One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
(in some bryozoans) any of a number of modified zooids that take the form of a pair of snapping jaws resembling a bird's head, serving to prevent other organisms from settling on the colony.Compare with vibraculum
- ‘Adventitious avicularia and cortical zooidal polymorphs are not apparent.’
- ‘Several unusual groups have developed a free living life mode, where the colony is physically supported by specialized modules, avicularia supported.’
- ‘Enlarged avicularia on zooids at row bifurcations, on branch margins, and adjacent to ovicells are generally similar to those in M. auriculatum.’
- ‘The autozooids are flanked by spines and there are also a few avicularia.’
Mid 19th century: modern Latin, from avicula, diminutive of avis ‘bird’.
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