megafauna

noun
mega·​fau·​na | \ ˈme-gə-ˌfȯ-nə How to pronounce megafauna (audio) , -ˌfä- \

Definition of megafauna

1 : animals (such as bears, bison, or mammoths) of particularly large size
2 : fauna consisting of individuals large enough to be visible to the naked eye

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Other Words from megafauna

megafaunal \ ˈme-​gə-​ˌfȯ-​nᵊl How to pronounce megafaunal (audio) , -​ˌfä-​ \ adjective

Examples of megafauna in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web But the natural assets these enterprises rely on—including Africa’s last populations of megafauna—are under grave risk. Barry Samaha, Harper's BAZAAR, "Net-a-Porter and Gemfields Release Collections to Support Space for Giants," 17 Aug. 2020 The explanation for the demise of Ice Age megafauna, including the woolly mammoth, giant sloth and saber-toothed cat, has been debated for decades. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, "Climate Change, Not Hunting, May Have Doomed the Woolly Rhinoceros," 13 Aug. 2020 Which meant that Yellowstone once again has its three great carnivores, the most charismatic of the charismatic megafauna: mountain lion, grizzly, wolf. David Gessner, Outside Online, "Are National Parks Really America's Best Idea?," 6 Aug. 2020 Rachel Brown reports that overcrowding in parks—possibly intensified by pandemic travel restrictions—is bringing people into closer contact with megafauna and unpleasant encounters with highly photogenic, 500-pound apex predators. National Geographic, "Will travel improve after the virus subsides?," 21 July 2020 The Earth has long been home to startlingly massive megafauna. Daisy Hernandez, Popular Mechanics, "This Bat Is Not the Size of a Human (But It Is Very Big)," 9 July 2020 For more than 100,000 years, the earliest humans hunted Pleistocene megafauna with wooden throwing spears. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "South Asia now has the oldest evidence of bows and arrows outside Africa," 12 June 2020 Much of the island’s megafauna (including nearly 10-foot-tall elephant birds and lemurs the size of gorillas) has been driven to extinction. New York Times, "Madagascar: A Cornucopia of Beauty," 5 May 2020 The gallery of winners might cover close encounters with megafauna, glimpses of life hidden under water, dirt, and ice, and windows into ecological relationships that surpass our imaginations. Popular Science, "Twelve powerful images to remind us how weird and wild the world is," 13 May 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'megafauna.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of megafauna

1927, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for megafauna

Time Traveler

The first known use of megafauna was in 1927

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Statistics for megafauna

Last Updated

22 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Megafauna.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/megafauna. Accessed 19 Sep. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on megafauna

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about megafauna

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