ersatz_read (ersatz_read) wrote in 1word1day,

Monday words: pelage, pelagic

Two words that look the same but have nothing to do with each other.

pelage (pĕl′ĭj), noun
The hair, fur, or wool coat of a mammal.

Etymology:  Early 1800s, from Old French pel, hair.

pelagic (pə-lăj′ĭk),  adj.
Of, relating to, or living in the open ocean or sea (as opposed to inland water or water adjacent to land).

Etymology:  1600s, from Greek pelagos, sea.

This caused me to wonder if there were any real-world examples of the pelage of a pelagic creature.  Apparently, yes:
"The Northern Elephant pelage consists of coarse grayish or brownish hairs without any underfur. During the molt, not only is the pelage shed, but the entire cornified epidermis sloughs off in large patches, creating a mottled appearance...Except for the time spent on the rookery during the breeding season and a month or so ashore while undergoing the molt, the Northern Elephant Seal is truly a pelagic mammal. They have set records for the deepest dives recorded for any mammal."
Tags: adj, greek, noun, old french, p, wordsmith: ersatz_read

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