Archaeocyathid

Archaeocyathid

[ahr-kee-oh-sahy-uh-thid, ahr-kee-uh-]
noun
one of the marine invertebrates of the extinct phylum Archaeocyatha, widely distributed during the Cambrian Period, having a limy, typically conical or cylindrical skeleton composed of sievelike inner and outer walls.

Origin:
< Neo-Latin Archaeocyath(us) genus name (archaeo- archaeo- + Latin cyathus ladle < Greek kýathos) + -id2

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Encyclopedia Britannica
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archaeocyathid

any member of an extinct group of marine organisms of uncertain relationships found as fossils in marine limestones of Late Precambrian and Early Cambrian age (Precambrian time ended about 542 million years ago and was followed by the Cambrian). The archaeocyathid fossils represent the calcareous supporting structure built by a creature of which little is known. Indeed, it has been considered possible that the archaeocyathid organism was some sort of calcareous algae, although this seems unlikely.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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