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Re: terminology



Hi Denver,

That's an interesting question indeed. Even more interesting that we
have the same problem in French. Until the 70's-80's, dinosaurs were
referred as 'dinosauriens' in French papers. Just like
'plésiosauriens', 'ichthyosauriens', ... This is not the case anymore,
being replaced by 'dinosaures', plésiosaures', or 'ichthyosaures'.

In my mind, we should have retained the old-fashioned spelling for it
is etymologically correct. Theoretically (but not practically):
*Tyrannosaurus* is gallicized as 'tyrannosaure'.
Tyrannosaur-oidea/-idae/-inae/-ini is gallicized
'tyrannosaur-oidéens/-idés/-inés/-iniens'
Tyrannosauria is gallicized as 'tyrannosauriens'

It should have been relatively similar in English. You just have to
replace 'e' by 'a' and 'é' by 'e'. DMLers who are more familiar with
early English taxonomists might correct me.

That said, the confusion between 'titanosaur = *Titanosaurus*' and
'titanosaur = Titanosauria' is indeed a major problem in science and
in popular science, where different concepts are sometimes mixed by
mistake. This is the same with plesiosaurs
(*Plesiosaurus*/Plesiosauria), ichthyosaurs
(*Ichthyosaurus*/Ichthyosauria), hadrosaurs
(*Hadrosaurus*/Hadrosauria), coelacanths
(*Coelacanthus*/*Latimeria*/Actinistia), and many others. The problem
is worsened by the existance of tricky names, such as... *Dinosaurus*.
Which is a dinocephalian therapsid (Upper Permian of the Russian
Platform), as the name do not imply. And don't forget *Archosaurus
rossicus*, the oldest archosauriform known to date (latest Permian of
the Russian Platform).

Hence:

Dinosaurian   =>  Dinosauria
Dinosaur        => *Dinosaurus*
Archosaurian =>  Archosauria
Archosaur      => *Archosaurus*

Funny, isn't it ? ;-)

And it is even funnier if you know that *Dinosaurus* (= *Brithopus*)
has a junior homonym which has been since renamed *Gresslyosaurus* (=
*Plateosaurus*)...

2011/1/18 Denver Fowler <df9465@yahoo.co.uk>:
> So here's a question for y'all.
>
>
> If Dinosauria are known as dinosaurs, are Titanosauria known as titanosaurs, 
> or
> titanosaurians? You can say "dinosaurians" if you like I guess... I'd like to 
> be
> technically correct (the best kind of correct).
>
> Thanks.
>
> D.
>
> ----------------------------------
> Denver Fowler
> df9465@yahoo.co.uk
> http://www.denverfowler.com
> -----------------------------------
-- 
Jocelyn Falconnet