What does the word "dinosaur" mean?
Credit: epSos .de CC-BY 2.0
Q:

What does the word "dinosaur" mean?

A:

Quick Answer

The word "dinosaur" is derived from Greek words; it loosely translates as "terrible lizard" from the root words "deinos," meaning "terrible" or "fearfully great," and "sauros," meaning "lizard" or "reptile." Sir Richard Owen, the man who created this taxon, intended the word "terrible" to imply something awe-inspiring and magnificent rather than something scary and terrifying.

  Know More

Full Answer

Another perhaps unintended consequence of Owen's name is the fact that it implies that dinosaurs are lizards, which they are not; they are reptiles. Owen, who formally granted the name in 1842, knew that dinosaurs were not lizards, but rather assumed that lizards and dinosaurs were somehow genetically linked.

Learn more about Dinosaurs

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What was the largest dinosaur ever?

    A:

    Most paleontologists believe that the Argentinosaurus was the largest dinosaur to have ever lived. It may have been the largest land animal to have ever existed.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is a herbivorous dinosaur?

    A:

    An herbivorous dinosaur is a dinosaur that only eats plants. The majority of dinosaur species were herbivores, including the brachiosaurus, stegosaurs, triceratops, astrodon, ankylosaurus and ornithopsis.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are some dinosaur facts?

    A:

    Birds evolved from dinosaurs, and some dinosaurs were warm-blooded. Mammals existed at the same time as dinosaurs, and most dinosaurs were vegetarian. Many dinosaurs had some form of intelligence as well.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the tallest dinosaur?

    A:

    The tallest dinosaur is the Brachiosaurus brancai, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. It was 43 feet 6 inches tall. This skeleton is on display at the Museum für Naturkunde der Humboldt Universität zu Berlin in Germany.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore