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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 ?
The carapace width (CW) and carapace length (CL), the abdominal width (AW; measured at the junction between the fourth and fifth abdominal segment), the length of the propodus of the major cheliped (ChL), the length of the second right pleopod (2PL), and the length of the merus of the second and third left pereopod (first [1L] and second [2L] walking leg, respectively) of each crab were measured using an SPI 2000 series dial caliper (precision, 0.
After close examination, the approximate number of eggs of each group was recorded to see if there was any relationship between size of the male's large cheliped and the number of eggs produced during reproduction.
Cheliped slender, about 1/4 the length of body; basis with small inner dorsodistal process; pereopods much thinner than in female.
Males become gonadally mature (spermatophores and seminal fluid present in the medial region of the vas deferentia) at a very similar carapace width (CW) to that at which they achieve morphometric maturity, as reflected by a change in the relative size of the largest cheliped.
In several cases of successful copulation, the male only had one cheliped.
Carapace width (CW) and the crusher's cheliped height (CH) were measured on live individuals with a modified vernier caliper (Watson & Wells 1970).
The chela of the first cheliped can be robust in large specimens, but the variation does not show correlation to sex; large specimens do not always have robust chelae.
Chelipeds are moderately unequal, the section of the cheliped known as the hand is inflated, and walking legs have pointed dactyls.