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From Biology-Online Dictionary | Biology-Online Dictionary
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noun, plural: emboli

(1) (pathology) An occlusive material circulating in the blood stream until it lodges within small blood vessels, causing embolism

(2) (zoology) The structure retracted within the pedipalps of male arachnids and containing the opening to the ejaculatory duct, used to inseminate female arachnids during copulation


In pathology, embolus pertains to a material that freely floats in the blood stream until it lodges within small blood vessels eventually obstructing blood flow. Embolus may be in the form of a dislodged blood clot (thrombus fragment), an air bubble, a fat globule, a clump of bacteria, or a clump of parasitic protozoa.

In zoology, embolus is a structure in the terminal portion of the pedipalp of male arachnids. Emboli may be small, long, whip-like, or coiled.

Word origin: Greek embolon (wedge, plug)

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