Definition of condylarth in English:


Pronunciation /ˈkändəˌlärTH/ /ˈkɑndəˌlɑrθ/


  • A fossil herbivorous mammal of the early Tertiary period, ancestral to the ungulates.

    Order Condylarthra: several families

    ‘Paleocene faunas were dominated by what we refer to as archaic mammals: condylarths (archaic ungulates), archaic primates, small rodent-like multituberculates, pantodonts, and others.’
    • ‘Archaic ungulates (‘condylarths’) were long known to be among many eutherians to make their first appearance and proliferate in the Paleocene.’
    • ‘Primates, insectivores, and condylarths are recognized by the beginning of the Cenozoic, and by the start of the Eocene, most modern groups had become established.’
    • ‘The first horse, Hyracotherium (= Eohippus), is known from the early Eocene and appears to have been derived from a condylarth.’
    • ‘The ancient hoofed condylarths gave way to more modern ungulates, and became extinct before the end of the epoch.’


Late 19th century from modern Latin Condylarthra (plural), from Greek kondulos ‘knuckle’ + arthron ‘joint’.