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-, -cantho: Pronunciation: /eɪkænθ/, /eɪkænθoʊ/. Origin: Ancient Greek ἄκανθα (ákantha). Meaning: spine.
Examples: Acanthodes ("spiny base"); Acanthostega ("spine roof"); coelacanth ("hollow spine") Acrocanthosaurus ("high-spined lizard")
  • arch-, archi-, archo-, -archus: Pronunciation: /ark/, /arkoʊ/, /arkɪ/, /arkəs/. Origin: Ancient Greek ἀρχός (arkhós), meaning: ruler; ἀρχικός (arkhikós), 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 ἀρχαῖος (arkhaîos). 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 (árthron). Meaning: Joint. Often used for animals with exoskeletons.
Examples: Arthrospira ("jointed coil"); Arthropleura ("jointed rib"); arthropod ("jointed foot")
Examples: Cephalaspis ("head shield"); Sacabambaspis ("Sacabamba shield"); Brindabellaspis ("Brindabella shield")
  • -avis: Pronunciation: /əvɪs/. Origin: Latin avis. Meaning: Bird.
Examples: Protoavis ("first bird"); Argentavis ("Argentine bird"); Eoalulavis ("little-winged dawn bird")
  • brachi-, brachy-: pronunciation: /brækɪ/. Origin: Ancient Greek βραχύς, βραχίων (brakhús, brakhíōn). 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 βροντή (brontḗ). 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 (kephalḗ). Meaning: head.
Examples: Euoplocephalus ("well-protected head"), Pachycephalosaurus ("thick headed lizard"), Amtocephale ("Amtgai head"); Therocephalian ("beast-headed")
  • -ceras, cerat-, -ceratus, -cerato, : Pronunciation: /sɛrəs/, /sɛrət/. Origin: Ancient Greek κέρας (kéras). Meaning: horn. Used for many horned animals, but most notably ceratopsians.
Examples: Triceratops ("three-horned face"), Orthoceras ("straight horn") Megaloceras ("big horn") Ceratosaurus ("horned lizard") Microceratus ("small horned")
  • cetio-, -cetus: Pronuncuation: /sɛtɪoʊ/, /siːtəs/. Origin: Ancient Greek κῆτος (kētos). 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: χείρ (kheír). Meaning: hand.
Examples: Deinocheirus ("terrible hand"); Ornithocheirus ("bird hand"); Austrocheirus ("southern hand") Haplocheirus ("simple hand")
  • chloro-: Pronunciation: /kloroʊ/. Origin: Ancient Greek χλωρός (khlōrós). Meaning": green.
Examples: Chlorophyta ("green plant") Chlorophyll (¨green leaf¨)
  • coel-: Pronunciation: /siːl/ or /sɛl/ . Origin: Ancient Greek κοῖλος (koîlos). Meaning: hollow.
Examples: coelacanth ("hollow spine"); Coelodonta ("hollow tooth"); Coelophysis ("hollow form") Amphicoelias (¨hollow at both ends¨)
  • 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 κύων (kúon). Meaning: dog. Used for dogs or dog-like creatures.
Examples: Cynodont ("dog tooth"); Cynopterus ("dog wing"); Arctocyon ("bear dog")
  • -dactyl, -dactylus: Pronunciation: /dæktəl/, /dæktələs/. Origin: Ancient Greek δάκτυλος (dáktulos). Meaning: finger, toe.
Examples: artiodactyl ("even toe"); Pterodactylus ("wing finger"); perissodactyl ("uneven toe")
  • -derm: Pronunciation: /dɜrm/. Origin: Ancient Greek δέρμα (dérma). 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 (déndron). Meaning: tree.
Examples: Rhododendron ("rose tree"); Liriodendron ("lily tree"); Dendrocnide ("tree nettle"); Epidendrum ("above tree") Lepidodendron (¨scaled tree¨)
  • di-: Pronunciation: /daɪ/. Origin: Ancient Greek δίς (dís). 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 δεινός (deinós). 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-.
  • dromaeo-, -dromeus: Pronunciation: /droʊmɪoʊ/, /droʊmɪəs/ Origin: Ancient Greek δρομαῖος (dromaîos). Meaning: runner.
Examples: Dromaeosaurus ("runner lizard"); Kulindadromeus ("Kulinda runner"); Thalassodromeus ("sea runner")
  • eo-: Pronunciation: /iːoʊ̯/. Origin: Ancient Greek ἠώς (ēṓs). Meaning: dawn. Used for very early appearances of animals in the fossil record.
Examples: Eohippus ("dawn horse"); Eomaia ("dawn Maia"); Eoraptor ("dawn seizer")
  • -erpeton: Pronunciation: /ɜrpətɒn/. Origin: Ancient Greek ἑρπετόν (herpetón). Meaning: reptile (literally, "creeping thing"); used for amphibians.
