Meaning of meiofauna in English:


Pronunciation /ˌmʌɪəʊˈfɔːnə/


mass nounEcology
  • Minute animals living in soil and aquatic sediments.

    Compare with megafauna, microfauna

    ‘The meiofauna, as the tiny invertebrate animals are called, are equipped with all sorts of odd appendages and body shapes that are well adapted to this unique environment.’
    • ‘The Kinorhyncha are microscopic, bilaterally symmetrical, exclusively free-living, benthic, marine animals and ecologically part of the meiofauna.’
    • ‘The scientists found on the ocean floor miniscule meiofauna, single-celled creatures less than half a millimeter long, the most successful and numerous animal in the southern sea.’
    • ‘The loriciferans seem to be one of the most abundant groups of meiofauna in the deep-sea, but also occur in mud on shallower water, and they may be one of the dominant meiofauna groups.’
    • ‘In other words, at some point an ancestral deuterostome became really small, probably as a member of the meiofauna, and lost a number of complicated organ systems as a result.’


1950s from Greek meiōn ‘less or smaller’ + fauna.