One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An extinct carnivorous mammal of the early Tertiary period, ancestral to modern carnivores.
Order Creodonta: several families
- ‘Read about marsupials and creodonts who also grew ‘long in the tooth’.’
- ‘The slow clumsy creodonts, well adapted to the jungle thickets, were replaced by the swift intelligent cat and dog type carnivora as the dominant predators.’
- ‘New adaptive breakthroughs and evolutionary radiations also are apparent from such morphospace analysis, such as the reoccupation of creodont niches by nimravids, canids, and felids.’
- ‘The brain of the creodonts was generally of relatively small size and their intelligence presumably low.’
- ‘In creodont carnivores, such as Hemipsalodon studied here, upper molars have carnassial blades as well.’
Late 19th century: from modern Latin Creodonta (plural), from Greek kreas ‘flesh’ + odous, odont- ‘tooth’.
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