Halysites

Tabulate coral

Middle Ordovician-Silurian

A colonial coral with a distinctive chain-shaped corallum. This cateniform shape is rare. Each corallite is connected to the next by a coenenchyme composed of a single tube cut horizontally by many small plates. Corallites are usually 2-6 mm across.

The chain form of this coral had several advantages, especially in areas of high sedimentation rate. The holes between the polyps allowed them space to spread out for feeding, and also to dispose of unwanted sediment. They were able to colonize large areas of the sea bed very rapidly early in their development, and then to grow upwards to keep up with sediment influx.

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