One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Of the radula of a gastropod: having no median teeth but a large number of lateral teeth resembling the barbs of a feather. Of a gastropod: having such a radula; belonging to a taxon Ptenoglossa so characterized (variously ranked between superfamily and order).
Late 19th century; earliest use found in The Century Dictionary. From ancient Greek πτηνός feathered + γλῶσσα tongue + -ate, after post-classical Latin ptenoglossa.
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