List of commonly used taxonomic affixes

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This is a list of common affixes used when scientifically naming species, particularly extinct species for whom only their scientific names are used, along with their derivations.

  • -acanth, acantho-: Pronunciation: /eɪkænɵ/, /eɪkænɵoʊ/. Origin: Ancient Greek άκάνθά (akantha). Meaning: spine.
Examples: Acanthodes ("spiny base"); Acanthostega ("spine roof"); coelacanth ("hollow spine")
  • arch-, archi-, archo-, -archus: Pronunciation: /ark/, /arkoʊ/, /arkɪ/, /arkəs/. Origin: Ancient Greek άρχος (archos), meaning: ruler; άρχικος (archikos), meaning: ruling. Used for exceptionally large or widespread animals.
Examples: Archelon ("ruling turtle"); Architeuthis ("ruling squid"); Archosaur ("ruling lizard"); Andrewsarchus ("Andrews's ruler")
  • archaeo-: Pronunciation: /arkiːɒ/, /arkiːoʊ/ . Origin: Ancient Greek άρχάίος (archaios). Meaning: ancient. Used for early versions of animals and plants.
Examples: Archaeopteryx ("ancient wing"); Archaeoindris ("ancient Indri"); Archaeopteris ("ancient fern")
  • arthro-: /arθroʊ/. Origin: Ancient Greek ἄρθρον (arthron). Meaning: Joint. Often used for animals with exoskeletons.
Examples: Arthrospira ("jointed coil"); Arthropleura ("jointed rib"); arthropod ("jointed foot")
  • -avis: Pronunciation: /əvɪs/. Origin: Latin Avis. Meaning: Bird.
Examples: Protoavis ("first bird"); Argentavis ("Argentine bird"); Eoalulavis ("little-winged dawn bird")
  • brachi-, brachy-: pronunciation: /brækiː/. Origin: Ancient Greek βράχυς, βράχιων (brachys, brachion). Meaning: short, and the short part of the arm, or upper arm, respectively. Used in its original meaning, and also to mean "arm".
Examples: Brachylophosaurus ("short-crested lizard"); Brachiosaurus ("arm lizard"); Brachyceratops ("short-horned face")
  • bronto-: Pronunciation: /brɒntoʊ/. Origin: Ancient Greek βροντη (bront'e). Meaning: thunder. Used for large animals.
Examples: Brontosaurus ("thunder lizard"), Brontotherium ("thunder beast"), Brontoscorpio ("thunder scorpion")
  • -canth, cantho-: see -acanth, acantho-
  • -cephalus, cephalo-, -cephale, -cephalian: Pronunciation: /sɛfələs/, /sɛfəloʊ̯/, /sɛfəli:/ /sɛfeɪliːən/. Origin: Ancient Greek κεφαλή (kephalē). Meaning: head.
Examples: Euoplocephalus ("well-protected head"), Pachycephalosaurus ("thick headed lizard"), Amtocephale ("Amtgai head"); Therocephalian ("beast-headed")
  • -ceras, cerat-: Pronunciation: /sɛrəs/, /sɛrət/. Origin: Ancient Greek κέράs, κέράτός (keras, keratos). Meaning: horn, of the horn, respectively. Used for many horned animals, but most notably ceratopsians.
Examples: Triceratops ("three horned face"), Orthoceras ("straight horn") Megaloceras ("big horn")
  • cetio-, -cetus: Pronuncuation: /sɛtiːoʊ/, /siːtəs/. Origin: Ancient Greek κῆτος (Ketos). Meaning: sea monster. The suffix "-cetus" is used for whales or whale ancestors, while the prefix "cetio-" is used for whale-like or large animals.
Examples: Cetiosaurus ("whale lizard"); Ambulocetus ("walking whale"); Pakicetus ("Pakistan whale").
  • -cheirus: Pronunciation: /kaɪrəs/. Origin: χέιρός (cheiros). Meaning: hand.
Examples: Deinocheirus ("terrible hand"); Ornithocheirus ("bird hand"); Austrocheirus ("southern hand")
  • chloro-: Pronunciation: /kloroʊ/. Origin: Ancient Greek χλωρός (khlōrós). Meaning": green.
