What does fauna mean

The term fauna comes from Latin and is derived from the name of the Roman goddess Fauna, the nature and forest goddess. The fauna describes the totality of all animal species occurring in a certain geographic area or habitat. Geological epochs such as Cretaceous or Tertiary can also be described in more detail with regard to fauna.

Depending on which habitat or which animal groups this list of species refers to, a distinction is made between several sub-terms of fauna. For example, biologists can speak of aqua, forest or desert fauna when describing the fauna of the respective habitats. Depending on the layers or depths in which animals live in salty waters, the so-called marine fauna or marine fauna is divided into several subgroups. Different terms also exist within the fauna with regard to the individual classes of animals - for example, the entomofauna includes all insects in a certain region, the avifauna all bird species, the ichthyofauna all fish and the herpetofauna all amphibians and reptiles. In the case of terrestrial animals, the scientists also differentiate between micro, meio, macro and megafauna, depending on their body size.

In contrast to the term fauna, the term flora refers to the entirety of all plants.