One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Palaeontology. A rudist bivalve mollusc of the Cretaceous genus Radiolites or family Radiolitidae.
2Mineralogy. A variety of natrolite occurring in masses with a radiated structure. Chiefly historical.
Mid 19th century. From radius + -o- + -lite. In sense 1 after either French radiolite or scientific Latin Radiolites, genus name.
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