Fauna is the sum of all animal species in an area, the associated science is the biogeography. If the entire planet earth considered, whose fauna includes all animals as a whole, for example, in paleontology, where we talk about a " fauna of the Cretaceous ".

The term is derived from a name of the Roman goddess Bona Dea. Alternative, colloquial term is wildlife. The correspondence of the fauna in the plant kingdom is the flora.

Often not the entire fauna of an area studied ( marine life, desert fauna, forest fauna or the Wadden Sea fauna), but only certain systematic groups:

After taxonomy:

  • Avifauna - Birds
  • Entomofauna - Insects
  • Herpetofauna - reptiles and amphibians
  • Ichthyofauna - Fish
  • Malakofauna - molluscs

According to body size (especially in soil biology ):

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

Especially in marine habitats:

  • Epifauna - animals on surfaces of unconsolidated sediments or on other organisms ( corals, plants) (also named epibenthos )
  • Infauna - animals living digging in unconsolidated sediments
  • Kryofauna - Eisfauna; specialized species in cavities of sea ice, especially its bottom
  • Crypto fauna - "hidden " animals, such as voids or gaps at the seabed