Definition of multituberculate in English:



  • A small primitive fossil mammal of a mainly Cretaceous and Palaeocene order, distinguished by having molar teeth with several cusps arranged in two or three rows.

    Order Multituberculata, subclass Allotheria

    • ‘Well-represented dentitions and skulls are also known for some of the earliest and most primitive multituberculates, from the Late Jurassic of Portugal.’
    • ‘Paleocene faunas were dominated by what we refer to as archaic mammals: condylarths (archaic ungulates), archaic primates, small rodent-like multituberculates, pantodonts, and others.’
    • ‘However, the bone is rather persistent otherwise, and has been identified, for example, in tritylodontids, Morganucodon, Gobiconodon, and monotremes, although it is absent in multituberculates.’
    • ‘Given the significance of neoplagiaulacid multituberculates in biogeographic and paleoecological reconstructions, a detailed systematic revision of the group would undoubtedly clarify many of these issues.’
    • ‘The current study reports on new neoplagiaulacid multituberculates from the Paleocene Paskapoo Formation of central Alberta, Canada, at localities along the Blindman River near the City of Red Deer.’
    • ‘We are familiar with the monotremes, marsupials and placentals of today, but there were also other kinds, such as multituberculates, which are now extinct.’
    • ‘Besides viverravids, the collection includes oxyclaenids, arctocyonids, triisodontids, pantolestids, taeniodonts, phenacodontids, mioclaenids, pentacodontids, periptychids, proprimates, and a multituberculate.’
    • ‘Haramiyids were originally considered ancestral to the multituberculates, an important group of rodent-like mammals of the Mesozoic and early Tertiary.’
    • ‘The suite of unusual dental specializations suggests N. citnolodontoides is outside the N. hunteri-N. mckennai lineage, with features paralleling those seen in cimolodontid multituberculates.’
    • ‘However, for our purposes, we have used a working definition anchored on Haramiyavia, assuming that the unknown intersection between multituberculates and modern mammals is the appropriate break point.’
    • ‘The rodents replaced the multituberculates in the small gnawing herbivore guild.’
    • ‘Triconodonts, monotremes and multituberculates have the primitive condylar arrangement for the radius.’
    • ‘These features, however, are plesiomorphic, and shared by most eucosmodontids and primitive multituberculates.’
    • ‘One group, the multituberculates (‘many cusps'), were highly successful gnawing herbivores, and they outlasted the Mesozoic, surviving until the Oligocene.’
    • ‘Two fossiliferous horizons have been identified at this locality; the multituberculate specimens occur in the lower of these horizons, in a thin layer of indurated black shale below a massive sandstone layer.’
    • ‘Many early mammal taxa were superficially rodent-like, such as the extinct multituberculates.’


Late 19th century: from modern Latin Multituberculata, from multi- ‘many’ + Latin tuberculum ‘tubercle’.