One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A genus of starfishes of the family Astropectinidae, characterized by five short, tapering arms with spines along each edge; (also astropecten) a starfish of this genus.
Mid 18th century; earliest use found in New & Complete Dictionary Arts & Science. From post-classical Latin astropecten (J. H. Linck 1733, in De stellis marinis II. 26) from astro- + classical Latin pecten comb.
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