One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A stiff bristle made of chitin, especially in an annelid worm.
- ‘For example, chaetal sacks are one of the few ectodermal features of polychaetes that regularly express engrailed, and chaetae are the primary indurated elements in the ectoderm.’
- ‘Likewise, the relative recalcitrance of various non-mineralizing tissues such as algal cyst walls, graptolite periderm, polychaete chaetae and arthropod cuticles contributes to their enhanced preservation potential.’
- ‘The microscopic structure of the setae is identical to that of the chaetae of polychaete worms.’
- ‘Such differential preservation accords with the relative histologies of the two structures, polychaete chaetae being inherently tougher and more recalcitrant than the body-wall cuticle.’
- ‘In this respect, as indeed in their microstructure, the sclerites of Wiwaxia are fundamentally more comparable to polychaete chaetae.’
Mid 19th century: modern Latin, from Greek khaitē ‘long hair’.
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