10 Awesome Dinosaur Names

Sunday, April 9, 2017

MANY LARGE words that are used every day are made up of small, pieces of words called roots or combining forms. The roots come from other languages like Greek and Latin and, when combined, form common English words. For instance, using the four roots:

tele-, from Greek meaning far

micro-, from Greek meaning small

scope, from Greek meaning to look, watch or see

phone, from Greek meaning sound

several common words can be made such as:

telephone, allows far-away sound to be heard

telescope, allows far away objects to be seen

microphone, allows small sounds to be heard

microscope, allows small objects to be seen

The names of dinosaurs are formed the same way. Although they often seem to be merely long strings of random letters designed by scientists specifically to be difficult to pronounce, the names of the animals are combinations of word roots that always describe something about the animal. For example, combining the following three roots:

tri-, from Latin meaning three

cerat-, from Greek meaning horn

-ops, from Greek meaning face gives the name for

Triceratops, a dinosaur with a three-horned face.

Another difficult sounding dinosaur name is Pachycephalosaurus. Broken down into its combining forms it means:

pachy-, from Greek meaning thick

cephalo-, from Greek meaning head

-saurus, from the Greek meaning lizard

This is not a comment on the animal's intelligence. It is a description of an animal with a projection on the upper part of the skull making the head look thicker than normal.

Dinosaur names can also describe where the animal was first discovered:

Albertosaurus was discovered in the province of Alberta, Canada

Bactrosaurus was discovered in Bactria, Mongolia

Other dinosaur names honor the person who was instrumental in the discovery:

Lambeosaurus was named for Lawrence Lambe, a paleontologist with the Geological Survey of Canada.

Diplodocus carnegii was named for Andrew Carnegie who financed the expedition for its discovery.

Sinraptor – “Chinese thief”

Sinraptor dongi by cheungchungtat

Sinraptor is a genus of theropod dinosaur from the Late Jurassic. The name Sinraptor comes from the Latin prefix “Sino”, meaning Chinese, and “Raptor” meaning thief. The specific name dongi honours Dong Zhiming. Despite its name, Sinraptor is not related to dromaeosaurids (often nicknamed “raptors”) like Velociraptor.

Gigantoraptor – “Giant thief”

Gigantoraptor vs Alectrosaurus by Dimitri Bogdanov

Gigantoraptor is a genus of giant oviraptorosaurian theropod dinosaur.

It was clear to Xu et al. that Gigantoraptor belonged to the Oviraptorosauria, a group named after Oviraptor, but compared to other known members, Gigantoraptor was much larger, approximately three times as long and 35 times more massive than the heaviest earlier discovered oviraptorosaurid Citipati. Xu et al. estimated the length at 8 metres (26 ft) and the weight at 1400 kilogrammes. In 2010, Gregory S. Paul even gave an estimate of two tonnes (2.2 tons).

Afrovenator – “African hunter”

Afrovenator by atrox1

Afrovenator is a genus of megalosaurid theropod dinosaur from the middle Jurassic Period of northern Africa. It was a bipedal predator, with three claws on each hand.

The generic name comes from the Latin afer, “African”, and venator, “hunter”. There is one named species, Afrovenator abakensis. The generic name refers to its predatory nature, and its provenance from Africa. The specific name refers to Abaka, the Tuareg name for the region of Niger where the fossil was found.

Austroraptor – “Southern thief”

Austroraptor by PaleoGuy

Austroraptor is a genus of dromaeosaurid dinosaur that lived about 70 million years ago during the Cretaceous Period in what is now modern Argentina. Austroraptor was a medium sized, moderately-built, ground-dwelling, bipedal carnivore, that could grow up to 5 m (16.4 ft) long. Its length makes Austroraptor one of the largest dromaeosaurids known, with only AchillobatorDakotaraptor, and Utahraptor approaching or surpassing it in length. It is the largest dromaeosaur to be discovered in the Southern Hemisphere. Particularly notable about the taxon were its relatively short forearms, much shorter in proportion when compared to the majority of the members of its group.

