Definition of Zaphrentis
: a genus (sometimes made the type of the family Zaphrentidae) of solitary cup-shaped tetracorals that are common in Paleozoic formations and have numerous septa radiating from a deep pit in one side of the cup
Love words? You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.
Join MWU now and get access to America’s largest dictionary, with:
- 300,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
- Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
- Advanced search features
- Ad free!
Origin and Etymology of zaphrentis
borrowed from New Latin, alteration of earlier Zaphrenthis, a subgeneric name, of unknown origin ◆The taxon Zaphrentis was introduced as a genus name by the French paleontologist Jules Haime (1824-56), apparently earliest in a list by Haime appended to “Notes sur les fossiles dévoniens du district de Sabero (León),” by Édouard de Verneuil, in Bulletin de la Société géologique de France, 2. série, tome 7 (1849-50), p. 161. The name is a misspelling of a subgeneric name Zaphrenthis first used by Constantine Samuel Rafinesque and John D. Clifford in “Prodrome d’une monographie des turbinolies fossiles du Kentucky,” Annales générales des sciences physiques (Brussels), tome 5 (1820), p. 234. Like many of the hundreds of taxa introduced by the eccentric French polymath Rafinesque (1783-1840), the name is not elucidated by the authors and its etymology is obscure.
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up Zaphrentis? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).