croc·​o·​dil·​ian | \ ˌkrä-kə-ˈdi-lē-ən How to pronounce crocodilian (audio) , -ˈdil-yən\

Definition of crocodilian

: any of an order (Crocodylia) of reptiles including the crocodiles, alligators, caimans, gharials, and related extinct forms

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crocodilian adjective

Examples of crocodilian in a Sentence

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By comparing the small bones that stabilize the tongue from dinosaur fossils to those of modern birds and crocodilians, researchers found that most dinosaurs, including the Tyrannosaurus Rex, wouldn’t have been able to move their tongues very much. National Geographic, "Why T. Rex Couldn't Waggle Its Tongue," 20 June 2018 However, most extinct dinosaurs have hyoid structures that are more like those of crocodilians—a simple pair of short rods. Mindy Weisberger, Scientific American, "T. Rex Couldn’t Stick Out Its Tongue," 24 June 2018 Sir Francis Drake gave the Caymans their present name in 1586 when dangerous caiman crocodilians with an appetite for British sailors freely roamed these isles in large numbers. Erik Heinrich,, "Kittiwake wreck dive and Stingray City are unforgettable adventures – even if you do get bit," 16 May 2018 But after a wave of massive crocodilians made their presence known all across Florida and Texas this past weekend, experts are urging people to be extra careful. Meghan Overdeep, Southern Living, "Massive Alligators Causing a Ruckus in Florida and Texas," 1 May 2018 The team then compared Archaeopteryx’s stats to those of 55 modern birds, two crocodilians, and two species of pterosaurs, the winged reptiles that lived alongside dinosaurs. National Geographic, "This Famous Dinosaur Could Fly—But Unlike Anything Alive Today," 13 Mar. 2018 The specimens mostly belonged to extinct crocodilians, which is the supergroup that encompasses both alligators and crocodiles, as well as caimans and gharials. Nicholas St. Fleur, New York Times, "A Newly Discovered Difference Between Alligators and Crocodiles," 12 Mar. 2018 Elsewhere in the world, there are several observations of crocodilians—a group that includes alligators, crocodiles, and caimans—duking it out with elasmobranchs. National Geographic, "Alligators Attack and Eat Sharks, Study Confirms," 20 Sep. 2017 People are married to the idea that dinosaurs have this crocodilian, leathery, scaly, reptile skin. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Two Centuries of Dinosaur Art Come Alive in This Gorgeous New Book," 8 Sep. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'crocodilian.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of crocodilian

1837, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of crocodilian was in 1837

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