haptophyte(redirected from Coccolithophorida)
Also found in: Encyclopedia.
Any of various photosynthetic, unicellular marine algae of the division Haptophyta or Prymnesiophyta, possessing two flagella and often bearing external calcified scales that fossilize as coccoliths. Haptophytes are abundant in the world's oceans and are thought to play an important role in global carbon and sulfur cycles.
[From New Latin Haptophyta, division name : Greek haptein, to grasp, touch (from the threadlike structure characteristic of the haptophytes, used to capture food and as a sensory organ ) + Greek phyton, plant; see -phyte.]