saur·​is·​chi·​an | \ (ˌ)sȯ-ˈri-skē-ən How to pronounce saurischian (audio) \

Definition of saurischian

: any of an order (Saurischia) of herbivorous or carnivorous dinosaurs that have the pubis of the pelvis typically pointed downward and forward and that include the sauropods and theropods — compare ornithischian

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Other Words from saurischian

saurischian adjective

Examples of saurischian in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web 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 Theropods have traditionally been classed as saurischians. Carolyn Gramling, Science | AAAS, "Scientists struggle to fit this strange vegetarian dinosaur into the family tree," 15 Aug. 2017 Still, succeeding generations of paleontologists came to the consensus that Dinosauria is made up of the saurischian and ornithischian branches. Brian Switek, Scientific American Blog Network, "Shaking the Dinosaur Family Tree," 15 May 2017 In the old system, ornithischians were considered plant eaters while all the meat eating dinosaurs were saurischians, meaning that the trait of eating meat could have evolved after the two main branches of dinosaurs split. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "New Study Restructures the Dinosaur Family Tree," 24 Mar. 2017

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

circa 1889, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for saurischian

New Latin Saurischia, ultimately from Greek sauros lizard + New Latin ischium ischium

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Time Traveler for saurischian

Time Traveler

The first known use of saurischian was circa 1889

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Cite this Entry

“Saurischian.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jan. 2021.

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