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Fauna is all of the
animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular A multicellular organism is an organism In biology, an organism () is any organic, life, living system that functions as an individual entity. All organisms are composed of cells ...

animal
life present in a particular region or time. The corresponding term for
plant Plants are predominantly photosynthetic Photosynthesis is a process used by plants and other organisms to Energy transformation, convert light energy into chemical energy that, through cellular respiration, can later be released to fuel ...

plant
s is ''
flora Flora is all the plant Plants are predominantly photosynthetic Photosynthesis is a process used by plants and other organisms to Energy transformation, convert light energy into chemical energy that, through cellular respiration, ca ...

flora
''. Flora, fauna and other forms of life such as
fungi A fungus (plural The plural (sometimes abbreviated An abbreviation (from Latin ''brevis'', meaning ''short'') is a shortened form of a word or phrase, by any method. It may consist of a group of letters, or words taken from the full ...

fungi
are collectively referred to as '' biota''.
Zoologist Zoology ()The pronunciation of zoology as is usually regarded as nonstandard, though it is not uncommon. is the branch of biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical st ...
s and
paleontologist Paleontology (), also spelled palaeontology or palæontology, is the scientific study of life that existed prior to, and sometimes including, the start of the Holocene The Holocene ( ) is the current Geologic time scale, geological epoch. ...
s use ''fauna'' to refer to a typical collection of animals found in a specific time or place, e.g. the "
Sonoran Desert The Sonoran Desert ( es, Desierto de Sonora) is a North American desert and ecoregion An ecoregion (ecological region) or ecozone (ecological zone) is an and geographically defined area that is smaller than a , which in turn is smaller than ...

Sonoran Desert
fauna" or the "
Burgess Shale The Burgess Shale is a fossil-bearing deposit exposed in the Canadian Rockies of British Columbia, Canada. It is famous for the exceptional preservation of the soft parts of its fossils. At old (Wuliuan, middle Cambrian), it is one of the earl ...
fauna".
Paleontologists Paleontology, also spelled palaeontology or palæontology (), is the scientific study of life that existed prior to, and sometimes including, the start of the Holocene The Holocene ( ) is the current geological epoch. It began approximate ...
sometimes refer to a sequence of
faunal stage In chronostratigraphyChronostratigraphy is the branch of stratigraphy that studies the ages of rock stratum, strata in relation to time. The ultimate aim of chronostratigraphy is to arrange the sequence of Deposition (geology), deposition and the ...
s, which is a series of rocks all containing similar fossils. The study of animals of a particular region is called faunistics.


Etymology

''
Fauna 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 r ...
'' comes from the name
Fauna 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 r ...
, a Roman goddess of earth and fertility, the Roman god
Faunus In Religion in ancient Rome, ancient Roman religion and Roman mythology, myth, Faunus was the horned deity, horned god of the forest, plains and fields; when he made cattle fertile he was called Inuus. He came to be equated in literature with ...
, and the related forest spirits called
Faun The faun (, grc, φαῦνος, ''phaunos'', ) is a half-Human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most abundant and widespread species In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, includi ...

Faun
s. All three words are cognates of the name of the Greek god
Pan Pan may refer to: Prefix *''Pan-'', a prefix A prefix is an affix which is placed before the stem of a word. Adding it to the beginning of one word changes it into another word. For example, when the prefix ''un-'' is added to the word ''happy ...
, and ''panis'' is the
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...
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 ennoblement Ennoblement is the conferring of nobility—the induction of an individual into the noble social class, class. Currently only a few kingdoms still grant nob ...

Carl Linnaeus
from Sweden in the title of his 1745 work ''Fauna Suecica


Subdivisions on the basis of region


Cryofauna

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


Cryptofauna

''Cryptofauna'' are the fauna that exist in protected or concealed
microhabitats In ecology Ecology (from el, οἶκος, "house" and el, -λογία, label=none, "study of") is the study of the relationships between living organisms, including humans, and their physical environment. Ecology considers at the ...
.


