Tabulate corals were common from the Ordovician to the Permian. Very recently, a Lower Cambrian coral, Moorowipora chamberensis, has been found in south Australia; it appears to be a tabulate coral, although this is not absolutely certain. If it is a true tabulate, this find extends the history of tabulate corals considerably. (Sorauf and Savarese, 1995)
Tabulate corals receive their name from horizontal internal partitions known as tabulae, as seen on this large specimen. Most tabulates were colonial, with some forming substantial reefs.
Tabulate corals, as well as rugose corals, went extinct at the end of the Permian, about 245 million years ago, victims of the heaviest mass extinction ever.
View images and data on rugose and tabulate corals from the University of Newcastle, Australia.