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heterocercal Line breaks: het¦ero|cercal
Pronunciation: /ˌhɛtərəʊˈsəːkəl/

Definition of heterocercal in English:


(Of a fish’s tail) having unequal upper and lower lobes, usually with the vertebral column passing into the upper. Contrasted with diphycercal, homocercal.
Example sentences
  • The tail is heterocercal, with the upper lobe containing long, thread-like filaments.
  • The body shows well-developed paired lateral fins (presumably true pectoral fins), indicating good stability, dorsal and anal fins, and a heterocercal tail (the lower lobe of the tail is elongated).
  • The sturgeon heterocercal tail is extremely flexible and the upper tail lobe trails the lower during the fin beat cycle.


Mid 19th century: from hetero- 'other' + Greek kerkos 'tail'.

Definition of heterocercal in:
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