condylarth

condylarth

[kon-dl-ahrth]
noun
any of the primitive ungulate mammals of the extinct order Condylarthra, from the Paleocene and Eocene epochs, having a slender body, low-crowned teeth, and five-toed feet, each toe ending in a small hoof.

Origin:
1880–85; < Neo-Latin Condylarthra (neuter plural) < Greek kóndyl(os) condyle + -arthra, neuter plural of arthrus -jointed, derivative of árthron joint

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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

condylarth

extinct group of mammals that includes the ancestral forms of later, more advanced ungulates (that is, hoofed placental mammals). The name Condylarthra was once applied to a formal taxonomic order, but it is now used informally to refer to ungulates of Late Cretaceous and Early Paleogene times. Their greatest diversity occurred during the Paleocene Epoch (65.5-55.8 million years ago), but similar forms persisted into the middle of Oligocene Epoch and died out about 30 million years ago.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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