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Re: Ouranosaurus (but we saw a spinosaur?)

In a message dated 3/7/02 3:49:07 PM Eastern Standard Time, 
david.marjanovic@gmx.at writes:

<< > The original
 > arabic word for monitor lizard seems to be pronounced "warren" (as in a
 > rabbit's home), yet is spelled "Ouran".
 I don't know Arabic, but that's certainly not a very good transcription. >>

I knew those three years of Arabic in college would come in handy one day! 
Per my dictionary, the word is anglicized to "waran" (close enough to 
"warren" for me) and is followed by "varan (zool.)" which makes me wonder if 
this was adopted into Arabic from "varanus" for scientific reasons (there's 
no "v" in Arabic). And as you noted, a better transcription would have 
included an -a- if this is indeed the source.