Tabulata, commonly known as tabulate corals, are an order of extinct forms of coral. They are almost always colonial, forming colonies of individual hexagonal cells known as corallites defined by a skeleton of calcite, similar in appearance to a honeycomb. Adjacent cells are joined by small pores. Their distinguishing feature is their well-developed horizontal internal partitions (tabulae) within each cell, but reduced or absent vertical internal partitions (septa). They are usually smaller than rugose corals, but vary considerably in shape, from flat to conical to spherical.

Around 300 species have been described. Among the most common tabulate corals in the fossil record are Aulopora, Favosites, Halysites, Heliolites, Pleurodictyum, Sarcinula and Syringopora. Tabulate corals with massive skeletons often contain endobiotic symbionts, such as cornulitids and Chaetosalpinx.[1][2]

Like rugose corals, they lived entirely during the Paleozoic, being found from the Ordovician to the Permian. With Stromatoporoidea and rugose corals, the tabulate corals are characteristic of the shallow waters of the Silurian and Devonian. Sea levels rose in the Devonian, and tabulate corals became much less common. They finally became extinct in the Permian–Triassic extinction event.

Temporal range: OrdovicianPermian
Tabulate coral (a syringoporid); Boone Limestone (Lower Carboniferous) near Hiwasse, Arkansas. Scale bar is 2.0 cm.
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Cnidaria
Class: Anthozoa
Subclass: Tabulata



Halysites sp. from the Silurian of Ohio. View of colony surface.

Tabulate coral etched section

Etched section of an Ordovician tabulate coral


Aulopora from the Silica Shale (Middle Devonian) of northwestern Ohio. Image shows colony origin encrusting a brachiopod.

Rafinesquina ponderosa (Hall) ventral

The coral Protaraea richmondensis on the brachiopod Rafinesquina ponderosa; Whitewater Formation, Indiana, Upper Ordovician.

Calapoecia huronensis Billings, 1865 top

Tabulate coral Calapoecia huronensis Billings, 1865; Waynesville Formation, Upper Ordovician, Caesar Creek, Ohio.


  1. ^ Vinn, O.; Mõtus, M.-A. (2012). "Diverse early endobiotic coral symbiont assemblage from the Katian (Late Ordovician) of Baltica". Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology. 321–322: 137–141. doi:10.1016/j.palaeo.2012.01.028. Retrieved 2014-06-11.
  2. ^ Vinn, O.; Mõtus, M.-A. (2008). "The earliest endosymbiotic mineralized tubeworms from the Silurian of Podolia, Ukraine". Journal of Paleontology. 82: 409–414. doi:10.1666/07-056.1. Retrieved 2014-06-11.
  • Invertebrate Fossils; Moore, Lalicker, & Fischer; McGraw-Hill 1952.
  • Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology Part F, Coelenterata. Geological Society of America and Univ Kansas Press. R.C. Moore (ed).
Admete tabulata

Admete tabulata is a species of sea snail, a marine gastropod mollusk in the family Cancellariidae, the nutmeg snails.

Anatoma tabulata

Anatoma tabulata is a species of minute sea snail, a marine gastropod mollusk or micromollusk in the family Anatomidae.

Ardozyga tabulata

Ardozyga tabulata is a species of moth in the family Gelechiidae. It was described by Edward Meyrick in 1904. It is found in Australia, where it has been recorded from New South Wales and South Australia.The wingspan is 10–12 mm. The forewings are fuscous irrorated with dark fuscous and with a broad pale yellow-ochreous costal streak from the base to four-fifths, becoming ochreous-whitish on the edges, enclosing five small oblique blackish costal marks, the last two confluent, its lower edge indented in the middle, partially edged with blackish-fuscous. The hindwings are dark grey in males, with an irregular pale ochreous-yellowish patch occupying the basal two-fifths. In females, the hindwings are grey-whitish, suffused with dark grey towards the margins except basally.


