noun[mass noun] Ecology
Minute interstitial animals living in soil and aquatic sediments.
- The meiofauna, as the tiny invertebrate animals are called, are equipped with all sorts of odd appendages and body shapes that are well adapted to this unique environment.
- The Kinorhyncha are microscopic, bilaterally symmetrical, exclusively free-living, benthic, marine animals and ecologically part of the meiofauna.
- The scientists found on the ocean floor miniscule meiofauna, single-celled creatures less than half a millimeter long, the most successful and numerous animal in the southern sea.
1960s: from Greek meiōn 'less or smaller' + fauna.
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