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A sharp, slender, usually curved nail on the toe of an animal.
[L. clavus, a nail]


(klaw) a nail of an animal, particularly a carnivore, that is long and curved and has a sharp end.
cat's claw  a woody South American vine, Uncaria tomentosa or a preparation of its root bark, which has antiviral, immunostimulant, and antiinflammatory properties and is used in folk medicine.
devil's claw  a perennial herb, Harpagophytum procumbens, whose dried tubular secondary roots and lateral tubers are used for dyspepsia, loss of appetite, and rheumatism; also used in homeopathy for rheumatism and in folk medicine.


1. A sharp, curved, horny structure at the end of a toe of a vertebrate animal.
a. A chela or similar pincerlike structure on the end of a limb of a crustacean or arachnid.
b. One of one or more small curved structures at the tip of an appendage of an invertebrate, especially an insect or other arthropod.
c. A limb terminating in such a structure.
tr. & intr.v. clawed, clawing, claws
To scratch, dig, tear, or pull with the claws or fingernails.

clawed adj.


1. integumentary appendages at the extremities of the digits of carnivores and some other animals. Because of their sharp ends they are effective in their role of holding and tearing prey. They are sheathed by the action of elastic ligaments unless the flexor muscles are tensed, but can be actively retracted in Felidae, except the cheetah.
2. an alternative name for a digit in cloven-footed animals such as cattle, sheep, goats and pigs.
3. metal manifold in a milking machine cluster which connects the teat cups and the milk line; carries the air admission hole which allows the controlled entry of air from the environment to the vacuum unit of the milking machine.

claw amputation
a surgical procedure that removes one digit of cattle, usually as a salvage procedure in septic pedal arthritis.
dew claw
see dewclaw.
claw fold
the skin fold covering the base of the nail in dogs and cats.
claw fracture
fractures of the third phalanx in cattle occur uncommonly, usually due to trauma, nutritional disease and penetrating wounds.
ingrown claw
likely to develop in Felidae denied the opportunity to rake with their claws, and in Canidae, especially dewclaws.
overgrown claw
common in old inactive birds. Causes difficulty in moving.

Patient discussion about claw

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References in periodicals archive ?
71%) displayed abnormalities either in carapace, chelipeds, swimming leg, or abdomen.
To evaluate the population genetic and morphological structures of this semiterrestrial crab, and to test the influence of the Central South Equatorial Current (CSEC) as a geographic barrier to gene flow, we here present 1) haplotype data from the cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (Cox1) mitochondrial gene, 2) data on shape variation of the carapace and cheliped propodus, and 3) an evaluation of the correlation between the morphological and genetic distances from six populations along the Brazilian coast.
After, the crabs were sexed and the following measurements were taken under a stereomicroscope: maximum carapace width (CW) and carapace length (CL); length and height of the right and left cheliped propodus (CPL, CPH); gonopod length of males (GL), and abdomen width of females (AW) from the greatest width of 5th segment.
the morphometric relationships between the length of the propodus of the major cheliped (y) and the carapace width (x) in males (PL x CW); and the abdomen width (y) and carapace width (x) in females (AW x CW) (Leite, 2005; Leite et al.
Individuals of Acantholobulus schmitti were sexed, and the following measurements were obtained: the carapace width (CW), the height and length of the major cheliped propodus (LPH and LPL, respectively), the abdominal width of the females at the base of the 4th somite (AW) and the gonopod length (GL) of the males (see Figure 1).
Cheliped slender, about 1/4 the length of body; basis with small inner dorsodistal process; pereopods much thinner than in female.
Carapace length (CL) from the anterior median notch to the posterior carapace margin, cheliped propodus length (Ch.
3 A); right cheliped larger than left; merus with 3 crests as follows: upper crest with rows of tubercles, internal lower crest with row of blunt teeth, increazing in size distally, and external lower crest with row of low tubercles; carpus with 5 tubercles and blunt distal spine; palms of both chelipeds smooth, swollen; fingers of chelae not gaping when closed, tips crossing, outer and inner surfaces with rows of small tubercles (Fig.
Because the relationship between the length of the dorsal propodus of the largest cheliped and the width of the carapace showed the greatest change over the size range of male crabs, that structure was chosen for allometric analysis to determine the size at which males become morphometrically mature.
bocourti are: the frontal region is armed with 4 triangular teeth between the inner orbitals; the submesial pair of frontal teeth are well developed, as long as the lateral pair; the anterolateral margins are moderately arcuate; the anterior margin of anterolateral teeth is shorter than the posterior margin; the lateral carapace spine is swept forward, weakly developed compared to the other anterolateral spines; the dorsal surface of the carapace is smooth; the chelipeds are remarkably smooth except for the usual spines and obsolescent granules on the ridges.