sea lily

a stalked, sessile crinoid. See illus. under crinoid.
[1875-80]

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      any crinoid marine invertebrate animal (class Crinoidea, phylum Echinodermata) in which the adult is fixed to the sea bottom by a stalk. Other crinoids (such as feather stars) resemble sea lilies; however, they lack a stalk and can move from place to place. The sea lily stalk is surmounted by a bulbous body with frondlike tentacles, and the animal resembles a plant. The stem consists of limy disks, and the body has an internal skeleton of close-fitting limy plates.

      Sea lilies occur chiefly in deep waters, where they feed on detritus. Of 80 living species— none more than 60 cm (24 inches) tall—many belong to the genus Metacrinus, distributed from Japan to Australia. A common West Indies species is Neocrinus decorus. More than 5,000 extinct species—some 20 m (65 feet) long—are known. They are important index fossils of the Paleozoic Era (from 542 million to 251 million years ago).

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Sea lily — Sea lil y (Zo[ o]l.) A crinoid. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • sea lily — n. any of several orders of stalked and attached crinoids …   English World dictionary

  • sea lily — sea′ lil′y n. ivt a stalked, permanently attached crinoid • Etymology: 1875–80 …   From formal English to slang

  • sea lily — noun Any of several stalked crinoids, which use the stalk to fix themselves in the bottom of the sea …   Wiktionary

  • sea lily — noun Date: 1851 crinoid; especially a stalked crinoid …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • sea lily — noun a sedentary marine echinoderm which has a small body on a long jointed stalk, with feather like arms to trap food. [Class Crinoidea.] …   English new terms dictionary

  • sea lily — /ˈsi lɪli/ (say see lilee) noun → crinoid (def. 2) …   Australian English dictionary

  • sea lily — noun crinoid with delicate radiating arms and a stalked body attached to a hard surface • Hypernyms: ↑crinoid • Member Holonyms: ↑Ptilocrinus, ↑genus Ptilocrinus …   Useful english dictionary

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  • sea — n. 1 the expanse of salt water that covers most of the earth s surface and surrounds its land masses. 2 any part of this as opposed to land or fresh water. 3 a particular (usu. named) tract of salt water partly or wholly enclosed by land (the… …   Useful english dictionary


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