- Fewer than 250,000 fossils - most are ‘large microbes,’: foraminifera, radiolaria, coccolithophores or diatoms - are named in the paleontological literature.
- As in other radiolaria, Acantharea have a gelatinous ectoplasm filled with vacuoles, separated from the inner cell mass by a fibrous capsular wall.
- The marine biostratigraphy is based upon microfaunas and floras, notably planktonic foraminifera and radiolaria.
Late 19th century: modern Latin (former order name), from late Latin radiolus 'faint ray', diminutive of radius 'ray'.
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