from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. One of the three pairs of crustacean head appendages located just posterior to the maxillae and used in feeding.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. One of the appendages on the heads of some crustaceans behind the maxillae, used for feeding.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. One of the mouth appendages of Crustacea, situated next behind the maxillæ. Crabs have three pairs, but many of the lower Crustacea have but one pair of them. Called also jawfoot, and foot jaw.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In Crustacea, a foot-jaw or gnathopodite; one of the several limbs which are so modified as to partake of the characters of both jaw and foot, serving for the purpose of both mastication and locomotion.
The first thoracic leg is modified into a feeding appendage ( "mouth part"), the maxilliped, while the other seven pairs of thoracic legs are used for movement.
Thus when a wave of water escapes from the branchial cavity, it immediately becomes diffused in this network of hairs and then again conveyed back to the branchial cavity by vigorous movements of the appendage of the outer maxilliped which works in the entrant fissure.
High-speed video footage of maxilliped movement is available here:
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