: a terrestrial isopod crustacean (suborder Oniscoidea) with a flattened elliptical body often capable of being rolled into a ball
called also pill bug, sow bug
Recent Examples on the Web Bunky would probably have loved to eat a wood louse. —Anne Fadiman, Harper’s Magazine , 10 Feb. 2023 Widder thinks the fish were searching for giant isopods—ocean crustaceans that look something like a massive terrestrial wood louse (more commonly known as pillbugs or rolly pollies). —Ferris Jabr, Scientific American, 5 Aug. 2010 In the case of one particular 429-million-year-old trilobite—an extinct arthropod that looked like a big version of a wood louse—a crack in just the right place has allowed paleontologists to see the world through the creature’s eyes. —Riley Black, Scientific American, 13 Aug. 2020
These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'wood louse.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.
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