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Compsognathus prima



Some time ago Tom Holtz questioned whether _Compsognathus prima_
was correct or whether _prima_ should be _primus_.  The generic
name is a Latinized coinage from two Greek roots, _kompsos_/
_kompse:_/_kompson_, an adjective meaning "nice," "refined,"
"elegant," "dainty," etc., and _gnathos_, a feminine noun meaning
"jaw."  I don't know if there is any general rule that a compound
noun takes the gender of the final element, or if the coiner of the
name indicated which gender this word should have, but there is
certainly nothing in Greek or Latin grammar which would prevent
Compsognathus from being a feminine noun.  (There are words in -os
of all 3 genders in Greek, and words in -us of both masculine and
feminine gender in Latin.)

George Pesely, Austin Peay State Univ.   peselyg@apsu01.apsu.edu