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Re: [dinosaur] Latenivenatrix, new troodontid from Dinosaur Park Formation, Alberta (validity of Troodon)

Ben Creisler

Just to get a bit academic, latens (genitive latentis) is the present participle of the Latin verb lateo "hide, be concealed, lurk"





The combining  stem would be latent- (with a t) 

The "picky" spelling would be "Latentivenatrix"--but the three "t's" would sound a bit repetitive. 

I guess you could call Latenivenatrix an abritrary "euphonic" form. There are many examples of smoothed out spellings in Neo-Latin zoological names, with dropped syllables or letters to make shorter forms that are "easier" to pronounce.

Using "odo-" for "odonto-" or "po-" for "podo-" has been common:

Leidy's  Gryphodobatis for "Gryphodontobatis"

von Huene's Saltoposuchus for "Saltopodosuchus"


C. S. Rafinesque and Pterodactylus 

I've always been grateful that Rafinesque (1815) used the Latin spelling Pterodactylus for Cuvier's 1809 French spelling "ptero-dactyle." 

Pterodactylus Rafinesque, 1815 (ex Cuvier)" 

Rafinesque was a vigorous advocate for making zoological names more euphonic by dropping letters or syllables, thus he used "Hippotamus" for Hippopotamus. 

All his other names with Greek daktylos were arbitrarily contracted, resulting in misunderstood etymologies:

Diemictylus (from di- "two" + hemi- "half" + dactylus "toes") "two half toes" for the stub outer toes on the five-toed hind feet of a salamander (now Notophthalmus) 

Nectylus (from necto "swim" + dactylus "digits") "swimming fingers" for a crustacean

We could be using "Pteractylus" or "Pteroctylus"!

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On Wed, Aug 16, 2017 at 2:14 AM, David Marjanovic <david.marjanovic@gmx.at> wrote:
> Regarding the etymology section:
> Sigh. Let's think about this a second, folks - what do you suppose the stem of Latin *latens* 'latent, hidden' might be? Hint: it isn't *laten*...

This is how you can tell I haven't read the paper.