Glossary: F


referring to a condition that may or may not occur in a species, for instance facultative mutualisms are ones where one or both species that have a mutualistic relationship may also have populations that live independently of that mutualism.


a term used to describe a birthing event in pigs (Suidae).


Bodily waste discharged from the bowels.


The number of offspring produced per unit of time per individual of any given age. Also referred to as birth rate, maternity rate, or fertility.

female defense polygyny

a form of polygyny in which males defend females, excluding other males from mating opportunities, such as in species where breeding males maintain harems.

female parental care

parental care is carried out by females


Referring to domesticated animals which are living in the wild.


union of egg and spermatozoan


a method of feeding where small food particles are filtered from the surrounding water by various mechanisms. Used mainly by aquatic invertebrates, especially plankton, but also by baleen whales.


referring to a state or feature of an organism or species that does not change.


a slender, flexible structure that is an outgrowth of a eukaryotic cell used for locomotion or propelling liquids across a cell surface. The more appropriate term is 'undulipodium', which is used to distinguish eukaryotic structures from the flagella (plural) of bacteria. Eukaryotic undulipodia are more similar to eukaryotic cilia in structure than prokaryotic flagella.

fleshy fin

Two pairs of lobed fins that may have been used like four legs to locomote on the bottom. Synapomorphy of the Sarcopterygii.


One of the lobes of a whale's tail.


an animal that mainly eats leaves.


A substance that provides both nutrients and energy to a living thing.

food chain

A diagram that shows the flow of food and energy from producers to consumers. The original food source for all organisms in a food chain can be traced to plants. "Food chain" and "food web" are often used interchangeably, but a food chain shows just one thing that each animal eats and is eaten by; while a food web shows all the things an animal eats and is eaten by.

food web

A diagram showing the connections among everything that organisms in a location eat and are eaten by. A food web is more complex than a food chain, by showing more connections.


A general term applied to ephemeral plant species (not grasses); in arid and semi-arid regions they grow abundantly after rains.


forest biomes are dominated by trees, otherwise forest biomes can vary widely in amount of precipitation and seasonality.


Referring to a burrowing life-style or behavior, specialized for digging or burrowing.


mainly lives in water that is not salty.

freshwater lake

An aquatic biome.

freshwater river

An aquatic biome.


an animal that mainly eats fruit

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 branching filaments.

full secondary palate

A secondary bony roof of the mouth which completely separates the nasal passages from the mouth. This allows the organism to breathe while eating or holding food in its mouth, and for young to breathe while nursing. Synapomorphy of the Mammalia+Cynodonts, also found convergently in the Crocodilia.


a conical device with a wide opening that tapers to a much smaller opening, used for a variety of purposes. The webs of funnel-web spiders are similarly shaped.


An animal whose pelt has commercial value and is subject to being harvested.