biospeleology– a scientific branch that studies the underground habitats, underground organisms and their mutual relationships.
cave animals – animals that live in caves and pits.
cave hygropetric – place on cave walls where thin layer of water permanently flows. In such habitat special cave coleopterans like those from genuses Radziella, Croatodirus and Hadesia can be found.
caves – speleological objects which have average inclination less than 45° and are longer than 5 meters. Longest cave in Croatia is cave system Kita Gaćešina-Draženova puhaljka (24 558 meters).
ecology – Study of the relationships between organisms and their environment.
endemic – taxon that lives on one restricted geographical area. There are endemics of caves, mountain, island, etc.
estavela – cave which is during high ground water level a spring, and during a period when groundwater level is decreasing a sinkhole.
flowstone – composed of sheetlike deposits of calcite formed where water flows down the walls or along the floors of a cave. They are typically found in "solution", or limestone caves, where they are the most common speleothem.
groundwater – water that occurs below the surface of the Earth, where it occupies spaces in soils or geologic strata.
guano – Accumulated excrement and remains of birds or bats.
helictite – speleothemes that are growing in different directions, even the one that is opposite of direction of gravity. They can develop on walls, ceiling or other speleothemes.
ice cave – caves with accumulation of ice and snow, out of which people traditionally excavated ice and used it in household.
karst – a landscape shaped by the dissolution of a soluble layer or layers of bedrock, usually carbonate rock such as limestone or dolomite. These landscapes display distinctive surface features and underground drainages,
karst field – a large flat plain in karst territory with areas usually 5 to 400 km². The original name is polje. The largest karst field in Croatia is Ličko polje.
living area – geographic region which is inhabited by some taxon. living area can be integral when it represent one linked piece of geographic region or it can be disjunct. Species with wide living area are called cosmopolitan species, and those with narrow living area endemic species.
lost river – river in karst area that drainage itself into the underground river flow.
pits – speleological objects which have average inclination between 45 and 90°. The deepest pit in Croatia is system Lukina jama – Trojama (-1431 meters).
plankton – Marine and freshwater organisms that, because they are unable to move or are too small or too weak to swim against water currents, exist in a drifting, floating state.
pleistocene – The Pleistocene began 1.8 million years ago and ended 10,000 years ago. At the height of the Pleistocene glacial ages, more than 30% of the land area of the Earth was covered by glacial ice; during the interglacial stages, probably only about 10% was covered.
predator – an animal that feeds on another living organisms known as prey.
protozoa – the eukaryotic unicellular microscopic organisms (size between 2 and 4500 µm). They inhabit the various sorts of habitats such as the seas, the rivers, the lakes, the underground, etc. In the underground habitats there were found hundreds of species from groups: ciliates, flagellates, naked and testate amoebas.
refugia – locations of isolated or relict populations of once widespread animal or plant species. This isolation, in many cases, can be seen as only a temporary state; however, some refugia may be long-standing, thereby having many endemic species, not found elsewhere, which survive as relict populations.
relict – an organism that at an earlier time was abundant in a large area but now occurs at only one or a few small areas.
sinkhole – speleological object in which water sinks permanently or occasionally. Sinkholes are often situated at the edges of karstic fields.
sinter pool – pools in limestone that are developed by corrosive activity of water. Their diameter can be up to 2 meters, and there is often water in them.
stalactite – is a type of speleothem that hangs from the ceiling or wall of limestone caves.
stalagmite – type of speleothem that rises from the floor of a limestone cave due to the dripping of mineralized solutions and the deposition of calcium carbonate.
stigophile – aquatic animals that lives in the dark parts of caves and underground, but they can also live outside on the surface. Most of stigophiles does not express morphological adaptations such as stygobionts.
stygobiont – aquatic animals that lives entirely in the dark parts of caves and underground. Such creatures have become specifically adapted for life in total darkness and over time they have evolved to develop improved senses of smell, taste and vibration detection, while losing anatomical features that are superfluous without light, such as functioning eyes and pigmentation.
taxonomy – the classification of organisms into a hierarchy of groupings, from the general to the particular, that reflect evolutionary and usually morphological relationships: kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, species, subspecies.
troglobite – an animal that lives entirely in the dark parts of caves. Such creatures have become specifically adapted for life in total darkness and over time they have evolved to develop improved senses of smell, taste and vibration detection, while losing anatomical features that are superfluous without light, such as functioning eyes and pigmentation.
troglomorfic – morphological and physiological features that are changed in the cave species in relationship to their surface relatives. Troglomorphic features are for example: depigmentation, reduction of eyes, elongation of body parts, development of other senses, slower metabolism etc.
troglophile – animals that lives in the dark parts of caves and underground, but they can also live outside on the surface. Most of troglophiles does not express morphological adaptations such as troglobites.
trogloxene – animals that accidentally fall in the pits and caves. Most of them die in the caves if they don’t find their way out. Some of the trogloxene use caves in one part of their lives like hibernating or reproduction.
Gottstein Matočec, S., Ozimec, R., Jalžić, B., Kerovec, M. & Bakran-Petricioli, T., 2002: Raznolikost i ugroženost podzemne faune Hrvatske, Zagreb, p. 1-82.