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Any of numerous extinct colonial marine animals chiefly of the orders Dendroidea and Graptoloidea of the late Cambrian to the early Mississippian Periods, whose fossil remains are often used to date the rocks of the Silurian and Ordovician ages.

[Greek graptos, written (from graphein, to write; see graphic) + -lite (from the resemblance of the fossils' impressions on shale to markings on a slate).]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(Palaeontology) any extinct Palaeozoic colonial animal of the class Graptolithina, usually regarded as related to either the hemichordates or the coelenterates: a common fossil, used to determine the age of sedimentary rocks
[C19: from Greek graptos written, from graphein to write + -lite]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈgræp təˌlaɪt)

any extinct marine animal of the class Graptolithina that grew in branching, floating colonies preserved as traces in Ordovician through Mississippian deposits.
[1830–40; < Greek graptó(s) painted, marked with letters (v. adj. of gráphein to write) + -lite]
grap`to•lit′ic (-ˈlɪt ɪk) adj.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
For instance, in Estonia, oil is produced only from one oil shale type, kukersite, due to its satisfactory yield (23%), whereas the processing of graptolite argillite, the other type of oil shale, gives but a low yield of the target product (1-2%) [22].
The stratigraphic age of these Lower Devonian limestones is Lower Emsian in the presently valid concept but the exact stratigraphic level lies close below the Graptolite Dysoxic Event beds which can be selected as a future Pragian-Emsian boundary (Hladil et al., 2011).
Middle Cambrian ptero-branchs and the question: what is a graptolite? Lethaia 38: 73-85.
Metallogenesis of early Paleozoic graptolite shales from the Graefenthal Horst (Northern Bavaria-Federal Republic of Germany): Economic Geology, 81, 889-903.
In the klint escarpment radioactive graptolite argillite (Dictyonema shale) and obolus phosphorite crop out.
Charles Mitchell, a graptolite expert, focuses on the methodology for acquiring knowledge in the natural sciences in contrast to the epistemology of religion in "It's Not about the Evidence." He claims that ID starts from a clearly philosophical/faith basis rather than a scientific basis and then wants to redefine science by introducing final causes to suit its own philosophical-religious goals.
The base of the Devonian (actually the base of the Lochkovian stage) coincides with the first occurrence of the graptolite Monograptus uniformis in bed No.
Understanding the paleoclimate of the Rheic Ocean at the beginning of the Mississippian Period, throughout the Kinderhookian, will help determine the spatial and temporal limits of the dendroid Graptolite Dictyonema within Missouri.
The work is inspired by the graptolite collection at the museum.
Restudy of graptolite collections of Decker (1942, 1952) from nearby wells in Crane County, Texas, indicates that dark shales (Frame Member) previously assigned to the Silurian, range from the Ludlovian (Silurian) into the Pragian (Early Devonian).