This glossary is a FREE SERVICE to assist the student and enthusiast alike to get a better understanding of scientific terms, wildlife industry jargon and ecological concepts.
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facultative anaerobes bacteria that can live in both oxygen rich and oxygen poor environments

faecal energy energy lost during defecation, heat and undigested food

faeces dung or droppings

false hooves protrusions on the legs of some ungulate species above the fetlock, they are the remnants of fused and reduced leg bones

fault Surface along which a rock mass has been broken and displaced

fauna all animal life

fecundity the number of offspring or eggs produced

fecundity(fecund) a measure of the fertility of an organism. A highly fertile individual is said to be very fecund.

feldspar Group of minerals consisting of sodium, calcium and potassium aluminium silicates; plagioclase is the name given to the sodium, calcium variety

felids Animals that are classified in the Family Felidae (Lion, cheetah, leopard, caracal, serval, African wild cat, small spotted cat, black footed cat)

feline immunodeficiency virus (fiv) a viral disease affecting felines. It is similar to the HIV strain but with less severe symptoms.

feloidea Feliformia (also Feloidea) is a suborder within the order Carnivora consisting of "cat-like" carnivorans, including cats (large and small), hyenas, mongooses, civets, and related taxa. Feliformia stands in contrast to the other suborder of Carnivora, Caniformia ("dog-like" carnivorans). Both suborders share one characteristic which distinguishes Carnivora from all other mammals: the possession of the four carnassial teeth.

feral wild, escaped from domestication and returned to a wild state

fermentation the break down of food in the rumen or caecum.

fermentation heat energy lost as heat during the fermentation process.

fertilisation the combining of female and male genetic material to reproduce a new individual

fertility the potential to produce offspring

fibrosity fibre content of plant material

fire break a section of land, wide enough to halt the spread of fire. The break may be artificial such as a road, or a strip of vegetation may be back-burnt to produce a temporary fire break

fire mosaic a burning programme where a single fire is started in a random area and is left to burn itself out. This is an attempt to simulate natural (lightning)fires.

fitness the genetic contribution by an individual's descendants to future generations

flatulence gas given off via the rectum

flavenoids the largest group of secondary chemicals (toxins)produced by plants. Includes tannin

fledgling a juvenile bird that is ready to leave its parents nest

flehmen an act performed by many species of mammals whereby an adult male sniffs the vulva and urine of a female to test if she is in oestrus. Some females also perform this ritual

flight distance The distance an animal maintains from a feared presence e.g. a predator; a highly variable distance,depending on the individual's status,the identity and actions of the object,terrain,and time of day.

flora all plant life

florigen The hormone thought to be responsible for flowering in plants.

flux a flow of energy from a source to a destination

fold Bend in a layer of rock

folivore An animal whose diet consists mostly of leaves and other foliage.

fomites inanimate objects on which pathogens can be conveyed e.g. faeces

food chain the flow of energy from plants to herbivores to carnivores

food web interlocking pattern formed by a series of interconnecting food chains

foraminifera Small marine organisms that usually have calcareous shells with minute holes; belong to a subdivision of the Protozoa

forb any herbs other than a grass

forcipules appendages on the first segment on centipedes that convey venom to the tip of the animal's sharp claws

foregut fermenters ruminants. Animals that 'chew the cud'

foreland basin Depression formed on the landward side of the mountain range lying along the collision zone between oceanic and continental plates

formation a classification of vegetation based on dominant life forms

fossil an impression left in hard rock of the shape, size and texture of a once living organic organism or part of an organism, plant or animal

fossil fuel coal, oil or natural gas

fossorial adapted to digging / an underground lifestyle

fractional crystallisation See differentiation

fracture zone Linear zone along which many faults are developed; the zone of fracture extending from a transform fault across the ocean floor

free radicle a harmful oxygen containing compound

frugivore an animal that eats fruit

fuel load the relative mass of vegetation to be burnt

fungal Indicating to be a type of fungus.

fungus plants that do not contain chlorophyll e.g. , mildew, mould, and mushrooms

fused segments More than one bodypart that has joined to form a single segment of the individuals anatomy Ie.Cephalothorax in aracnids.

fusiform cigar shaped

fynbos biome a very large group of related species (9700) only endemic to the Southern Cape region of South Africa

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