mega·​fau·​na ˈme-gə-ˌfȯ-nə How to pronounce megafauna (audio)
: animals (such as bears, bison, or mammoths) of particularly large size
: fauna consisting of individuals large enough to be visible to the naked eye
megafaunal adjective

Examples of megafauna in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web This cometary origin story, with its mix of ancient humans, vanished megafauna and global cataclysm, quickly spread beyond the confines of scientific journals. Zach St. George, New York Times, 5 Mar. 2024 The activities of humans, coupled with a changing climate, likely made giant sloths and other megafauna more vulnerable to extinction. Conor Feehly, Discover Magazine, 7 Feb. 2024 These drill holes were also made prior to the bones becoming fossilized, meaning that humans must have existed alongside these megafauna to have access to their fresh bones. Ryan McRae, Smithsonian Magazine, 28 Dec. 2023 This is artist Julie Naylor's rendering of Tibetan woolly rhino (Credit: Julie Naylor) As one of the Ice Age megafauna, the woolly rhinoceros was more than 6 feet tall and 16 feet long, sporting two big keratin horns on the front of its head. Sofia Quaglia, Discover Magazine, 1 Nov. 2023 The females are famously protective of their young, and the species as a whole is widely regarded as the most dangerous of all the large African megafauna. Travis Hall, Field & Stream, 12 Oct. 2023 These American ancestors would have lived alongside such megafauna as wooly mammoths and giant sloths, which didn’t disappear from North America until about 11,000 years ago. Matt Hrodey, Discover Magazine, 5 Oct. 2023 Archeological evidence indicates that the extinction of species like mammoths, giant kangaroos and other megafauna as a result of human expansion more than 10,000 years ago, at the end of the last ice age, led to an increase in wildfires. Curtis Abraham, Scientific American, 9 Sep. 2023 The researchers were particularly struck by a 300-year-long period of high charcoal accumulation from wildfires in the lake that began about 13,200 years ago—right around when the megafauna went missing from the tar pits. Meghan Bartels, Scientific American, 17 Aug. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'megafauna.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1927, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of megafauna was in 1927

Dictionary Entries Near megafauna

Cite this Entry

“Megafauna.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2024.

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