lantern.' name='description'> Aristotle's lantern - definition and meaning
Aristotle's lantern love

Aristotle's lantern


from The Century Dictionary.

  • See lantern.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • (Zoöl.) The five united jaws and accessory ossicles of certain sea urchins.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun zoology The five united jaws and accessory ossicles of certain sea urchins.


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  • From Wikipedia:

    "The mouth of most sea urchins is made up of five calcium carbonate teeth or jaws, with a fleshy, tongue-like structure within. The entire chewing organ is known as Aristotle's lantern . . . , from Aristotle's description in his History of Animals:

    ...the urchin has what we mainly call its head and mouth down below, and a place for the issue of the residuum up above. The urchin has, also, five hollow teeth inside, and in the middle of these teeth a fleshy substance serving the office of a tongue. Next to this comes the esophagus, and then the stomach, divided into five parts, and filled with excretion, all the five parts uniting at the anal vent, where the shell is perforated for an outlet... In reality the mouth-apparatus of the urchin is continuous from one end to the other, but to outward appearance it is not so, but looks like a horn lantern with the panes of horn left out. (Tr. D'Arcy Thompson)

    However, this has recently been proven to be a mistranslation. Aristotle's lantern is actually referring to the whole shape of sea urchins, which look like the ancient lamps of Aristotle's time."


    May 9, 2017