One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A defensive organ like a minute pincer present in large numbers on an echinoderm.
- ‘Accessory ossicles are the spines, spinelets, granules, and pedicellariae that occur in abundance on most asteroids.’
- ‘Some types of pedicellariae and specialized spines of urchins contain venom used in self-defense.’
- ‘A few species that use their pedicellariae to capture prey may even feed on fish.’
- ‘Typically, these are tube feet, pedicellaria, and gills.’
- ‘However, if touched with a blunt object, the spines turn away, allowing the pedicellariae to be the primary mode of defense.’
Late 19th century: modern Latin, from Latin pediculus ‘small foot’ (see pedicel).
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