List of names of dinosaurs

Dinosaur Jungle

Dinosaur Crosswords

Dinosaur Facts
   Amazing Dinosaurs
   Family Tree
   Life Span
   Living Dinosaurs?
      Triassic Period
      Jurassic Period
      Cretaceous Period
      African Dinosaurs
      Antarctic Dinosaurs
      Asian Dinosaurs
      Australian Dinosaurs
      European Dinosaurs
      Indian Dinosaurs
      N. American Dinosaurs
      S. American Dinosaurs

Dinosaur Jokes

Dinosaur Museums
   Australia Dinosaur Museums
   Canada Dinosaur Museums
   UK Dinosaur Museums
   USA Dinosaur Museums

Dinosaur Names

Dinosaur Pictures

Dinosaur Scientists
   Charles Darwin
   Mary Anning
   Sir Richard Owen
   More Dinosaur Scientists

Dinosaur Types
   Tyrannosaurus Rex
   More Dinosaur Types

Dinosaur Word Search

Other Prehistoric Animals
   Mammal-like Reptiles
   Meganeura Monyi
   Sea Scorpions
   Spiny Sharks
   More Prehistoric Animals

Dinosaur Links
   Dinosaur Coloring
   Dinosaur Hangman
   Dinosaurs News
   Dinosaurs Parks

Education - Math Downloads
   Fun With Figures
   Making Math More Fun
   Math Bingo
   Math Riddle Book
   Download Math eBooks

Education - Reading Downloads
   Child Learning Reading
   Dolch Sight Words
   Phonics Bingo
   Robot Reading Games
   Sight Word Bingo

Education - Science Downloads
   24 Hour Science Projects
   Super Science Fair Projects
   Download Science eBooks


Dinosaur Jungle   >   Dinosaur Names


Dinosaur Names

As with other types of organism (including all plants and animals), dinosaurs are classified using the standard biological classification system (kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus and species). The smallest unit of this system is the "species", which represents a group of organisms capable of interbreeding and producing fertile offspring, in other words, a particular "type" of animal.

Individual species of dinosaur (just like other organisms) are named using a naming system known as "binomial nomenclature" (sometimes also known as "binary nomenclature"). In this system, individual species are identified using a two part name consisting of the genus name, and a second word identifying a species within the genus. Some examples of scientific names of dinosaur species include "Tyrannosaurus rex", "Stegosaurus armatus" and "Allosaurus fragilis". As you may notice, in many cases, the genus names of dinosaurs (a genus may of course contain several species), such as "Stegosaurus" and "Allosaurus", are often more familiar than the names of individual species.

The exotic sounding words used in these names are usually derived from ancient Greek or Latin. So, for example "Tyrannosaurus" means "tyrant lizard", "rex" means "king", and hence "Tyrannosaurus rex" means "Tyrant lizard king". The particular words used, are chosen by the scientist who first discovers or describes the species, but their choice of name must be first approved by the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature before it becomes official.

One unusual situation that may arise is if scientists chose different names for different fossils of the same animal, because they don't realize that they are in fact examples of the same animal (this is more common than you might expect - remember scientists are often working with only partial skeletons). In this case, the first chosen name is said to have "priority", and usually becomes the official name.

A particularly well-known example of this type of naming conflict is "Apatosaurus" versus "Brontosaurus". Othniel C. Marsh found a juvenile animal specimen in 1877 and named it "Apatosaurus ajax". He later found another animal specimen in 1879 and named it "Brontosaurus excelsus". However, it was only realized many years later (in 1903 by Elmer Riggs) that the two in fact were closely related, and arguably members of the same genus (some scientists, including Robert T. Bakker, still believe they should be classified as separate genera).

The list of dinosaur names runs to several hundred genera, and since some genera contain several distinct species, the list of dinosaur species, runs to many hundreds. The list of dinosaur names is also aways expanding as fossils from new species and genera are coming to light all the time.

Here are some of the better-known dinosaur names:
Related Information & Resources

See Also

Discuss This Page

Please feel free to post your comments:

Linking to This Page

We do hope that you find this site useful. We welcome people linking to this website or citing us.

The URL of this web page, is:

If you want to link to this web page from your own web site, you can use the following HTML code:

You are also very welcome to tell your friends about us on Facebook:
24 Hour Science Projects


Copyright © 2006-2018, Answers 2000 Limited

Disclosure: Our company's websites' content (including this website's content) includes advertisements for our own company's websites, products, and services, and for other organization's websites, products, and services. In the case of links to other organization's websites, our company may receive a payment, (1) if you purchase products or services, or (2) if you sign-up for third party offers, after following links from this website. Unless specifically otherwise stated, information about other organization's products and services, is based on information provided by that organization, the product/service vendor, and/or publicly available information - and should not be taken to mean that we have used the product/service in question. Additionally, our company's websites contain some adverts which we are paid to display, but whose content is not selected by us, such as Google AdSense ads. For more detailed information, please see Advertising/Endorsements Disclosures

Our sites use cookies, some of which may already be set on your computer. Use of our site constitutes consent for this. For details, please see Privacy.

Click privacy for information about our company's privacy, data collection and data retention policies, and your rights.

Contact Us   Privacy   Terms Of Use   Advertising/Endorsements Disclosures