plural noun

: a family of extinct Mesozoic dibranchiate cephalopods comprising the belemnites

Word History


borrowed from New Latin, from Belemnites, adaptation as a genus name of belemnites belemnite + -idae -idae

Note: The family name was probably introduced by Richard Owen in "Descriptions of Some New and Rare Cephalopoda," Transactions of the Zoological Society of London, vol. 2 (1841), pp. 103-30. The species name is simply an adaptation of the traditional New Latin name for fossil belemnites. Nomenclator Zoologicus (1939) attributes its first use to Johann Gesner, Tractatus physicus de petrifactis (Leiden, 1758), p. 40, and to Jean-Baptiste Lamarck in Mémoires de la Société d'Historie Naturelle de Paris, vol. 1 (1799), p. 81 (it is used there without attribution and without a specific epithet).

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Dictionary Entries Near Belemnitidae

Cite this Entry

“Belemnitidae.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Mar. 2023.

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