Articles | Volume 35, issue 2
24 Jul 2016
 | 24 Jul 2016

Cenozoic silicoflagellate skeletal morphology: a review and suggested terminology

Kevin Mccartney and Jakub Witkowski

Keywords: silicoflagellates, terminology, skeleton, Cenozoic

Abstract. Silicoflagellate skeletons are made up of siliceous components that interconnect through triple-junctions to form a basket-shaped design made of basal and apical structures. The skeletal framework has a domal shape that can be paired with another to form a double skeleton. For Cenozoic skeletal morphologies, the basal structure consists of a ring of polygonal shape that often includes spines at the basal corners that are directed radially away from the double-skeleton central point, and pikes that point towards the apical axis. The apical structure is made up of elements of less thickness that are connected to the basal ring by struts. The skeletal components of the silicoflagellate conform to a consistently applied set of rules. There is a need to standardize silicoflagellate descriptive terminology in light of recent studies and detailed examination of the elements, spines and pikes that comprise Cenozoic skeletons. Here we review established and recently defined terminology that relates to silicoflagellate skeletons and suggest terminology to standardize future descriptive work.