Definition of multituberculate in US English:



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

    Order Multituberculata, subclass Allotheria

    • ‘One group, the multituberculates (‘many cusps'), were highly successful gnawing herbivores, and they outlasted the Mesozoic, surviving until the Oligocene.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘These features, however, are plesiomorphic, and shared by most eucosmodontids and primitive multituberculates.’
    • ‘Triconodonts, monotremes and multituberculates have the primitive condylar arrangement for the radius.’
    • ‘Well-represented dentitions and skulls are also known for some of the earliest and most primitive multituberculates, from the Late Jurassic of Portugal.’
    • ‘The rodents replaced the multituberculates in the small gnawing herbivore guild.’
    • ‘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, 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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Besides viverravids, the collection includes oxyclaenids, arctocyonids, triisodontids, pantolestids, taeniodonts, phenacodontids, mioclaenids, pentacodontids, periptychids, proprimates, and a multituberculate.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘We are familiar with the monotremes, marsupials and placentals of today, but there were also other kinds, such as multituberculates, which are now extinct.’
    • ‘Many early mammal taxa were superficially rodent-like, such as the extinct multituberculates.’
    • ‘Haramiyids were originally considered ancestral to the multituberculates, an important group of rodent-like mammals of the Mesozoic and early Tertiary.’
    • ‘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.’


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