How Dinosaurs Get their Names


Did you ever wonder how dinosaurs got their names? This is an explanation from

“How different types of dinosaurs are called can be tongue-twisting with the fairly long words. This peculiarity occurs largely because of the many elements that can be contained in the dinosaurs meaning of names. The general term “dinosaur,” in itself, is a name derived from two Greek words: “deinos” which translates to fearfully great or terrible in English and “sauros” which means lizard. The word dinosaur, therefore, simply denotes a “terrible lizard.”

The same mechanics went into the naming of the various kinds of dinosaurs. Some were so named to describe specific parts of their body that makes an individual distinct from its prehistoric kin. Others are named to describe specific characteristics or behaviors that set part a dinosaur from others in its species.

Still, some names may be descriptive of the size of the dinosaur or the locality where that species was found, which is why there are dinosaurs called Denversaurus and Utahsaurus. There are also dinosaurs named after the scientists (commonly, paleontologists) who unearthed or discovered the fossil remains of these animals. The Chassternbergia, for example, was named after its discoverer, Charles Sternberg.”

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