Introduction to Flora and Fauna
The ecosystem is a complex, interconnected network comprising of biotic and abiotic elements. Biotic elements include all living organisms such as plants, animals and microorganisms. Abiotic components, on the other hand, include non-living entities that are vital for the survival of life and these include soil, water, climate etc. Among all biotic elements, Flora and Fauna are the most fascinating ones.
Pictured: Flora and Fauna meaning illustrated
Flora and Fauna Meaning
In a nutshell, the term flora relates to all plant life and the term fauna represents all animal life. Let us dive deeper into these terms, exploring their origins and etymologies.
Meaning of Flora
The term flora in Latin means “Goddess of the Flower.” Flora is a collective term for a group of plant life found in a particular region. The whole plant kingdom is represented by this name. Flora is classified and differentiated based on many factors. The best one among them is the area in which they grow or are found. Some grow in desert regions or in water, some are found in hilly areas while some are endemic to a specific geographic location. According to the place at which they grow, they have adaptations also.
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For example, Cactus plants are naturally seen in deserts. They have adaptations like modified leaves or prickles to preserve water and protect themselves from predators. The agricultural flora consists of plants cultivated by men for their use. Horticulture is the practice of growing ornamental and decorative flowers which are also known as garden flora.
Meaning of Fauna
Fauna represents the animal life indigenous to a region. There are many explanations regarding the origin of the word. As per Roman mythology, Fauna or “Faunus” is the name of the goddess of fertility. Another source is “Fauns” which means “Forest spirits.” Animal kingdom comprises of a variety of animal life forms. Hence the classification of fauna is much more complex than the floral division. Therefore, for ease of classification, birds are categorized in the name Avifauna while fishes under Pisci Fauna. As microorganisms including bacteria and virus are generally considered under animal kingdom, they are known as Microfauna. All unknown and undiscovered animals are named as cryptofauna. Since times immemorial, there have been accounts of animals that have been thought to exist but have eluded the scientific community, thereby classifying them as cryptofauna or cryptids. Most of these reports are just tall tales but until recently, a few have documented through actual physical evidence and scientific scrutiny. One such example is the colossal squid. This cryptid has been allegedly been sighted since the 17th and 18th century, often being cited in the diaries and logbooks of sailors. It wasn’t until the 21st century and the conclusive proof was found in the form of a live specimen being entangled in a fishing net. It was taken in and studied by scientists who concluded that it was a new species of squid. Since then, there has been undisputed confirmation about the existence of giant squids.
The earth is beautiful because of all these life forms. Other life forms depend on them for various resources and exploit them. Conservation of flora and fauna is thus necessary for future survival. Biosphere reserves, national parks, zoos, and sanctuaries are few instances of the measures taken by the government for conservation of flora and fauna. Another example is the Tiger project launched by the government of India with the goal of saving the tigers in the country from extinction.
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Questions on Flora and Fauna
1. What is the meaning for flora and fauna?
Flora is the term used to describe all plant life on earth. Similarly, the term fauna describes all animal life on earth.
2. What is the difference between flora and fauna?
As stated above, flora refers to all plant life and fauna refers to all animal life.
3. What is the importance of flora and fauna?
Flora and fauna is a part of the ecosystem and they are interdependent on each other for their survival. Besides, the ecosystem becomes imbalanced if there are any adverse effects on flora and fauna, such as an extinction of a species.
4. List the prominent flora and fauna of India.
Flora and fauna of India include a wide range of plant and animal species, most of which are not found anywhere else in the world. Prominent examples of flora include junipers, pines and deodars, lotus, milkworts, Assam catkin yew, spiderwort etc. Examples of fauna present in India include the Bengal tiger, Asian elephant, snow leopard, Indian rhino, Indian sloth bear etc.
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