sar·​cop·​te·​ryg·​ian ˌsär-ˌkäp-tə-ˈri-j(ē-)ən How to pronounce sarcopterygian (audio)
: of, relating to, or belonging to the Sarcopterygii : lobe-finned
[The coelacanth] is the only living representative of a group of sarcopterygian fishes thought to be extinct since the Late Cretaceous period …Kim Honey, Globe and Mail (Toronto), 18 Jan. 1999
… supporting the hypothesis that the neural basis of vocal circuits arose before the divergence of sarcopterygian and actinopterygian branches of the vertebrate phylogeny.Daniel Margoliash and Melina E. Hale, Science, 18 July 2008
sarcopterygian noun
plural sarcopterygians
Lobe-finned fish like the coelacanth and lungfish are known to zoologists as sarcopterygians, meaning fleshy fins. Tetrapods, including people, are descended from this group … Nicolas Wade, New York Times, 18 Apr. 2013

Word History

First Known Use

1967, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of sarcopterygian was in 1967

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Cite this Entry

“Sarcopterygian.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Mar. 2023.

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