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Temporal range: Cambrian–Tertiary[1]
Solenoporaceae - Solenopora.JPG
Fossils of Solenopora species
Scientific classification e
(unranked): Archaeplastida
Division: Rhodophyta
Class: Florideophyceae
Stem group: Corallinales
Family: Solenoporaceae
Pia, 1927 [2]
Genus: Solenopora
  • Solenopora spongiodes Pia, 1927
  • Solenopora guangxiensis Wu 1991
  • Solenopora jurassica Brown 1894
  • Solenopora rectangulata Senowbari-Daryan et al. 2008


The extinct Solenoporaceae have traditionally been interpreted as a group of red algae ancestral to the Corallinales.[4]

The genus from which they take their name, Solenopora, originates in the Ordovician.[5] Unlike the Corallinaceae, this family has large vegetative cells and an undifferentiated thallus.[5] Additionally there are external, non-calcified sporangia.[6]

The differences in structure suggest that the holotype is not an alga at all, but rather is a chaetetid sponge. Post-Palaeozoic specimens therefore require re-classification.[7] However, some algal taxa are still classified within the genus.[8]

Some specimens of algal Solenopora retain an original pink colouration, which is banded with growth stages of the fossil; this is produced by boron-containing hydrocarbons.[8]

The solenoporaceae mineralized with calcite.[9]

Other genera within the Solenoporaceae[edit]

Although the following other genera have been included in this family, their status is uncertain due to the loose definition of the family.[3][3] [7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Wright, V. P. (1 May 1985). "Seasonal Banding in the Alga Solenopora jurassica from the Middle Jurassic of Gloucestershire, England". Journal of Paleontology. Journal of Paleontology, Vol. 59, No. 3. 59 (3): 485–792. doi:10.2307/1304992. ISSN 0022-3360. JSTOR 1304992. 
  2. ^ Max Hirmer; Julius Pia et al , 1927 Handbuch der Paläobotanik München : Verlag von R. Oldenbourg
  3. ^ a b c Paleobiology Database
  4. ^ Johnson, J. H. (May 1956). "Ancestry of the Coralline Algae". Journal of Paleontology. Paleontological Society. 30 (3): 563–567. ISSN 0022-3360. JSTOR 1300291. 
  5. ^ a b Blackwell, W. H.; Marak, J. H.; Powell, M. J. (1982). "THE IDENTITY AND REPRODUCTIVE STRUCTURES OF A MISPLACED SOLENOPORA (RHODOPHYCOPHYTA) FROM THE ORDOVICIAN OF SOUTHWESTERN OHIO AND EASTERN INDIANA". Journal of Phycology. 18 (4): 477. doi:10.1111/j.0022-3646.1982.00477.x. 
  6. ^ Lee, R. E. (1999). Phycology. ISBN 978-0-521-63883-8. 
  7. ^ a b Riding, R. (2004). "Solenopora is a Chaetetid Sponge, Not an Alga". Palaeontology. 47: 117–122. doi:10.1111/j.0031-0239.2004.00351.x. 
  8. ^ a b Wolkenstein, K.; Gross, J. H.; Falk, H. (2010). "Boron-containing organic pigments from a Jurassic red alga". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 107 (45): 19374. Bibcode:2010PNAS..10719374W. doi:10.1073/pnas.1007973107. 
  9. ^ Cozar, P.; Vachard, D. (2006). "A new Mississippian red alga from south-western Spain". Geobios. 39: 791. doi:10.1016/j.geobios.2005.09.002.