Cambridgeshire Mammal Atlas Glossary Arboreal – tree-dwelling. Carnivorous – eating or feeding on flesh. Caudal patch – patch on the rump. Crepuscular – active primarily during twilight (i.e.at dawn and dusk). Diurnal – normally only active during the day. Dorsal – back (of an animal). Herbivorous – animals that feed on plants. Hibernaculum – the wintering place of hibernating animals (especially bats). Hibernation – dormant condition over winter. Insectivorous – feeding on insects. Leks – patches of ground used as a setting for males’ display. Melanistic – showing excessive development of the dark-coloured pigment melanin in the skin or fur. Nocturnal – normally only active at night. Omnivorous – having a diet of plant and animal origin/eating food of all kinds. Opportunistic – non-specialist (re. food, new habitats, etc.). Palmate – having a broad flat surface – in an antler it describes the area between the tines. Post-partum oestrus – coming into season immediately after giving birth. Rut – annually recurring period of sexual activity in deer. Torpid – very drowsy/in suspended animation. Tragus – a fleshy projection which partly covers the entrance to the ear. Velvet – the soft downy highly vascular skin that covers a deer’s antlers while growing. Ventral – relating to the front or lower surface (the ventral surfaces of the body include the chest, shins and palms).