ar·​tio·​dac·​tyl | \ ˌär-tē-ō-ˈdak-tᵊl How to pronounce artiodactyl (audio) \

Definition of artiodactyl

: any of an order (Artiodactyla) of ungulates (such as the camel or pig) with an even number of functional toes on each foot

Other Words from artiodactyl

artiodactyl adjective

First Known Use of artiodactyl

1848, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for artiodactyl

from the base of New Latin Artiodactyla, division of ungulates, from Greek ártios "right, fitting, even (of numbers)" (derivative from árti "just now," arti- "fitting, correct") + -o- -o- + New Latin -dactyla, neuter plural of -dactylus "having digits (of the kind specified)," borrowed from Greek -daktylos, adjective derivative of dáktylos "finger, toe" — more at art entry 1, dactyl

Note: The taxon Artiodactyla was introduced, along with Perissodactyla (see perissodactyl), by the British biologist and paleontologist Richard Owen (1804-92) in "Description of Teeth and portions of Jaws of two extinct Anthracotherioid Quadrupeds…with an attempt to develop CUVIER'S idea of the Classification of Pachyderms by the Number of their Toes," communication of November 3, 1847, published in The Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society of London, vol. 4 (1848), pp. 103-41.

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The first known use of artiodactyl was in 1848

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Last Updated

3 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Artiodactyl.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Sep. 2020.

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