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Dropping off or shedding at an early stage of development, as the gills of most amphibians or the sepals or stipules of certain plants.
The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2007, 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
caducousbeing shed at an early stage in development, as are the sepals of the poppy and the stipules of the lime tree.
Collins Dictionary of Biology, 3rd ed. © W. G. Hale, V. A. Saunders, J. P. Margham 2005