noun, plural o·per·cu·la [oh-pur-kyuh-luh] /oʊˈpɜr kyə lə/, o·per·cu·lums.
- the gill cover of fishes and amphibians.
- (in many gastropods) a horny plate that closes the opening of the shell when the animal is retracted.
Origin of operculum
Examples from the Web for opercula
Historical Examples of opercula
It should be mentioned that the Serpulacea are provided with opercula.A Conchological Manual
George Brettingham Sowerby
The figures represent some of the commoner types of opercula.
These are the drum-covers or opercula, from beneath which the sound issues.An Introduction to Entomology: Vol. II (of 4)
It was shaped and ornamentally carved and painted to represent a wood-worm and inlaid along the rounded upper edge with opercula.The Whale House of the Chilkat
George T. Emmons
The opercula vary to a great extent in the different genera; in some cases they are calcareous, in others cartilaginous.
noun plural -la (-lə) or -lums
- the hard bony flap covering the gill slits in fishes
- the bony plate in certain gastropods covering the opening of the shell when the body is withdrawn
Word Origin for operculum
1713, from Latin operculum "cover, lid," from operire "to cover, close" (see weir), with instrumental suffix *-tlom. Related: Opercular.