Animal Info - Glossary F

Facultative
Optional.
Fallow
Referring to a field that has been left untilled or unsown after plowing.
Farrow
To give birth to a pig.
Fast Ice
Sea ice that has frozen along coasts and extends out from land.
Feces
Bodily waste discharged from the bowels.
Fecundity
Also referred to as "birth rate," maternity rate" or "fertility."  It is 1) the number of offspring produced per unit of time per individual of any given age, or 2) the percent of females in an age class that are pregnant or lactating. 
Felid
A cat.
Feral
Referring to domesticated animals which have adapted to living in the wild.
Fission-Fusion Society
A type of primate social organization in which individuals regularly divide into small subgroups for foraging but from time to time also join together in larger groups.
Fluke
One of the lobes of a whale's tail.
Fodder
Food for cattle, horses, sheep or other livestock.
Folivore
An animal that eats mainly leaves (it is "folivorous").
Food Chain
An arrangement of the organisms of an ecological community according to the order in which they eat each other, with each organism using the next lower organism in the food chain as prey.  Green plants are usually at the bottom of the food chain.
Forage
1) noun: food for animals, especially when taken by browsing or grazing; 2) verb: the act of searching for food.
Forbs
A general term applied to ephemeral plant species (not grasses); in arid and semi-arid regions they grow abundantly after rains.
Form
A shallow resting hollow dug by a hare, which it lies in during the day. The form may be dug out slightly more deeply at one end than the other - the deeper end accommodates the hare's large and powerful hind quarters. The form may be oriented so that the hare can sit with its back against the wind.
Fossorial
Referring to a burrowing life-style or behavior.
Frond
A large leaf (especially of a palm or fern) usually with many divisions.
Frugivorous
Referring to an animal (a "frugivore") that eats mainly fruits.
Fruiting body
An organ of a fungus which carries or produces spores for the fungus' reproduction. For example, a mushroom is a fruiting body of a fungus; the main body of the fungus is underground and consists of a network formed from a mass of tubular, branching filaments.
Fungus (plural "Fungi")
One of a group of non-flowering lower plants that lack chlorophyll and the organized plant structure of stems, roots, and leaves. Fungi have two common characteristics: they grow principally through the extension of a mass of interwoven filaments, via growth at the tips of the filaments; and their nutrition is based on the absorption of organic matter.
Furbearer
An animal whose pelt has commercial value and is subject to being harvested.

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Last modified: June 4, 2006;

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