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Pronunciation: of're-o-sko-les'i-de

Definition: A family of ciliate protozoa occurring in the rumen and reticulum of ruminant animals, characterized by having cilia arranged in spiral membranelles around the mouth (adoral) and in some genera also in a dorsal (metoral) position. The most important genera are Entodinium, Diplodinium, Epidinium, and Ophryoscolex, which are thought to contribute to ruminant nutrition by converting cellulose in plant material ingested by the ruminant into readily digestible animal protein of their own bodies.

[G. ophrys, eyebrow, + skolex, a worm]

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© Copyright 2018 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review date: Sep 19, 2016.