Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Relating to, having, or being a tail fin in which the upper lobe is larger than the lower and the vertebral column extends into the upper lobe, as in sharks.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Of a fish's tail, such that the vertebral column bends and extends upwards into the upper lobe of the tail, making it larger than the lower lobe; as in sharks, rays, and skates.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Having the vertebral column evidently continued into the upper lobe of the tail, which is usually longer than the lower one, as in sharks.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • In ichthyology, having an unequally divided tail or caudal fin. Contrasted with homocercal.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. possessing a tail with the upper lobe larger than the lower and with the vertebral column prolonged into the upper lobe

Etymologies

hetero- + Greek kerkos, tail + -al1.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

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