In one of his 1844 manuscripts, C. G. Ehrenberg described the radiolarian species Lithobotrys(?) denticulata (now known as Antarctissa denticulata) and, as it was customary at the time, did so in Latin. Although in general his descriptions are relatively straightforward, I'm struggling with the last sentence of this one:

Lorica ovata ampla late porosa (poris in 1/100''' 2—3.) subtriloba, utrinque rotundata nec truncata, denticulis undique bispida, apertura obsoleta. Longit. 1/22'''

Habitus Lithocampae, sed nulli articuli. Structuram internam spiralem esse suspicor. Quae pars anterior quae posterior jure habeatur in toto genere non liquet.

Here are some pictures and drawings of the species, if that helps giving context.

1 Answer 1


I would translate the boldfaced sentence as

It is not clear which part would be rightfully considered the front and which part the rear in the whole genus.

For creatures of that appearance, that description makes sense. If you want more details or explanation, do ask.

Notice that habere does not only mean 'to have', but also 'to consider as something'. For example, leonem pulchrum habeo can also mean 'I consider the lion beautiful', not only 'I have a beautiful lion'. Also facere is used in this meaning. In this context this meaning of habere makes most sense (to me).


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