Sauropterygian definition

sô-rŏptə-rĭjē-ən
Any of various extinct aquatic reptiles of the group Sauropterygia that flourished during the Mesozoic Era and included the plesiosaurs.
noun
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Any of various extinct aquatic reptiles of the group Sauropterygia of the Mesozoic Era. Sauropterygians were carnivorous, had paddlelike limbs, and included the plesiosaurs. They were distantly related to the dinosaurs.
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Any extinct lizard of the superorder Sauropterygia.
noun
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Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
sauropterygian
Plural:
sauropterygians

Origin of sauropterygian

  • From New Latin Sauropterygia superorder name Greek sauros lizard Greek pterux pterug- wing, flipper pet- in Indo-European roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition