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Fauna

What is Fauna ?
When you go on a nature walk in a school setting, your teacher might tell you to observe the flora and fauna in the woods. Flora is plant life; fauna refers to animals.
Fauna derives from the name of a Roman goddess, but the handiest way to remember flora and fauna is that "flora" sounds like flowers, which are part of the plant world, and fauna sounds like "fawn," and fawns are part of the animal kingdom.

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Fauna is all of the animal life of any particular region or time. The corresponding term for plants is flora. Flora, fauna and other forms of life such as fungi are collectively referred to as biota. Zoologists and paleontologists use fauna to refer to a typical collection of animals found in a specific time or place, e.g. the "Sonoran Desert fauna" or the "Burgess Shale fauna". Paleontologists sometimes refer to a sequence of faunal stages, which is a series of rocks all containing similar fossils.

Fauna comes from the Greek names Fauna, a Roman goddess of earth and fertility, the Roman god Faunus, and the related forest spirits called Fauns. All three words are cognates of the name of the Greek god Pan, and panis is the Greek equivalent of fauna. Fauna is also the word for a book that catalogues the animals in such a manner. The term was first used by Linnaeus in the title of his 1745 work Fauna Suecica.

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