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Minute toothlike fossil composed of the mineral apatite (calcium phosphate); conodonts are among the most frequently encountered fossils in marine sedimentary rocks of Paleozoic age. They are the remains of animals that lived 543–248 million years ago that are believed to have been small marine invertebrates living in the open oceans and coastal waters throughout the tropical and temperate zones.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on conodont, visit Britannica.com.