noun (plural zooxanthellae /-ˈTHelē/)Biology
A yellowish-brown symbiotic dinoflagellate present in large numbers in the cytoplasm of many marine invertebrates.
- The plants are tiny single-celled algae, the zooxanthellae or symbiotic dinoflagellates, that live within the tissues of corals in great numbers.
- It is not known whether rugose corals had symbiotic photosymbiotic zooxanthellae as modern corals do.
- The zooxanthellae in these corals are dinoflagellates, and it is suspected that there may be a relationship between their diversifications.
- Example sentences
- In any case, most if not all Triassic scleractinians, whether zooxanthellate or not, show skeletal construction different from modern (strictly post-Cretaceous) equivalents.
- New collections from the Tamana Formation in Trinidad contain 41 species of zooxanthellate corals.
- A total of 41 species of zooxanthellate corals were recovered from the unit, including 21 new records.
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