Epifauna

Epifauna, also called ''epibenthos'', are aquatic animals that live on the bottom substratum as opposed to within it, that is, the
benthic The benthic zone is the ecological region at the lowest level of a body of water A body of water or waterbody (often spelled water body) is any significant accumulation of water, generally on a planet's surface. The term most often refers to ...
fauna that live on top of the sediment surface at the seafloor.


Infauna

''Infauna'' are
benthic The benthic zone is the ecological region at the lowest level of a body of water A body of water or waterbody (often spelled water body) is any significant accumulation of water, generally on a planet's surface. The term most often refers to ...
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 Bacteria (; common noun bacteria, singular bacterium) are ubiquitous, mostly free-living organisms often consisting of one Cell (biology), biological cell. They constitute a large domain (biology), domain of prokaryotic microorganisms. Typ ...

Bacteria
and
microalgae Microalgae or microphytes are microscopic The microscopic scale (from , ''mikrós'', "small" and σκοπέω, ''skopéō'' "look") is the scale of objects and events smaller than those that can easily be seen by the naked eye Naked eye, ...
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 Lingulata is a class of brachiopod Brachiopods (), phylum (biology), phylum Brachiopoda, are a group of lophotrochozoan animals that have hard "valves" (shells) on the upper and lower surfaces, unlike the left and right arrangement in bivalve mo ...
,
trilobites Trilobites (; meaning "three lobes") are a group of extinction, extinct marine artiopodan arthropods that form the class (biology), class Trilobita. Trilobites form one of the earliest-known groups of arthropods. The first appearance of trilobit ...

trilobites
and
worms The World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) is a taxonomic database that aims to provide an authoritative and comprehensive list of names of marine organisms. Content The content of the registry is edited and maintained by scientific specialists ...

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 disturb the sediment. The deepest burrowers are the ghost shrimps (''
Thalassinidea Thalassinidea is a former infraorder of Decapoda, decapod crustaceans that live in burrows in muddy bottoms of the world's oceans. In Australian English, the littoral thalassinidean ''Trypaea australiensis'' is referred to as the ''yabby'' (a term ...
''), which go as deep as into the sediment at the bottom of the ocean.


Limnofauna

''Limnofauna'' refers to the animals that live in fresh water.


Macrofauna

''Macrofauna'' are
benthic The benthic zone is the ecological region at the lowest level of a body of water A body of water or waterbody (often spelled water body) is any significant accumulation of water, generally on a planet's surface. The term most often refers to ...
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

''Megafauna'' are large animals of any particular region or time. For example,
Australian megafauna skeleton in the Naracoorte Caves, South Australia The term Australian megafauna refers to a number of megafauna In terrestrial zoology Zoology ()The pronunciation of zoology as is typically regarded as nonstandard, though it is not uncommo ...
.


Meiofauna

''Meiofauna'' are small
benthic The benthic zone is the ecological region at the lowest level of a body of water A body of water or waterbody (often spelled water body) is any significant accumulation of water, generally on a planet's surface. The term most often refers to ...
invertebrate Invertebrates are animals that neither possess nor develop a vertebral column (commonly known as a ''backbone'' or ''spine''), derived from the notochord. This includes all animals apart from the chordata, chordate subphylum vertebrate, Vertebra ...
s that live in both marine and freshwater
environments
environments
. The term ''meiofauna'' loosely defines a group of
organism In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, molecular interactions, Physiology, physiological ...

organism
s 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 Mystacocarida is a subclass of crustacean Crustaceans (Crustacea ) form a large, diverse arthropod An arthropod (, (gen. ποδός)) is an invertebrate animal having an exoskeleton, a Segmentation (biology), segmented body, and paired jointe ...

