Definition of graptolite in English:


Syllabification: grap·to·lite
Pronunciation: /ˈgraptəˌlīt


  • An extinct marine invertebrate animal of the Paleozoic era, forming mainly planktonic colonies and believed to be related to the pterobranchs.
    • Class Graptolithina, phylum Hemichordata
    More example sentences
    • The Ordovician is best known for the presence of its diverse marine invertebrates, including graptolites, trilobites, brachiopods, and the conodonts (early vertebrates).
    • Other marine fossils commonly found throughout the Silurian record include trilobites, graptolites, conodonts, corals, stromatoporoids, and mollusks.
    • To return to our example, the usual biostratigraphic markers in Middle Paleozoic stratigraphy are graptolites, conodont ‘jaw’ parts, and thelodont scales.


mid 19th century: from Greek graptos 'marked with letters' + -lite: so named because of the impressions left on hard shales, resembling markings with a slate pencil.

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