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Haptophyte facts for kids

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Coccolithophore (Coccolithus pelagicus)
Scientific classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Chromalveolata
Phylum: Haptophyta
Hibberd 1976

Class Pavlovophyceae
Class Prymnesiophyceae

Haptophytes are a phylum of algae, sometimes called the Prymnesiophyta. All or most of them are single-celled photosynthetic phytoplankton.

The cells typically have two slightly unequal flagella and a unique organelle called a haptonema. This is superficially similar to a flagellum, but differs in its arrangement of microtubules, and in its use. The name comes from the Greek hapsis = touch, and nema = thread.


Molecular and morphological evidence places them in five orders; coccolithophores make up the Isochrysidales and Coccolithales. Other groups include phytoplankton which produce the toxic algal blooms.

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