How are dinosaurs named?

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Episode Number: 112

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Location Taken: US

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Welcome to CoreFacts, where we're always short on time and big on science. I'm Danielle Eganhouse. Today's question is about scientific classification.

How are dinosaurs named?

Dinosaurs generally are named after a characteristic body feature, after the place where they were found, or after a person involved in the discovery. Usually the name consists of two Greek or Latin words.  In order, these are the genus and the species name. For example, the Greek and Latin combination Tyrannosaurus rex means "king of the tyrant lizards." Biologists name modern animals exactly the same way. Some examples include humans (Homo sapiens), domestic dogs (Canis familiaris), and rattlesnakes (Crotalus horridus).

And now you know. Join us again every weekday for a new CoreFact. For other CoreFacts, or for CoreCast, our in-depth science podcast, go to usgs.gov/podcasts. If you'd like to have a question featured on our show, give us an email at corefacts@usgs.gov or a phone call at 703-648-5600. Remember, long distance fees do apply.

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