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An order of coelenterates that comprises the stony corals.Also called Madreporaria
- ‘During the early Mesozoic the Scleractinia steadily increased in numbers, diversity, and distribution culminating in extensive reef development in the Late Jurassic.’
- ‘Molecular studies also indicate that extant Scleractinia and anemones probably have a common Paleozoic origin; i.e., these groups probably split in the late Paleozoic.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘These include some Foraminiferida, Hydrozoa and Scleractinia, Bryozoa, Brachiopoda, Pelecypoda, Polychaeta, and Cirripedia.’
Modern Latin (plural), from Greek sklēros hard + aktis, aktin- ray.
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