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The elephant, an example of an afrotherian


From Afrotheria, from Afro- + Ancient Greek θηρίον(thēríon, beast).


afrotherian ‎(comparative more afrotherian, superlative most afrotherian)

  1. (zoology) Belonging or pertaining to the superorder Afrotheria, which includes the elephants, aardvarks, golden moles, tenrecs, etc.
    • 2003, Yumie Murata et al., "Afrotherian Phylogeny as Inferred from Complete Mitochondrial Genomes", Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, volume 28, page 253:
      Although the monophyly of Afrotheria is well supported by recent molecular studies, the interrelationships within afrotherian mammals remain unclarified.
    • 2006, Chris Beard, The Hunt for the Dawn Monkey, University of California Press, page 251:
      Just as molecular evidence from living mammals would predict, the African fossil record documents the presence of several afrotherian groups by early or middle Eocene time.


afrotherian ‎(plural afrotherians)

  1. (zoology) A placental that belongs to the superorder Afrotheria, such as an elephant, aardvark, golden mole, tenrec, etc.
    • 2001, Michael J. Novacek, "Mammalian Phylogeny: Genes and Supertrees", Current Biology, volume 11, page R573:
      As their name implies, afrotherians putatively represent a radiation of placentals rooted in the African continent and nearby island of Madagascar.