Definition of Palaeospondylus

: a genus of extinct primitive vertebrates that are known from a single form (P. gunni) of the Devonian of Scotland that is usually about one inch long with a large skull, branchial arches and jaws highly modified or possibly absent, a segmented vertebral column, and the caudal fin and limb girdles well-developed, and that is usually placed among the Placodermi but sometimes considered a cyclostome — see cycliae

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

History and Etymology for Palaeospondylus

New Latin, from pale- + -spondylus

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about Palaeospondylus

Statistics for Palaeospondylus

Cite this Entry

“Palaeospondylus.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Dec. 2020.

Comments on Palaeospondylus

What made you want to look up Palaeospondylus? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!