Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Botany A nutritive tissue that surrounds certain developing spores, particularly the microspores within an anther.
  • noun A reflective membrane in the back of the eye of many animals that are active during low-light conditions.
  • noun A layer of fibers of the corpus callosum forming the roof of part of the lateral ventricle of the brain.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In botany, the cell or layer of cells which is immediately outside an archesporium. It is disorganized and absorbed as the spores develop and mature. Also tapete.
  • noun The pigmentary layer of the retina; the tapetum nigrum.
  • noun The fibers from the corpus callosum forming a layer lining the roof of the middle and posterior cornua of the lateral ventricles.

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

  • noun (Anat.) An area in the pigmented layer of the choroid coat of the eye in many animals, which has an iridescent or metallic luster and helps to make the eye visible in the dark. Sometimes applied to the whole layer of pigmented epithelium of the choroid.

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

  • noun anatomy A membranous layer of tissue

Etymologies

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

[Medieval Latin tapētum, coverlet, from Latin tapēte, *tapētum, from Greek tapēs, tapēt-; see tapestry.]

Examples

  • All night-prowling animals have widely dilatable pupils, and in addition to this they have in the retina a special organ called the tapetum lucidum, the function of which is to reflect to a focus in front of them the relatively few rays of light that enter the widely-dilated pupil and thus enable them the better to see their way.

    Anomalies and Curiosities of Medicine

  • All night-prowling animals have widely dilatable pupils, and in addition to this they have in the retina a special organ called the tapetum lucidum, the function of which is to reflect to a focus in front of them the relatively few rays of light that enter the widely-dilated pupil and thus enable them the better to see their way.

    Anomalies and Curiosities of Medicine

  • It's the crystals inside their retina, inside a layer called tapetum.

    Gizmodo

  • The tapetum is a thick reflective membrane, 15 cells wide, directly beneath the retina.

    Yahoo! Answers: Latest Questions

  • The green glow of the ratfish eye is due to a lowlight adaptation called a tapetum lucidum,

    UnderwaterTimes.com News of the Underwater World

  • The tapetum is a thick reflective membrane, 15 cells wide, directly beneath the retina.

    Yahoo! Answers: Latest Questions

  • no tapetum: The tapetum is a layer of the eye that reflects light.

    Pygmy tarsier, a monkey that defies categorization, not extinct afterall!

  • no tapetum: The tapetum is a layer of the eye that reflects light.

    Archive 2008-12-01

  • The effect you are referring to is called eyeshine yet the phenomenon behind it is caused by light amplification within the eye of an organism with a tapetum lucidium layer.

    Fire from the Eyes

  • » A cat sees about six times better than a human at night because of the tapetum lucidum, a layer of extra reflecting cells which absorb light.

    Pet Cat Trivia

Comments

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  • Also "tapetum lucidum", a layer in the eye of many vertebrates that reflects light that has passed through the retina back into the retina, increasing the amount of light it catches. Some of this reflected light goes back out of the eye, resulting in eyeshine or tapetolucence.

    February 18, 2008

  • The tapetum lucidum (Latin: "bright tapestry", plural tapeta lucida)1 is a layer of tissue in the eye

    August 24, 2008

  • eye-tapestry.. funny

    August 24, 2008