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Appropriate Dinosaur Taxonomy?

Matt Celeskey wrote:

<_Kakuru_, _Achelousaurus_, Erlikosaurus_, etc. Surely
these don't tell us much about the animals in
question. >

  Cultural or mythological (in these cases) are often
a gold mine of info for coneiving of a taxonomic name:
so I have to disagree with you here. *Kakuru* is named
after the mythic rainbow serpent of various aboriginal
myths, and refers to the opalized condition of the
type tibia. *Achelousaurus* is named from a de-horned
river deity that in turn refers to the ceratopid's
apparent transitional nature between a "horned"
centrosaur and a "boss-nosed" pachyrhinosaur.
*Erlikosaurus* comes from Erlik, an Assyrian king who
did the Orpheus thing, went into Hell to get his wife
out, but ended up sticking around, and became the
ruler, and so "king of the dead" is a descriptive
translation; however, other legends point to him being
resurrected from the earth (as the lord of the dead),
so it is semi-appropriate to suggest that the name
alludes to the discovery of a shocking,
extraordinarily peculiar dinosaur.

Jaime "James" A. Headden

"Come the path that leads us to our fortune."

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