from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. Plural form of avicularium.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n.pl. See prehensile processes on the cells of some Bryozoa, often having the shape of a bird's bill.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. Plural of avicularium.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
But structures essentially similar (called avicularia, or "bird's-head processes") are developed from the surface of the compound masses of certain of the highest of the polyp-like animals
Mivart adduces this case, chiefly on account of the supposed difficulty of organs, namely the avicularia of the Polyzoa and the pedicellariæ of the Echinodermata, which he considers as essentially similar, having been developed through natural selection in widely distinct divisions of the animal kingdom.
This spider subsists on large insects and at times on the smaller varieties of birds, like finches, etc. Its scientific name is _Mygale avicularia_.
In the avicularia and vibracula of the Polyzoa we have organs widely different in appearance developed from the same source; and with the vibracula we can understand how the successive gradations might have been of service.
This view of the development of the vibracula, if trustworthy, is interesting; for supposing that all the species provided with avicularia had become extinct, no one with the most vivid imagination would ever have thought that the vibracula had originally existed as part of an organ, resembling a birds head or an irregular box or hood.
Besides the avicularia, the Polyzoa possess curious organs called vibracula.
Some species are provided with avicularia and vibracula; some with avicularia alone, and a few with vibracula alone.
The avicularia, like the vibracula, probably serve for defence, but they also catch and kill small living animals, which it is believed are afterwards swept by the currents within reach of the tentacula of the zooids.
In one species observed by me all the avicularia on the same branch often moved simultaneously backwards and forwards, with the lower jaw widely open, through an angle of about 90°, in the course of five seconds; and their movement caused the whole polyzoary to tremble.
Certain compound animals, or zoöphytes as they have been termed, namely the Polyzoa, are provided with curious organs called avicularia.