Examples: Chlorophyta ("green plant")
  • coel-: Pronunciation: /siːl/ or /sɛl/ . Origin: Ancient Greek κοῖλος (koilos). Meaning: hollow.
Examples: coelacanth ("hollow spine"); Coelodonta ("hollow tooth"); Coelophysis ("hollow form")
  • cyclo-: Pronunciation: /saɪkləʊ/ (or /saɪklɒ/). Origin: Ancient Greek κύκλος (kúklos). Meaning: circle.
Examples: Cyclomedusa ("circle Medusa"); Cyclostomata ("circle mouth")
  • cyn-, -cyon: Pronunciation: /saɪn/, /saɪɒn/. Origin: Ancient Greek κυων (kuon). Meaning: dog. Used for dogs or dog-like creatures.
Cynodont ("dog tooth"); Cynopterus ("dog wing"); Arctocyon ("bear dog")
  • -dactyl, -dactylus: Pronunciation: /dæktəl/, /dæktələs/. Origin: Ancient Greek δάκτυλος (daktylos). Meaning: finger, toe.
Examples: artiodactyl ("even toe"); Pterodactylus ("wing finger"); perissodactyl ("uneven toe")
  • -derm: Pronunciation: /dɜrm/. Origin: Ancient Greek δερμά (derma). Meaning: animal hide. Used for skin.
Examples: placoderm ("plated skin"); echinoderm ("hedgehog skin"); ostracoderm ("shell skin")
  • deino-: See dino-, deino-.
  • dendro-, -dendron, -dendrum: Pronunciation: /dɛn.dɹoʊ/, /ˈdɛndɹən/, /dɛndɹəm/. Origin: Ancient Greek δένδρον (dendron). Meaning: tree.
Examples: Rhododendron ("rose tree"); Liriodendron ("lily tree"); Dendrocnide ("tree nettle"); Epidendrum ("above tree")
  • di-: Pronunciation: /daɪ/. Origin: Ancient Greek δίς (dis). Meaning: twice. Used to indicate two of something.
Examples: Dilophosaurus ("twice crested lizard"); Diceratops ("two-horned face") diapsid ("two arches")
  • dino-, deino-: Pronunciation: /daɪnoʊ/. Origin: Ancient Greek δεινος (deinos). Meaning: "terrible", "formidable". Used for presumably fearfully large or dangerous animals or animal parts.
Examples: dinosaur ("terrible lizard"), Dinofelis ("terrible cat"), Deinonychus ("terrible claw"), Deinocheirus ("terrible hand")
  • diplo-: Pronunciation: /dɪploʊ/, /dɪplo/. Origin: Ancient Greek διπλόος, διπλοῦς (diplóos, diploûs). Meaning: double.
Examples: Diplodocus ("double beam"); Diplopoda ("double feet"); Diplomonad ("double unit")
  • -don, -dont, -donto-: See -odon, -odont, -odonto-.
  • dromeo-, -dromeus: Pronunciation: /droʊmɪoʊ/, /droʊmɪəs/ Origin: Ancient Greek δρωμάιος (dromaios). Meaning: runner.
Examples: Dromeosaurus ("runner lizard"); Kulindadromeus ("Kulinda runner"); Thalassodromeus ("sea runner")
  • eo-: Pronunciation: /iːoʊ̯/. Origin: Ancient Greek Eός (Eos). Meaning: dawn. Used for very early appearances of animals in the fossil record.
Examples: Eohippus ("dawn horse"); Eomaia ("dawn mother"); Eoraptor ("dawn seizer")
  • -erpeton: Pronunciation: /ɜrpətɒn/. Origin: Ancient Greek ὲρπετον (herpeton). Meaning: reptile (literally, "creeping thing"); used for amphibians.
Examples: Hynerpeton ("Hyner creeper"); Greererpeton ("Greer creeper"); Arizonerpeton ("Arizona creeper")
  • eu-: Pronunciation: /iːu̟/. Origin: Ancient Greek εύ (eu). Meaning: "good", "well"; also extended via New Latin to mean "true". Used in a variety of ways, often to indicate well-preserved specimens, well-developed bones, "truer" examples of fossil forms, or simply admiration on the part of the discoverer.
