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microfauna

[mahy-kroh-faw-nuh] /ˌmaɪ kroʊˈfɔ nə/
noun, plural microfaunas, microfaunae
[mahy-kroh-faw-nee] /ˌmaɪ kroʊˈfɔ ni/ (Show IPA).
(used with a singular or plural verb)
1.
Biology. microscopic animals.
2.
Ecology. the fauna of a microhabitat.
Origin
1900-1905
1900-05; micro- + fauna
Related forms
microfaunal, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for microfauna
  • Combined, all these creatures are called marine microfauna.
  • Common to abundant microfauna in the subsurface are not present in outcrop.
  • Chemicals contained in the microfauna eaten by the frogs are excreted through their vibrant skins.
  • Zooplankton are microscopic animals, also called microfauna, that feed on phytoplankton.
  • The microfauna and microflora are poorly diversified.
  • Indicates whether a surface sample was taken for microfauna studies.
Encyclopedia Article for microfauna

small, often microscopic animals, especially those inhabiting the soil, an organ, or other localized habitat. Single-celled protozoans, small nematodes, small unsegmented worms, and tardigrades (eight-legged arthropods) are the most common components of microfauna. Many inhabit water films or pore spaces in leaf litter and in the soil, feeding on smaller microorganisms that decompose organic material.

Learn more about microfauna with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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