One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An extension of the saccule of the ear in some vertebrates, corresponding to the cochlear duct in mammals.
- ‘In mammals, the lagena is coiled and is referred to as the cochlea.’
- ‘Because otoconia from the lagena had a tendency to cover the cochlea and damage the hair bundles if the lagena was compressed, the outer edge of the clamping ring was trimmed by hand to reduce contact with the lagena.’
- ‘In terrestrial vertebrates, otoconia are found in three inner-ear sensors, the saccule, the utricle, and the lagena.’
- ‘Mammals, crocodilians and dinosaurs independently evolved acute, pitch-sensitive hearing by elongating the lagena (called the cochlea in mammals).’
- ‘The mammalian lagena, called a cochlea, is spiral-shaped and drills into the surrounding bone like a corkscrew opening some debased Australian vintage stoppered with bone.’
Late 19th century: from Latin, literally ‘flagon’, from Greek lagunos.
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