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belemnite

[bel-uh m-nahyt] /ˈbɛl əmˌnaɪt/
noun, Paleontology
1.
a conical fossil, several inches long, consisting of the internal calcareous rod of an extinct animal allied to the cuttlefish; a thunderstone.
Origin
1640-1650
1640-50; < French bélemnite, equivalent to Greek bélemn(on) a dart (noun derivative from base of bállein to throw) + French -ite -ite1
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for belemnite

belemnite

/ˈbɛləmˌnaɪt/
noun
1.
any extinct marine cephalopod mollusc of the order Belemnoidea, related to the cuttlefish
2.
the long pointed conical internal shell of any of these animals: a common Mesozoic fossil
Word Origin
C17: from Greek belemnon dart
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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belemnite in Science
belemnite
  (běl'əm-nīt')   
  1. Any of various extinct cephalopod mollusks of the order Belemnoidea that lived from the Triassic into the Tertiary Period. Belemnites had a large, cone-shaped internal shell with a complex structure that served as a support for muscles and as a hydrostatic device. Belemnites were closely related to the present-day squids and cuttlefishes.

  2. The fossilized internal shell of one of these cephalopods. Belemnites are used as index fossils.


The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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