Mystacocarida
). In practice these are metazoan animals that can pass unharmed through a 0.5 1 mm
mesh A mesh is a barrier made of connected strands of metal A metal (from Ancient Greek, Greek μέταλλον ''métallon'', "mine, quarry, metal") is a material that, when freshly prepared, polished, or fractured, shows a lustrous appearan ...

mesh
but will be retained by a 30–45 μm mesh, but the exact dimensions will vary from
research Research is "creative and systematic work undertaken to increase the stock of knowledge". It involves the collection, organization and analysis of information to increase understanding of a topic or issue. A research project may be an expa ...

research
er 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

''Mesofauna'' are macroscopic soil animals such as
arthropod An arthropod (, (gen. ποδός)) is an invertebrate animal having an exoskeleton, a Segmentation (biology), segmented body, and paired jointed appendages. Arthropods form the phylum Euarthropoda,Reference showing that Euarthropoda is a phylum: ...
s or
nematode The nematodes ( or grc-gre, Νηματώδη; la, Nematoda) or roundworms constitute the phylum Nematoda (also called Nemathelminthes), with plant-parasitic nematodes also known as eelworms. They are a diverse animal phylum inhabiting a bro ...

nematode
s. Mesofauna are extremely diverse; considering just the springtails (
Collembola Springtails (Collembola) form the largest of the three lineages of modern hexapods that are no longer considered insect Insects or Insecta (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic bran ...

Collembola
), as of 1998, approximately 6,500 species had been identified.


Microfauna

Microfauna are microscopic or very small animals (usually including
protozoa Protozoa (singular protozoon or protozoan, plural protozoa or protozoans) is an informal term for a group of single-celled eukaryote Eukaryotes () are organism In biology, an organism () is any organic, life, living system that ...

protozoa
ns and very small animals such as
rotifer The rotifers (, from Latin ''wikt:rota#Latin, rota'' "wheel" and ''wikt:-fer#Latin, -fer'' "bearing"), commonly called wheel animals or wheel animalcules, make up a phylum (Rotifera ) of microscopic and near-microscopic Coelom#Pseudocoelomates, ...

rotifer
s). To qualify as microfauna, an organism must exhibit animal-like characteristics, as opposed to
microflora Microbiota are "ecological communities of commensal, symbiotic Symbiosis (from Ancient Greek, Greek , , "living together", from , , "together", and , bíōsis, "living") is any type of a close and long-term biological interaction between tw ...
, which are more plant-like.


Stygofauna

Stygofauna are any fauna that live in
groundwater Groundwater is the water Water (chemical formula H2O) is an , transparent, tasteless, odorless, and , which is the main constituent of 's and the s of all known living organisms (in which it acts as a ). It is vital for all known form ...

groundwater
systems or aquifers, such as
cave A cave or cavern is a natural void in the Earth#Surface, ground, specifically a space large enough for a human to enter. Caves often form by the weathering of rock and often extend deep underground. The word ''cave'' can also refer to much small ...

cave
s, fissures and
vug A vug, vugh, or vugg (pronounced ) is a small to medium-sized cavity inside rock Rock most often refers to: * Rock (geology) A rock is any naturally occurring solid mass or aggregate of minerals or mineraloid matter. It is categorized by ...
s. Stygofauna and
troglofauna Troglofauna are small cave-dwelling animals that have adaptation, adapted to their dark surroundings. Troglofauna and stygofauna are the two types of subterranean fauna (based on life-history). Both are associated with subterranean environments ...
are the two types of
subterranean faunafile:P anguinus1.jpg, The olm (''Proteus anguinus''), a typical cave dwelling chordate, Endemism, endemic of Dinaric Alps. Subterranean fauna refers to Animal, animal species that are adaptation, adapted to live in underground Natural environment, en ...
(based on life-history). Both are associated with subterranean environments – stygofauna are associated with water, and troglofauna with caves and spaces above the
water table The water table is the upper surface of the zone of saturation. The zone of saturation is where the pores and fractures of the ground are saturated with water. It can also be simply explained as the depth below which the ground is saturated. Th ...

water table
. Stygofauna can live within freshwater
aquifer An aquifer is an underground layer of water Water (chemical formula H2O) is an , transparent, tasteless, odorless, and , which is the main constituent of 's and the s of all known living organisms (in which it acts as a ). It is vital ...

