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Re: Translation

Jean-Michel (aegyptiacus@aol.com) wrote:

<I jsut beagn reading Gaining Ground by Jennifer A Clck and I've been
surprised to see so many names ending the same way (like disnos). So
what's the meaning of the endings "erpeton" and "gyrinus" common to a lot
of early tetrapods.Thanks for your ansqers>

  I never got to comment on this book, which I purchased as soon as it
came out (evolution of tetrapods is an interest of mine) and I so loved
the book, essentially a super-paper. Anyways, _erpetos_ cometh from
_herpeton_, which when added behind another word, becomes _-erpeton_ and
means "crawler" in Greek; its a reference to reptiles, which at the time
it was used, included salamanders, and the name is now used in Herpetology
to refer to the study of snakes, lizards, gators and all amphibians, or
things that crawl. As for _gyrinus_, this is a Latin form of _gyrinos_
which means "tadpole," a fitting name for an amphib, so that
*Crassigyrinus* means "gross tadpole" even though its rather cute....


Jaime A. Headden

  Little steps are often the hardest to take.  We are too used to making leaps 
in the face of adversity, that a simple skip is so hard to do.  We should all 
learn to walk soft, walk small, see the world around us rather than zoom by it.

"Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969)

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