One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An elephantlike fossil mammal found mainly in the Pliocene epoch, the lower jaw having tusks that curve downward and backward.
Genus Deinotherium, suborder Deinotherioidea, order Proboscidea
- ‘These ancient species were lying side by side with more advanced forms called deinotheres and gomphotheres, which were not previously known to exist until 20 million years ago.’
- ‘Imagine a landscape inhabited by several kinds of elephantoids, deinotheres, three species of rhino, two species of hippo, and two species of giraffe.’
- ‘It is a member of a group called the deinotheres which were cousins to the elephants.’
- ‘By the Early Miocene, deinotheres had grown to the size of a small elephant, and had migrated to Eurasia.’
- ‘The name deinothere is based on the Greek for ‘terrible beast’, as 19th century naturalists believed that it was a sea monster.’
Modern Latin, from Greek deinos ‘terrible’ + thērion ‘wild beast’.
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