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Re: Dinosaur FAQ #4

> Happy new year to everyone!  I've finally ploughed my way through the
> masses of accumulated dino-email that continued pouring in over the
> holiday period (don't you people have families to go to? :-)

Many of us, like me, are at home right now.

> For now, it's time to launch FAQ #4, which is as follows:
> Why do scientific descriptions of anatomical features use
> different words from everyday language?  Is it really any
> clearer to say ``pes'' instead of ``foot'', ``edentulous''
> instead of ``toothless'', etc?

I've often wondered about that. Sometimes it is probably that the
"scientific" word is better defined, or that people feel that "foot" cannot
be applied to e. g. an ichthyosaur, or simply the desire to keep a secret
language for insiders (this one is disappearing =8-) , especially in the
USA). Surely someone has a better idea?