dinochecker
Welcome to our FAQ page...
Archived dinosaurs: 841
fb twit g+ feed
Dinosaurs from A to Z
Click a letter to view...
A B C D E F G
H I J K L M N
O P Q R S T U
V W X Y Z ?

What is a Dinosaur?

Family Tree:
Animalia
(the animal kingdom)
Tetropoda
(critters adapted to life on land)
Amniota
(critters that lay eggs)
Diapsida
(snakes, crocs, lizards and birds)
Arrchosauromorpha
(closer to Archosauria than to lizards and snakes) 
Archosauria
(pterosaurs, birds and crocs and their ancestors)
Avemetatarsalia
(closer to birds than to crocs)
Dinosauriformes
(dinosaurs and closest non-dinosaur relatives)
Dinosauria
(the dinosaurs, inc. birds)
Pronunciation: Die-no-SOR-ree-uh
Author: Sir Richard Owen
Year: 1842
Meaning: Fearfully Great Lizards
Locomotion: Bi and Quadrupedal (2 or 4 legs)
Synonyms: Eudinosauria (Novas, 1992), Deinosauria (Watson, 1957), Dinosauri (Bronn, 1851)
[Sereno, 2005]Definition
The least inclusive clade containing Triceratops horridus and Passer domesticus (House Sparrow).
About
Coming soon...
Etymology
Dinosauria is derived from the Greek words "deinos" and "sauros". Owen translated the "deinos" of Dinosauria as "fearfully great", to evoke their size and majesty (in contrast to the "deinos" of Deinonychus, which Ostrom translated as "terrible", to evoke its wicked claws). The "sauros" part is a misnomer, because it means "lizard" and Dinosaurs are actually reptiles. But you can't be changing classical Greek on a whim, so all the tantrums in the world won't change the fact that "sauros" does not mean "reptile". Dinosaurs are the "Fearfully Great Lizards".
Further reading
• Owen, R (1842) "Report on British Fossil Reptiles" Part II". Report of the Eleventh Meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science. Held at Plymouth in July 1841. London: John Murray. pp. 60–204.
• Benton M J (2004) "Origin and relationships of Dinosauria". Page 7–19 in Weishampel, Dodson and Osmólska (eds.) "The Dinosauria: Second Edition". University of California Press, Berkeley.
Email                     
Time stands still for no man, and research is ongoing. If you spot an error, or want to expand, edit or suggest an entry feel free to drop us a line. Go here to answer an FAQ.
© 2010-2017 Dinochecker unless stated | Rss feed | Kindly site donations here.
All dinos are GM free, and no herbivores were eaten during site construction!
To cite this page:
Atkinson, L. "DinoChecker FAQ entry :: What is a Dinosaur?"
http://www.dinochecker.com/dinosaurfaqs/what-is-a-dinosaur›. Web access: 22nd Oct 2017.
  top