Share this entry
Onychophora Line breaks: Ony|choph¦ora
Pronunciation: /ˌɒnɪˈkɒf(ə)rə/

Definition of Onychophora in English:

plural noun

A small phylum of terrestrial invertebrates which comprises the velvet worms such as peripatus. They share characteristics with the arthropods and annelids, having a long, soft segmented body with stubby legs (lobopods).
Example sentences
  • Other ecdysozoan phyla include Nematoda, Tardigrada, and Onychophora; this classification thus removes onychophorans from the Arthropoda and makes them an outgroup.
  • However, on both morphological and molecular grounds it seems that two groups that are sometimes given phylum rank, the Onychophora and the Tardigrada, are the closest living relatives of the arthropods.
  • Tardigrades, close relatives of Onychophora and Arthropoda, possess ornamented armored exoskeletons in high predation marine environments.


Modern Latin (plural), from Greek onux, onukh- 'nail, claw' + -phoros 'bearing'.

Definition of Onychophora in:
Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources