any protozoan of the ciliate order Tintinnida, characteristically conical or trumpet-shaped. Although most are marine, some forms are found in fresh and brackish water. The tintinnids secrete loosely fitting gelatinous envelopes (loricas), sometimes containing foreign particles. The structure of the lorica is important in distinguishing individual members of the order. For example, the genus Tintinnidium has an elongated, irregularly shaped lorica, and Tintinnopsis has a thin-walled, bowl-shaped lorica with a wide opening. The tintinnids have well developed ciliation around the mouth opening; the rest of the cell lacks cilia or is sparsely covered with them.
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