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Re: Translation of dino names
In a message dated 95-12-31 11:37:06 EST, firstname.lastname@example.org (Jeff Poling)
> If anybody knows one that gives the english translations of the standard
>greek/latin dinosaur names, I'd appreciate knowing about it. That's
>something I'd like to add to the lists I maintain on my web page. Something
>along the lines of "The Dinosaur Mailing List List of Dinosaur Names
>Translated So Normal People Can Know What the Heck They Mean Too" ... or
>something like that.
Ben Creisler in Seattle has put together the definitive list of dinosaur
generic-name derivations. Unfortunately, he's not Internet-online. I was
working on just such a project until he and I began corresponding and I
realized I would just be reinventing the wheel. It's amazing how many names
(maybe 5%) have well-known _incorrect_ derivations. His research on all of
Cope's dinosaur names was published in JVP 12(3), September 1992. Ben didn't
bother with species, however, so there's still room for some interesting
research at this level.
Example: _Torosaurus gladius_. The "toro" comes from the Greek _toros_,
meaning "borer," referring to the large frill fenestrae, as if they had been
bored or drilled; and "gladius," which is a Latin word for the kind of short
sword the gladiators used, refers to the elongated, swordlike shape of the
squamosal bone in the frill.
But how many times have you seen _Torosaurus_ translated as "bull lizard,"
referring to the facial horns?