One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A tough, insoluble protein secreted by molluscs, forming the organic matrix of the shell within which calcium carbonate is deposited.
- ‘This combination of calcium carbonate and conchiolin is called nacre or mother-of-pearl.’
- ‘Tropical shells tend to have higher metabolic and growth rates with higher conchiolin content.’
- ‘Pearls which have been known to be 200 years old have turned black because of the decay of the conchiolin.’
- ‘Moreover, the chambers were divided by a system of numerous intracameral layers of conchiolin and protein.’
- ‘The core of those structures is made of a protein called conchiolin, a common component of many mollusk shells.’
Late 19th century: from Latin concha ‘shell’ + the diminutive suffix -iola + -in.
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