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lamp shell

noun
1.
a mollusklike marine animal; brachiopod.
Also, lampshell.
Origin
1850-1855
1850-55; so called because its shape was thought to resemble that of an ancient Roman oil lamp
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for lamp shell

lamp shell

noun
1.
another name for a brachiopod
Word Origin
C19: from its likeness in shape to an ancient Roman oil lamp
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Encyclopedia Article for lamp shell

Brachiopoda

any member of the phylum Brachiopoda, a group of bottom-dwelling marine invertebrates. They are covered by two valves, or shells; one valve covers the dorsal, or top, side; the other covers the ventral, or bottom, side. The valves, of unequal size, are bilaterally symmetrical; i.e., the right and left sides are mirror images of one another. Brachiopods (from the Greek words meaning "arm" and "foot") are commonly known as lamp shells because they resemble early Roman oil lamps.

Learn more about Brachiopoda with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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