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Re: Virus (was Mesozoic Diseases)
There were also a few nouns in us that were feminine
in gender: I think elm tree was one,
hence the botanical binomial Ulmus americana.
All trees were feminine (because there were nymphs or dryads or something in
them) and are treated as such in botanical nomenclature.
WARNING: ending in us isn¹t a 100% guarantee that a noun is second
declension. I have already included in this post an example of a Latin
ending us in the nominative and accusative singular which is a THIRD
declension neuter (with a longer stem in the plural).
That is genus, stem gener- not just in the plural but in all cases except
nominative singular, accusative singular, and vocative singular. Other
examples are lepus, lepor- "hare", mus, mur- "mouse", and ius, iur- "1.
law/right, 2. soup/juice".
There is also a whole declension class where nouns end in -us but are
feminine. Examples: salus, salut- "hail", palus, palud- "swamp".