Adapis – Definition & Meaning

Adapis is a term that is not commonly used in everyday language, but it has a specific meaning in the field of biology. It refers to a genus of extinct primates that lived during the Eocene epoch, approximately 55 to 34 million years ago. This article will explore the various definitions, origins, and associations of Adapis, as well as its synonyms, antonyms, and example sentences.


Adapis is a genus of primates that belongs to the family Adapidae. These animals were arboreal and had a diverse diet that included fruits, leaves, and insects. They were relatively small, with a body size ranging from that of a squirrel to that of a small dog. Adapis is known from fossils found in Europe and North America, and it is one of the most well-studied genera of adapids.


The name Adapis was first used by the French naturalist Georges Cuvier in 1822. He derived the name from the Greek words “ada” (meaning “unseen”) and “pous” (meaning “foot”), referring to the fact that the animal’s feet were not visible in the fossils he had examined. Since then, the genus Adapis has been the subject of numerous scientific studies, and it is considered an important part of the primate evolutionary tree.

Meaning in different dictionaries

Adapis is not a word that is commonly found in dictionaries, as it is a scientific name for an extinct animal. However, some dictionaries may include a brief definition of the term as a genus of primates that lived during the Eocene epoch.


Adapis is closely associated with the Adapidae family, which includes other extinct primates such as Adapoides and Notharctus. These animals are known for their unique adaptations to arboreal life, such as their long limbs and grasping hands and feet. Adapis is also associated with the broader field of paleontology, as it is an important example of an early primate that helps scientists understand the evolution of modern primates.


As Adapis is a scientific name, it does not have any synonyms in the traditional sense. However, it is sometimes referred to by its common name, the “toothcomb primate,” which refers to the unique dental structure found in adapids.


As with synonyms, Adapis does not have any true antonyms. However, it can be contrasted with other extinct primates that lived during the same time period, such as the omomyids, which had a different set of adaptations for arboreal life.

The same root words

Adapis is derived from the Greek words “ada” (meaning “unseen”) and “pous” (meaning “foot”). These root words can be found in other scientific names, such as Adactylidium (a genus of mites) and Adactylous (a term used to describe animals with reduced or absent digits).

Example Sentences

  1. Adapis is an extinct genus of primates that lived during the Eocene epoch.
  2. The unique dental structure of Adapis is one of its most distinctive features.
  3. Scientists have studied Adapis fossils to better understand the evolution of early primates.
  4. Adapis was a small, arboreal animal that likely had a diverse diet.
  5. The fossils of Adapis have been found in both Europe and North America.
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