multituberculate


multituberculate
/mul'tee too berr"kyeuh lit, -layt', -tyoo-, mul'tuy-/, n.
1. a rodentlike mammal of the extinct order Multituberculata, which lived from the late Jurassic Period to the Oligocene Epoch, reaching the size of a woodchuck and having molars with two or three rows of simple pointed cusps.
adj.
2. of or pertaining to the multituberculates.
3. having teeth with many simple, pointed cusps.
[ < NL Multituberculata (1884); see MULTI-, TUBERCULATE, -ATA1]

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      any member of an extinct group of small, superficially rodentlike mammals (mammal) that existed from about 178 million to 50 million years ago (that is, from the middle of the Jurassic Period until the early Eocene Epoch). During most of this span, they were the most common mammals. Adult multituberculates were usually the size of mice (mouse), though the largest species approached the size of beavers (beaver). They were dominantly herbivorous (herbivore) and granivorous. The distinguishing characteristic of multituberculates is the construction of their molars, with two or three longitudinal rows of cusps. In fossils of more primitive forms, there are five or six cusps, whereas up to 30 cusps are present in advanced genera. Multituberculates had a single pair of long lower incisors and possibly one to three pairs of upper incisors. In most genera, the anterior lower premolars were large shearing teeth.

      The relationship of multituberculates to living mammals is controversial; some authorities argue that they branched off before the emergence of the last common ancestor of monotremes (monotreme), marsupials (marsupial), and placentals (placental mammal); other authorities argue that multituberculates are more closely related to the latter two groups.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • multituberculate — noun Etymology: New Latin Multituberculata, ultimately from Latin multi + New Latin tuberculatus tuberculate Date: 1884 any of an order (Multituberculata) of relatively small extinct mammals of the Mesozoic and early Cenozoic that typically… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • multituberculate — 1. adjective Having molars with multiple rows of cusps 2. noun Any of a small group of rodent like mammals, of the order Multituberculata, from the Cretaceous and Paleocene periods …   Wiktionary

  • multituberculate — mul·ti·tu·ber·cu·late (mul″te too burґku lət) having many tubercles …   Medical dictionary

  • multituberculate — n. type of murid like non therian mammals (common during the late Jurassic to the early Eocene) …   English contemporary dictionary

  • multituberculate — mul·ti·tuberculate …   English syllables

  • multituberculate — I. | ̷ ̷ ̷ ̷ at multi + adjective Etymology: New Latin multituberculatus, from multi + tuberculatus tuberculate 1. of teeth : having many simple conical cusps 2. : of or relating to the Multituberculata 3 …   Useful english dictionary

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  • Tombaatar — Taxobox name = Tombaatar fossil range = Late Cretaceous regnum = Animalia phylum = Chordata classis = Mammalia ordo = Multituberculata familia = Djadochtatheriidae genus = Tombaatar species = T. sabuli binomial = Tombaatar sabuli binomial… …   Wikipedia


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