Ankylosaurus Name

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Ankylosaurus Name

The first fossils to be recognized as belonging to Ankylosaurus were discovered in 1906, by an expedition from the American Museum of Natural History led by Barnum Brown. Barnum Brown described and named the animal in a scientific paper in 1908:

Barnum Brown:
Barnum Brown

Scientists classify living things, including animals, using a hierarchical system of names. The lowest two levels in this system are the Genus (which refers to a closely related group of animals), and the Species (animals so closely related that they can breed and produce fertile offspring). The Genus and Species are often used in combination to identify a particular animal (this is known as the "Scientific Name" or "Binomen") of the animal. This system of naming animals is known as "Binomial nomenclature".

Barnum Brown chose the name:
  • For the Genus, he chose "Ankylosaurus", from the Ancient Greek word "ankulos" which means "bent" or "crooked" and which was chosen in reference to the medical term ankylosis, which refers to a stiffness in a joint caused by disease or injury, and from the Ancient Greek "sauros" which means "lizard". Thus Ankylosaurus can thus be translated as "fused lizard", "stiffened lizard", "stiff lizard", "curved lizard", etc.

  • For the Species, Brown chose "magniventris" from the Latin word "magnus" which means "great", and the Latin word "venter" which means "belly". This was chosen in reference to the great width of Ankylosaurus's body.
Ankylosaurus ribs:
Ankylosaurus ribs

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