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Related to Carnassials: carnassial teeth, sectorial teeth, Incisors


Adapted for tearing apart flesh: carnassial teeth.
A tooth adapted for tearing apart flesh, especially one of the last upper premolar or first lower molar teeth in carnivorous mammals.

[From French carnassier, carnivorous, from Provençal, from carnasso, meat in abundance, from carn, flesh, from Latin carō, carn-; see sker- in Indo-European roots.]


(Zoology) zoology of, relating to, or designating the last upper premolar and first lower molar teeth of carnivores, which have sharp edges for tearing flesh
(Zoology) a carnassial tooth
[C19: from French carnassier meat-eating, from Provençal, from carnasso abundance of meat, from carn meat, flesh, from Latin carō]


(kɑrˈnæs i əl)

1. (of teeth) adapted for shearing flesh.
2. a carnassial tooth, esp. the last upper premolar or the first lower molar tooth of carnivores.
[1840–50; < French carnassi(er) flesh-eating < Latin carn-]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.carnassial - (of a tooth) adapted for shearing flesh; "the carnassial teeth of carnivores"
sharp - having or made by a thin edge or sharp point; suitable for cutting or piercing; "a sharp knife"; "a pencil with a sharp point"
References in periodicals archive ?
2007), canines and carnassials may be under strong sexual selection, though canines display greater intraspecific variability than carnassials.
Finally, Afrocyon differs from Myacyon by the lesser developed carnassials (P4/m1), and the minor size of the parastyle in the P4.
The fact that one is a roundish vegetarian with chisel-like buck teeth for clipping plants and the other is an elongated, shaggy hunter with sharp incisors, stout canine fangs, and those special molar teeth called carnassials designed for shearing the flesh off victims such as marmots isn't always obvious at a distance.
The carnassials are highly specialized as shearing blades in the hyenas, and the molars behind the camassials are reduced to mere remnants (COLBERT & MORALES, 1991).
Sharp, pointed teeth such as canines and carnassials (last upper premolar and first lower molar that meet with a scissorslike action) are used for tearing and shearing meat, indicating a carnivore.