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Re: Heterodontosaurid with protofeathers



Quoting "T. Michael Keesey" <keesey@gmail.com>:


I thought that was strange as well. ÂIn a similar vein, we have _Confuciusornis_ rather than _Confuciornis_. ÂI've wondered if when genera or species are erected that incorporate the names of revered historical or religious figures, then a conscious decision is made to keep the entire name intact, as a mark of respect. ÂAfter all, we also have _Lazarussuchus_, which was named after Lazarus, a biblical (New Testament) character.

I suspect that it has more to do with people seeing the whole name as a morpheme (i.e., discrete unit of language), since names generally are morphemes in isolating languages like English and (especially) Mandarin. Thus they fail to recognize the grammatical parts of the name, and assume they can just tack something on to the end. (A good test would be to see if people who speak fusional languages like German or Russian make this mistake less often.)

Well, maybe, but Spanish speakers (who ought to know about gender agreement) brought us _Panphagia protos_...


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Nicholas J. Pharris