nictitating membrane

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nictitating membrane

(in reptiles, birds, and some mammals) a thin fold of skin beneath the eyelid that can be drawn across the eye

Nictitating Membrane

 

a third eyelid, located in the inner corner of the eye in some Euselachiae (fishes) and the majority of terrestrial vertebrates. The nictitating membrane is formed from a fold of the conjunctiva and is located behind the upper and lower eyelids. In terrestrial vertebrates, a transparent nictitating membrane periodically covers the cornea to clean and moisten it. Nictitating membranes are most highly developed in reptiles and birds. Among mammals, a third eyelid is absent in Echidna and Cetacea; apes and humans have rudimentary nictitating membranes in the form of semilunar folds.

nictitating membrane

[′nik·ə‚tād·iŋ ′mem‚brān]
(vertebrate zoology)
A membrane of the inner angle of the eye or below the eyelid in many vertebrates, and capable of extending over the eyeball.