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a. A pouchlike enlargement of a bird's gullet in which food is partially digested or stored for regurgitation to nestlings.
b. A similar enlargement in the digestive tract of annelids and insects.
The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2007, 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
- in vertebrates, particularly some birds, an expanded part of the oesophagus where food is stored.
- in invertebrates, an expansion of the anterior part of the gut system where food is either digested or stored.
- the agricultural or commercial fishery yield.
- in ecological terms, the difference between gross annual production and the net production - i.e. the material eaten by predators (or herbivores where the food is a vegetable), including that taken by man, and that consumed by organisms responsible for decay. See STANDING CROP.
Collins Dictionary of Biology, 3rd ed. © W. G. Hale, V. A. Saunders, J. P. Margham 2005