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caracara – (Family: Falconidae) A type of falcon with long-legs. They are slow fliers that feed opportunistically, mainly on carrion. The Crested Caracara is the national bird of Mexico.
carrion – The dead and decaying body of an animal.
Centers of Plant Diversity – Centers of Plant Diversity is a project of the IUCN and WWF. The objective is to identify areas with the greatest number of plant species; to document the many social, economic and scientific benefits that conserving these areas would offer; and to outline a strategy for the conservation of these areas of global priority.
cephalopod – A class of marine mollusks that include squids, octopuses, cuttlefish and nautiulus. They all have a circle of prehensile tentacles and a muscular funnel through which they expel water to provide them with a form of jet propulsion.
Cerradão – Savannah, woodland/savannah and dry forest ecosystems. Cerradão occupies the central Brazil plateau, and its plants are considered the richest of all tropical savannah regions, with very high levels of endemism. The cerrado is the second largest (2,100,000 km²) of Brazil's major ecoregions. The term "Cerrado" means "dense" or "closed," which is ironic given the openness of the savannah.
chaparral – This oak-dominated scrub forest with a Mediterranean-like climate is found in California. Although the winters are rainy, the summers can be dry and, therefore, many of the plants have thick, leathery leaves to conserve water. Fires caused by lightning strikes are common and many plants have adapted to burning, including some that will not release their seeds until after a fire. Chaparral-like communities are also found on the west coast of South America, the Cape Town area of South Africa, the western tip of Australia and coastal areas of the Mediterranean.
chinchilla – A family of 6 species of southern South American rodents (about 25 centimeters long). Their forelimbs are short, but their hind legs are large and they are good jumpers. Their eyes are large, their tails are often bushy and their ears are large and rounded. The Incas raised them for their fur.
cinclodes – (Family: Furnariidae) Small songbirds related to ovenbirds, found only in Latin America. Typically found in high elevation paramo habitat, although some species live along the coast. They forage on the ground for insects.
cold-blooded – Having a body temperature that changes, approximating that of the surrounding air, land, or water.
colobus – A genus of mid-sized, leaf-eating African monkeys. They are related to baboons and mandrills, as well as to the langurs and macaques of Southeast Asia.
copra – The dried flesh or kernel of a coconut. Coconut oil is extracted by boiling and pressing the copra.
cordillera – Cordillera is spanish for mountain range. Cordillera is used to describe the high elevation communities along the mountain ranges that form the spine of continents, such as the Andes in South America or the Rocky Mountains in North America.
CR – (Critically Endangered). One of three categories of threat on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
crocodilians – An order that includes the crocodiles, alligators, caimans and gavials. They are large, aquatic, carnivorous, tropical reptiles. Their snout is long with strong teeth, their skin is armored and they have short powerful limbs and a flattened tail. They are closely related to the dinosaurs.
curassow – (Family: Cracidae) The 14 species of curassow are native to Latin America. They are goose-sized, larger and more terrestrial than their relatives the guans and chachalacas. Curassows feed both on the ground, like pheasants, and in trees. They have ornate knobs and wattles.