any of the microscopic, multicellular animals of the class or phylum Gastrotricha, of fresh or salt waters, characterized by bands of cilia on the ventral surface of the bottle-shaped or ribbony body and by a protrusible feeding apparatus at the mouth.
1935-40; < New LatinGastrotricha, equivalent to gastro-gastro- + Greek-tricha neuter plural of -trichos -haired, adj. derivative of thríx hair
any of about 1,800 species of the class Gastrotricha, a group of microscopic aquatic invertebrates belonging to the phylum Aschelminthes. They occur in salt water and fresh water and also on sandy seashores.
Learn more about Gastrotricha with a free trial on Britannica.com