Definition of condylarth in English:



  • A fossil herbivorous mammal of the early Tertiary period, ancestral to the ungulates.

    Order Condylarthra: several families

    • ‘Archaic ungulates (‘condylarths’) were long known to be among many eutherians to make their first appearance and proliferate in the Paleocene.’
    • ‘Paleocene faunas were dominated by what we refer to as archaic mammals: condylarths (archaic ungulates), archaic primates, small rodent-like multituberculates, pantodonts, and others.’
    • ‘The ancient hoofed condylarths gave way to more modern ungulates, and became extinct before the end of the epoch.’
    • ‘Primates, insectivores, and condylarths are recognized by the beginning of the Cenozoic, and by the start of the Eocene, most modern groups had become established.’
    • ‘The first horse, Hyracotherium (= Eohippus), is known from the early Eocene and appears to have been derived from a condylarth.’


Late 19th century: from modern Latin Condylarthra (plural), from Greek kondulos ‘knuckle’ + arthron ‘joint’.