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

  • n. Any of numerous radially symmetrical marine invertebrates of the phylum Echinodermata, which includes the starfishes, sea urchins, and sea cucumbers, having an internal calcareous skeleton and often covered with spines.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any member of the Echinodermata, a group of radially symmetric, spiny-skinned marine animals. Examples of echinoderms include seastars, sea urchins, sea cucumbers, crinoids, and sand dollars.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. One of the Echinodermata.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Having a prickly covering; echinodermatous.
  • n. Any one of the Echinodermata.

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

  • n. marine invertebrates with tube feet and five-part radially symmetrical bodies


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

From New Latin Echinodermata, phylum name : echino- + -dermata, -skinned (from Greek derma, dermat-, skin; see -derm).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Ancient Greek ἐχῖνος ("hedgehog") + δέρμα ("skin")


  • The echinoderm was the first to latch on, gradually growing as it sat on the shell, but sometime later a bryozoan larvae also took up residence there.

    ScienceBlogs Channel : Life Science

  • Agence France-Presse/Getty Images The Great Barrier Reef provides a home for 5,000 to 8,000 species of mollusk and 800 species of echinoderm a phylum that includes starfish and sea urchins.

    Australia's Great Barrier Reef

  • The variety of aquatic wildlife reads like an open casting call for Finding Nemo: Over 1,500 species of fish, 5,000-8,000 species of mollusks, 30 species of whales and dolphins, 600 species of echinoderm such as starfish, 17 varieties of sea snakes, and 6 species of marine turtles which are listed as threatened.

    Yvonne Yorke: The Great Barrier Reef: From Above and Below

  • They didn't just publish one mega-paper, but they had a whole section on Strongylocentrotus purpuratus, with a genomics mega-paper and articles on ecology and paleogenomics and the immune system and the transcriptome, and even a big poster of highlights of sea urchin research but strangely, very little on echinoderm development.

    The Panda's Thumb: November 2006 Archives

  • Here we are with an echinoderm, a mollusc, and a chordate.

    Steve Steve and the Pirates and Philosophers of the Prairie - The Panda's Thumb

  • When the occasional mollusk or echinoderm proves too tough or too large to swallow whole, there are always hands.


  • "It's an echinoderm," he said, "generally with five arms, that lives only in the sea, has a simple stomach, and feeds on the minute organisms in the water."

    The Boy With the U. S. Fisheries

  • I cannot believe that the Isthmus of Panama has been open since the commencement of the glacial period; for, notwithstanding the fishes, so few shells, crustaceans, and, according to Agassiz, not one echinoderm is common to the sides.

    Alfred Russel Wallace Letters and Reminiscences

  • There is no more difficulty in understanding how the branched spines of some ancient echinoderm, which served as a defence, became developed through natural selection into tridactyle pedicellariæ, than in understanding the development of the pincers of crustaceans, through slight, serviceable modifications in the ultimate and penultimate segments of a limb, which was at first used solely for locomotion.

    VII. Miscellaneous Objections to the Theory of Natural Selection

  • Hence a sudden arrest of the entire animal world in its progress towards higher and higher mobility; for the hard and calcareous skin of the echinoderm, the shell of the mollusc, the carapace of the crustacean and the ganoid breast-plate of the ancient fishes probably all originated in a common effort of the animal species to protect themselves against hostile species.

    Evolution créatrice. English


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