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Questions tagged [scientific-names]

For questions related to scientific names of species and other taxonomic uses of Latin.

4
votes
1answer
62 views

What does the f. adjective “tulda” mean?

In the scientific name Bambusa tulda, I would like to know what tulda (tuldus?) means.
6
votes
2answers
155 views

Where does the word “thlypis”/θλυπις come from?

A number of New World warblers seem to have genus names that end in the element -thlypis. It's been hard for me to find information about the etymology of this element; I found a few sources on the ...
4
votes
1answer
44 views

Meaning of phellos in the epithet for Quercus phellos, the biological/scientific name for the willow oak?

What is the meaning of phellos in the epithet for Quercus phellos, the biological/scientific name for the willow oak? I've tried some obvious resources, but after 50 years in clinical medicine and ...
7
votes
1answer
152 views

Latin for “Teaching man”

How would you say "teaching man" in Latin, in the same way as "homo sapiens" (thinking man) or "homo economicus" (economic man)? It would be for an essay discussing modern education and the role of a ...
9
votes
1answer
105 views

On Julius Caesar and salmon

I saw a TV documentary today which claimed that salmon was named in Latin by Julius Caesar. It was a side remark, but the narrator elaborated that he saw this fish in Gaul and gave it its name due to ...
5
votes
1answer
84 views

How can I construct a correctly formed fictitious-species name

I'm writing a story in which I want to use a correctly-formed, binomial (Genus species) Latin name for a fictitious species of vampire bat. I want the name to mean "teeth of death", or something very ...
13
votes
2answers
175 views

Can there be double diminutives in Latin?

I've been reading some Latin of the 17th and 18th centuries and am wondering if it is possible for there to be "double diminutives." As I understand it, the word "cerebellum" (Oxford Latin = "brain") ...
26
votes
1answer
3k views

Why hippopotamus instead of potamohippus?

Judging by this dictionary entry for hippopotamus, the Romans knew this animal and used the name we currently use in English. This word has an obviously Greek origin: hippos is a horse and potamos is ...
8
votes
1answer
112 views

Did the Romans have a definition for a species of organism?

In today's taxonomy animals, plants and other organisms are organized in species. Defining a species is no simple task for modern biologists, but we have a fair understanding of what a species ...
2
votes
1answer
78 views

Deriving lactuca from lac

The word lactuca refers to lettuce, and Lactuca sativa is the scientific name. Some of the plants in this genus seem to contain some kind of milky liquid which must be the reason for deriving the word ...
12
votes
2answers
821 views

Is llama lama or glama?

I went to a zoo today, and I noticed that the scientific name of llama is Lama glama. It seems to me that both lama and glama are latinized versions of "llama". Why were two different versions of the ...
13
votes
1answer
362 views

Beaver and Pollux?

Castor and Pollux are famous mythological twins. Castor is also the genus of beavers. This makes me wonder two things: Are these two Castors related in any way? Was this double meaning observed in ...
11
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1answer
680 views

Examples of species whose Latin and scientific names are different

Biologists have given scientific names to many species, and these names are in Latin. A fraction of all named species was also known in ancient Rome (and medieval Europe), and they had a Latin name as ...