Scrutton, Colin T. Department of Earth Sciences, University of Durham, Durham, United Kingdom.
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One of two principal orders of extinct Paleozoic corals. The Tabulata appeared in the Lower Ordovician and reached their acme in the Middle Devonian before being severely affected by the Late Devonian extinction event. Their subsequent rediversification was limited, and they became extinct at the end of the Permian. Tabulates were closely related to the other principal Paleozoic coral order, the Rugosa, but neither was ancestral to the post-Paleozoic Scleractinia, which evolved from a different group of anemones. Some Cambrian corals have been claimed to be Tabulata, but are more appropriately assigned to a new order.
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