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Re: In Nomine Dinosauri (...et avis, et oviraptoris :-) )

----- Original Message -----
From: <NJPharris@aol.com>
To: <dinosaur@usc.edu>
Sent: Monday, March 12, 2001 6:06 PM
Subject: Re: In Nomine Dinosauri (...et avis, et oviraptoris :-) )

> In a message dated Sat, 10 Mar 2001  6:04:01 PM Eastern Standard Time,
"David Marjanovic" <david.marjanovic@gmx.at> writes:
> <<
> Interestingly, most higher animal taxa are neutral, and I don't have any
> idea why. For example, in the early 19th century, people did write
> Ichthyosauri and Plesiosauri, but all these have become -sauria, and I
> know how.
> >>
> My own guess is that these taxon names were originally construed as
adjectives modifying "animalia" ("animals"), which is neuter and plural.
> Examples:
> "[animalia] reptilia" ("crawling animals");
> "[animalia] chordata" ("corded animals");
> "[animalia] insecta" ("cut-into [segmented?] animals").
> You may also have noticed that most higher plant taxon names are feminine
plural (as if they modified "plantae" ["plants"]).
> --Nick P.

Sounds very plausible. You know, you have just answered quite an old
question... :-)