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proboscidean

[proh-buh-sid-ee-uh n, -bo-, proh-bos-i-dee-uh n] /ˌproʊ bəˈsɪd i ən, -bɒ-, proʊˌbɒs ɪˈdi ən/
adjective
1.
pertaining to or resembling a proboscis.
2.
having a proboscis.
3.
belonging or pertaining to the mammals of the order Proboscidea, characterized by a flexible trunk formed of the nostrils and upper lip, large tusks, a massive body, and columnar legs, comprising the elephant and the now-extinct mammoth and mastodon.
noun
4.
a proboscidean animal.
Also, proboscidian.
Origin
1825-1835
1825-35; < New Latin Proboscide(a) order name (Latin proboscid- (stem of proboscis proboscis) + -ea, neuter plural of -eus adj. suffix; see -eous) + -an
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for proboscideans

proboscidean

/ˌprəʊbɒˈsɪdɪən/
adjective
1.
of, relating to, or belonging to the Proboscidea, an order of massive herbivorous placental mammals having tusks and a long trunk: contains the elephants
noun
2.
any proboscidean animal
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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proboscideans in Science
proboscidean also proboscidian
  (prō'bə-sĭd'ē-ən, prō-bŏs'ĭ-dē'ən)   
  1. Any of various mammals of the order Proboscidea, having a long trunk, large tusks, and a massive body. The elephants and its extinct relatives, such as the mastodons, are proboscidians.

  2. Of or belonging to the order Proboscidea.


The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Article for proboscideans

proboscidean

any of the group of mammals that includes elephants and their extinct relatives such as mammoths and mastodons. Although only three species of elephant are extant today, more than 160 extinct proboscidean species have been identified from remains found on all continents except Australia and Antarctica. Most of these were called gomphotheres, which belonged to a different family from elephants. Elephants and mammoths both belong to the only surviving proboscidean family, Elephantidae.

Learn more about proboscidean with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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