|"Phaeodaria" from Ernst Haeckel's Kunstformen der Natur, 1904|
The Phaeodarea are a group of amoeboid protists. They are traditionally considered radiolarians, but in molecular trees do not appear to be close relatives of the other groups, and are instead placed among the Cercozoa. They are distinguished by the structure of their central capsule and by the presence of a phaeodium, an aggregate of waste particles within the cell.
The term "Radiozoa" has been used to refer to radiolaria when Phaeodarea is explicitly excluded.
Phaeodarea produce hollow skeletons composed of amorphous silica and organic material, which rarely fossilize. The endoplasm is divided by a cape with three openings, of which one gives rise to feeding pseudopods, and the others let through bundles of microtubules that support the axopods. Unlike true radiolarians, there are no cross-bridges between them. They also lack symbiotic algae, generally living below the photic zone, and do not produce any strontium sulphate.
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