from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A certain minute organism beset with spines, occurring in the Chalk flints.


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  • "1872 H. A. NICHOLSON Palæont. 69 In some sections of flint are found minute ‘spherical bodies, covered with radiating and multicuspid spines’, which have been termed Spiniferites or Xanthidia, and are probably the ‘gemmules’ of sponges." (OED)

    September 15, 2008