Glossary - O
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O

ocean observatory
a networked array of sensor systems that measure the physical, chemical, geological and biological variables in the ocean and seafloor as well as the overlying atmosphere.
oceanographic variable
a characteristic of the ocean that changes
octave band noise
noise over a range of frequencies where the frequency in Hertz of the upper end of the range is twice the frequency of the lower end
octavo-lateralis system
comprised of the lateral line and inner ear of fish; provides fish with balance, hearing, and the ability to feel vibrations from a distance
odontocete
group of mammals that includes the toothed cetaceans. This includes some whales (such as sperm whales, orca or killer whales, and beaked whales) as well as all dolphins and porpoises.
offspring
next generation or baby of a certain species
olfactory organ
an organ for smelling
omnidirectional
having no directional component; producing or receiving sounds from all directions
omnivorous
organisms that eat both animals and plants
opportunistic feeding
a type of foraging in which an animal feeds on a wide variety of prey and is able to adapt to whatever food becomes available.
oral cavity
the mouth, which forms the first chamber of the digestive system. It includes the space surrounded by the lips, teeth, hard and soft palates, cheeks, and tongue. The oral cavity ends at border of the pharynx, which is approximately the line just anterior to the tonsils.
organ of Corti
the sensory part of the inner ear that converts sound signals into nerve impulses. Located on the basilar membrane, it contains sensory cells that transform vibrations into neural code for sound processing by the brain. It contains many important cells including the inner and outer hair cells.
oscar
Astronotus ocellatus
ossicles
three tiny bones - the incus (anvil), malleus (hammer), and stapes (stirrup) - that lie in the middle ear. The ossicles conduct sound across the middle ear to the inner ear by forming a bridge between the eardrum and the oval window.
otariids or eared seals
fur seals and sea lions that have visible ear flaps. They have an elongated neck and long front flippers. Their hind flippers can be turned forward for walking on land.
otolith
small bones in the inner ear which provide balance, and, in fish, aid in hearing
ototoxic
causing damage to the ear or its nerve supply.
outer ear
the outermost part of the ear that is external to the ear drum or tympanic membrane. It directs sound waves down the air-filled ear canal onto the eardrum.
oval squid
Sepiotheutis lessoniana
oval window
a membrane-covered opening between the middle ear and the inner ear. The oval window is connected to the third ear ossicle (stapes) and passes sound vibrations to the inner ear.
overpressure
The pressure in the shock wave from an explosion that exceeds the existing atmospheric or hydrostatic pressure in the medium through which the shock wave is propagating.
oyster toadfish
Opsanus tau