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Re: Abberatiodontus (was Re: Horner and Goodwin on Triceratops)

Quoting Tim Williams <twilliams_alpha@hotmail.com>:

David Marjanovic wrote:

I just discovered Art. 29.4.2 which says we are not stuck with any of these examples, so as soon as someone publishes Aberratiodontidae, Gansuidae and Yandangornithidae, we can use those

That's a relief.

We are, however, almost certainly stuck with *Aberratiodontus*, which should be *Aberratidens* or something... or perhaps *Aberratodus* if we insist on having the tooth in Greek...

...the whole tooth, and nothing but the tooth. I can live with _Aberratiodontus_, given that there are plenty of zoological names that end in -dontus, e.g., _Heterodontus_ (shark), _Xiphodontus_ (beetle), and so on. Also, -dontus is a common suffix for conodont genera.

Yes, the *odontos* part is OK, Greekwise. If I remember correctly, it's actually an adjective, *X-odontos* meaning 'X-toothed, having X type of teeth', as opposed to *X-odon* or *X-odus*, which would be a nominal compound meaning literally 'X-tooth' (*odÓn* and *odóus* are Ionic and Attic dialect forms, respectively, of the Greek word for 'tooth'; the stem, in both dialects, is *odont-*).

Nick Pharris
Department of Linguistics
University of Michigan

"Creativity is the sudden cessation of stupidity."
    --Edwin H. Land