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From: Ben Creisler email@example.com
Here's what I posted about the name Oplosaurus on
Oplosaurus Gervais 1852 "armored lizard"
(for Gr. hoplon "weapon, shield" + Gr. sauros "lizard")
(m) The name is probably based on Mantell's earlier
speculation that the then-unnamed tooth might belong to a
Hylaeosaurus-type armored dinosaur; the tooth belongs to a
sauropod. [= ?Pelorosaurus]
Greek hoplon could mean a tool or a weapon. It also had
the more limited sense of a large shield. In scientific
nomenclature, hoplo- or oplo- is usually used to
mean "armor" or "weapon": Euoplocephalus,
Sorry--this word has NOTHING to do with "dweller." Greek
hoplites means "heavy-armed" or "heavily armed" and was
used as a substantive to mean a heavy-armed soldier--thus
its use in vertebrae paleontology for heavily armored
animals: Hoplitosaurus, Sauroplites, etc.
A note about dropping the "h" in Greek words--the sound
was indicated in Greek spelling by using an aspiration
mark in front of a vowel rather than by using an actual
written letter as in Latin. When the aspiration mark is
latinized it should become the letter "h." Note, however,
that when Greek words are combined, the "h" should drop
internally (thus Greek euoplos "well-armored" rather than
euhoplos) or should be assimilated to certain consonants
so that t became th, p became ph, etc. (ephoplizo "arm
against" from epi "against" + hoplizo "to arm"--I'll spare
the details for now). The upshot of all this is that Greek
lexicons DON'T have words listed under a letter "H"--
instead, they appear under the first vowel. Greek hoplon
appears under "o" (omicron), hydros ("water") under "y,"
Dropping the initial Greek "h" in scientific names is not
uncommon in scientific names, but can be a bit confusing.
I am continually astonished at the misreadings of the name
Elosaurus, proposed by Peterson and Gilmore for a juvenile
Apatosaurus, assumed to be a tiny type of adult sauropod.
The name clearly derives from Greek helos "marsh" as in
Elotherium "marsh beast, " another name for giant pig-like
Entelodon. Elosaurus means "marsh lizard" and is a pun on
O.C. Marsh's name--the specimen was found next to an adult
skeleton of Marsh's "Brontosaurus," then assumed to be a
swamp-dwelling dinosaur. Here's my entry from Dinosauria
Elosaurus Peterson & Gilmore 1902 "marsh lizard"
EL-o-SAWR-us ( for Gr. helos "marsh" (often spelled elo-
in zoological and botanical names) + Gr. sauros "lizard")
(m) a pun on the supposed "marshy" lifestyle of sauropods
and O.C. Marsh's name: the small specimen was found next
to a skeleton of Marsh's famous "Brontosaurus." [=