pinniped

noun

pin·​ni·​ped ˈpi-nə-ˌped How to pronounce pinniped (audio)
: any of an order or suborder (Pinnipedia) of aquatic carnivorous mammals (such as a seal or walrus) with all four limbs modified into flippers
pinniped adjective

Examples of pinniped in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web When pinnipeds evolved, by contrast, oceans had more food to offer. Riley Black, Smithsonian Magazine, 20 Mar. 2024 The pinniped’s anatomy demonstrates that 21 million years after whales started sliding into the seas, pinnipeds began to do the same. Riley Black, Smithsonian Magazine, 20 Mar. 2024 Leopard seals are unique as being the only pinnipeds to prey largely on other warm-blooded creatures, including fellow seals. Katie Liu, Discover Magazine, 28 Feb. 2024 Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) marine biologist Michelle Shero and colleagues are currently spending several weeks studying these pinnipeds. Laura Baisas, Popular Science, 7 Feb. 2024 Energy efficient pinnipeds The team hopes to look deeper into the nasal structures of other species to see if different parts provide evolutionary advantages in other climates. Laura Baisas, Popular Science, 14 Dec. 2023 Those adaptations go beyond thick layers of blubber for insulation and up into the pinniped’s nose. Laura Baisas, Popular Science, 14 Dec. 2023 Modern-day seals or pinnipeds, such as harbor, elephant and ringed seals, are highly adapted to their watery environments and use their whiskers to detect vibrations underwater. Elizabeth Gamillo, Discover Magazine, 23 Aug. 2023 Casts were made because preserved remains of whiskers or soft tissues of early pinnipeds are unknown. Elizabeth Gamillo, Discover Magazine, 23 Aug. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'pinniped.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

ultimately from Latin pinna + ped-, pes foot — more at foot

First Known Use

1866, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of pinniped was in 1866

Dictionary Entries Near pinniped

Cite this Entry

“Pinniped.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pinniped. Accessed 18 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

pinniped

noun
pin·​ni·​ped ˈpi-nə-ˌped How to pronounce pinniped (audio)
: any of a group of mammals (as seals, sea lions, and walruses) that typically live in oceans but bear their young on land or on floating sheets of ice, have front and hind flippers, and eat other animals (as fish)

More from Merriam-Webster on pinniped

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