Meaning of labyrinthodont in English:


Pronunciation /ˌlabəˈrɪnθədɒnt/


  • 1Zoology
    (of teeth) having the enamel deeply folded to form a labyrinthine structure.

    1. 1.1Relating to a group of large fossil amphibians of the late Devonian to early Triassic periods having labyrinthodont teeth.
      ‘On land there was a major faunal turnover in which labyrinthodont amphibians, early reptile groups, and mammal-like reptiles died out and were replaced by archosaurs, lepidosaurs, and mammals.’
      • ‘Finding labyrinthodont amphibian vertebrae and lungfish teeth, we took several bags of matrix to wash.’
      • ‘Whether it was a labyrinthodont amphibian or a primitive reptile has been much disputed.’
      • ‘It is thought that in other parts of the world competition from crocodiles wiped out most labyrinthodont species.’
      • ‘Different labyrinthodont lineages gave rise to all the other tetrapods.’


  • A labyrinthodont amphibian.

    Former subclass Labyrinthodontia: several families, but no longer considered to be a single group

    ‘Curiously, labyrinthodonts are not found in the Otways - crocodiles apparently filled the same ecological niche.’
    • ‘Two main types of early amphibians include the large powerfully built labyrinthodonts and the small, slender lepospondyls.’
    • ‘All of these Palaeozoic and early Mesozoic amphibians are called labyrinthodonts and lepospondyls, based on features of their teeth and vertebrae.’
    • ‘The labyrinthodonts, parareptiles and theromorphs were among the most ancient tetrapods.’
    • ‘Then in the seventies an almost complete fossil of another labyrinthodont turned up in rocks that were definitely much younger than 250 million years old.’


Mid 19th century from modern Latin Labyrinthodontia, from Greek laburinthos ‘labyrinth’ + odous, odont- ‘tooth’.