Definition of coccolithophore in US English:



  • A single-celled marine flagellate that secretes a calcareous shell, forming an important constituent of the phytoplankton.

    Order Coccolithophorida, phylum Haptophyta

    • ‘This satellite image of a coccolithophore bloom off the coasts of Cornwall and Brittany was taken on Wednesday.’
    • ‘Fossils of this group date back into the Jurassic, where they first become abundant, and some possible fossils of coccolithophores have been recovered from the Pennsylvanian.’
    • ‘They're performing laboratory experiments with microscopic shell-building phytoplankton known as coccolithophores.’
    • ‘Diatoms and coccolithophores particularly are important sources of food for small aquatic predators.’
    • ‘The brown algæ that produce tiny washer-shaped coccoliths are known as coccolithophores, and these also float in the upper section of the open seas.’