arch aeon

Science Dictionary
archaeon   (är'kē-ŏn')  Pronunciation Key 
Plural archaea
Any of a group of microorganisms that resemble bacteria but are different from them in certain aspects of their chemical structure, such as the composition of their cell walls. Archaea usually live in extreme, often very hot or salty environments, such as hot mineral springs or deep-sea hydrothermal vents, but some are also found in animal digestive systems. The archaea are considered a separate kingdom in some classifications, but a division of the prokaryotes (Monera) in others. Some scientists believe that archaea were the earliest forms of cellular life. Also called archaebacterium.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Explore Dictionary.com
Previous Definition: arc-tangent
Next Definition: arch-aeon
Words Near: arch aeon
More from Thesaurus.com
Synonyms and Antonyms for arch aeon
More from Reference.com
Search for articles containing arch aeon
More from Dictionary.com Translator
Dictionary.com Word FAQs

Dictionary.com presents 366 FAQs, incorporating some of the frequently asked questions from the past with newer queries.

Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature