One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An extinct hoofed mammal of a large and varied group that lived in South America throughout the Tertiary period, finally dying out in the Pleistocene.
Order Notoungulata: many families
- ‘The land bridge allowed the South American armadillo, porcupine, opossum, and ground sloths to colonize the north, as well as the unique South American notoungulates.’
- ‘That is, instead of the relatively orderly pattern of cusps possessed by most mammals, notoungulates have drawn out the cusps into long, messy arcs.’
- ‘Also, Paedotherium, a hare-sized notoungulate that is one of the most abundant mammals of the Pampean Region, has been found in association with burrows.’
- ‘Note that notoungulates, too, have sharp rostra, inflated auditory bullae, and sagittal crests.’
- ‘Purely by way of example, the image at left shows the nomenclature used for notoungulates, an extinct group of ungulates endemic to the early Cenozoic of South America.’
Early 20th century: from modern Latin Notoungulata, from Greek notos ‘south’ + Latin ungula ‘nail’.
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