Share this entry
zygodactyl Syllabification: zy·go·dac·tyl
Pronunciation: /ˌzīɡōˈdaktl/

Definition of zygodactyl in English:


(Of a bird’s feet) having two toes pointing forward and two backward.
Example sentences
  • Their legs are strong, and feathered in many species; they have zygodactyl raptorial feet.
  • Paleogene fossils also document diverse extinct branches of the neornithine tree, ranging from large pseudotoothed seabirds to giant flightless land birds to small zygodactyl perching birds.
  • All the small zygodactyl or semizygodactyl forms, generally from Eocene deposits, are jumbled together in the family Zygodactylidae.


Back to top  
A bird with zygodactyl feet.


Pronunciation: /ˌzīɡōˈdaktələs/
Example sentences
  • Owls are zygodactylous: two toes face anteriorly and two toes face posteriorly.
  • The feet are zygodactylous, with two toes pointed forward and two toes pointed backward.
  • The feet of most woodpeckers are large and zygodactylous, meaning two toes point forward and two backward on each foot.
Definition of zygodactyl in:
Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources