murex

/myoor"eks/, n., pl. murices /myoor"euh seez'/, murexes.
1. any marine gastropod of the genus Murex, common in tropical seas, certain species of which yield the royal purple dye valued by the ancients.
2. a shell used as a trumpet, as in representations of Tritons in art.
3. purplish red.
[1580-90; < NL, L murex the shellfish that yielded Tyrian purple dye]

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▪ mollusk family
 any of the marine snails constituting the family Muricidae (subclass Prosobranchia of the class Gastropoda). Typically the elongated or heavy shell is elaborately spined or frilled. The family occurs throughout the world but mainly in the tropics. The many muricids that live in rocky shallows are called rock shells, or rock whelks.

      The animal feeds by drilling a hole through the shell of bivalves or other shelled animals and inserting its long proboscis to ingest the prey. Most species exude a yellow fluid that, when exposed to sunlight, becomes a purple dye. The dye murex (Murex brandaris) of the Mediterranean was once a source of royal Tyrian purple. Another member of this important genus is the 15-centimetre (6-inch) Venus comb (M. pecten), a white, long-spined species of the Indo-Pacific region. Other members of the Muricidae include small, modestly ornamented shells given various names. The oyster drill (Urosalpinx cinerea) and dwarf tritons (genus Ocenebra) are pests in oyster beds. Drupes (Drupa, Acanthina) are colourful Indo-Pacific shells. Dogwinkles or dog whelks (Nucella) resemble periwinkles and feed on mussels and barnacles.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • murex — murex …   Dictionnaire des rimes

  • murex — [ myrɛks ] n. m. • 1505; mot lat. ♦ Mollusque gastéropode à coquille épaisse, hérissée d épines, dont les Anciens tiraient la pourpre. ● murex nom masculin (latin murex, icis, coquillage) Mollusque gastropode des mers chaudes, sécréteur de… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • murex — múrex s. n. Trimis de siveco, 10.08.2004. Sursa: Dicţionar ortografic  MÚREX s.n. (zool.) Moluscă gasteropodă cu cochilie spiralată, acoperită de spini şi cu o prelungire în formă de tub, din care în antichitate se extrăgea purpura. [< fr.,… …   Dicționar Român

  • MUREX — apud Martial. l. 5. Epigr. 24. Non nisi vel cocci madidâ, vel murice tinctâ Veste nites Et l. 13. Epigr. 87. cuius titul. Murices, Sanguine de nostro tinctas ingrate lacernas Induis, et, non est hoc satis, esca sumus. piscis seu conchae genus est …   Hofmann J. Lexicon universale

  • murex — (n.) kind of shellfish which yields a purple dye, 1580s, from L. murex (pl. murices) purple fish, purple dye, probably cognate with Gk. myax sea mussel, of unknown origin, perhaps related to mys mouse (see MUSCLE (Cf. muscle) (n.) and mussel) …   Etymology dictionary

  • murex — [myoor′eks΄] n. pl. murices [myo͞o′ə sēz΄, myoor′ə sēz΄] or murexes [ModL < L, the purple fish < IE base * mus > MOUSE, Gr myax, sea mussel] any of a genus (Murex) of flesh eating snails, found in warm salt waters and having a rough,… …   English World dictionary

  • Murex — Mu rex, prop. n.; pl. {Murices}. [L., the purple fish.] (Zo[ o]l.) A genus of marine gastropods, having rough, and frequently spinose, shells, which are often highly colored inside; the rock shells. They abound in tropical seas. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Murex — Murex, so v.w. Stachelschnecke …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Murex — Murex, die Stachelschnecke (s. d.) …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Murex — For the historical iron industry company, see Murex (company). Murex Apertural view of the shell of Venus Comb Murex, Murex pecten, anterior end towards the bottom of the page Sc …   Wikipedia

  • Murex —   Murex …   Wikipedia Español

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