[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]
Re: Reiterating "Raptor"
RAPTOR means "stealer" < rapere "to steal", with a lot of later meanings,
like "to ravish, to kidnapp, to attack"
Greek LESTES (LEISTES) is Greek equivalent to Latin Raptor.
----- Original Message -----
From: Jaime A. Headden <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Friday, July 13, 2001 5:40 AM
Subject: Reiterating "Raptor"
> Tracy Ford replied to me, and here is my own response:
> The Latin _raptor_ is derived from _rapere_, which means to
> ravish, to rape, to snatch [as in taking something by force for
> the purposes of rape, etc., or to do "dastardly" things to it,
> e.g. Snidely Whiplash was a raptor]; the -or suffix is used to
> amend to a person or animal which does this. The connotation is
> given close to the sense of grasping something with talons,
> claws, and this is how it is applied to birds of prety, which
> lack grasping claws on the hand. But as predatory theropods lack
> talons on the feet, the grasping organ is the hand, and in this
> sense, they snatch with the hands. As the term is a technically
> the subject of a phrase, it requires an object: hence, ovi +
> raptor: snatcher [of] eggs OR egg snatcher.
> The use of the term to mean "robber, thief" is used by
> application, for technically one who snatches something away is
> a thief. However, the term _lestes_ (Greek) was used by Osborn
> in *Ornitholestes* and by Sues in *Saurornitholestes* to imply
> the true consideration of a thief, so it is likely that Osborn
> knew the distinction between the two terms.
> This is the proper use of the term _raptor_. It has been
> subsequently colloquialized to infer a small predator after
> extensive publication of the names *Velociraptor* and
> *Oviraptor*, even though the name *Rapator* had been published
> before [there is no Latin word or possible declination that
> results in *Rapator*, but it is likely to be considered a use of
> making a proper noun out of the word]. Names like *Eoraptor*,
> *Utahraptor*, *Bambiraptor*, and *Variraptor* are examples of
> this colloquial usage, but drift from the true form of the word.
> Thus, the popular image of the term "raptor" became applied to
> any dromaeosaur-like animal. *Bambiraptor* is a nonesense name,
> much as "momerathe" is, as the name is a "raptor" + a nickname,
> and literally means nothing. *Bambi* may have been a better
> choice, considering. It's unliklely the complete
> *Acrocanthosaurus* skull will ever receive the name
> *Franacanthus* or something like that. The name *Pyroraptor*, by
> contrast, is given as both in honor of an event (a post-forest
> fire discovery) and an allusion to mythology, in this case
> Prometheus: the Olympian fire-snatcher, the titan who snatched
> [stole] fire from Zeus, and is a double pun -- such names are
> wonderful, and *Pyroraptor* remains one of my most favorite
> dinosaur names.
> The continued use of the term "raptor" to refer to a small
> predator with a grasping manus is a persistent, probably
> ridiculous usage ... but it persists. We need to get back into
> the habit of using the etymological use, in the sense of the egg
> snatcher and the shell snatcher. Osborn named *Velociraptor*
> probably in the sense used at the beginning of this paragraph,
> but does not elaborate on why; a small, swift predator. His
> structure is, however, false, and leads one to suppose the name
> will ultimately be read as "snatcher of swift things" or we can
> hold a collective groan and think on how it will suddenly seem
> as if it means "swift bird of prey dinosaur"....
> Oh well.
> Jaime A. Headden
> Where the Wind Comes Sweeping Down the Pampas!!!!
> Do You Yahoo!?
> Get personalized email addresses from Yahoo! Mail