detritus

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detritus

1. a loose mass of stones, silt, etc., worn away from rocks
2. the organic debris formed from the decay of organisms
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Detritus

 

(1) In biology, dead organic or partially mineralized matter suspended in water in the form of particles measuring from several microns to several centimeters. Detritus forms from moribund plants and animals or their excretions, and frequently the organic matter is adsorbed on the surface of mineral suspensions. Microorganisms are al-ways present in detritus, which serves as the principal food for the water animals known as detritophages.

(2) In geology, detritus is organogenetic fragmentary material found in sediments or sedimentary rocks and composed of shell fragments; the skeletal fragments of sponges, bryozoans, corals, or other invertebrates; and the bones of vertebrates (bone detritus) and fragments of plant tissue (plant detritus).

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

detritus

[də′trīd·əs]
(ecology)
Dead plants and corpses or cast-off parts of various organisms.
(geology)
Any loose material removed directly from rocks and minerals by mechanical means, such as disintegration or abrasion.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

detritus

Loose material which results from the disintegration of rock.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.