Examples: Euparkeria ("Parker's good [animal]") Euhelopus ("good marsh foot") Eustreptospondylus ("true Streptospondylus")
  • -felis: Pronunciation: /fiːlis/. Origin: Latin felis, feles. Meaning: cat. "Felis" alone is the genus name for the group that includes the domestic cat.
Examples: Dinofelis ("terrible cat"); Pardofelis ("leopard cat"); Profelis ("before cat")
  • -form, -formes: Pronunciation: /foʊrm/, /foʊrms/. Origin: Latin forma. Meaning: shape, form. Used for large groups of animals that share similar characteristics.
Examples: galliformes ("chicken form"); anseriformes ("goose form"); Squaliformes ("shark form")
  • giga-, giganto-: Pronunciation: /ɡiɡaː/, /d͡ʒaɪgæntoʊ/. Origin: Ancient Greek γίγας, γίγαντίς (gígas, gigantis). Meaning: giant, of a giant, respectively. Used for large species.
Examples: Giganotosaurus ("giant southern lizard"); Gigantopithecus ("giant ape"); Gigantoraptor ("giant seizer")
  • -gnath-, gnatho-, -gnathus: Pronunciation: /neɪθ/, /neɪθoʊ/, /neɪθəs/ (or /gneɪθəs/). Origin: Ancient Greek γνάθος (gnathos). Meaning: jaw.
Examples: Caenagnathasia ("recent Asian jaw"); gnathostoma ("jaw mouth"); Compsognathus ("elegant jaw")
  • hemi-: Pronunciation: /hɛmi/. Origin: Ancient Greek ἡμι- (hēmi-). Meaning: half.
Examples: Hemicyon ("half-dog"); hemichordate ("half-chordate"); Hemiptera ("half-wing")
  • hyl-, hylo-: Pronunciation: /haɪl/, /haɪloʊ/ (or /haɪlɒ/). Origin: Ancient Greek ὕλη ("húlē"). Meaning: wood, forest.
Examples: Hylonomus ("forest dweller"); Hylobates ("forest walker"); Hylarana ("forest frog")
  • -ia: Pronunciation: /iːə/. Origin: Ancient Greek -ια, -εια (-ia, -eia). Meaning: an abstraction usually used as an honorific for a person or place.
Examples: Dickinsonia ("for Dickinson"); Cooksonia ("for Cookson"); Coloradia ("for Colorado")
  • ichthyo-, -ichthys: Pronunciation: /ɪkθioʊs/, /ɪkθis/. Origin: Ancient Greek ίχθυς (ichthus). Meaning: fish. The suffix "-ichthys" is used for fish, while the prefix "ichthyo-", while used for fish, is also used for fish-like creatures.
Examples: Ichthyosaurus ("fish lizard"); Leedsichthys ("Leeds's fish"); Haikouichthys ("Haikou fish")
  • -lania, Pronunciation: /læniːə/, Origin: Ancient Greek /ᾑλαίvω/ (elaino): Meaning: wanderer. Used for animals that are found in most places around continents.
Examples: Meiolania ("weak wanderer"); Megalania ("great wanderer")
  • lepido-: Pronunciation: /lɛpɪdoʊ/ (or /lɛpɪdɒ/). Origin: Ancient Greek λεπίς (lepís). Meaning: scaled, scaly.
Examples: Lepidosauria ("scaled lizards"); Lepidoptera ("scaled wing"); Lepidodendron ("scaled tree")
  • -lestes: Pronunciation: /lɛstiːz/. Origin: Ancient Greek λῃστής (lestes). Meaning: robber.
Examples: Carpolestes ("fruit robber"); Ornitholestes ("bird robber"); Sarcolestes ("flesh robber")
  • long: Pronunciation: /lʊng/. Origin: Mandarin long (龙/龍). Meaning: dragon. Used for dinosaur finds in China
Examples: Mei long ("sleeping dragon"); Bolong ("small dragon"); Zuolong ("Zuo's dragon")
  • -lopho-, -lophus: Pronunciation: /lɒfoʊ/, /ləfəs/. Origin: Ancient Greek λοφος (lophos). Meaning: A bird's crest. Used for animals with crests on their heads.
