One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The planktonic larva of some echinoderms, being somewhat triangular with lateral projections.
- ‘Brittle stars also have pluteus larvae with skeletal spicules that resemble those of the urchin.’
- ‘Another striking example of metamorphosis is the transformation of the pluteus stage larva of the sea urchin into the adult.’
Late 19th century: from Latin, literally ‘barrier’ (with reference to its shape).
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