Strange names of dinosaurs, pterosaurs, and trilobites

This video is called Dinosaurs 3D: Giants of Patagonia.

From Neatorama:

Paleontologists, those scientists that study fossils of life-forms from prehistoric times, are a fun bunch. Apparently, sifting through fossilized bones, dung (yep, dung: look up coprolite [wiki]), stomach content (gastrolith) and even vomit (again, real: regurgitalith [wiki]), gives paleontologist a unique sense of humor.

How? They love to give dinosaurs silly names!


Actually, this might be a bad way to start a list of weird dinosaur names. See, Aachenosaurus [wiki] fossil fragments were found and named by Gerard Smets in 1888, who argued that they were jaw fragments of a duck-billed dinosaur.

When paleontologist Louis Dollo proved that his “dinosaur” were actually petrified wood, Smets was so embarrassed that he withdrew from science completely.

If he had lived, Smets would probably feel better because someone else made the same mistake in 1941.

Then, German paleontologist Friedrich von Huene thought he had discovered the jaw bone of a new dinosaur he named Succinodon putzeri [wiki], which later turned out to be fossilized wood filled with wood-boring clams.


In 1995, a trilobite species was named after The Rolling Stones’ singer Mick Jagger by Adrain and Edgecombe.

As if that’s not neat enough, turns out Aegrotocatellus means “sick puppy” in Latin.

Mick Jagger was quite popular amongst the paleontologists – turns out there’s another species named after him: a fossilized mollusk called Anomphalus jaggerius.


That guy Greg Edgecombe (you’ll see more of him later) is one funny prankster.

He named (another) trilobite series after Sid Vicious, Johnny Rotten, Steve Jones, Paul Cook, and Glen Matlock of the Sex Pistols.


A pterodactyl named for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

You may know him as the author of those Sherlock Holmes detective stories, but the pterodactyl was named for him because of his 1912 novel The Lost World about an expedition to a hidden plateau in South America where dinosaurs were still alive.


This Australian dinosaur was named after the company Atlas Copco, which manufactured industrial tools and equipments.

The company provided the equipment for the expedition. The species name loadsi was named after William Loads, the state manager for Atlas Copco at the time, who also assisted during the dig.


In 1993, Edgecombe (yup, again) and Chatterton named a series of trilobite species Avalanchurus after famous singers like John Lennon and Ringo Starr of the Beatles and Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel.

The two paleontologists didn’t forget Paul McCartney and George Harrison, they named other trilobites Struszia mccartneyi and S. harrisoni after them.


Yup – this 75-million year old bird-like fossil was named after the famous Disney movie character.

As if that’s not remarkable enough, a near complete skeleton of Bambiraptor was discovered in 1995 by a 14-year-old fossil hunter named Wes Linster, who was looking for dino bones with his parents in Glacier National Park in Montana.

Feinbergi was named after a wealthy family who bought and donated the specimen to the Graves Museum of Natural History in Florida.

These are only dinosaurs and other extinct animals starting with A and B, the list is much longer.

See also here.

Trilobite cookies recipe: here.

4 thoughts on “Strange names of dinosaurs, pterosaurs, and trilobites

  1. When you reach the age of 69 peace marches mean less and less when we are up against automatic weapons of mass destruction the only language the pigs accept is violence in any form we choose. To stop the wars we must become violent that is the only language they understand, we must break windows and burn cars then they will listen. If you are not up to it then don’t waste time on a peace march, they are useless. I know, I have been doing it all my life and the wars keep coming and people keep dying.


  2. Re #1: Hi Richard, as this blog post is about dinosaurs, your comment should be not here, but in a blog post at this blog about peace and war. I understand your frustation about wars continuing in spite of peace movements. However, if there would be no peace movements, then George W Bush would have invaded not just Iraq and Afghanistan, but Iran, Syria, Venezuela, etc. etc. as well. So peace marches do matter. Rulers are not ALL powerful, sometimes they do retreat on one issue or another.

    The next steps after peace marches should be strikes and mass blockades of military bases, military businesses, etc. Not violence. If the general public consider the anti-government forces as violent, that will drive them into the arms of governments, However, if peaceful marches, peaceful strikes, etc. are attacked by government violence, and the general public knows that, that will weaken the government’s position.


  3. Pingback: Caribbesan crustacean named after Bob Marley | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  4. Pingback: Cambrian trilobites from China, new research | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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