One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A pair of appendages under the abdomen of a male shark or ray, or at the end of the abdomen of a male insect, used to hold the female during copulation.
- ‘In males, the first two pairs of thoracic appendages are hooked and serve as claspers during mating.’
- ‘Note that the ‘rudimentary legs’ on some snakes are acknowledged as having a function during reproduction, as claspers during copulation.’
- ‘The claspers are assumed to function in copulation.’
- ‘In a further effort to identify our specimens, we examined the left and right claspers from one of the male specimens.’
- ‘No specimens with male claspers, either fully or partially developed, were detected.’
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