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raptors, 'raptors, "raptors"...?
Listproc kicked me off for the last few weeks for some unknown
reason, so forgive me if I am repeating what has already been said.
I always use the term 'raptor with an apostrophe to distinguish it
from the birds of prey, as an abbreviation of "velociraptor" to
describe the dromaeosauridae in general. Sure I'd prefer to use
the term "dromaeosaur", but when your audience is the general public
most people wouldn't know what a dromaeosaur was if it walked up
and bit them (ok, maybe then they would).
Then again, if the term "raptor" refers to predatory birds, and if
you consider birds and theropods one and the same, isn't any
predatory theropod therefore a "raptor" in the true definition of the
word? I seem to remember the Latin root meaning something like
"to seize and carry away", hence the original (non-sexual) meaning of
the word "rape".
Here's my understanding of the terms:
raptor - predatory birds
'raptor - dromaeosaurs ("velociraptors" a la Greg Paul's book.
remember "Velociraptor antirrhopus"?)
"raptor"- Anything remotely birdy that uses claws to hunt (?)