One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Capable of being retracted.‘a long retractile proboscis’
- ‘In Australia, for example, marsupial herbivores the size of a rhinoceros, kangaroos nearly 10 feet tall, and carnivorous lion-like forms with shearing teeth and retractile claws all roamed the landscape.’
- ‘The morphology of the middle and distal phalanx in Tapocyon exhibits a retractile claw condition, supporting this as the primitive condition for Carnivora / Carnivoramorpha.’
- ‘Like scaphopods, bivalves have a retractile foot which they use to burrow.’
- ‘The habit of felids to use primarily their forelimbs to capture prey is supported by the anatomy and function of their retractile claws.’
- ‘The feeding zooids use retractile tentacles, called the lophophore, to filter feed and have a U-shaped gut for digestion.’
Late 18th century: from retract, on the pattern of contractile.
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