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So what's a Brachiosaur?



 
I'm not sure whether I understand Tracy Monaghan's question: "What's
a Brachiosaur?"  ...Unless it means "Why do we sometimes see the word
'Brachiosaurus' in a text and other times we see 'brachiosaur'?"
This might be something that should be included in the FAQ.
As I understand it, "brachiosaur" (with a lower case "b" and no
"-us" suffix) is a generic term (no pun intended) for the family
name. Thus Brachiosaurus, Astrodon (or Pleurocoelus), Ultrasaurus
and others are all brachiosaurs, but only one is a Brachiosaurus.
Likewise, Tyrannosaurus, Daspletosaurus, Albertosaurus, et al are
all tyrannosaurs, but only Tyrannosaurus rex and (as we learned
recently from reading this list) Tyrannosaurus bataar are
Tyrannosauruses. Does any other animal group have this confusion?
In the hound family there are borzois, afghans, beagles, dachshunds,
Irish wolfhounds, greyhounds, etc. but no Hound.
 
Am I correct in assuming that the statement "Daspletosaurus is a
tyrannosaur" is identical to the statement "Daspletosaurus is a
tyrannosaurid?" Is there a time when the "-id" suffix is more
appropriate than the same designation without it?

----- Amado Narvaez
      anarvaez@umd5.umd.edu