Aulopora is an extinct genus of tabulate coral characterized by a bifurcated budding pattern and conical corallites. Colonies commonly encrust hard substrates such as rocks, shells and carbonate hardgrounds.

Cabestana tabulata

Cabestana tabulata, common name the shouldered triton, is a species of predatory sea snail, a marine gastropod mollusk in the family Cymatiidae.


Catenipora is an extinct genus of tabulate corals in the family Halysitidae, known from the Ordovician to the Silurian.

C. elegans is known from the Silurian of Estonia.


Cladochonus is an extinct genus of tabulate coral.


Coenites is an extinct genus of prehistoric corals in the family Coenitidae. C dublinensis occurs in the Columbus Limestone, a mapped bedrock unit consisting primarily of fossiliferous limestone, and it occurs in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia in the United States, and in Ontario, Canada.


Favosites is an extinct genus of tabulate coral characterized by polygonal closely packed corallites (giving it the common name "honeycomb coral"). The walls between corallites are pierced by pores known as mural pores which allowed transfer of nutrients between polyps. Favosites, like all coral, thrived in warm sunlit seas, forming colourful reefs, feeding by filtering microscopic plankton with their stinging tentacles. The genus had a worldwide distribution from the Late Ordovician to Late Permian.


Favositida is an extinct suborder of prehistoric corals in the order Tabulata.


Halysites (meaning chain coral) is an extinct genus of tabulate coral. Colonies range from less than one to tens of centimeters in diameter, and they fed upon plankton.These tabulate corals lived from Ordovician to Silurian (from 449.5 to 412.3 Ma). Fossils of Halysites species have been found in the sediments of Canada, United States, Poland and Australia.

Oenopota tabulata

Oenopota tabulata is a species of sea snail, a marine gastropod mollusk in the family Mangeliidae.

Parasteatoda tabulata

Parasteatoda tabulata is a cobweb spider first described by female found by H. W. Levi in 1980. It originates from tropical Asia, but has been introduced to North America, Europe, and temperate Asia including China, Korea, and Japan.


Pleurodictyum is an extinct genus of tabulate corals, characterized by polygonal corallites. Colonies commonly encrust hard substrates such as rocks, shells and carbonate hardgrounds.


Syringopora is an extinct genus of phaceloid tabulate coral. It has been found in rocks ranging in age from the Ordovician to the Permian, although it was most widespread during the Silurian, Devonian, and Carboniferous periods. Among other places, it has been found in the Columbus Limestone in Ohio, and in the Spring Branch Member of the Lecompton Limestone in Kansas.


Syringoporidae is an extinct family of phaceloid tabulate coral.

These tabulate corals lived from the Ordovician to the Permian period (from 449.5 to 279.5 Ma). Fossils of species belonging to the Syringoporidae family have been found in the sediments of Europe, Russia, China, Japan, Thailand, Australia, Canada and United States.

Thamnopora boloniensis

Thamnopora boloniensis is an extinct species of tabulate coral. Its name was Favosites boloniensis.


Thamnoporella is an extinct genus of tabulate corals.

Yellow-footed tortoise

The yellow-footed tortoise (Chelonoidis denticulatus), also known as the Brazilian giant tortoise, commonly referred to as the Brazilian giant turtle, or more commonly, the big turtle, is a species of tortoise in the family Testudinidae and is closely related to the red-footed tortoise (C. carbonaria). It is found in the Amazon Basin of South America.

With an average length of 40 cm (15.75 in) and the largest known specimen at 94 cm (37 in), this is the sixth-largest tortoise species on Earth, after the Galapagos tortoise, the Aldabra tortoise, the African spurred tortoise (Geochelone sulcata, typical size 76 cm (30 in)), the leopard tortoise (Stigmochelys pardalis), and the Asian forest tortoise (Manouria emys emys, typical size 60 cm (23.6 in)).


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