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a tubular, conical, or vaselike structure secreted by some protozoans (e.g., Stentor) and many rotifers. Many species incorporate sand grains and other particles into the lorica for reinforcement. The loose-fitting case, closed at one end, has a large opening at the anterior end through which part of the organism (or its appendages) may be extended. The lorica is of taxonomic importance among protozoologists. See also test