faun-, fauni-, fauna-, -fauna

(Latin: animal; a collective name for the animals of a certain region or time)

archaeofauna, archeofauna (s) (noun); archaeofaunas; archeofaunas (pl)
Any assemblage of animal remains recovered from a single archaeological context: The scientists were thrilled at finding some archaeofaunas, or fragments of prehistoric animals, at the site of their diggings.
avifauna (s) (noun), avifaunae (pl)
The birds of a particular region, habitat, or geological area.
avifaunal (adjective), more avifauna, most avifauna
A reference to or relating to birds of a particular region or period of time.
cryptofauna (s) (noun), cryptofaunas (pl)
The animals of protected or concealed microhabitats: During the night, many kinds of cryptofauna come out from small spaces of the shelves of reefs and coral substrate.

The cryptofauna constitute a category of animals which contribute an important reef ecosystems because these organisms present a high level of diversity, in terms of both different age levels and occupying spaces.

The various cryptofaunas are considered to be important as food for fish and other creatures on coral reefs.

defaunate (verb), defaunates; defaunated, defaunating
1. To eliminate animal or protozoan pests or parasites from an infested area or host: Some countries are making efforts at defaunating single-cell organisms that divide within a host organism; such as, those protozoa that cause malaria.
2. To drive off or deplete animal life in an area: A process of defaunating local or global extinctions of large (vertebrate) animals as a result of human processes; such as by, hunting or the depletion of forests when people over populate such areas.

Some areas have been defaunated by excessive deforestation by humans which threatens global biodiversity in some areas of the world.

When some areas are overly defaunated, there are impacts resulting from the loss of key pollinators and seed dispersers by the absence of animals that indirectly affects the ecology of the forests.

defaunation (s) (noun), defaunations (pl)
The driving off or depletion of animal life in a geographical area or areas: Defaunation is considered to be one of the world's most significant global changes, on par with environmental changes like global warming, deforestation, and shifts in the nitrogen cycles.

Defaunation, or animal impoverishment, is usually missing from the analyses of tropical forest conservation that results from human activities which include deforestation and the loss of the fauna, particularly the medium and large animals that are the most vulnerable, because of hunting or habitat reduction or fragmentation of forests.

—Compiled from information located at
Defaunation, like deforestation, threatens global biodiversity;
based on an interview with Rodolfo Dirzo, ecologist at Stanford University,
by Rhett A. Butler of mongabay.com, May 20, 2008.
epifauna (s) (noun); epifaunae, epifaunas (pl)
1. In ecology, animals that live on the seafloor, or which are attached to other animals or objects under water.
2. The total animal life inhabiting a sediment surface or water surface; any encrusting organisms.
epifaunal (adjective), more epifaunal, most epifaunal
A reference to benthic (sea) creatures living on the substrate of the hard sea floor or on other organisms.
faun (s) (noun), fauns (pl)
In Roman mythology, a rural god, often depicted as a creature with the body of a man and the legs and horns of a goat. The Greek equivalent is satyr.
Fauna (s) (noun) (no plural)
Animals; from the name of a Roman fertility goddess, wife, sister, or daughter of the god Faunus: Fauna is also known as the goddess Diana who was the mother of wild creatures and she had a satyr-consort, Faunus, corresponding to the androgynous Dianus who merged with Diana.

The name of Fauna came to mean "animals" because the many-breasted Diana was supposed to give birth to all animals and to nourish them with her numerous breasts, as shown on her famous statue at Ephesus.

Another name for Fauna was Bona Dea, the "Good Goddess".

fauna (s) (noun); faunae, faunas (pl)
1. The animal life of a particular region or period, considered as a whole: In her biology class at school, Nancy was particularly interested in the fauna of the sea, including fish and molluscs.
2. A catalog or list describing the animals of a particular place or time: In order to give his report on the wildlife of his area, Jim’s teacher gave him a fauna to read.

Animals from Australia or a geographical region.
Word Info image © Copyright, 2006.

Animals from a certain geographical area.
© ALL rights are reserved.

Go to this Word A Day Revisited Index
so you can see more of Mickey Bach's cartoons.

faunal (adjective), more faunal, most faunal
A reference to animals or animal life.
faunalturbation (s) (noun), faunalturbations (pl)
A minor disturbance of the surface of the earth, or soil, by animals; In Russel's biology class at school, the teacher told the students that faunalturbation occurred especially by the burrowing and tunnelling of rabbits, gophers, mice, etc.
faunation (s) (noun), faunations (pl)
The assemblage of the species of creatures that exist in a particular area.
faunist (s) (noun), faunists (pl)
A person who studies or writes about animal life; a naturalist.

Related "animal" units: anima-; therio-; zoo-.