non-avian dinosaur

variants: or nonavian dinosaur
plural non-avian dinosaurs or nonavian dinosaurs

Definition of non-avian dinosaur

: any dinosaur that is not a bird These new data show that certain non-avian dinosaurs and early birds shed their skin in ways very similar to that of modern birds and mammals.— Hanneke Meijer Following a mass extinction at the end of the Cretaceous period some 65 million years ago, an event that drove non-avian dinosaurs extinct, the size and diversity of mammals exploded over a 15-million-year period, researchers say.— Pete Spotts Whereas the last of the nonavian dinosaurs certainly perished 64.5 million years ago, many other animals survived …— James Gurney — compare avian dinosaur

First Known Use of non-avian dinosaur

1988, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of non-avian dinosaur was in 1988

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Last Updated

27 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Non-avian dinosaur.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Feb. 2020.

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