One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Designating the part or surface of an echinoderm or other radiate animal which contains the mouth and surrounding organs (as the lower or oral side of a starfish); relating to this part.
Mid 19th century; earliest use found in Louis Agassiz (1807–1873), zoologist and geologist. From ancient Greek ἀκτῖν-, ἀκτίς ray + -al.
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