Definition of epifauna in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈepəˌfônə/


Animals living on the surface of the seabed or a riverbed, or attached to submerged objects or aquatic animals or plants. Compare with infauna.
Example sentences
  • Even if an intertidal zone existed, sea ice disturbance, as well as the unstable, gravelly substrate, would make it uninhabitable by intertidal benthos, epifauna, or epiphytes.
  • Episodically, stronger storm currents could dislodge rocks with attached algae, mussels, and other epifauna, exposing them to transport ashore by storm waves.
  • The group was the principal epifauna of the Paleozoic.



Pronunciation: /-ˈfônl/
Example sentences
  • Bivalves are aquatic suspension-feeders, inhabiting a variety of infaunal and epifaunal habitats and are particularly characterized by their ability to burrow, some of them even into rock and wood.
  • Continued work on crinoids in the 21st century promises to provide significant advances both for understanding the evolutionary history of crinoids and for understanding the history of epifaunal benthic communities through time.
  • Within a particular paleoenvironment the organisms could further subdivide resources by establishing epifaunal, and possibly infaunal, tiers.


Early 20th century: from epi- 'upon' + fauna.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: ep·i·fau·na

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