One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A marine invertebrate of a group which includes the sea squirts and salps. They have a rubbery or hard outer coat and two siphons to draw water into and out of the body.
- ‘Many tunicates have a larva that is free-swimming and exhibits all chordate characteristics: it has a notochord, a dorsal nerve cord, pharyngeal slits, and a post-anal tail.’
- ‘Are there potential uses for antimicrobial peptides from tunicates?’
- ‘The hull is covered with more long and delicate plumose anemones, some large white tunicates and forests of featherworms projecting into the negligible current on their long stalks.’
- ‘The hull here is rich in marine life - hydroids, tunicates, anemones and sponges.’
- ‘Sea squirts are tunicates, a type of sea life with a primitive spinal cord and a firm, flexible outer covering called a ‘tunic,’ from which the name derives.’
(of a plant bulb, e.g. an onion) having concentric layers.
Mid 18th century: from Latin tunicatus, past participle of tunicare ‘clothe with a tunic’, from tunica (see tunica).
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