or·​nith·​is·​chi·​an | \ ˌȯr-nə-ˈthi-skē-ən How to pronounce ornithischian (audio) \

Definition of ornithischian

: any of an order (Ornithischia) of herbivorous dinosaurs (such as a stegosaurus) that have the pubis of the pelvis rotated backward to a position parallel and close to the ischium — compare saurischian

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Other Words from ornithischian

ornithischian adjective

Examples of ornithischian in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The dinosaur, first described in 2015 as a bizarre, herbivorous theropod, is actually a primitive ornithischian, according to the study — a placement that would strengthen the authors’ argument for rewriting the entire family tree. Jon Tennant, Discover Magazine, "What If the Most Basic Thing We Know About Dinosaurs Is Wrong?," 24 Jan. 2018 But the saurischians and ornithischians are the two main branches with more specific lineages arrayed along them. Brian Switek, Smithsonian, "What Makes a Dinosaur a Dinosaur?," 8 Dec. 2017 The second group, ornithischians, have pelvic structures superficially similar to modern birds, and include classic armored dinos like Stegasaurus and Triceratops. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "New Study Restructures the Dinosaur Family Tree," 24 Mar. 2017 Not to mention that the new analysis brings up the question of why theropods and sauropods share air sacs that lightened their skeletons and yet ornithischians Brian Switek, Scientific American Blog Network, "Shaking the Dinosaur Family Tree," 15 May 2017 The ornithischians, by contrast, included dinosaurs like Stegosaurus and Camptosaurus. Brian Switek, Scientific American Blog Network, "Shaking the Dinosaur Family Tree," 15 May 2017 However, since 2002 paleontologists have unearthed a couple of other ornithischians with primitive bristle or furlike feathers. Gemma Tarlach, Discover Magazine, "When Dinosaurs Went Bad," 10 Apr. 2017

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

1888, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for ornithischian

New Latin Ornithischia, from ornith- + ischium

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Time Traveler for ornithischian

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The first known use of ornithischian was in 1888

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Cite this Entry

“Ornithischian.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ornithischian. Accessed 26 Nov. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on ornithischian

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about ornithischian

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