel (Mustela nivalis). The least weasel is the smallest species in the order carnivora. The genus Mustela also includes mink, black-footed ferret, and the introduced European ferret.

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Weather

WEATHER FORECASTING is the attempt to understand atmospheric patterns to predict the weather conditions that will occur at a specific place and time, including temperature, wind, cloud, precipitation and humidity.

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Weathering

Fragmented rock materials formed by mechanical weathering are normally larger than clay particles. These materials constitute major sources of sediment for later erosion, transportation and deposition under the impetus of gravity, wind, water or ice.

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Weeds

Weeds are plants growing where humans do not want them.

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Wetlands

Wetlands cover about 14 per cent of the land area of Canada, and are the natural habitat of over 600 species of plants, animals and insects. In addition to providing a home for these plants and animals, wetlands are an essential part of the environment because they prevent flooding, filter toxins, store groundwater and limit erosion. The most common wetland habitats are swamps, marshes, and bogs.

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Whale

 Whale, common name for large, aquatic or marine mammals of order Cetacea, which inhabit all oceans.

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Wheat

Wheat is the common name for members of genus Triticum of the grass family (Gramineae) and for the cereal grains produced by these grasses.

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Whelk

Whelkis the common name for a carnivorous marine snail which may be included with the Buccinid, Muricid or Purpurid families.

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Whitefish

Whitefish, common name for several freshwater fishes of class Actinopterygii, family Salmonidae (salmon), subfamily Coregoninae (sometimes elevated to family rank).

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Wildflowers

There are approximately 4000 species of flowering plants in Canada, of which about 3000 may be considered wildflowers. About one-quarter of these have been introduced from other regions of the world.

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Willow

Willow (Salix) is a genus of trees and shrubs of the willow family (Salicaceae). About 300 species occur worldwide, chiefly in the Northern Hemisphere.

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Wind

In the atmosphere, between about 1.2 and 1.6 km above the Earth's surface, winds tend to blow parallel to rather than across the lines of equal pressure (isobars).

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Winter

Winter occurs as the Earth's axis tilts away from the sun during the planet's annual rotation. The portion of the Earth that is furthest from the sun experiences winter, with weather that is colder than the other seasons. In the Northern Hemisphere, winter officially begins with the winter solstice, around 21 December, and ends at the spring equinox, around 21 March. Winter figures largely in Canada's climate, cultural experience and mythology. Every aspect of life in Canada is affected by winter, whether by heavy rains on the West Coast, isolation during the long Arctic winters, raging blizzards across the prairies or huge snowfalls in eastern Canada. Winter is reflected in Canadian art, literature, music, fashion, pastimes and attitudes.