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Tabulata

Tabulata is a family of extinct tabulate corals. These corals lived entirely during the Paleozoic era, being found from the Ordovician to the Permian stages. There are about 300 known genera of tabulate corals, of which Aulopora, Favosites, Halysites, Heliolites, Pleurodictyum, Sarcinula and Syringopora are the most common in the fossil record. These corals were mostly found in the shallow waters of the Silurian and Devonian, after which, they became much less common. They became extinct during the Permian-Triassic extinction event.

These corals were nearly completely colonial in nature, forming colonies of individual hexagonal cells known as corallites defined by a skeleton of calcite, similar to the appearance of a honeycomb. Adjacent cells were joined by small pores. Their distinguishing feature was their well-developed horizontal internal partitions (tabulae) within each cell, but reduced or absent vertical internal partitions (septae). They were usually smaller than rugose corals, but varied considerably in shape, from flat to conical to spherical.

Tabulata


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