|1.||a curved pointed horny process on the end of each digit in birds, some reptiles, and certain mammals|
|2.||a corresponding structure in some invertebrates, such as the pincer of a crab|
|3.||a part or member like a claw in function or appearance|
|4.||botany the narrow basal part of certain petals and sepals|
|5.||to scrape, tear, or dig (something or someone) with claws, etc|
|6.||(tr) to create by scratching as with claws: to claw an opening|
|[Old English clawu; related to Old High German kluwi, Sanskrit glau- ball, sphere]|
narrow, arched structure that curves downward from the end of the digit in birds, reptiles, many mammals, and some amphibians. It is a hardened (keratinized) modification of the epidermis. Claws may be adapted for scratching, clutching, digging, or climbing. By analogy, the appendages of other lower animals are frequently called claws. The claw's shape is ordinarily suited to the food-getting habit of the animal. Eagles have long, curved talons for grasping prey; the claws of chickens are short and sturdy, for scratching the ground for food.
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