nudibranch


nu·di·branch

noun \ˈnü-də-ˌbraŋk, ˈnyü-\
plural nu·di·branchs

Definition of NUDIBRANCH

:  any of an order (Nudibranchia) of marine opisthobranch mollusks without a shell in the adult state and without true gills
nudibranch adjective

Illustration of NUDIBRANCH

Origin of NUDIBRANCH

New Latin Nudibranchia, from Latin nudus + Greek branchia gills
First Known Use: 1844

nudibranch

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

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.

Variants of NUDIBRANCH

nudibranch or sea slug

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