One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
(of small invertebrates) living on the ground but hidden in the leaf litter under stones or pieces of wood.‘scorpions are shy or cryptozoic’
- ‘This may account in part for the paucity of crepuscular to nocturnal or cryptozoic to fossorial skink lineages in the interior.’
- ‘The very luxuriance of the vegetation, however, with its unlimited hiding-places for cryptozoic animals, made the task of collection more difficult than it would have been in a clearer neighbourhood, where the animals are concentrated, as it were, in a comparatively few spots.’
Late 19th century: from Greek kruptos ‘hidden’ + zōē ‘life’ + -ic.
Relating to or denoting the period (the Precambrian) in which rocks contain no, or only slight, traces of living organisms.Compare with Phanerozoic
- ‘The Cryptozoic rocks are exposed in the continental shield areas and show patterns of orogenic activity.’
- ‘The term ‘Precambrian’ is still used for Cryptozoic rocks, but tends to be applied loosely to formations lying beneath identified Cambrian strata and of uncertain age.’
Early 20th century: from Greek kruptos ‘hidden’ + zōē ‘life’ + -ic.
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