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heterocercal

[het-er-uh-sur-kuh l] /ˌhɛt ər əˈsɜr kəl/
adjective, Ichthyology
1.
having an unequally divided tail, characteristic of sharks, rays, and skates.
Origin
1830-1840
1830-40; hetero- + Greek kérk(os) a tail + -al1
Related forms
heterocercality
[het-er-oh-ser-kal-i-tee] /ˌhɛt ər oʊ sərˈkæl ɪ ti/ (Show IPA),
noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for heterocercal
  • The tail is heterocercal with the upper lobe much larger than the rounded lower lobe.
  • These fish have a heterocercal tail in which the backbone extends into the upper fork of the caudal fin.
  • Sturgeon tails are heterocercal, meaning the upper lobe of the tail is much longer than the lower lobe.
British Dictionary definitions for heterocercal

heterocercal

/ˌhɛtərəʊˈsɜːkəl/
adjective
1.
(ichthyol) of or possessing a tail in which the vertebral column turns upwards and extends into the upper, usually larger, lobe, as in sharks Compare homocercal
Word Origin
C19: from hetero- + Greek kerkos tail
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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