Meaning of ornithischian in English:


Pronunciation /ˌɔːnɪˈθɪskɪən/ /ˌɔːnɪˈθɪʃɪən/


  • Relating to or denoting herbivorous dinosaurs of an order distinguished by having a pelvic structure resembling that of birds.

    Compare with saurischian

    ‘The University of California Museum of Paleontology is proud to present displays of ornithischian dinosaurs.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, the much smaller ornithischian dinosaurs - the ornithopods and stegosaurs - browsed on the undergrowth.’
    • ‘The williams Fork Formation preserves a diverse dinosaur fauna containing at least nine saurischian and five ornithischian species.’
    • ‘The only definite ornithischian materials known from this unit are the fragmentary holotype specimens of Tatisaurus and Bienosaurus and some indeterminate postcranial material.’
    • ‘The main reason is the lack of good specimens; theropod remains are fairly rare and more often than not fragmentary - theropods have a poor fossil record compared to most of the ornithischian dinosaurs.’


  • An ornithischian dinosaur.

    Order Ornithischia, superorder Dinosauria; comprises the stegosaurs, ankylosaurs, ornithopods, pachycephalosaurs, and ceratopsians

    ‘The reasons for the extreme rarity of ornithischians in the Lower Jurassic of China are unclear at present.’
    • ‘The thyreophorans are the armored ornithischians: the stegosaurs and ankylosaurs.’
    • ‘A number of interesting structural adaptations were developed within the ornithischians.’
    • ‘The evidence of nesting and parental care in ornithischian, sauropod, and theropod dinosaurs is extensive.’
    • ‘Ceratopsians were ornithischians, or ‘bird-hipped’ dinosaurs.’


Early 20th century from modern Latin Ornithiscia, from Greek ornis, ornith- ‘bird’ + iskhion ‘hip joint’.