aquifer
s and within the
pore Pore may refer to: Biology Animal biology and microbiology * Sweat pore Perspiration, also known as sweating, is the production of fluids secreted by the sweat glands in the skin Skin is the layer of usually soft, flexible outer tissue ...
spaces of
limestone Limestone is a common type of carbonate In chemistry, a carbonate is a salt Salt is a mineral composed primarily of sodium chloride (NaCl), a chemical compound belonging to the larger class of Salt (chemistry), salts; salt in its na ...

limestone
,
calcrete 275px, Caliche Forest on San Miguel Island. Caliche () is a sedimentary rock, a hardened natural cement of calcium carbonate that binds other materials—such as gravel, sand, clay, and silt. It occurs worldwide, in aridisol and mollisol soil orde ...
or
laterite Laterite is both a soil and a rock type rich in iron and aluminium and is commonly considered to have formed in hot and wet tropical areas. Nearly all laterites are of rusty-red coloration, because of high iron oxide content. They develop by in ...
, whilst larger animals can be found in cave waters and wells. Stygofaunal animals, like troglofauna, are divided into three groups based on their life history - stygophiles, stygoxenes, and stygobites.


Troglofauna

Troglofauna are small
cave A cave or cavern is a natural void in the Earth#Surface, ground, specifically a space large enough for a human to enter. Caves often form by the weathering of rock and often extend deep underground. The word ''cave'' can also refer to much small ...

cave
-dwelling
animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular A multicellular organism is an organism In biology, an organism () is any organic, life, living system that functions as an individual entity. All organisms are composed of cells ...

animal
s that have
adapted In biology, adaptation has three related meanings. Firstly, it is the dynamic evolutionary process that fits organisms to their environment, enhancing their Fitness (biology), evolutionary fitness. Secondly, it is a state reached by the popula ...

adapted
to their dark surroundings. Troglofauna and
stygofauna Stygofauna are any fauna that live in groundwater systems or aquifers, such as caves, fissures and vugs. Stygofauna and troglofauna are the two types of subterranean fauna (based on life-history). Both are associated with subterranean environments ...
are the two types of
subterranean faunafile:P anguinus1.jpg, The olm (''Proteus anguinus''), a typical cave dwelling chordate, Endemism, endemic of Dinaric Alps. Subterranean fauna refers to Animal, animal species that are adaptation, adapted to live in underground Natural environment, en ...
(based on life-history). Both are associated with subterranean environments – troglofauna are associated with caves and spaces above the water table and stygofauna with water. Troglofaunal species include
spider Spiders (order Order or ORDER or Orders may refer to: * Orderliness Orderliness is associated with other qualities such as cleanliness Cleanliness is both the abstract state of being clean and free from germs, dirt, trash, or waste, and the ...

spider
s,
insect Insects (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in ...

insect
s,
myriapods Myriapoda (Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, ancient world from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided into the following periods: Mycen ...
and others. Some troglofauna live permanently underground and cannot survive outside the cave environment. Troglofauna adaptations and characteristics include a heightened sense of hearing, touch and smell. Loss of under-used senses is apparent in the lack of pigmentation as well as eyesight in most troglofauna. Troglofauna insects may exhibit a lack of
wings A wing is a type of fin A fin is a thin component or appendage attached to a larger body or structure. Fins typically function as foils that produce lift or thrust Thrust is a reaction (physics), reaction force (physics), force describ ...

wings
and longer
appendage An appendage (or outgrowth) is an external body part, or natural prolongation, that protrudes from an organism's body. In invertebrate biology, an appendage refers to any of the homology (biology), homologous body parts that may extend from a ...
s.


Xenofauna

Theoretically, ''Xenofauna'' are
alien Alien primarily refers to: * Alien (law) In law, an alien is any person A person (plural people or persons) is a being that has certain capacities or attributes such as reason, morality, consciousness or self-consciousness, and being a part ...
organisms that can be described as
animal analogues
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 Astronomy (from el, ἀστρονομία, literally meaning the science that studies the laws of the stars) is a natural science that studies astronomical object, celestial objects and celestial event, phenomena. It uses mathematics, phys ...
,
astrobiology Astrobiology, formerly known as exobiology, is an interdisciplinary scientific field concerned with the origins, early evolution, distribution, and future of life Life is a characteristic that distinguishes physical entities that have ...
,
biochemistry Biochemistry or biological chemistry, is the study of chemical process In a scientific Science () is a systematic enterprise that Scientific method, builds and organizes knowledge in the form of Testability, testable explanations and pr ...

