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zooxanthella

[zoh-uh-zan-thel-uh] /ˌzoʊ ə zænˈθɛl ə/
noun, plural zooxanthellae [zoh-uh-zan-thel-ee] /ˌzoʊ ə zænˈθɛl i/ (Show IPA)
1.
any of various symbiotic yellow-green or yellow–brown algae in the cytoplasm of certain radiolarians and marine invertebrates.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Word Origin and History for zooxanthellae
n.

1889, from German (Brandt, 1881), from comb. form of Greek zoion "animal" (see zoo) + xantho- (see xanthous) + Latin suffix -ella.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for zooxanthellae

zooxanthella

flagellate protozoan (or alga) with yellow or brown pigments contained in chromatophores that lives in other protozoa (foraminiferans and radiolarians) and in some invertebrates. In illuminated conditions, zooxanthellae use the carbon dioxide and waste materials of the host, supplying oxygen and food substances in return. They spend their resting stage in the host; at times they escape and become free-swimming, independent flagellates. Examples of zooxanthellae are Cryptomonas (see cryptomonad) and Chrysidella.

Learn more about zooxanthella with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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