Prefixes and suffixes


The name "dinosaur" comes from two Greek words. The first is "deinos", which means huge or terrible. The second is "sauros", meaning lizard. So a dinosaur is a huge or terrible lizard.

The names of fossil species were invented by the scientists who first described them and were often derived from Greek or Latin, which were the original international languages of science. The name chosen may indicate what they looked like, how they behaved, where they came from, or even who discovered them.

So we can identify what each dinosaur was named for

Triceratops (their head ornaments) Tri = three; ceratops = horned face
Iguanodon (their teeth) Iguan = iguana (lizard); odon = tooth
Deinonychus (their feet) Deino = terrible; onychus = claw
Maiasuara (their behavior) Maia = good mother; saura = lizard
Stegosaurus (their body features) Stego = roof; saurus = lizard
Sonorasaurus (the place where it was found) Sonora = Sonoran Desert, saurus = lizard

1. Find out what these names mean.

Allosaurus Brachiosaurus Pentaceratops

2. Imagine that you are a famous
paleontologist who just discovered a new dinosaur! Now you need to give it a scientific name. Combine the scientific word parts in the lists below to name your new dinosaur. You may use more than one word from each list.

Once you have named it draw an illustration of your discovery in its habitat. You might even write a story about the dinosaur you just discovered. You can write about the meaning of its name, its height , weight and length, what it ate, where it lived, what it liked to do...

Remember-use prefixes at the beginning of a word...a suffix is at the end of the word!

Beginning (prefix) brachio - arm/bronte - thunder/di - two/deino - terrible/gravis - heavy/frigo - cold/glyco - sweet/makros - long/megalo - large/micro - small/saltus - leaping/stegos - plated/teratos - monster/tri - three

Ending (suffix) ceratops - horned face/dipus - two-footed/gnathus - jaw/mimus - imitator/nychus - claw/ops - face/odon - teeth/pus - foot/raptor - thief/rhinos - nose/saurus - lizard/venator - hunter-

Click on the image of a "Parasaurolophus" to learn more about dinosaurs.

6 Responses
  1. Anthea Sapon Says:

    Hi there,

    I hope that I'm not the cheeky ONE now :)

    I came across and wondered whether you might be interested in mentioning my blog dedicated to "English Speaking" up there?

    It is located here -->

    Thanks for looking into it!

    Anthea Sapon

  2. Daalla Says:

    You are not at all cheeky. Of course I am mentioning your blog. It seems to be interesting. I am glad to be of help.
    Daniel Aldana

  3. sergius Says:

    I´m a Aldana´s studiant and I´m very proud of the work that he does whit us.Thanks Mr Aldana I´m Sergio Beltrán

  4. Daalla Says:

    Hi, Sergio. Thank you very much for your kind words. The feeling is mutual. Have a great weekend.

  5. sombajaj Says:

    Fantastic post, very thorough. I'm sure it will help a lot of students improve their speaking skills. I would also recommend trying to find out what kind of learner you are. Some people learn better when they speak, others, when they listen, there are some who need to use their sense of touch. Different techniques can be used for different types of learners so that they learn quicker and more efficiently.

  6. Daalla Says:

    Thank you for submitting your comment, sombajaj. It is greatly appreciated.

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