Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A genus of extinct marsupial quadrupeds, surpassing the rhinoceros in size. They had 3 incisors on each side of the upper and 1 on each side of the lower jaw; no canines; 1 premolar and 4 molars on each side of each jaw; the median upper incisors large and scalpriform; the molars transversely ridged, as in the kangaroo, but without the longitudinal connecting ridge; and the hind limbs less disproportionately enlarged. The dentition of this genus gives name to the diprotodont pattern of primitive herbivorous marsupials. D. australis is a species found in the Post-tertiary of Australia.
- n. [lowercase] An animal of this genus.
- n. Any individual of the extinct marsupial genus Diprotodon, similar to a wombat in appearance but the size of a small elephant.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Paleon.) An extinct Quaternary marsupial from Australia, about as large as the hippopotamus; -- so named because of its two large front teeth. See
- From Ancient Greek δίς (dis, "twice, doubly") + πρωτο- (proto-) (combination form of πρῶτος (protos, "first"), superlative of πρό (pro, "before")) + ὀδούς ("tooth") or ὀδών (Ionic) — hence “two front teeth.” (Wiktionary)
“When he came to Australia in 2005 to be director of the University of Adelaide's Australian Centre for Ancient DNA, he was keen to find and analyse the droppings of the country's megafauna, creatures such as giant marsupial diprotodon and the giant short-faced kangaroo, which became extinct more than 45,000 years ago.”
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Names of some of our non-placental animal friends
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