white around the gills

Science Dictionary
gill   (gĭl)  Pronunciation Key 

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  1. The organ that enables most aquatic animals to take dissolved oxygen from the water. It consists of a series of membranes that have many small blood vessels. Oxygen passes into the bloodstream and carbon dioxide passes out of it as water flows across the membranes.

  2. One of the thin strips of tissue on the underside of the cap of many species of basidiomycete fungi. Gills produce the spore-bearing structures known as basidia.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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