Examples: Hynerpeton ("Hyner creeper"); Greererpeton ("Greer creeper"); Arizonerpeton ("Arizona creeper")
  • eu-: Pronunciation: /iːu̟/. Origin: Ancient Greek εὖ (). 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: /fiːlɪs/. 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");
  • -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: /d͡ʒaɪgə/, /d͡ʒaɪgæntoʊ/. Origin: Ancient Greek γίγας, γῐ́γᾰντος (gígas, gigantos). 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 (gnáthos). 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"
  • hippus, hippo-: Pronunciation: /ἵππος/. Origin: Ancient Greek ἵππος (híppos). Meaning: horse
Examples: Eohippus ("dawn horse"); Hippodraco ("horse dragon"); Hippopotamus ("river horse")
  • 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") Edmontonia ("for Edmonton")
  • ichthyo-, -ichthys: Pronunciation: /ɪkθioʊs/, /ɪkθis/. Origin: Ancient Greek ἰχθῦς (ikhthûs). 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 ἀλαίνειν (alaínein): Meaning: to wander. Used for animals that are found in most places around continents.
Examples: Meiolania ("weak wanderer"); Megalania ("great wanderer")
  • -lepis, lepido-: Pronunciation: /lɛpɪs/ /lɛpɪdoʊ/ (or /lɛpɪdɒ/). Origin: Ancient Greek λεπίς (lepís). Meaning: scale.
Examples: Mongolepis ("Mongol scale"); Polymerolepis ("many part scale"); Lepidosauria ("scaled lizards"); Lepidoptera ("scaled wing"); Lepidodendron ("scaled tree")
  • -lestes: Pronunciation: /lɛstiːz/. Origin: Ancient Greek λῃστής (lēistḗs). Meaning: robber.
Examples: Carpolestes ("fruit robber"); Ornitholestes ("bird robber"); Sarcolestes ("flesh robber") Necrolestes ("grave 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 λόφος (lóphos). 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 μακρός (makrós). Meaning: (correctly) long; (usually) large.
Examples: macropod ("big foot"); Macrodontophion ("big tooth snake"); Macrogryphosaurus ("big enigmatic lizard")
  • -maia, maia-: Pronunciation: /meiə/ Origin: Ancient Greek Μαῖα (Maîa). Meaning: Originally the mother of Hermes in Greek mythology and the goddess of growth in Roman mythology, alternatively spelled Maja. Frequently used to indicate maternal roles, this word should not be construed as translating directly to "mother" (Latin māter; Ancient Greek μήτηρ mḗtēr); aside from being a proper name, in Ancient Greek "maîa" can translate to "midwife" or "foster mother" and was used as an honorific address for older women, typically translated into English as "Good Mother".
Examples: Maiasaura ("Good Mother/Maia's lizard"); Eomaia ("dawn Maia"); Juramaia (Jurassic Maia")
  • mega-, megalo-: Pronunciation: /mɛga/, /mɛgaloʊ̯/. Origin: Ancient Greek μέγας, μεγάλη (mégas, megálē). Meaning: big.
Examples: Megarachne ("big spider"); Megalosaurus ("big lizard"); Megalodon ("big tooth")
  • micro-: Pronunciation: /maɪkroʊ̯/. Origin: Ancient Greek μικρός (mikrós). 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 μορφή (morphḗ). 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") Dimorphodon ("two forms of teeth")
  • -nax, -anax-: Pronunciation: /ναξ/άναξ/. Origin: Ancient Greek ἄναξ (ánax). Meaning: king.
Examples: Lythronax ("gore king") Saurophaganax ("king of the lizard-eaters")
  • -nych, nycho-, -nyx: see -onych, onycho-, -onyx
  • -odon, -odont, -odonto-: Pronunciation: /oʊdɒn/, /oʊdɒnt/, /oʊdɒntoʊ/. Origin: Ancient Greek ὀδούς (odoús). Meaning: tooth.
Examples: Dimetrodon ("two-measures of teeth"), cynodont ("dog tooth") Carcharodontosaurus ("serrated tooth lizard")
  • -oides, -odes: Pronunciation: /oiːdiːz/, /oʊːdiːz/. Origin: Ancient Greek εἶδος (eîdos). 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 ὄνυξ (ónux). Meaning: claw.
Examples: Deinonychus ("terrible claw"); Euronychodon ("European claw tooth"); Nothronychus ("sloth claw"), Baryonyx ("heavy claw")
  • -ops: Pronunciation: /ɒps/. Origin: Ancient Greek ὄψ (óps). Meaning: face.
Examples: Triceratops ("three-horned face"); Moschops ("calf face"); Spinops ("spine face")
  • -ornis, ornith-, ornitho-: Pronunciation: /oʊ̯rnɪs/, /oʊ̯rnɪθ/, /oʊ̯rnɪθoʊ̯/. Origin: Ancient Greek ὄρνις, ὄρνιθος (órnis, órnithos). 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 παχύς (pakhús). Meaning: thick.
Examples: Pachycephalosaurus ("thick-headed lizard"); Pachylemur ("thick lemur"); Pachyuromys ("thick tailed mouse")
  • para-: Pronunciation: /pærɑː/ Origin: Ancient Greek παρά (pará). Meaning: near. Used for species that resemble previously named species.
