non·avi·an | \ˌnän-ˈā-vē-ən \

Definition of nonavian 

: not of or relating to birds : not avian … assorted nonavian creatures whirring, buzzing and croaking.— Richard Conniff nonavian anatomy also : not including any members of the class (Aves) comprising birds Whereas the last of the nonavian dinosaurs certainly perished 64.5 million years ago, many other animals survived … — James Gurney

Examples of nonavian in a Sentence

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This was shortly before the mass extinction event 66 million years ago that killed off all the pterosaurs alongside the nonavian dinosaurs. National Geographic, "Ancient Flying Predator Found in Transylvania," 8 May 2018 In a paper published Wednesday in the journal Proceeding of the Royal Society B, the team has identified three characteristics in land-dwelling mammals, reptiles and nonavian dinosaurs that may be linked with evolving bony tail weapons. Nicholas St. Fleur, New York Times, "Where Did Animals With Tail Weapons Go? Here’s a Back Story," 16 Jan. 2018 These early and abundant birds still had small teeth in their beaks and went extinct along with the nonavian dinosaurs 66 million years ago. John Pickrell, National Geographic, "Ticks That Fed on Dinosaurs Found Trapped in Amber," 12 Dec. 2017 For this reason, ornithologists had long assumed that colored eggshells evolved solely in some groups of birds after nonavian dinosaurs had died out. National Geographic, "Dinosaurs Laid Blue Eggs—And That's a Big Deal," 18 Sep. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'nonavian.' 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 nonavian

1907, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of nonavian was in 1907

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a state of commotion or excitement

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