One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A perforated plate by which the entry of seawater into the vascular system of an echinoderm is controlled.
- ‘The water vascular system of the sea stars open up at the madreporite, a perforated opening in the central part of the animal.’
- ‘The water vascular system generally has one madreporite.’
- ‘Virtually all extraxial body wall in asteroids is of the perforate variety, since it includes body openings such as papular pores, hydropores in the madreporite, gonopores, and the anus.’
- ‘The madreporite was not visible until the juveniles were about 10 mm diameter and all the arms were of similar size.’
- ‘One of the genital plates serves as the sieve plate, or madreporite, for the water vascular system.’
Early 19th century: from madrepore (see Madreporaria) + -ite.
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