One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Of or relating to the order Pennatulacea of alcyonarian coelenterates, which have an elongated primary polyp anchored in sand or mud and usually bear secondary polyps on lateral branches.
A coelenterate of this order; a sea pen.
Late 19th century; earliest use found in The Century Dictionary. From scientific Latin Pennatulacea, order name (A. E. Verrill 1865, in Proc. Essex Inst 4 149; from Pennatula, genus name + -acea) + -an.
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