One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Each of three thin curved shelves of bone in the sides of the nasal cavity in humans and other warm-blooded vertebrates, covered in mucous membrane.
- ‘In mammals, the ethmoid ossifies to form the turbinals, convoluted bones in the nasal cavity that are covered by olfactory sense organs.’
- ‘The auditory bullae and the turbinals also tend to be large and complex.’
- ‘The skulls of aardvarks are elongate and conical, and aardvarks have a more elaborate set of turbinal bones than any other mammal.’
- ‘At least in mammals, turbinals come in at least two functional varieties.’
Late 16th century (as an adjective in the sense ‘top-shaped’): from Latin turbo, turbin- ‘spinning top’ + -al.
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