Scientific classification
Domain: Eukaryota
(unranked): Alveolata
Phylum: Ciliophora
Class: Spirotrichea
Subclass: Choreotrichia
Small & Lynn 1985
Typical orders


The choreotrichs are a group of small, marine ciliates. Their name reflects the impression that they appear to dance ('choreo' as in choreography). The group includes the tintinnids, which produce species-specific loricae (shells), and are important because these may be preserved as microfossils. They became common during the Jurassic period, but are first known from as early as the Ordovician, and are important as the only notable record of early ciliates. Often they have been included among the oligotrichs. Tintinnids seem to be an excessively specious group as over 400 living species have been described, based on characteristics of the lorica or shell.

Choreotrichs (including tintinnids) are part of the microzooplankton. Generally small (20 - 200 micrometres in size) organisms found in the plankton. They feed on small algae and serve as prey for larger organisms in the plankton such as copepods and larval fish.

A tintinnid

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Spirotrich — Taxobox | color = khaki name = Spirotrichs image caption = Euplotes, a spirotrich domain = Eukaryota unranked phylum = Alveolata phylum = Ciliophora classis = Spirotrichea classis authority = Bütschli 1889 subdivision ranks = Typical sublasses… …   Wikipedia

  • Tintinnid — Taxobox | color = khaki name = Tintinnids image width = 200px domain = Eukaryota unranked phylum = Alveolata phylum = Ciliophora classis = Spirotrichea subclassis = Choreotrichia ordo = Tintinnida ordo authority = Kofoid Campbell, 1929Tintinnids… …   Wikipedia

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