Examples: Paranthodon ("near Anthodon"); Pararhabdodon ("near Rhabdodon"); Parasaurolophus ("near Saurolophus)"
  • -pelta: Prnonucniation: /pɛltə:/ Origin: Ancient Greek πέλτη (péltē). Meaning: shield. Used for species with armor like a shield.
Examples: Sauropelta ("lizard shield"); Dracopelta ("dragon shield")
  • -pithecus: Pronunciation: /piθəkəs/. Origin: Ancient Greek πίθηκος (píthēkos). 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") Platypus ("flat foot)
  • plesio-, plesi-: Pronunciation: /pliːziːoʊ/, /pliːz/ (or pliːʒ/). Origin: Ancient Greek πλησίον (plēsíon). 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 πούς, ποδός (poús, podós). 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 πρό, πρότερος (pró, próteros). Meaning: before. Usually used for ancestral forms.
Examples:Proterosuchus ("before crocodile"); Procompsognathus ("before elegant jaw"); Prosaurolophus ("before lizard crest")
  • proto-: Pronunciation: /proʊtoʊ/. Origin: Ancient Greek πρῶτος (prōtos). 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 ψιττακός (psittakós). 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 πτέρυξ, πτέρυγος (pterux, ptérugos). 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 ("winged finger"); Eurypterus ("wide wing" or fin); Pterygotus ("winged" or finned); Coleoptera ("sheathed wing"); Archaeopteryx ("ancient wing") Stenopterygius ("narrow finned")
  • -pus: see: -pod, -podo-, -pus.
  • -raptor, raptor-: Pronunciation: /ræptər/. Origin: Latin raptor. Meaning: "seizer, stealer". Frequently used for dromaeosaurids 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 ("tyrant lizard king")
  • -rhina, rhino-, -rhinus: Pronunciation: /raɪnə/ /raɪnoʊ̯/, /raɪnəs/. Origin: Ancient Greek ῥίς (rhís). Meaning: nose.
Examples: Altirhinus ("high nose"); Pachyrhinosaurus ("thick-nosed lizard"); Lycorhinus ("wolf nose"); Arrhinoceratops ("noseless horned face"); Cretoxyrhina ("Cretaceous sharp nose") Rhinoceros ("nose horn")
  • 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 ῥύγχος (rhúgkhos). Meaning: "beak", "snout".
Examples: Rhamphorhynchus ("prow beak"); Aspidorhynchus ( "shield snout"); Ornithorhynchus ("bird beak")
  • sarco-: Pronunciation: /sɑːrkʊ/. Origin: Ancient Greek σάρξ (sárx). 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 σαῦρος (saûros). Meaning: lizard. Used for dinosaurs and other extinct reptiles.
Examples: Dinosaur ("terrible lizard") Mosasaur ("Meuse lizard"), Tyrannosaurus ("tyrant lizard"), Allosaurus ("different lizard") Sauroposeidon ("Poseidon lizard")
  • smilo-, -smilus: Pronunciation: /smaɪloʊ/, /smaɪləs/. Origin: Ancient Greek σμίλη (smílē). 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 σπόνδυλος (spóndulos). 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 (stégē). 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 στόμα (stóma). Meaning: mouth.
Examples: deuterostome (second mouth); Gnathostoma ("jaw mouth") Anastomus ("on mouth")
  • sucho-, -suchus: Pronunciation: /sjuːkoʊ/, /sjuːkəs/. Origin: Ancient Greek σοῦχος (soûkhos). 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 τευθίς (teuthís). Meaning: squid. Used for squids and similar cephalopods.
Examples: Gonioteuthis ("narrow squid") Architeuthis ("ruling squid") Vampyroteuthis ("vampire squid") Cylindroteuthis ("cylindrical squid")
  • thero-, -therium. Pronunciation: /θɛroʊ/, /θiːrɪəm/. Origin: Ancient Greek θήρ (thḗr). 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") Uintatherium ("beast of the Uinta mountains")
  • thylac-: Pronunciation: /θaɪlæk/. Origin: Ancient Greek θύλακος (thúlakos). 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 (tría). Meaning: three.
Examples: Triceratops ("three-horned face"); Triconodon ("three coned teeth"); trilobite ("three lobes")
  • titano-, -titan: Pronunciation: /taɪtænoʊ/, /taɪtən/. Origin: Ancient Greek Τιτάν, Τιτᾶνος (Titán, Titânos). Meaning: Titan, of the Titan, respectively. Used for large animals.
Examples: Titanosaurus ("Titan lizard"); Giraffatitan ("giraffe Titan"); Anatotitan ("duck Titan") Titanoboa ("Titanic boa")
  • tyranno-, -tyrannus: Pronunciation: /taɪrænoʊ/, /taɪrænəs/. Origin: Ancient Greek τύραννος (túrannos). Meaning: tyrant. Used for animals similar to Tyrannosaurus.
Examples: Tyrannosaurus ("tyrant lizard"); Nanotyrannus ("dwarf tyrant"); Tyrannotitan ("Titanic tyrant")
  • 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 ξένος (xénos). 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 ζῷον (zōion). 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]