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Scientific names

Posted by R. Berg on March 12, 2003

In Reply to: Suggestions on how to find the source roots of scientific names? posted by janes_kid on March 12, 2003

: Example Corvus brachyrhynchos is a crow or ravin. "brachy.." apparently means feather. How would you go about searching for the meaning of "..rhychos" or other scientific names?

Some of them are explained in dictionaries. Other than that, I don't know the best source for the derivations of those names--maybe someone else here will--but I found these two entries in the American Heritage Dictionary, pertaining to "brachy":

An arm or a homologous anatomical structure, such as a flipper or wing. [Latin "bracchium," arm, forearm, from Greek "brakhion" . . . ]

Indicates shortness . . . [From Greek "brakhus," short . . . ]