I saw Jurassic World earlier this summer, and I loved it (even though I am pretty sure Michael Crichton is muttering “I told you so” somewhere in his grave)! In the movie, InGen genetically spliced together a new “hybrid” dinosaur to keep up attendance at the park. This terrifying new addition, who proceeds to kill everything in its path, was named the Indominus Rex.
And, of course, my first thought was wondering how they named it.
A little research revealed that the name is Latin, meaning “fierce” or “untamable king”, which is fitting. The dinosaur was bred in captivity but manages to escape, leaving untold destruction in its wake. Wave after wave of “asset protection” officers are sent to take her down, but nothing works. Untamable? Yea, that seems about right.
Fortunately for us, most dinosaur names are easily broken down to give clues about the species. Let’s take a look at a few examples from lesser known species!
Some dinosaur names are as easy as breaking down the root words, which are usually Greek, to reveal either physical features or theorized behaviors:
Others have more interesting stories behind their names:
Thanks for joining me today!