One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Belonging to the Alcyonaria, a group of anthozoan cnidarians comprising the soft corals, having polyps with eight pinnate tentacles; of or relating to this group.
An alcyonarian coral; = octocorallian.
Mid 19th century; earliest use found in Thomas Rymer Jones (1810–1880), morphologist and physiologist. From scientific Latin Alcyonaria, group name (1830 or earlier; compare French Alcyonaires, plural noun; from alcyon + -aria) + -an.
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