Examples: Dilophosaurus ("two-crested lizard"); Brachylophosaurus ("short-crested lizard"); Saurolophus ("lizard crest")
  • macro-: Pronunciation: /mækroʊ/. Origin: Ancient Greek μάκρος (makros). Meaning: (correctly) long; (usually) large.
Examples: macropod ("big foot"); Macrodontophion ("big tooth snake"); Macrogryphosaurus ("big enigmatic lizard")
  • -maia, maia-: Pronunciation: /maɪɑː/ Origin: Ancient Greek Μαια (Maia). Meaning: Originally the mother of Hermes. Used to indicate maternal roles.
Examples: Maiasaura ("mother lizard"); Eomaia ("dawn mother"); Juramaia (Jurassic mother")
  • mega-, megalo-: Pronunciation: /mɛga/, /mɛgaloʊ̯/. Origin: Ancient Greek μεγάς, μεγάλή (megas, megal'e). Meaning: big.
Examples: Megarachne ("big spider"); Megalosaurus ("big lizard"); Megalodon ("big tooth")
  • micro-: Pronunciation: /maɪkroʊ̯/. Origin: Ancient Greek μικρός (micros). Meaning: "small".
Examples: Microraptor ("small seizer") Microvenator ("small hunter"); Microceratops ("small horned face")
  • mimo-, -mimus: /maɪmoʊ̯/, /maɪməs/. Origin: Latin mimus. Meaning: actor. Used for creatures that resemble others.
Examples: Struthiomimus; ("ostrich mimic"); Ornithomimus ("bird mimic"); Gallimimus ("chicken mimic"); ornithomimosaur ("bird mimic lizard")
  • -monas, -monad: Pronunciation: /moʊnas/, /monas/, /moʊnad/, /monad/. Origin: Ancient Greek μονάς (monás). Meaning: unit. Used for single-celled organisms (mainly protists).
Examples: Chlamydomonas ("cloak unit"); Pseudomonas ("false unit"); Metamonad ("encompassing unit")
  • -morph: Pronunciation: /moʊrf/. Origin: Ancient Greek μορφη (morph'e). Meaning: form, shape. Used for large groups of animals which share a common genetic lineage
Examples: crocodylomorphs ("crocodile form"); sauropodomorphs ("sauropod form"); Muscomorpha ("fly form")
  • -nych, nycho-, -nyx: see -onych, onycho-, -onyx
  • -odon, -odont, -odonto-: Pronunciation: /oʊdɒn/, /oʊdɒnt/, /oʊdɒntoʊ/. Origin: Ancient Greek οδων, οδωντις (odon, odontis). Meaning: tooth.
Examples: Dimetrodon ("two-measure tooth"), cynodont ("dog tooth") Carcharodontosaurus ("serrated tooth lizard")
  • -oides, -odes: Pronunciation: /oiːdiːz/, /oʊːdiːz/. Origin: Ancient Greek εἶδος (eidos). Meaning: likeness. Used for species that resemble other species.
Examples: Hypocnemoides ("like Hypocnemis"); Aetobarbakinoides ("like the long-legged buzzard"); Callianthemoides ("like Callianthemum"); Argyrodes ("like silver")
  • onycho-, -onychus, -onyx: /ɒnikoʊ/, /ɒnikəs/ (or /ɒnaɪkoʊ/, ɒnaɪkəs/), /ɒniks/. Origin: Ancient Greek ονυξ (onux). Meaning: claw.
Examples: Deinonychus ("terrible claw"); Euronychodon ("European claw tooth"); Nothronychus ("sloth claw"), Baryonyx ("heavy claw")
  • -ops: Pronunciation: /ɒps/. Origin: Ancient Greek οψις (opsis). Meaning: face.
Examples: Triceratops ("three-horned face"); Moschops ("calf face"); Spinops ("spine face")
  • -ornis, ornith-, ornitho-: Pronunciation: /oʊ̯rnɪs/, /oʊ̯rnɪθ/, /oʊ̯rnɪθoʊ̯/. Origin: Ancient Greek ορνις, ορνιθος (ornis, ornithos). Meaning: bird, of a bird respectively. "ornith-" and "ornitho-" are generally used for animals with birdlike characteristics; the suffix "-ornis" is generally applied to fossil bird species.
