pedicellarium

What is pedicellarium?

pedicellarium meaning a forceps-like organ which occurs in large numbers on starfishes and sea urchins. Pedicellariae, in general, are multifunctional appendages involved in defense, feeding, and cleaning. They are mainly used to keep small organisms from settling on the aboral surface, to capture small prey, and to discourage predators from feeding on soft tissue. The basic structure of pedicellariae consists of a head, neck, and stalk. The head usually has three jaws and, in some pedicellariae, contains poison glands

Image of pedicellarium
A single pedicellarium from a starfish. (Photo: Rick Gillis, Ph.D., Biology Dept., University of Wisconsin-La Crosse)

 

reference: Coral Reef Information System – Glossary

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