from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- adj. Adapted for tearing apart flesh: carnassial teeth.
- n. A tooth adapted for tearing apart flesh, especially one of the last upper premolar or first lower molar teeth in carnivorous mammals.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. One of the teeth used by a carnivore for shearing flesh, being the last upper premolar and the first lower molar.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- adj. Adapted to eating flesh.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Sectorial; adapted for cutting and tearing flesh: applied to the specialized trenchant or cutting molar or premolar of the Carnivora.
- n. A sectorial tooth; the last upper premolar or first lower molar tooth of those Carnivora which have a typically carnivorous dentition, as the cat or dog.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- adj. (of a tooth) adapted for shearing flesh
The incisors are somewhat larger than, but the canines and premolars approximate to, those of the felines; the crown of the incisors is cuspidate, and the premolars increase gradually in size, with the exception of the fourth in the upper jaw, the carnassial, which is treble the size of the one next to it.
Grey wolf bones were found below the 960 BP layer, and a wolf carnassial tooth even lower.
In that case, what price the formidable carnassial teeth, the murderous claws of the lion and the leopard?
Turns out, polar bear teeth are not “hardly different” – their back teeth are distinctly more carnassial (for ripping meat, not grinding) than those of their ursid (bear family) cousins.
Carnivore gene pools have genes that program prey-detecting sense organs, prey-catching claws, carnassial teeth, meat-digesting enzymes and many other genes, all fine-tuned to co-operate with each other.
The snout was long and canid, with heavy canines and broad carnassial teeth.
The dentition was more powerful than that of any other species of Canis, the carnassial teeth being, on the average, much larger than those of Canis lupus.
Further, you know from experience that such and such definitely modified organs are invariably found with the carnivorous habit, carnassial teeth, for example, and reduced clavicles.
From the carnassial tooth you can infer the reduced clavicle, and so on.
From a "carnivorous" alimentary canal, then, you can infer with certainty that the animal possessed carnassial teeth and the other structural peculiarities of carnivorous animals, _e. g._, the peculiar coronoid process of the mandible.