Skorpiovenator – “Scorpion hunter”

Skorpiovenator | Planet Dinosaur

Skorpiovenator is a genus of abelisaurid theropod dinosaur from the late Cretaceous period of Argentina.

Skorpiovenator was estimated to have grown up to 6 m (19.7 ft) in length. In 2010, Gregory S. Paul gave larger estimations of 7.5 m (24.6 ft) and 1.67 tonnes (1.84 short tons). In 2016, a similar size to the original estimate at 6.2 m (20.3 ft) was estimated. It had short, stubby, near-useless arms, but strong legs with powerful thighs and sturdy shins over which its large body was balanced.

Raptorex – “King of thieves”

Raptorex kriegsteni by Teratophoneus

Raptorex is a dubiousgenus of tyrannosaurid dinosaur. Its fossil remains consist of a single juvenile specimen probably uncovered in Mongolia, or possibly northeastern China. The type species is R. kriegsteini, described in 2009 by Sereno and colleagues. The genus name is derived from Latinraptor, “robber”, and rex, “king”. The specific name honours Roman Kriegstein, a survivor of the Holocaust, whose son Henry Kriegstein donated the specimen to the University of Chicago for scientific study.

Sauroposeidon – “Lizard earthquake god”

Sauroposeidon by Prehistoric Wildlife

Sauroposeidon (meaning “earthquake god lizard”, after the Greek god Poseidon) is a genus of sauropod dinosaur known from several incomplete specimens including a bone bed and fossilized track ways that have been found in the American states of Oklahoma, Wyoming, and Texas. The fossils were found in rocks dating from near the end of the Early Cretaceous (Aptian–early Albian), a time when sauropod diversity in North America had greatly diminished. It was the last known North American sauropod prior to an absence of the group on the continent of roughly 40 million years that ended with the appearance of Alamosaurus during the Maastrichtian.

Lythronax argestes – “Gore king of the Southwest”

Reconstruction of the skull of Lythronax argestes. Illustration: Lukas Panzarin

Lythronax is a genus of tyrannosaurid theropod dinosaur that lived around 80.6 to 79.9 million years ago in what is now southern Utah, USA. The generic name is derived from the Greek words lythron meaning “gore” and anax meaning “king”. Lythronax was a large sized, moderately-built, ground-dwelling, bipedal carnivore that could grow up to an estimated 8 m (26.2 ft) in length and weighed 2.5 tonnes (5,500 lb).

L. argestes is the oldest known tyrannosaurid, based on its stratigraphic position. It is known from a specimen thought to be from a single adult that consists of a mostly complete skull, both pubic bones, a tibia, fibula, and metatarsal II and IV from the left hindlimb, as well as an assortment of other bones. Its skull anatomy indicates that, like TyrannosaurusLythronax had both eyes facing the front, giving it depth perception.

Teratophoneus – “Monster murderer”

Teratophoneus and Kosmoceratops by atrox1

Teratophoneus is a genus of carnivorous tyrannosaurid theropod dinosaur which lived during the late Cretaceous period (late Campanian age, about 77 to 76 million years ago) in what is now Utah, United States. It is known from an incomplete skull and postcranial skeleton recovered from the Kaiparowits Formation. The Teratophoneus or “monstrous murderer” (Greek: teras, “monster” and phoneus, “murderer”) was specifically named T. curriei in honor of Philip J. Currie.

Colepiocephale – “Knuckle head”

Colepiocephale by Prehistoric Wildlife

Colepiocephale is a genus of pachycephalosaurid dinosaur from Late Cretaceous (middle Campanian stage) deposits of Alberta, Canada. It was collected from the Foremost Formation (middle Campanian, 80-77.5 ma). The type species, C. lambei, was originally described by Sternberg (in 1945 as Stegoceras lambei), and later renamed by Sullivan in 2003. C. lambeiis a domed pachycephalosaur characterized principally by the lack of a lateral and posteriosquamosal shelf, a steeply down-turned parietal, and the presence of two incipient nodes tucked under the posterior margin of the parietosquamosal border.

Source: www.imgur.com