Examples: ornithischian ("bird-hipped"); Ornithocheirus ("bird-hand"); Eoconfuciusornis ("Confucius's dawn bird")
  • pachy-: Pronunciation: /pæki/ Origin: Ancient Greek πάχυς (pachus). Meaning: thick.
Examples: Pachycephalosaurus ("thick-headed lizard"); Pachylemur ("thick lemur"); Pachyuromys ("thick tailed mouse")
  • para-: Pronunciation: /pærɑː/ Origin: Latin para. Meaning: near. Used for species that resemble previously named species.
Examples: Paranthodon ("near Anthodon"); Pararhabdodon ("near Rhabdodon"); Parasaurolophus ("near Saurolophus)"
  • -pithecus: Pronunciation: /piθəkəs/. Origin: Ancient Greek πιθηκος (pithekos). Meaning: ape.
Examples: Australopithecus ("southern ape"); Ardipithecus ("floor ape"); Gigantopithecus ("giant ape")
  • platy-: Pronunciation: /ˈplætɪ/. Origin: Ancient Greek πλατύς (platús). Meaning: flat. Used for creatures that are flat or have flat parts.
Examples: Platyhelminthes ("flat worm"); Platybelodon ("flat spear-tusk"); Platycodon ("flat bell")
  • plesio-, plesi-: Pronunciation: /pliːziːoʊ/, /pliːz/ (or pliːʒ/). Origin: Ancient Greek πλησιον (plesion). Meaning: near. Used for species that bear similarities to other species.
Examples: Plesiosaurus ("near lizard"); Plesiorycteropus ("near aardvark"); Plesiobaena ("near Baena"); Plesiadapis ("near Adapis")
  • -pod, podo-, -pus: Pronunciation: /pɒd/, /pɒdoʊ/, /pʊs/. Origin: Ancient Greek πους, ροδος (pous, podos). Meaning: foot, of the foot, respectively.
Examples: Ornithopod ("bird foot"); Brachypodosaurus ("short footed lizard"); Moropus ("slow foot")
  • pro-, protero-: pronunciation: /proʊ̯/, /proʊ̯tεroʊ̯/. Origin: Ancient Greek προ, προτέρος (pro, proteros). Meaning: before. Usually used for ancestral forms.
Proterosuchus ("before crocodile"); Procompsognathus ("before elegant jaw"); Prosaurolophus ("before lizard crest")
  • proto-: Pronunciation: /proʊtoʊ/. Origin: Ancient Greek ππρὠτος (protos). Meaning: first. Used for early appearances in the fossil record.
Examples: Protoceratops ("first horned face"); Protognathosaurus ("first jaw lizard"); Protohadros ("first hadrosaur")
  • psittaco-, -psitta: Pronunciation: /sitɑːkoʊ/, /psitə/. Origin: Ancient Greek Ψιττακος (psittakos). Meaning: parrot. "Psittaco-" is used for parrot-like creatures, while the suffix "psitta" is used for parrots.
Examples: Psittacosaurus ("parrot lizard"); Cyclopsitta ("Cyclops parrot"); Xenopsitta ("strange parrot").
  • pter-, ptero-, -pterus, pteryg-, -ptera, -pteryx. Pronunciation: /ter/, /teroʊ/, /pterəs/, /terɪg/, /pterɪx/. Origin: Ancient Greek πτέρὺξ, πτέρῠγος (pterux, pterugos). Meaning: wing, of a wing, respectively. Used for many winged creatures, but also expanded to mean "fin", and used for many undersea arthropods.
Examples: Pteranodon ("toothless wing"); Pterodactylus ("wing finger"); Eurypterus ("wide wing" or fin); Pterygotus ("winged" or finned); Coleoptera ("sheathed wing"); Archaeopteryx ("ancient wing")
-pus: see: -pod, -podo-, -pus.
