Rostrum (anatomy)

In anatomy, the term rostrum (from the Latin rostrum meaning beak) is used for a number of phylogenetically unrelated structures in different groups of animals.

Bottlenose Dolphin KSC04pd0178 head only
The rostrum (beak) of a bottlenose dolphin


Washington DC Zoo - Macrobrachium rosenbergii 6

Crustacean: the rostrum of the shrimp Macrobrachium rosenbergii is serrated along both edges.

Gminatus australis with Beetle

Insect: assassin bug piercing its prey with its rostrum

Architeuthis beak

Cephalopod: the two-part beak of a giant squid


The beak or snout of a vertebrate may also be referred to as the rostrum.

Istiophorus platypterus

Sailfish, like all billfish, have a rostrum (bill) which is an extension of their upper jawbone

Paddlefish Polyodon spathula

The paddlefish has a rostrum packed with electroreceptors

Sawfish genova

Sawfish have an electro-sensitive rostrum (saw) which is also used to slash at prey

See also


  1. ^ Charles Drew (November 17, 2003). "Crustacea". University of Bristol. Retrieved November 7, 2010.
  2. ^ Todd A. Haney, Joel W. Martin & Eric W. Vetter (2007). "Leptostraca". In James T. Carlton. The Light and Smith Manual: Intertidal Invertebrates from Central California to Oregon (4th ed.). University of California Press. pp. 484–495. ISBN 978-0-520-23939-5.
  3. ^ George Gordh, Gordon Gordh & David Headrick (2003). "Rostrum". A Dictionary of Entomology. CAB International. p. 792. ISBN 978-0-85199-655-4.
  4. ^ Douglas Grant Smith (2001). "Mollusca (gastropods, pelecypods)". Pennak's freshwater invertebrates of the United States: Porifera to Crustacea (4th ed.). John Wiley and Sons. pp. 327–400. ISBN 978-0-471-35837-4.
  5. ^ Burt Carter. "Cephalopods". Invertebrate Paleobiology.
  6. ^ "Basic anatomy of Cetaceans - Dolphins". Robin's Island. Archived from the original on November 17, 2010. Retrieved November 7, 2010.
  7. ^ Wueringer BE, Squire Jr L, Kajiura SM, Hart NS and Collin SP (2012) "The function of the sawfish's saw" Current Biology, 22 (5): R150-R151. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2012.01.055

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