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Re: Specific names
In a message dated 10/14/99 3:22:40 PM Pacific Daylight Time,
> <(Apatosaurus) ajax>
> "The Ajax deceptive lizard"
> [here's a problem: Ajax was a Greek figure (there
> were actually two of them), with an emphasis on the
> Trojan War hero who fought Odysseus for the armor of
> Achilles upon that man's death, and essentially
> provides for the idea of a "superhero" or person of
> immense courage or strength -- hence the brandname
> bathroom cleaner; in this sense, it should be *A.
Or better, since this name really has a genitive case, A. ajacis (Latin) or
A. ajantos (Greek).
Then again, maybe the animal itself is the superhero.
> <(Compsognathus) longipes>
> "long-footed delicate jaw"
> What I'm having difficulty with is *C.
> corallestris*, which, as far as I can tell, means
> "delicate jaw from the coral [reef]."
Could be, as far as I know. The Solnhofen is a lagoon deposit, after all,
and _C. corallestris_ was thought to be aquatic when it was named.
> <(Cycnorhamphus) suevicus">
> "The Sueve swan beak [or snout]
The specific name refers to Swabia, in southwestern Germany, or to the
Suevi/Suebi, a Germanic tribe that lived there.
> <Asioryctes nemegetensis>
> ?? [from the Nemegt [Formation]] anyway
Assuming it has nothing to do with owls (_Asio_), it looks like "Asian digger
oryctes < Gk. orysso "I dig" (stem orych-)
> <Deltatheridium pretrituberculare tardum>
> "The late early third swelling Delta beast"
It gets worse: "slow before-three-swellings *little* delta beast"
-idium < Gk. -idion, diminutive suffix
> <Zalambdalestes lechi>
> "Lech's zalambda thief"
> _Zalambda_, from _za_ Gr., very + _lambda_ Gr., "L".
I think "Lech's zalambdodont thief" is more to the point. The zalambdodont
condition is one of those incomprehensible mammal-paleo concepts :-).
Nice translatin', Tex.