|1.||of, denoting, or formed in the second period of the Palaeozoic era, between the Cambrian and Silurian periods, which lasted for 45 000 000 years during which marine invertebrates flourished|
|2.||the Ordovician the Ordovician period or rock system|
|[C19: from Latin Ordovices ancient Celtic tribe in N Wales]|
|Ordovician (ôr'də-vĭsh'ən) Pronunciation Key
The second period of the Paleozoic Era, from about 505 to 438 million years ago. During this time most of the Earth's landmasses were gathered in the supercontinent Gondwanaland, located in the Southern Hemisphere. Much of this continent was submerged under shallow seas, and marine invertebrates, including trilobites, brachiopods, graptolites, and conodonts were widespread. The first primitive fishes appeared; some evidence suggests the first land plants may also have appeared at this time. By the end of the Ordovician massive glaciers formed on Gondwanaland, causing sea levels to drop and approximately 60 percent of all known marine invertebrates to become extinct. See Chart at geologic time.