follow Dictionary.com

8 Wintry Words to Defrost Your Vocabulary

salt gland

noun
1.
a gland, located in the head of seabirds and various marine mammals and reptiles, that secretes into the nasal passages the excess salt imbibed or ingested.
Origin
1945-1950
1945-50
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Article for salt-gland

salt gland

in marine birds and reptiles that drink saltwater, gland that extracts the salt and removes it from the animal's body. Its function was unknown until 1957, when K. Schmidt-Nielsen and coworkers solved the long-standing problem of how oceanic birds can live without fresh water. They found that a gland, located above each eye, removes sodium chloride from the blood far more efficiently than does the avian kidney and excretes it as brine through a duct into the nasal cavity. It is discharged from the nostrils (sometimes the mouth) in headshaking movements characteristic of cormorants, penguins, and other marine species. In marine reptiles a similar gland is located between eye and nostril.

Learn more about salt gland with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for salt gland

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for salt

4
5
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with salt-gland