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Re: Albertaceratops (simpson's bi-annual b*tch about dino naming)

Nick Pharris wrote:

No, the final -us (Greek -os) or -a refers to the sex of the lizard, not of the honoree (actually, I'm not sure it even has to do with the sex of the lizard; my dictionary appears to indicate that _sauros_ and _saura_ are just alternative words for 'lizard').

Yet, certain names do end in -saura because the honoree is female. Such as _Gasparinisaura_ (after Zulma Gasparini), _Leallynasaura_ (after Leaellyn Rich), and _Maiasaura_, (after 'maia', Gk for 'good mother'). _Bonitasaura_ derives its name from the "La Bonita¡± fossil site, the name of which is feminine in gender. Very feminine, in fact. :-)

The same rationale was behind the name _Aviatyrannis_ (Avia = grandmother), in which -tyrannis was chosen instead of -tyrannus.

However, many ceratopsian names end in -ceratops even though the honoree is feminine (e.g., _Avaceratops_, _Auroraceratops_, and even "Medusaceratops"). I had though "ceratops" was masculine. But if what you say is true (and you know much more about such things than I do), there is no etymological requirement for the genders to match within a genus name. In other words, it's just a convention, adopted more for imaginative effect than proper Latinization.



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