from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. An abnormally dilated or swollen vein, artery, or lymph vessel.
- n. One of the longitudinal ridges on the surface of a gastropod shell.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. a varicose, i.e. swollen and knotted, vein
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A uneven, permanent dilatation of a vein.
- n. One of the prominent ridges or ribs extending across each of the whorls of certain univalve shells.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. Abnormal dilatation or tortuosity of a vein or other vessel of the body; also, a vein, artery, or lymphatic thus dilated or tortuous; a varicose vessel.
- n. [NL.] In conchology, a mark or scar on the surface of a shell denoting a former position of the lip of the aperture, which has passed on with the periodical growth of the shell. Varices are conspicuous in some univalves. See cuts under murex and triton.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. abnormally enlarged or twisted blood vessel or lymphatic vessel
A dysentery, when stopped, will give rise to an aposteme, or tumor, if it do not terminate in fevers with sweats, or with thick and white urine, or in a tertian fever, or the pain fix upon a varix, or the testicles, or on the hip-joints.
But the varix itself is to be punctured in many places, as circumstances may indicate.
When the points adjoining to an ulcer are inflamed, the ulcer is not disposed to heal until the inflammation subside, nor when the surrounding parts are blackened by mortification, nor when a varix occasions an overflow of blood in the part, is the ulcer disposed to heal, unless you bring the surrounding parts into a healthy condition.
Of course, on the inside surface of the shells there is no break, but only a lumpy ridge corresponding to the position of the varix on the outside.
I am otherwise not familiar with these clams and don't know if the presence of such a prominent varix on their shells is a common occurrence.
The older shell above the varix had lost most of its periostracum and thus was white, while the younger shell below it still retained the yellowish-brown skin.
Subsequent close inspection revealed a prominent varix across the top of each valve.
The edge of the varix sticks up ~0.3 mm above the shell surface.
The varix on these valves indicates that the occupant clam did stop growing at least once.
The above magnified picture was taken from below the varix; the umbo was towards the top.