One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A sedentary, single-celled aquatic animal with a contractile stalk and a bell-shaped body bearing a ring of cilia.
- ‘On first visual inspection, the vorticella appeared as a small patch of fungus, about 8mm in diameter.’
- ‘Among them are the bell-shaped protozoans called vorticellas that live in fresh or salt water, often in colonies that may contain between five and several hundred organisms.’
- ‘Although vorticellas are often found in clusters, each stalk is individually attached to the surface.’
Late 18th century: modern Latin, diminutive of Latin vortex, vortic- ‘eddy’.
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