One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A large class of active predatory molluscs comprising octopuses, squids, and cuttlefish. They have a distinct head with large eyes and a ring of tentacles around a beaked mouth, and are able to release a cloud of inky fluid to confuse predators.
- ‘The class Cephalopoda has been traditionally divided into three subclasses on the basis of shell structure, or two subclasses on the basis of gills and other soft parts.’
- ‘It is also now generally thought that they were ancestral to the Cephalopoda and Scaphopoda as well.’
- ‘This section covers almost all of the Mollusca except the three huge clades of advanced mollusks: Bivalvia, Cephalopoda, and Gastropoda.’
- ‘For example, even within Gastropoda and Cephalopoda, large numbers of rearrangements are common.’
- ‘As the most primitive of the Neocephalopoda, they were the ancestors of the Bactridida, which in turn seem to represent the stem group form which all advanced Cephalopoda evolved.’
Modern Latin (plural), from Greek kephalē ‘head’ + pous, pod- ‘foot’.
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