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Representation of the fauna of Australia and Oceania in the Swedish-language conversation lexicon Nordisk familjebok (1876)

Fauna (also animal world ) refers to the totality of all naturally occurring animals in an area or, in the narrower sense, all animal species in this area. Exploring the fauna is the task of faunistics , the associated science is the biogeography . If the entire planet earth is considered, the fauna includes all animal species, for example in paleontology , where one speaks of a "fauna of the Cretaceous period ".

The name is derived from the name of the Roman nature goddess Fauna . The equivalent of the fauna in the plant kingdom is the flora .


According to habitats

Schematic example: fauna on an island, divided into four groups according to habitats
  • Marine life - in the habitat sea
    • Epifauna (also called epibenthos ) - animals on surfaces of loose sediments or on other organisms (corals, plants)
    • Infauna (also endofauna ) - animals that live digging in loose sediments or drilling in hard substrates
    • Kryofauna , Eisfauna - specialized species in cavities of sea ice, especially on the underside
    • Cryptofauna - "hidden" animals, e.g. B. in cavities or crevices on the sea floor
  • Wadden Sea fauna - in the Wadden Sea habitat
  • Forest fauna - in the forest habitat
  • Desert fauna - in the desert habitat
  • Etc.

Occasionally, aquatic wildlife is referred to as aquafauna . It makes sense, however, to distinguish between the habitats salt water (sea) and fresh water ( rivers and lakes).

According to systematic large groups

According to body size

  • Microfauna - microorganisms and very small animals
  • Meiofauna - animals that rank between micro and macro fauna
  • Macrofauna - animals that can be seen with the naked eye (0.2 to 20 millimeters)
  • Megafauna - large animals

This classification is mainly made for animal species that live in the ground or on land.


Web links

Commons : Animals  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Fauna  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wiktionary: Animal world  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Duden online: Fauna and animal world
  2. ^ Matthias Schaefer: Dictionary of Ecology . Springer, 2012, ISBN 978-3-8274-2562-1 , pp. 128 .