Relating to or denoting the period (the Precambrian) in which rocks contain no, or only slight, traces of living organisms.Compare with Phanerozoic
- ‘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.’
- ‘The Cryptozoic rocks are exposed in the continental shield areas and show patterns of orogenic activity.’
Early 20th century: from Greek kruptos hidden + zōē life + -ic.
(of small invertebrates) living on the ground but hidden in the leaf litter, under stones or pieces of wood.
- ‘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.