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Dictionary of biological names

Posted by TheFallen on March 13, 2003

In Reply to: Dictionary of biological names posted by ESC 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?

: : I'm pretty certain 'brachy' means 'short', not to be confused with 'brachi' which means 'to do with the upper limb'. One is Greek and the other La*in - all very confusing.
: : I suggest a large technical dictionary as a good start for a search. Others may have better ideas and/or even correct my La*in and Gr**k - I only got 8% for the former at the end of my 4th year at Grammar school - that's a UK one, not a US one!

: I couldn't find a comprehensive list online. One source advised looking for a "dictionary of biological names in your local library (Dewey 574.03)."

James is right. It's brachy (as in short) and rhynchos as in nose/snout/beak. So, the short-beaked crow.

However don't necessarily expect any rhyme or reason when it comes to scientific naming of species. For example "corvus" is definitively L*tin, whereas the rest is undoubtedly Gr**k.