An order of coelenterates that comprises the stony corals. Also called Madreporaria.
- These include some Foraminiferida, Hydrozoa and Scleractinia, Bryozoa, Brachiopoda, Pelecypoda, Polychaeta, and Cirripedia.
- There is an emerging consensus that order Actiniaria (sea anemones) forms a monophyletic sister group to a clade comprising orders Scleractinia, Corallimorpharia, and Antipatharia, each of which appears to be monophyletic.
- Interestingly, the dominant modern coral group, the Scleractinia, took off at about the same time the dinoflagellates did.
scleractinian noun& adjective
- 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.
- For example, fragmentation in scleractinian corals can reduce fecundity in polyps surrounding the damaged region or even entire coral colonies, by an unknown mechanism.
- Changes in biomineralization styles that occur in skeletal ontogeny provide important clues about possible constraints on microstructural evolution of the scleractinian skeleton.
Modern Latin (plural), from Greek sklēros 'hard' + aktis, aktin- 'ray'.
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