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Re: Naming conventions
Like it or not, palaeontology (and other scientific disciplines)
will have to become more commercial if they want to grow (or in some
cases just survive - the Monash Uni Palaeolab is apparently dangerously
under-funded here in Melbourne). I sent a (rather spurious, I know)
post recently criticising the mis-spelling of some of our Australian
dinosaurs (Leaellynasaura, Rhoetosaurus..) suggesting that simple
names like Minmi or Kakuru would be easier to spell (or at least
with less letters the probability of error decreases). Such names are
also easier for the general public to grasp.
I have no problem with the "place name"-raptors. Ozraptor is
a recent example. The name itself tells people where the fossils
were found (at least the first ones), and that they were two-legged
carnivores of some description. The names that we give extinct
creatures (or even living ones) don't change them in any way. A
tyrannosaurus did not go strutting about thinking of itself as a
tyrannt king. Scientific names are just abstract labels. Why not
give them labels that anyone can understand? A rose by any other
name, yadda yadda...
As for the "saurus" suffix: the term best translates as
"lizard-like slithering beast". Although most dinosaurs probably
didn't do much slithering, in some respects they were quite lizard-like.