nudibranch


nudibranch
/nooh"deuh brangk', nyooh"-/, n.
a shell-less, marine snail of the suborder Nudibranchia, having external, often branched respiratory appendages on the back and sides.
[1835-45; < F nudibranche, equiv. to nudi- NUDI- + branche gill ( < L branchia BRANCHIA)]

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Any marine gastropod in the order Nudibranchia.

Most nudibranchs lack a shell, mantle cavity (see mollusk), and gills, and breathe through the body surface. The delicately colored body, up to 16 in. (43 cm) long, has bizarre defensive outgrowths, called cerata, that discharge nematocysts ingested from cnidarian prey. Antennalike organs arise from the head. Nudibranchs occur in shallow waters of all oceans, where they feed chiefly on other invertebrates, particularly sea anemones. Some species can swim; others are bottom creepers. The term sea slug sometimes refers to all members of the subclass Opisthobranchia.

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also called  sea slug 

      any of the marine gastropods that constitute the order Nudibranchia (subclass Opisthobranchia of the class Gastropoda). Nudibranchs possess a radular feeding organ, but they characteristically lack a shell, gills, and mantle cavity typical of other mollusks. The delicately coloured body has bizarre outgrowths, called cerata, which serve a defensive function, discharging nematocysts that the nudibranch has ingested from cnidarian prey. Cerata also function in gas exchange. Antenna-like organs (rhinophores) arise from the animal's head. Nudibranchs reach lengths of 43 cm (16 inches). About 40–50 percent of all opisthobranch species belong to this order.

      Nudibranchs occur in the shallow waters of all the world's oceans, where they feed chiefly on other invertebrates, particularly sea anemones. Those of the family Tethyidae can swim. Among bottom creepers in cold northern seas is the bushy-backed sea slug (Dendronotus frondosus), named for its stalked, lacy cerata. Occurring worldwide in warm seas are the blue sea slug (Glaucus marina, or G. atlanticus) and the doridacean nudibranchs such as Doris and Glossodoris. See gastropod.

      The term sea slug is sometimes used to refer to all members of the subclass Opisthobranchia (see opisthobranch).

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Nudibranch — Berghia coerulescens …   Wikipedia

  • Nudibranch — Nu di*branch, a. (Zo[ o]l.) Of or pertaining to the Nudibranchiata. n. One of the Nudibranchiata. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • nudibranch — [no͞o′dibraŋk΄, no͞o′dəbraŋk΄, nyo͞o′dibraŋk΄, nyo͞o′dəbraŋk΄] n. [< ModL Nudibranchia: see NUDI & BRANCHIAE] any of an order (Nudibranchia) of marine gastropods without a shell and with external gills nudibranchiate [no͞o′dibraŋ′kē it,… …   English World dictionary

  • nudibranch — noun (plural branchs) Etymology: New Latin Nudibranchia, from Latin nudus + Greek branchia gills Date: 1844 any of an order (Nudibranchia) of marine opisthobranch mollusks without a shell in the adult state and without true gills • nudibranch… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • nudibranch — noun /njuːdɪbræŋk/ A term for any sea slug; specifically the animals belonging to the suborder Nudibranchia, the largest suborder of the order Opisthobranchia …   Wiktionary

  • nudibranch — [ nju:dɪbraŋk] noun Zoology a shell less marine mollusc of the order Nudibranchia; a sea slug. Origin from mod. L. Nudibranchia, from L. nudus nude + branchia …   English new terms dictionary

  • nudibranch — nu·di·branch …   English syllables

  • nudibranch — nu•di•branch [[t]ˈnu dəˌbræŋk, ˈnyu [/t]] n. ivt any shell less marine gastropod mollusk of the suborder Nudibranchia, having external, often branched respiratory appendages • Etymology: 1835–45 …   From formal English to slang

  • nudibranch — /ˈnjudəbræŋk/ (say nyoohduhbrangk) noun a shell less type of marine snail with external respiratory appendages, noted for its beautiful colouring and graceful form. {French nudibranche, from nudi nudi + branche gills, from Latin branchia… …   Australian English dictionary

  • nudibranch — noun any of various marine gastropods of the suborder Nudibranchia having a shell less and often beautifully colored body • Syn: ↑sea slug • Hypernyms: ↑gastropod, ↑univalve • Hyponyms: ↑Hermissenda crassicornis • …   Useful english dictionary


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