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homocercal Syllabification: ho·mo·cer·cal
Pronunciation: /ˌhōməˈsərk(ə)l/

Definition of homocercal in English:


(Of a fish’s tail) appearing outwardly symmetrical but with the backbone passing into the upper lobe, as in all higher fish. Contrasted with diphycercal, heterocercal.
Example sentences
  • The current literature contains several hypotheses about the function of caudal fins of different shapes, and much of this discussion has focused on the difference between heterocercal and homocercal tails.
  • Both mammals and reptiles returning to the sea developed quite workable homocercal tails in very short order.
  • This caudal fin structure contrasts with the externally symmetrical homocercal morphology present in most teleost fishes such as bluegill sunfish.


Mid 19th century: from homo- 'same' + Greek kerkos 'tail' + -al.

Definition of homocercal in:
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