What are "Flora" and "Fauna?"

Flora and fauna refer to plant and wildlife, respectively. The indigenous plant and wildlife of a geographical region is often referred to as that region’s flora and fauna. Both are collective terms, referring to groups of plant or wildlife specific to a region or a time period. For example, the flora and fauna of a warm region may consist of tropical to warm-temperate vegetation and exotic species of birds.

By definition, flora is a word of Latin origin referring to Flora, the goddess of flowers. Flora can refer to a group of plants, a disquisition of a group of plants, as well as to bacteria. Flora is the root of the word floral, which means pertaining to flowers. Fauna can refer to the animal life or classification of animals of a certain region, time period, or environment. Fauna is also of Latin origin. In Roman Mythology Fauna was the sister of Faunus, a good spirit of the forest and plains.

The flora and fauna of any given region is usually explained in biological terms to include the genus and species of plant and animal life, their preferred growing or breeding habits, and their connection to one another in the environment as well. In addition to geographical groupings, environment also helps further classifications of flora and fauna. For example, aquatic flora and fauna of a region refers to the plant and animal life found in the waters in or surrounding a geographic region.

Biologists and environmentalists study flora and fauna for a number of reasons. Preservation and conservation as well as gaining new biological understandings are just a few reasons why flora and fauna are important to researchers. Several organizations, including Fauna and Flora International (FFI), work together to use their research and findings to further policy on conservation and preservation as well as biodiversity.

Examples: The "Santana Formation Flora" of Brazil, referring to the extremely rich fossil deposits of the famous Brazilian Santana Formation or "Moroccan Pre-Cambrian Fauna," referring to Morocco's world-famous Pre-Cambrian trove of trilobite fossils.


[flawr-uh, flohr-uh]

noun, plural flo·ras, flo·rae
1. the plants of a particular region or period, listed by species and considered as a whole.
2. a work systematically describing such plants.
3. plants, as distinguished from fauna.
4. the aggregate of bacteria, fungi, and other microorganisms normally occurring on or in the bodies of humans and otheranimals: intestinal flora.



noun, plural -nas, -nae
1. the animals of a given region or period considered as a whole.
2. a treatise on the animals of a given region or period.




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