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diphycercal Line breaks: di¦phy|cer¦cal
Pronunciation: /ˌdɪfɪˈsəːk(ə)l/

Definition of diphycercal in English:


(Of a fish’s tail) approximately symmetrical and with the vertebral column continuing to the tip, as in lampreys. Contrasted with heterocercal, homocercal.
Example sentences
  • The symmetrical, diphycercal tail, not perfected by gnathostomes until the Cretaceous, was standard equipment on heterostracans in the Silurian.
  • In Strepsodus the tail was diamond shaped and diphycercal; in Gooloogongia loomesi it was nearly so.
  • Sharks, and similar chondrichthyes, have heterocercal tails; the diphycercal tails are found in lungfish and their relatives; and the homocercal tail is characteristic of bony fish.


Mid 19th century: from Greek diphu- 'of double form' + kerkos 'tail' + -al.

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