noun (plural oscula /-lə/)Zoology
A large aperture in a sponge through which water is expelled.
- Sponges will react by closing ostia or oscula, either because of direct physical stimulation or when suspended particles within the sponge are too large or highly concentrated.
- In budding, aggregates of cells differentiate into small sponges that are released superficially or expelled through the oscula.
- The hole closes and it is not until some days later that the sponge forms an osculum at its apical pole.
Early 17th century: from Latin, 'little mouth'.
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