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zooxanthella Line breaks: zoo|xan¦thella
Pronunciation: /ˌzuːə(ʊ)zanˈθɛlə/

Definition of zooxanthella in English:

noun (plural zooxanthellae ˌzəʊəzanˈθɛliː)

A yellowish-brown symbiotic dinoflagellate present in large numbers in the cytoplasm of many marine invertebrates.
Example sentences
  • 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.


Late 19th century: modern Latin, from zoo- 'of animals' + Greek xanthos 'yellow' + the diminutive suffix -ella.

Definition of zooxanthella in:
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