PRIMARIES.—The feathers forming the tip of the wing of a bird, and inserted upon that part which represents the hand of man.
PROCESSES.—Projecting portions of bones, usually for the attachment of muscles, ligaments, &c.
PROPOLIS.—A resinous material collected by the Hive-Bees from the opening buds of various trees.
PROTOZOA.—The lowest great division of the animal kingdom. These animals are composed of a gelatinous material, and show scarcely any trace of distinct organs. The Infusoria, Foraminifera, and sponges, with some other forms, belong to this division.
PUPA (pl. PUPÆ).—The second stage in the development of an insect, from which it emerges in the perfect (winged) reproductive form. In most insects the pupal stage is passed in perfect repose. The chrysalis is the pupal state of butterflies.
RADICLE.—The minute root of an embryo plant.
RAMUS.—One half of the lower jaw in the Mammalia. The portion which rises to articulate with the skull is called the ascending ramus.
RANGE.—The extent of country over which a plant or animal is naturally spread. Range in time expresses the distribution of a species or group through the fossiliferous beds of the earth's crust.
RETINA.—The delicate inner coat of the eye, formed by nervous filaments spreading from the optic nerve, and serving for the perception of the impressions produced by light.
RETROGRESSION.—Backward development. When an animal, as it approaches maturity, becomes less perfectly organised than might be expected from its early stages and known relationships, it is said to undergo a retrograde development or metamorphosis.
RHIZOPODS.—A class of lowly organised animals (Protozoa), having a gelatinous body, the surface of which can be protruded in the form of root-like processes or filaments, which serve for locomotion and the prehension of food. The most important order is that of the Foraminifera.
RODENTS.—The gnawing Mammalia, such as the rats, rabbits, and squirrels. They are especially characterised by the possession of a single pair of chisel-like cutting teeth in each jaw, between which and the grinding teeth there is a great gap.
RUBUS.—The Bramble Genus.
RUDIMENTARY.—Very imperfectly developed.
RUMINANTS.—The group of quadrupeds which ruminate or chew the cud, such as oxen, sheep, and deer. They have divided hoofs, and are destitute of front teeth in the upper jaw.
SACRAL.—Belonging to the sacrum, or the bone composed usually of two or more united vertebræ to which the sides of the pelvis in vertebrate animals are attached.
SARCODE.—The gelatinous material of which the bodies of the lowest animals (Protozoa) are composed.
SCUTELLÆ.—The horny plates with which the feet of birds are generally more or less covered, especially in front.
SEDIMENTARY FORMATIONS.—Rocks deposited as sediments from water.