  • -raptor, raptor-: Pronunciation: /ræptər/. Origin: Latin raptor. Meaning: "seizer, stealer". Frequently used for dromeosaurids or similar animals. The term "raptor" by itself may also be used for a dromeosaurid, a Velociraptor, or originally, a bird of prey.
Examples: Velociraptor ("swift seizer"); Utahraptor ("Utah seizer"); Raptorex ("seizer king")
  • -rex: Pronunciation: /rεks/. Origin: Latin rex. Meaning: king. Often used for large or impressive animals.
Examples: Raptorex ("seizer king"); Dracorex ("dragon king"); Tyrannosaurus rex ("monarch lizard king")
  • -rhina, rhino-, -rhinus: Pronunciation: /raɪnə/ /raɪnoʊ̯/, /raɪnəs/. Origin: Ancient Greek ῥινά (hrina). Meaning: "of the nose".
Examples: Altirhinus ("high nose"); Pachyrhinosaurus ("thick-nosed lizard"); Lycorhinus ("wolf nose"); Arrhinoceratops ("noseless horned face"); Cretoxyrhina ("Cretaceous sharp nose")
  • rhodo-: Pronunciation: /roʊdoʊ/, /rodoʊ/. Origin: Ancient Greek ῥόδον (rhódon). Meaning: "rose". Used for red-colored organisms.
Examples: Rhododendron ("rose tree"); Rhodophyta ("rose plant"); Rhodomonas ("rose unit")
  • -rhynchus: Pronunciation: /rɪnkəs/. Origin: Ancient Greek ρυγχος (rhynchos). Meaning: "beak", "snout".
Examples: Rhamphorhynchus ("prow beak"); Aspidorhynchus ( "shield snout"); Ornithorhynchus ("bird beak")
  • sarco-: Pronunciation: /sɑːrkʊ/. Origin: Greek σάρξ (sarx). Meaning: flesh. Used for flesh-eating animals or animals and plants with fleshy parts
Examples: Sarcophilus ("flesh-loving"); Sarcopterygii ("fleshy fin"); Sarcosuchus ("flesh crocodile")
  • saur, sauro-, -saurus: Pronunciation: /sɔər/, /sɔəroʊ/, /sɔərəs/. Origin: Ancient Greek σάυρός (sauros). Meaning: lizard. Used for dinosaurs and other extinct reptiles.
Examples: Dinosaur ("terrible lizard") Mososaur ("Meuse lizard"), Tyrannosaurus ("king lizard"), Allosaurus ("different lizard") Sauroposeidon ("Poseidon lizard")
  • smilo-, -smilus: Pronunciation: /smaɪloʊ/, /smaɪləs/. Origin: Ancient Greek σμίλη (smil'e). Meaning: a carving knife or chisel. Used for animals with sabre teeth.
Examples: Smilodon ("knife tooth"); Smilosuchus ("knife crocodile"); Thylacosmilus ("pouched knife"); Xenosmilus ("strange knife")
  • -spondylus: Pronunciation: /spɒndələs/. Origin: Ancient Greek σφονδυλος (sphondulos). Meaning: vertebra.
Examples:Streptospondylus ("backwards vertebra"); Massospondylus ("longer vertebra"); Bothriospondylus ("excavated vertebra")
  • squali-, squalo-: Pronunciation: /skweɪlɪ/, /skweɪloʊ/ . Origin: Latin squalus. Meaning: a kind of sea fish. Used for shark like creatures.
Examples:Squalodon ("shark tooth") Squaliformes ("shark form"); Squalicorax ("shark raven") Squalomorphii ("shark shape")
  • stego-, -stega: Pronunciation: /stɛgoʊ/, /stɛgə/. Origin: Ancient Greek στέγη (steg'e). Meaning: roof. Used for armoured or plated animals.
Examples: Stegosaurus ("roofed lizard"); Ichthyostega ("roofed fish"); Acanthostega ("spine roof")
  • strepto-: Pronunciation: /streptoʊ/, /strepto/. Origin: Ancient Greek στρεπτός (streptós). Meaning: twisted, bent.
