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A genus of brittlestars of the family Ophiuridae; (also ophiura) a brittlestar of this genus; (formerly also) †any brittlestar (obsolete).
Mid 19th century; earliest use found in Todd's Cyclopaedia of Anatomy and Physiology. From scientific Latin Ophiura, genus name, after earlier use as a specific name (in the genus Asterias) by Linnaeus in Systema Naturae (ed. 10, 1758) 662 from post-classical Latin ophiurus from ancient Greek ὄϕις serpent + οὐρά tail, with allusion to the creature's long snake-like arms.
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