One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The prominent posterior cartilage at the base of the pectoral (and sometimes pelvic) fin in certain cartilaginous fishes.
Late 19th century; earliest use found in American Naturalist. From German Metapterygium (C. Gegenbaur Grundzüge der Vergleichenden Anatomie (ed. 2) 684) from meta- + ancient Greek πτερύγιον.
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