Examples: Streptophyta ("bent plant"); Streptococcus ("twisted granule"); Streptospondylus ("twisted vertebra")
  • -stoma, -stome, -stomus: Pronunciation: /stoʊma/, /stoʊm/, /stoʊməs/. Origin: Ancient Greek στωμά (stoma). Meaning: mouth.
Examples: deuterostome (second mouth); Gnathostoma ("jaw mouth") Anastomus ("on mouth")
  • sucho-, -suchus: Pronunciation: /sjuːkoʊ/, /sjuːkəs/. Origin: Ancient Greek σουχοος (souchos). Meaning:: Originally the Ancient Greek name for the Ancient Egyptian crocodile-headed god, Sobek. Used to denote crocodilians or crocodile-like animals.
Examples: Deinosuchus ("terrible crocodile") Anatosuchus ("duck crocodile"), Suchomimus ("crocodile mimic")
  • -teuthis: Pronunciation: /tjuːθɪs/. Origin: Ancient Greek τεύθις (teuthis). Meaning: squid. Used for squids and similar cephalopods.
Examples: Gonioteuthis ("narrow squid") Architeuthis ("ruling squid") Vampyroteuthis ("vampire squid")
  • thero-, -therium. Pronunciation: /θɛroʊ/, /θiːrɪəm/. Origin: Ancient Greek θερ, θέρίόν. Meaning: beast. Used for supposedly monstrous animals. The suffix "-therium" is often used to denote extinct mammals.
Examples: theropod ("beast foot"), Megatherium ("big beast") Brontotherium ("thunder beast")
  • thylac-: Pronunciation: /θaɪlæk/. Origin: Ancient Greek θύλᾰκος (thulakos). Meaning: a sack. In the sense of "pouch", used for marsupials.
Examples: Thylacine ("pouched one"); Thylacoleo ("pouched lion"); Thylacosmilus ("pouched knife")
  • tri-: Pronunciation: /traɪ/. Origin: Ancient Greek τρία (tria). Meaning: three.
Examples: Triceratops ("three-horned face"); Triconodon ("three coned teeth"); trilobite ("three lobes")
  • titano-, -titan: Pronunciation: /taɪtænoʊ/, /taɪtən/. Origin: Ancient Greek Τιτάν, Τιτάνος (Titan, Titanos). Meaning: Titan, of the Titan, respectively. Used for large animals.
Examples: Titanosaurus ("Titan lizard"); Giraffatitan ("giraffe Titan"); Anatotitan ("duck Titan")
  • tyranno-, -tyrannus: Pronunciation: /taɪrænoʊ/, /taɪrænəs/. Origin: Ancient Greek τυράννος (turannos). Meaning: tyrant. Used for animals similar to Tyrannosaurus.
Examples: Tyrannosaurus ("king lizard"); Nanotyrannus ("dwarf king"); Tyrannotitan ("Titan king")
  • veloci-: Origin: Latin velox. Meaning: speed.
Example: Velociraptor ("quick thief")
  • -venator: Pronunciation: /vɛnətər/. Origin: Latin venator. Meaning: hunter.
Examples: Afrovenator ("African hunter"); Juravenator ("Jura hunter"); Scorpiovenator ("scorpion hunter") Neovenator ("new hunter"); Concavenator ("Cuenca hunter")
  • xeno-: Pronunciation: /zinoʊ/. Origin: Ancient Greek /ξέvoς/ (xenos). Meaning: strange, stranger. Used for organisms that exhibit unusual traits for their class.
Examples: Xenosmilus ("strange knife") Xenotarsosaurus ("strange ankled lizard") Xenopsitta ("strange parrot") Xenocyon ("strange dog") Xenokeryx ("strange horn") Xenostega ("strange roof") Xenohyla ("strange hynadae") Xenozancla ("strange animal") Xenodermus ("strange mover")
  • -zoon, -zoa: Pronunciation: /zoʊɑːn/, /zoʊə/. Origin: Ancient Greek ζωον (zo'on). Meaning: animal. Used for broad categories of animals, or in certain names of animals.
Examples: metazoa ("encompassing animals"); parazoa ("near animals"); ecdysozoa ("moulting animals"); Yunnanozoon ("animal from Yunnan"); Yuyuanozoon ("animal from Yu Yuan")

See also[edit]