One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An aberrant deep-water sea cucumber that lacks a respiratory tree. Most live on the seabed and have leg-like appendages, while some swim by means of webbed papillae.
- ‘There is no caecum except in the elasipods which possess a rectal pocket.’
- ‘Many specimens of the elasipod holothurian Penilpidia ludwigi were found among the swimmers captured by several sediment traps moored above the seafloor.’
Late 19th century: from modern Latin Elasipoda, from Greek elasmos ‘beaten metal’ + pous, pod- ‘foot’.
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