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Re: Shaochilong maortuensis: "Chilantaisaurus" no more...
> Shaochilong translates as "Shark tooth dragon", and thus is
> basically a Chinese translation of Carcharodontosaurus!
_Shaochilong_ is a brilliant name. The previous unofficial genus name (nomen
nudum) for _"Chiliantaisaurus" maortuensis_ (which, like Tom, I won't mention
here) has the exact same meaning as _Alxasaurus_.
Stop reading now if you don't wish to be bombarded by nomenclatural trivia ...
OK, you've been warned.
Apparently Stromer explicitly named _Carcharodontosaurus_ after the great white
shark (_Carcharodon_), due to similarities in tooth morphology. The word
*karkharos* (Gk) pops up in quite a few shark names, both living and fossil:
e.g., _Carcharodon_, _Carcharias_, _Carcharocles_ (= the extinct giant
'mega-toothed' shark). So I had assumed that *karkharos* meant 'shark'. But
having crossed paths with a few shark experts I learned that *karkharos*
actually means 'jagged' or 'ragged'. So the genus _Carcharodon_ literally
translates as "jagged tooth" or "ragged tooth".
Thus, although carcharodontosaurids are known as 'shark-toothed reptiles' or
'shark-toothed lizards', this is not the literal meaning of
_Carcharodontosaurus_. Following Stromer's intent, _Carcharodontosaurus_ means
"_Carcharodon_ [great white shark] lizard".