mega·​fau·​na | \ -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 \ -​nᵊl How to pronounce megafaunal (audio) \ adjective

Examples of megafauna in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Spreading humans, diminishing megafauna In Africa at the dawn of human dispersal, mammals were already smaller, on average, than those living elsewhere in the world, with a mean body mass about half that of Eurasian mammals. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Mammals are smaller than they used to be, and it’s our fault," 19 Apr. 2018 This change in climate has been blamed for the simultaneous extinctions of a number of marine megafauna species, including the largest and most powerful predator to have ever lived—the megalodon. Jill Kiedaisch, Popular Mechanics, "Exploding Stars Might Have Brought an End to the Prehistoric Megalodon," 14 Dec. 2018 Human involvement in the disappearance of the Pleistocene megafauna is still the subject of intense debate, but this is hardly the first time we've been implicated. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Mammals are smaller than they used to be, and it’s our fault," 19 Apr. 2018 In fact, White Sands has the highest concentration of megafauna tracks in the United States. Hayden Carpenter, Outside Online, "Our Next National Park Could Be in New Mexico," 3 July 2018 Koalas experienced a precipitous population decline about the same time that much of Australia's megafauna vanished more than 30,000 years ago. Joel Achenbach, Washington Post, "Koala genome shows how the adorable marsupial lives on eucalyptus leaves," 2 July 2018 After both Ling-Ling and Hsing-Hsing died in the early 1990s, the nation’s capital was suddenly without its most charismatic megafauna. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian, "A Primer on the Zoo’s Possibly Pregnant Giant Panda," 28 June 2018 So villainizing an inconvenient megafauna helped save a species. Matt Simon, WIRED, "Inconvenient Minifauna and the Invasion of the Hammerhead Flatworms," 25 May 2018 Once the first people reached the Americas, their activities seem to have taken a steeper toll on the local megafauna than on other continents. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Mammals are smaller than they used to be, and it’s our fault," 19 Apr. 2018

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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Last Updated

12 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for megafauna

The first known use of megafauna was in 1927

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with megafauna Encyclopedia article about megafauna

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