Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search
See also: dromæognathous


Alternative forms[edit]


Coined by Thomas Henry Huxley:[1][2] binomial Latin Dromæus (Dromaius) (from Ancient Greek δρομαῖος (dromaîos, swift-running)) + Ancient Greek γνάθος (gnáthos, jaw) + English -ous, adjectival suffix[3]



dromaeognathous (not comparable)

  1. (ornithology)[3] Possessing a palatal structure akin to the emu and the other (now extinct) species of the genus Dromaius.[3]
    • 1895: Eugene William Oates and William Thomas Blanford, Birds, volume 3, page v (Taylor and Francis)
      The fourth principal type, the dromæognathous, is not found in any Indian birds.
    • 1921: William Aitcheson Haswell, A Text-book of Zoology, volume 2, page 431 (3rd Ed.; Macmillan)
      From the fact that the dromæognathous skull is more reptilian than any other type, it would seem that the Ratitæ diverged early from the carinate stock.
    • 1937, Zoological Society of London, Proceedings[1], volume 107, page 225:
      It is well known that the membrane bones of the ostrich palate have a dromæognathous arrangement which is closer to the lacertilian plan than to the characteristic bird type where palatines and pterygoids slide upon a central rostrum.
    • 1938: Harry Forbes Witherby, Francis Charles Robert Jourdain, Norman Frederic Ticehurst, and Bernard William Tucker, The Handbook of British Birds, volume 1, page xxvi (7th Ed.; H. F. & G. Witherby)
      Ægithognathous.—One of the four types of palatal structure distinguished by Huxley. The Dromæognathous type, with large vomer,¹ found in Ratites (Ostrich-like birds) is sharply defined from the others (in which the vomer is more or less reduced), but the latter are by no means so clearly separated from one another, and are connected to a great extent by intermediate conditions.

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]


  1. ^ The Journal of the Linnean Society of London, volume 28 (1903; Academic Press), page 347
    Now Huxley, who introduced these terms, added yet another — Dromæognathous, for the special purpose of expressing the fact that the palate of certain “ Carinate ” birds — the Crypturi — was Struthious in type, and could not therefore be included amongst his Schizognathous forms.
  2. ^ A Manual of the Birds of Australia by Gregory Macalister Mathews and Tom Iredale (1921; H. F. & G. Witherby), page 2
    Osteologically the skull is dromæognathous, a term introduced by Huxley, for the style of palatal formation found in connection with these birds, but which has proved to be of less value than was anticipated, as a similar state occurs in the Tinamous and Kiwi which have no near relationship.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 dromæognathous, a.” listed in the Oxford English Dictionary, second edition (1989)