One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A large aperture in a sponge through which water is expelled.
- ‘Sponges will react by closing ostia or oscula, either because of direct physical stimulation or when suspended particles within the sponge are too large or highly concentrated.’
- ‘The hole closes and it is not until some days later that the sponge forms an osculum at its apical pole.’
- ‘In budding, aggregates of cells differentiate into small sponges that are released superficially or expelled through the oscula.’
- ‘Spicules first appeared 2 days after release from the parent and an osculum was first seen in 9-day old settled juveniles.’
- ‘Syconoid sponges tend to be larger than asconoids and have a tubular body with a single osculum.’
Early 17th century: from Latin ‘little mouth’.
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