spicule

All Sources -
Updated Media sources (1) About encyclopedia.com content Print Topic Share Topic
views updated

spicule A small needle or spine, or a small, spiky, skeletal element. In Porifera (sponges), spicules form a skeletal framework supporting the soft, cellular mass. They exist in a variety of forms and are important in the identification and classification of species. An extensive nomenclature has developed through the use of these structures in poriferan taxonomy (e.g. they may be described as monoaxon, tetraxon, triaxon, hexaxon, polyaxon, megasclere, or microsclere). Spicules may be calcareous, siliceous, or of a fibrous material (spongin).

views updated

spicule: see chromosphere.

views updated

spicule (spik-yool) n. a small splinter of bone.

views updated

spicule A small needle or spine.

views updated

spicule A small needle or spine.

views updated

spicule A small needle or spine.