Fauna is all of the
animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular eukaryotic organisms that form the Kingdom (biology), biological kingdom Animalia. With few exceptions, animals Heterotroph, consume organic material, Cellular respiration#Aerobic respiration, ...
life present in a particular region or time. The corresponding term for plants is ''
flora Flora is all the plant life present in a particular region or time, generally the naturally occurring (indigenous (ecology), indigenous) native plants. The corresponding term for animal life is ''fauna''. Flora, fauna, and other forms of kingdom ...

''. Flora, fauna and other forms of life such as fungi are collectively referred to as '' biota''. Zoologists and paleontologists use ''fauna'' to refer to a typical collection of animals found in a specific time or place, e.g. the " Sonoran Desert fauna" or the " Burgess Shale fauna". Paleontologists sometimes refer to a sequence of faunal stages, which is a series of rocks all containing similar fossils. The study of animals of a particular region is called faunistics.


'' Fauna'' comes from the name Fauna, a Roman goddess of earth and fertility, the Roman god Faunus, and the related forest spirits called Fauns. All three words are cognates of the name of the Greek god Pan, and ''panis'' is the Greek equivalent of fauna. ''Fauna'' is also the word for a book that catalogues the animals in such a manner. The term was first used by
Carl Linnaeus Carl Linnaeus (; 23 May 1707 – 10 January 1778), also known after his Nobility#Ennoblement, ennoblement as Carl von Linné#Blunt, Blunt (2004), p. 171. (), was a Swedish botanist, zoologist, taxonomist, and physician who formalised binomia ...
from Sweden in the title of his 1745 work ''Fauna Suecica

Subdivisions on the basis of region


''Cryofauna'' refers to the animals that live in, or very close to, cold areas.


''Cryptofauna'' are the fauna that exist in protected or concealed microhabitats.


''Infauna'' are Benthic zone, benthic organisms that live within the bottom substratum of a water body, especially within the bottom-most oceanic sediments, the layer of small particles at the bottom of a body of water, rather than on its surface. Bacteria and microalgae may also live in the interstices of bottom sediments. In general, infaunal animals become progressively smaller and less abundant with increasing water depth and distance from shore, whereas bacteria show more constancy in abundance, tending toward one million cells per milliliter of interstitial seawater.. Such creatures are found in the fossil record and include lingulata, Trilobite, trilobites and Worm, worms. They made burrows in the sediment as protection and may also have fed upon detritus or the mat of microbes which tended to grow on the surface of the sediment. Today, a variety of organisms live in and Bioturbation, disturb the sediment. The deepest burrowers are the ghost shrimps (''Thalassinidea''), which go as deep as into the sediment at the bottom of the ocean.


Epifauna, also called ''epibenthos'', are aquatic animals that live on the bottom substratum as opposed to within it, that is, the benthic fauna that live on top of the sediment surface at the seafloor.


''Macrofauna'' are benthic or soil organisms which are retained on a 0.5 mm sieve. Studies in the deep sea define macrofauna as animals retained on a 0.3 mm sieve to account for the small size of many of the taxa.


''Megafauna'' are large animals of any particular region or time. For example, Australian megafauna.


''Meiofauna'' are small benthic invertebrates that live in both marine and freshwater Ecosystem, environments. The term ''meiofauna'' loosely defines a group of organisms by their size, larger than microfauna but smaller than macrofauna, rather than a taxonomic grouping. One environment for meiofauna is between grains of damp sand (see Mystacocarida). In practice these are metazoan animals that can pass unharmed through a 0.5 1 mm mesh but will be retained by a 30–45 μm mesh, but the exact dimensions will vary from researcher to researcher. Whether an organism passes through a 1 mm mesh also depends upon whether it is alive or dead at the time of sorting.


''Mesofauna'' are macroscopic soil animals such as arthropods or nematodes. Mesofauna are extremely diverse; considering just the springtails (Collembola), as of 1998, approximately 6,500 species had been identified.


''Microfauna'' are microscopic or very small animals (usually including protozoans and very small animals such as rotifers). To qualify as microfauna, an organism must exhibit animal-like characteristics, as opposed to microflora, which are more plant-like.


Drake equation, Theoretically, ''Xenofauna'' are Extraterrestrial life, alien organisms that can be described as Animal, animal analogues. As of the current day, no alien life forms, animal or otherwise, are known to exist. Despite this, the idea of alien life remains a popular subject of interest in the fields of astronomy, astrobiology, biochemistry, evolutionary biology, science fiction, and philosophy.


Other terms include ''avifauna'', which means "bird fauna" and ''piscifauna'' (or ''ichthyofauna''), which means "fish fauna".


Classic faunas

* Carl Linnaeus, Linnaeus, Carolus. ''Fauna Suecica''. 1746

See also

* Biodiversity * Biome * Ecology * Ecosystem * Environmental movement * Fauna and Flora Preservation Society * Gene pool * Genetic erosion * Genetic pollution * Natural environment * Soil zoology


External links

"Biodiversity of Collembola and their functional role in the ecosystem"
{{Authority control Animal ecology Ecology terminology Organisms