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Naming of Dinos



Jerry D. Harris (6/2/95) writes:
>Notice that it isn't a requirement
>that dinosaur names end in "-saurus," though that is the norm.  Likewise,
>it's traditional to name "thecodonts" ending in "-suchus," and pterosaurs
>ending in "-dactylus" or some such.  Some endings are cross-taxonomic,
>though, like "-saurus," also used for lepidosauromorphs, "-gnathus" for
>pterosaurs, dinosaurs, mammals, etc.

Of course, other common suffeces are "-ceratops", for the horned
dinos, "-mimus", for bird-like (primarily the ostrich) dinosaurs,
and "-don" (for "teeth").  I've also noticed that since the revised
views of dinosaurian lifestyles and pedigree, the "-saurus" suffex,
with its reptillian implications, is avoided in many of the recently
discovered genera (e.g. Deinonychus, Avimimus, Nanotyrannus, 
Orodromeus, Chirostenotes, etc., etc.), which I think is a good thing.

                     -- Dave