theropod

noun
the·​ro·​pod | \ ˈthir-ə-ˌpäd How to pronounce theropod (audio) \
plural theropods

Definition of theropod

: any of a suborder (Theropoda) of carnivorous, bipedal, saurischian dinosaurs (such as a tyrannosaur or velociraptor) having hollow, thin-walled bones and usually small forelimbs

Note: Birds are descended from one lineage of small theropods.

Examples of theropod in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Incidentally, these birds, and therefore chickens, are said to be the closest extant relatives of the theropod dinosaurs (including T. rex). Quanta Magazine, "Solution: ‘Is It Turtles All the Way Down?’," 27 Mar. 2020 Sometime during the Jurassic period, around 165 million years ago, the earliest birds diverged from theropod dinosaurs. Cara Giaimo, New York Times, "What to Name the Oldest Modern Bird Fossil? Wonderchicken," 18 Mar. 2020 Left: Researchers at a camp near the Beardmore Glacier, where fossils from meat-eating theropods and plant-eating sauropods were found. Discover Magazine, "When Dinosaurs Roamed Antarctica," 24 Jan. 2018 Previous work on theropod dinosaurs focused on the famous tyrannosaurs which replaced their teeth slowly. Riley Black, Smithsonian, "Flesh-Ripping Dinosaurs Replaced Their Teeth Multiple Times a Year," 28 Nov. 2019 A few months later, amateur paleontologist Clayton Phipps discovered a 22-foot-long carnivorous theropod and a 28-foot-long plant-eating ceratopsian believed to have died 66 million years ago. Amy Beth Hanson, SFChronicle.com, "Dinosaur dispute in Montana asks whether fossils are minerals," 9 Nov. 2019 A few months later, amateur paleontologist Clayton Phipps discovered a 22-foot-long carnivorous theropod and a 28-foot-long plant-eating ceratopsian believed to have died 66 million years ago. Amy Beth Hanson, SFChronicle.com, "Dinosaur dispute in Montana asks whether fossils are minerals," 9 Nov. 2019 A few months later, amateur paleontologist Clayton Phipps discovered a 22-foot-long carnivorous theropod and a 28-foot-long plant-eating ceratopsian believed to have died 66 million years ago. Amy Beth Hanson, SFChronicle.com, "Dinosaur dispute in Montana asks whether fossils are minerals," 9 Nov. 2019 Only such substantial alterations on a short timescale, the story went, could account for the sudden transformation from a 300-pound theropod to the sparrow-size prehistoric bird Iberomesornis. Quanta Magazine, "How Dinosaurs Shrank and Became Birds," 2 June 2015

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

1883, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for theropod

New Latin Theropoda, from Greek thēr wild animal + pod-, pous foot — more at fierce, foot

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Time Traveler for theropod

Time Traveler

The first known use of theropod was in 1883

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Cite this Entry

“Theropod.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/theropod. Accessed 14 Aug. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on theropod

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about theropod

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