biochemistry
,
evolutionary biology Evolutionary biology is the subfield of biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, molecular interacti ...
,
science fiction Science fiction (sometimes shortened to sci-fi or SF) is a genre of speculative fiction which typically deals with imagination, imaginative and futuristic concepts such as advanced science and technology, space exploration, time travel, Parall ...

science fiction
, and
philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about Metaphysics, existence, reason, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy of mind, mind, and Philosophy of language, language. Such questio ...

philosophy
.


Other

Other terms include ''
avifauna Birds are a group of warm-blooded vertebrates constituting the class (biology), class Aves , characterised by feathers, toothless beaked jaws, the Oviparity, laying of Eggshell, hard-shelled eggs, a high Metabolism, metabolic rate, a four-c ...

avifauna
'', which means "
bird Birds are a group of warm-blooded vertebrate Vertebrates () comprise all species of animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular eukaryotic organisms that form the Kingdom (biology), biological kingdom Animalia. With ...

bird
fauna" and ''piscifauna'' (or ''
ichthyofauna Fish are Aquatic animal, aquatic, craniate, gill-bearing animals that lack Limb (anatomy), limbs with Digit (anatomy), digits. They form a sister group to the tunicates, together forming the Chordate#Taxonomy, olfactores. Included in this def ...
''), which means "
fish Fish are aquatic Aquatic means relating to water Water (chemical formula H2O) is an inorganic, transparent, tasteless, odorless, and nearly colorless chemical substance, which is the main constituent of Earth's hydrosphere and the ...

fish
fauna".


Treatises


Classic faunas

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


See also

*
Biodiversity Biodiversity is the biological variety and Genetic variability, variability of life, life on Earth. Biodiversity is a measure of variation at the Genetics, genetic, species, and ecosystem level. Terrestrial biodiversity is usually greater near ...

Biodiversity
*
Biome A biome is a collection of plants Plants are predominantly photosynthetic Photosynthesis is a process used by plants and other organisms to Energy transformation, convert light energy into chemical energy that, through cellular respi ...
*
Ecology Ecology (from el, οἶκος, "house" and el, -λογία, label=none, "study of") is the study of the relationships between living organisms, including humans, and their physical environment. Ecology considers organisms In biol ...
*
Ecosystem An ecosystem (or ecological system) consists of all the organisms and the physical environment with which they interact. These biotic and abiotic components are linked together through nutrient cycles and energy flows. Energy enters the syst ...

Ecosystem
*
Environmental movement The environmental movement (sometimes referred to as the ecology movement), also including conservation Conservation is the preservation or efficient use of resources, or the conservation of various quantities under physical laws. Conservation ...
*
Fauna and Flora Preservation Society Fauna & Flora International (FFI) is an international Wildlife conservation, conservation charity and non-governmental organization dedicated to protecting the planet's threatened wildlife and habitats. Founded in 1903, it is the world's oldest in ...
*
Gene pool The gene pool is the set of all genes, or genetic information, in any population, usually of a particular species. Description A large gene pool indicates extensive genetic diversity, which is associated with robust populations that can surviv ...
*
Genetic erosion Genetic erosion (also known as genetic depletion) is a process where the limited gene pool of an endangered species diminishes even more when reproductive individuals die off before reproducing with others in their endangered low population. The ...
*
Genetic pollution Genetic pollution is a controversial term for uncontrolled gene flow into wild populations. It is defined as "the dispersal of contaminated altered genes from genetically engineered organisms to natural organisms, esp. by cross-pollination", but ha ...
*
Natural environment The natural environment or natural world encompasses all life, living and non-living things occurring nature, naturally, meaning in this case not Artificiality, artificial. The term is most often applied to the Earth or some parts of Earth. Th ...

Natural environment
* Soil zoology


References


External links


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