Local flora and fauna are mentioned expressly in several places in the New Testament. Reading down these lists of animals and plants reminds modern readers of the agrarian and rural setting of the villages and hillsides in which much of the New Testament takes place. Most of the people who heard, wrote, or read the stories of Jesus would have had firsthand awareness of these ordinary features of daily New Testament life.
D. Kelly Ogden, Where Jesus Walked: The Land and Culture of New Testament Times (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1991).
J. Toynbee, Animals in Roman Life and Art (London: Thames & Hudson, 1973).
Edwin Firmage, “Zoology (Fauna),” ABD, 6:1109-67.