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dimetrodon

[dahy-me-truh-don] /daɪˈmɛ trəˌdɒn/
noun
1.
an extinct carnivorous mammallike reptile, of the genus Dimetrodon, dominant in North America during the Permian Period, up to 10 feet (3.1 meter) long and usually bearing spinal sails.
Origin
< New Latin (1878), equivalent to Greek dímetr(os) having two measures (see dimeter) + odṓn tooth; apparently so named in reference to the large size of the anterior incisors relative to the other teeth
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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dimetrodon in Science
dimetrodon
  (dī-mět'rə-dŏn')   
An extinct, carnivorous reptile of the genus Dimetrodon of the Permian Period having a body similar to an alligator's but with a tall, curved sail on its back. The sail had a thick network of blood vessels and may have been used to regulate the animal's body temperature. The dimetrodon belonged to the synapsids, an early group of reptiles that was ancestral to mammals.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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