coccolith

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Derived from coccolithophore; surface analysis is from Ancient Greek κόκκος (kókkos, grain, seed) and λίθος (líthos, stone), due to the shape of the organism's exoskeleton.

Noun[edit]

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coccolith (plural coccoliths)

  1. (biology) A microscopic skeletal plate of calcite on the surface of certain marine phytoplankton; it forms chalk and limestone when fossilized