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proboscidean Syllabification: pro·bos·cid·e·an
Pronunciation: /ˌprōbəˈsidēən/ /prəˌbäsəˈdēən/
(also proboscidian) Zoology

Definition of proboscidean in English:


A mammal of the order Proboscidea, which comprises the elephants and their extinct relatives.
Example sentences
  • The nature and behavior of these proboscideans have also haunted South African naturalist Lyall Watson, who evokes their world in Elephantoms: Tracking the Elephant (W. W. Norton).
  • In addition, because they are believed to be the sister group to proboscideans, their aquatic preferences raise interesting evolutionary questions.
  • The earliest proboscideans lacked any trunk or tusks.


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Relating to or denoting proboscideans.
Example sentences
  • Hypsodonty has been shown to be a spurious correlate to obligate grazing in previous studies on certain equid and proboscidean taxa as well.
  • As humans moved north into Eurasia from Africa and, later, south from Alaska across the Americas, proboscidean range contracted correspondingly.
  • If climate was the culprit, then people and proboscideans should have shared some of the same territory, at least until climate change shrunk proboscidean habitat.

Definition of proboscidean in:

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