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Dinosaur Names And Their Meaning

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Check out our alphabetical list of names, their meanings, and some other cool facts!

The name ‘dinosaur’ itself means ‘terrible lizard’. The name was given to them by Richard Owen, a British Scientist. He studied animal fossils for several years, and belived that the bones came from a new group of animals – a group that at the time was unknown to science. He picked the word dinosaur by combining two Greek words – deinos (which means terrible), and sauros (which means lizard).

dinosaur names

Many dinosaur fossils are still being discovered. They are normally named by the person who finds them, or by the paleontologist who confirms it is a new type. The name then has to be approved by the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature.

They are often named according to where they were found, or something unusual about them. Sometimes their name reflects the type of dinosaur they are thought to be. Check out the list below to see the meanings of some of the the most common dinosaur names.

List of dinosaur names

Dinosaur NamesMeaning of Name
A
AlbertosaurusAlberta Lizard
AllosaurusDifferent Lizard
AnkylosaurusStiff Lizard
ApatosaurusDeceptive Lizard
B
BaryonyxHeavy Claw
BrachiosaurusArm Lizard
C
CamarasaurusChambered lizard
CarnotaurusMeat-eating bull
CoelophysisHollow Form
CompsognathusElegant Jaw
CorythosaurusHelmet lizard
D
DeinonychusChambered lizard
DiplodocusDouble-beam lizard
E
EdmontosaurusLizard from Edmonton
EuoplocephalusWell-armoured head
G
GallimimusChicken-mimic
GigantosaurusGiant Southern Lizard
GiraffatitanGiraffe Titan
H
HypsilophodonHigh Ridge Tooth
I
IguanodonIguana tooth
J
JanenschiaNamed after Werner Janensch
JobariaJobar (a creature of Sahara legends)
K
KentrosaurusSpiked lizard
L
LesothosaurusLizard from Lesotho
M
MacrurosaurusLong Tailed Lizard
MaiasauraGood Mother lizard
MamenchisaurusMamen Brook Lizard
MegalosaurusGreat Lizard
MinmiFrom Minmi Crossing
N
NotoceratopsSouthern horned face
O
OrnithomimusBird Mimic
OviraptorEgg Thief
P
PachycephalosaurusThick headed lizard
ParasaurolophusBeside Saurolophus (another dinosaur)
PlateosaurusFlat reptile
ProtoceratopsFirst horned face
PsittacosaurusParrot Lizard
R
RiojasaurusLizard from Rioja
S
SaurolophusThe ridged lizard
SaurophaganaxLizard eating master
SeismosaurusEarth shaking lizard
SpinosaurusSpine lizard
StegosaurusRoofed lizard
StegocerasHorned Roof
StyracosaurusSpiked lizard
T
TriceratopsThree horned Face
TroodonWounded tooth
TyrannosaurusTyrant lizard
TyrannotitanTyrant Titan
V
VelociraptorQuick plunderer
W
WannanosaurusWannano lizard
X
XiaosaurusDawn lizard
Y
YangchuanosaurusYangchuan lizard
Z
ZigongosaurusZingong lizard

Source: Kids-Dinosaurs.com

Also read: Dinosaur Names