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in Roman religion: see Bona DeaBona Dea
, in Roman religion, ancient fertility goddess worshiped only by women; also called Fauna. She was said to be the daughter, sister, or wife of Faunus. No man could be present at her annual festival in May.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



the aggregate of animal species inhabiting a particular region. The fauna of a region evolves historically from various animal groups known as faunistic complexes. It is usually difficult and sometimes even impossible to ascertain the origin of a faunistic complex; as a result, determination of whether certain species belong to a given complex is generally based on the similarity of the ranges of the animals.

There are tundra, taiga, nemoral, forest, steppe, semidesert, desert, pantropic, palaeotropical, and other faunistic complexes. The faunistic complexes constituting a given fauna may vary in number. For example, the steppe fauna is made up of the predominant steppe faunistic complex, a complex of cosmopolitan species, and representatives of complexes predominant in other faunas, for example, nemoral and desert complexes. The steppe faunistic complex, in turn, consists of several groups: endemic animals, animals that are not endemic but occupy zonal habitats in the steppe zone and do not range far from the zone, and animals that range relatively far from the zone but are very abundant in the zone. Every region has autochthonous species, whose origin is linked to the region, and immigrant species. Thus, the fauna of a region consists of species of different origin that came to the region by different routes and at different times. The species constituting a fauna occupy a given habitat. For example, the desert fauna includes inhabitants of clayey deserts, sandy deserts, stony deserts, solonetzes, solonchaks, lakes, rivers, and river valleys overgrown with tugais.

One of the principal means of studying a fauna is to take an inventory to determine the number of species constituting the fauna. The end result of fauna research is faunistic or zoogeographic regionalization of the earth or its individual regions.

The term “fauna” should not be confused with animal population—that is, the aggregate of animals that form a community characterized both by species diversity and by a large number of individuals (for example, in a tropical rain forest, high-grass savanna, or spruce forest). The term “fauna” is also applied to animals of different taxonomic categories (for example, the bird fauna or beetle fauna of a particular region), to the animals of a particular period (recent fauna, Myocene fauna), and, in geology, to the remains of animals from certain strata of earth.

Faunas are also studied by a branch of zoogeography called faunisties or faunistic zoogeography. Comprehensive treatises on the animals of an area are also called faunas, for example, the USSR fauna and the Tadzhikistan fauna.


Geptner, V. G. Obshchaia zoogeografiia. Moscow-Leningrad, 1936.
Bobrinskii, N. A., and N. A. Gladkov. Geografiia zhivotnykh, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1961.
Kucheruk, V. V. “Stepnoi faunisticheskii kompleks mlekopitaiu-shchikh i ego mesto v faune Palearktiki.” In Geografiia naseleniia nazemnykh zhivotnykh i metody ego izucheniia. Moscow, 1959.
Voronov, A. G. Biogeografiia. Moscow, 1963.
Darlington, F. Zoogeografiia. Moscow, 1966. (Translated from English.)
Lattin, G. de. Grundriss der Zoogeographie. Jena, 1967.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


The animal life characteristic of a particular region or environment.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


1. all the animal life of a given place or time, esp when distinguished from the plant life (flora)
2. a descriptive list of such animals
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Waagen's lithostratigraphic subdivision was used almost for one century until Kummel and Teichert and associates in 1960's redefined the litho stratigraphy of the Salt Range and Surghar Ranges in terms of modern stratigraphic nomenclature practices as well as piloted a detailed paleontological study of the rich Late Permian and Early Triassic faunas; such as brachiopods, Ammonites, conodonts, bivalves, fusulinids, etc.
And analysis of the fossil revealed the distinct nature of the dinosaur fauna in Africa.
Some British Lower Palaeozoic conodont faunas. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London Series B, 237, 647, 261-334.
They were guided by a similar methodology pioneered in a study of "evolutionary faunas" in marine invertebrates by Janis' late husband Jack Sepkoski, who was a paleontologist at the University of Chicago.
This fauna occurs with brachiopods and other elements, which have been described by a number of distinguished palaeontologists: the Ordovician and Silurian of Anticosti Island is famous for its fossils and quality of preservation--a good thing that it is a protected area as otherwise naturally weathered slabs would soon vanish.
Summary--Three squamate reptile taxa are added to early Hemingfordian Quarry A Local Fauna of Logan County, Colorado: the legless lizard Ophisaurus sp., the extinct rubber boa species Charina prebottae, and the extinct colubrid genus and species Texasophis fossilis.
The determining factors of litter decomposition rates, namely climate, edaphic structure, resource quality, fauna, and microbes, come into play in all terrestrial systems, though their relative importance may vary along a latitudinal gradient.
For example, it might be beneficial for ants, but for other soil fauna such as Collembola, it may have a negative impact.
Although no Lake Agassiz unionoidean material is known for the interval from 8000 to 4000 ybp, in sediments dated between 4000 ybp and the present horizon, all the species of the Upper Mississippi River and Red River North faunas occur [TABULAR DATA FOR TABLE 1 OMITTED] except Lasmigona costata, Potamilus alatus and Utterbackia imbecillis (Tuthill, 1964; Cvancara and Harrison, 1966; Cvancara, 1967; Cvancara et al., 1972, 1976).
The late Middle Ordovician has been shown to be an interval when strong endemism and provincialism occurred in marine shelly faunas (Williams 1973; Jaanusson 1979), and when the GOBE got its first diversity acme on a global scale for all marine organisms (Webby 2000), the brachiopods in particular (Harper et al.