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.
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.’
Modern Latin (plural), from Greek kephalē ‘head’ + pous, pod- ‘foot’.
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