I would translate the boldfaced sentence as
It is not clear which part would be rightfully considered the front and which part the rear in the whole genus.
For creatures of that appearance, that description makes sense.
If you want more details or explanation, do ask.
Notice that habere does not only mean 'to have', but also 'to consider as something'.
Well, I don't know if it counts, but I think you should search among recent species re-classing.
When Linnaeus wrote, Latin names were the logical option to choose a scientific name from. That is why it seems hard to even find one single example of what you're looking for. More recent descriptions of old species (especially when a single common name is ...
The Online Etymological Dictionary states
His [Castor's] name was given to secretions of the animal (Latin castoreum), used medicinally in ancient times. (Through this association his name replaced the native Latin word for "beaver," which was fiber.)
Castoreum has been used medicinally since Classical times, prominently as an ingredient in material ...
I find Vicipædia fairly untrustworthy as a rule. Scandala does not occur in Lewis & Short; perhaps the author(s) of the Vicipædia article are thinking of secāle, which is used in Pliny of black spelt (though I don't know what the difference is between spelt and black spelt, and some apparently think secāle refers to rye).
Spelta is part of the Linnaean ...
The following, taken from a transcription of Smith & Hall's 'Copious & Critical Latin-English Dictionary', should give you everything that you need:
Finger (subs.)-, digitus (also thumb or toe):
the fore finger:
digitus index (as used in pointing), Hor. : Plin.
digitus salutaris (perh. as used in greeting). Suet. Aug. 80
Bambusa tulda Roxb.
synonym Dendrocalamus tulda (Roxb.) Voigt
In the Monaco Nature Encyclopedia, Giuseppe Mazza writes:
The name of the genus comes from the local Malay name “bambu”; the specific name is the local one, tulda bans, in Bengali language.
Roxb. refers to the botanist who listed the name:
Dr William Roxburgh FRSE FRCPE FLS (3 or 29 June ...
To complement @brianpck answer:
First, let's state right away the obvious: since all known species of llamas are endemic to South America, it is highly unlikely that there is a classical latin word to name them.
Wheeler (2005) offered a short review of the taxonomical history of llamas:
In 1758, Linnaeus described the two domestic New World ...
As you mentioned in your question, Linné originally grouped the llama under the genus "Camelus", as you can see in Systema Naturae:
Camelus dorso laevi, pectore gibboso
Camelus peruvianus Glama dictus
It appears that this was later revised to be the genus Lama and the species Glama in 1758. (Source: ...
The derivation from salire is probably a folk etymology, especially since it does not explain the second syllable of salmo.
Walde, Latein. Etym. Wb., says that salmo, and also salar “trout”, are borrowed from Celtic, comparing Old Irish selige “turtle”, the Celtic source being cognate with Latin saliva, though this too does not explain the final -mo(n). ...
For the genus, you'd want it to end in -don, like the Iguanodon. Necro- though doesn't mean "deadly', but "dead." Were I a biologist having seen this, I'd think "dead-tooth bat" and presume it had a non-functional tooth or something.
For deadly, you have a few options. You could do thanatodon "death-tooth", or perhaps "olethriodon" "deadly-tooth."
As Aristotle is generally considered as the father of biology — Darwin wrote: “Linnaeus and Cuvier have been my two gods… but they were mere school-boys to old Aristotle.” (in a letter to W. Ogle, 1882) —, it is logical to search for such a definition in his works.
According to Pierre Pellegrin (in particular in Une zoologie sans espèce, 1984), the ...
The noun acer, aceris n. (with short a) “maple tree” is not the same word as the adjective ācer, ācris, ācre (with long ā) “sharp”, though it is possible that they share the same Indo-Euopean origin. The former is cognate with German Ahorn.
That's perfectly understandable, as the word isn't Latin, but Greek. φελλός is the Greek for the 'cork oak', Quercus suber. Why this word was used in the binomial for a different species of oak, I can't say, except to note that since the willow oak is not native to Europe it would not have had a Greek or Latin name.
As a forewarning, I'm not particularly familiar with 19th century Latin, and some features of this text seem very odd to me (such as everything being in the ablative). There were also a few words I couldn't find in my dictionaries.
Capite thoracis antico latitudine æquali,
The head and the front of the thorax equal in width,
margine antico inter ...
Rees Cyclopedia 1819, and therefore superceded by your source, does not list Rustia in the five pages (11 columns) on Cicada. However it does list Rustica with this description by Fabricius, in the fifth section: Genus Cercopis Fabr.
Rustica, Grey; immaculate, wings white; Fabr. An European species, found on plants.
The name Rustia looks odd to me, ...
The above answer is wonderful, but as a supplement Pomponius Porphyrion (2nd c. AD, or later), a commentator on Horatius (Horace), takes occasion in the following line of the Satires,
Nomentanus ad hoc, qui, siquid forte lateret,
indice monstraret digito; (2.8.25-26)
...to remark in his commentary:
Hoc ideo, quia certis nominibus singuli digiti ...
Although I haven't found any explicitly Roman source, all evidence point to fungi being considered plants at their time, and into the XX century. This is what I have found so far:
The author of De Plantis I. 4. 30 considered them plants. The book is attributed to Aristotle (in which case the original is Greek, and the translator unknown, ...