• synonyms


[dif-uh-sur-kuh l]
adjective Ichthyology.
  1. having a tail or caudal fin with the spinal column extending horizontally to the end of the tail, characteristic of lungfish, several other primitive fishes, and the juvenile stage of modern bony fishes.
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Origin of diphycercal

diphy- double (see diphyodont) + Greek kérk(os) a tail + -al1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for diphycercal

Historical Examples

  • The tail may be heterocercal, as in Acipenser, or diphycercal as in Polypterus.

    The Vertebrate Skeleton

    Sidney H. Reynolds

  • The tail is diphycercal, and the pectoral fins are typical archipterygia.

    The Vertebrate Skeleton

    Sidney H. Reynolds

  • Diphycercal, dif-i-ser′kal, adj. having the tail symmetrical (of fishes).

  • In most primitive types, as in most embryonic fishes, the vertebræ grow smaller to the last (diphycercal).

  • The tail is diphycercal, heterocercal, or else it degenerates into a whip-like organ, a form which has been called leptocercal.

British Dictionary definitions for diphycercal


  1. ichthyol of or possessing a symmetrical or pointed tail with the vertebral column extending to the tip, as in primitive fishes
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Word Origin

C19: from Greek diphuēs twofold (from di 1 + phuē growth) + kerkos tail
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