One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
(of a body part, such as the jaws of a fish) capable of being protruded or extended.
- ‘The sloth bear's long muzzle has protrusible lips and nostrils which it can close - these two features allow it to create a vacuum tube to suck up the termites.’
- ‘As soon as the whiskers pass over food, the protrusible mouth drops down with an elevator-like motion and rapidly sucks in its meal.’
- ‘Echidnas have long, protrusible, mucous-covered tongues that aid in the capture of prey.’
- ‘These are trapped by the protrusible ciliated feeding tentacles, or lophophore.’
- ‘Therefore, many fish with protrusible jaws have a second set of jaws in the throat, termed pharyngeal jaws, that process food and free the outer jaw to continue feeding.’
Mid 19th century: from Latin protrus- ‘extended or thrust forward’ (from the verb protrudere) + -ible.
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