pansy, noun

Origin:
EnglishShow more Transferred sense of general English pansy the common name of the flower Viola tricolor; see quotations 1976 and 1990.
In full pansy shell: the sea-urchin Echinodiscus bisperforatus of the phylum Echinodermata; most commonly, the calcium carbonate test (or shell-like skeleton) of this sea-urchin.
1954 K.H. Barnard S. Afr. Shore-Life 45A particular kind of Cake-urchin is called the Two-slit Cake-urchin or Pansy Shell.., and is common in many sandy bays on the south coast.
1971 J.H. Day in Std Encycl. of Sn Afr. IV. 193The pansy-shell gets its name from the five petal-like markings where the tube-feet perforate the shell.
1976 Het Suid-Western 8 Sept.The pansy shells are named for their decorative under-side which, in varying shades of purple and white, strongly resembles a pansy...A pansy is born male and then becomes female at a later stage in order to lay eggs already fertile by itself...When the pansies die, it takes about a week for them to be bleached white by the effects of the salt and sun.
1978 Het Suid-Western 1 Nov.The pansy is a living creature and not a shell at all...When it is alive it is purple in colour and is covered with short furry bristles.
1979 Het Suid-Western 1 Nov. (Suppl.)Two years ago Mr Edgar Cooke of Plettenberg Bay kept two pansy shells as pets...He kept his pet pansies in a plastic bowl filled with sea sand and sea water. And every second day he took them for a walk on the beach.
1982 Kilburn & Rippey Sea Shells 3Highly prized by beachcombers is the flattened test of the ‘Pansy Shell’ or ‘Sand Dollar’ (Echinodiscus bisperforatus), a sand-dwelling echinoid most frequently found on the Mossel Bay-Plettenberg Bay coast.
1987 S. Ozinsky in Underwater 31Pansy shells are in fact urchins, belonging to the phylum Echinodermata (Greek for ‘spiny skinned’) and are therefore more closely related to sea urchins, starfish and brittlestars than they are to molluscs...Pansy shells have flat bodies supported by a calcium carbonate test.
1990 J. Raphaely in Motorist 2nd Quarter 13They aren’t shells at all but the cast-off skeleton of a type of starfish...We call them pansies because of the flower design etched on the upper surface by the original owner’s arterial system.
1992 A.C. Bentley in Afr. Wildlife Vol.46 No.2, 237A small dead pansy shell is very light and can drift considerable distances with the tides and currents.
the sea-urchin Echinodiscus bisperforatus of the phylum Echinodermata; most commonly, the calcium carbonate test (or shell-like skeleton) of this sea-urchin.
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