Macrodontophion Zborzewski 1834 "long-toothed snake"
mak-ro-don-TOHF-ee-on (Gr. makros "long" + Gr. odont- (odous) + Gr. ophion "snake-like monster") (m) proposed for a slender, slightly recurved tooth that may not belong to a dinosaur. ?Theropoda Jur. Eur. [nomen dubium]
Macrophalangia Sternberg 1932 "long toes"
MAK-ro-fa-LAN-jee-a (Gr. makros "long" + Gr. phalanges (phalanx) "bones of fingers or toes" + -ia) (f) "The most outstanding feature of the pes... is the long slender phalanges, to which the generic name alludes" [= Chirostenotes]
Macrurosaurus Seeley 1876 "long-tailed lizard"
ma-KROOR-o-SAWR-us (Gr. makros "long" + Gr. oura "tail" + Gr. sauros "lizard") (m) named to indicate "a long-tailed animal with procoelous vertebrae." Sauropoda Titanosauridae E. Cret. Eur.
Magnosaurus von Huene 1932 "large lizard"
MAG-no-SAWR-us (Lat. magnus "large, great" + Gr. sauros "lizard") (m) alluding to its resemblance to Megalosaurus, the original genus the fossils were assigned to; it was more slender with a differently shaped pubis and tibia. Theropoda Carnosauria i.s. M. Jur. Eur.
Magyarosaurus von Huene 1932 "Magyar lizard"
MOD-yar-o-SAWR-us (c.u.: MAG-yar-o-SAWR-us) (Magyar + Gr. sauros "lizard") (m) named for the Magyar, the main ethnic group in Hungary; for "Titanosaurus" dacus Nopsca 1915, found in Hatszeg, Transylvania, a region that was part of Hungary until 1918, when it was transferred to Romania. Sauropoda Titanosauridae L. Cret. Eur.
Maiasaura Horner & Makela 1979 "good mother lizard"
MAY-ya-SAWR-a (NOT: "MIE-a-SAWR-a") (Gr. maia "good mother, nurse" + Gr. saura "lizard" (feminine)) (f) alluding to evidence of possible extended parental care given the young: 15 babies were found in a fossil nest. "If the young were confined to the nest, food must have been brought to them. If the young had ventured out to forage for food, it is unlikely that they would have returned to the nest together without parental supervision." The exact nature of parental care in hadrosaurs remains controversial, however, and the idea that Maiasaura brought food to hatchlings because they could not leave the nest of a period of time is disputed--although the young had limbs bones with cartilage at the ends, they also had a well-developed pelvis, and may well have been able to walk immediately after hatching. It seems likely that adult hadrosaurs protected their young from predators, however, much as modern crocodiles do. Important new evidence suggests that different species of hadrosaur may have had quite different reproductive habits. Nesting sites belonging to Hypacrosaurus (a lambeosaurine) indicate that the species laid quite large round eggs (3,900 ml. in volume) in a double row along the ground--the hatched young were almost 1 m. in length, and probably fully capable of walking and foraging for themselves, perhaps with supervision. By contrast, Horner cites evidence that Maisaura (a hadrosaurine) laid smaller oblong eggs (1,600 ml. in volume) arranged in a round nest--the hatched young were only 50-75 cm. in length, and may well have needed to stay in the nest for a period of time, supporting Horner's theory that a parent Maiasaura regurgitated food for the post-hatchlings in the manner of some modern birds. (NOTE: The widely indicated pronunciation "MIE-a-SAWR-a" is incorrect according to Donald Baird, who created the name. The first "a" is long in Greek maia (ma-ia), and does NOT form a diphthong ai (pronounced [ie]) in combination with the following "i." The traditional English pronunciation of latinized Greek maia is MAY-ya.) Ornithopoda Hadrosauridae Hadrosaurinae L. Cret. NA.
Majungasaurus Lavocat 1955 "Majunga (Madagascar) lizard"
mah-JOONG-gah-SAWR-us (Majunga + Gr. sauros "lizard") (m) named for the Majunga (Mahajanga) District of northwestern Madagascar, source of the type fossil (part of a lower jaw), and older material (vertebrae and teeth) identified as Megalosaurus crenatissimus Deperet 1896. Although the scattered fossil material (including many isolated teeth) clearly belongs to a large theropod apparently related to South American and Indian abelisaurids, it is no longer considered diagnostic. Much additional material (including a superb skull) representing a large theropod was collected in the same region of Madagascar between 1993 and 1996, and was initially identified as Majungasaurus. However, the undiagnostic status of Majungasaurus prompted researchers (Sampson, Witmer, Forster, Krause, O'Connor, Dodson & Ravoavy, 1998; Science 280(5366) 5/15/98) to reassign new finds to the supposed "pachycephalosaur" genus Majungatholus, based on the diagnostic bony "dome" in the middle of the theropod's forehead. (See Majungatholus). Theropoda Ceratosauria Abelisauridae L. Cret. Madagascar [nomen dubium]
Majungatholus Sues & Taquet 1979 "Majunga (Madagascar) dome"
mah-JOONG-gah-THOL-us (t.L.m.: mah-joong-GAHTH-o-lus) (Majunga + Gr. tholos "dome" + -us) (m) named to indicate an apparent "domed" pachycephalosaur found in the Majunga (Mahajanga) District of northern Madagascar, based on a skull fragment of thickened bone with a rugose surface and a somewhat rounded shape. The well-preserved, nearly complete skull of a theropod dinosaur recently found in the same region of Madagascar showed that the type specimen of Majungatholus was not part of the "dome" of a large, rather primitive pachycephalosaur as originally thought but was instead a rounded hollow "horn" that projected from the middle of the frontal bones (forehead) of an unusual large meat-eating dinosaur related to the South American theropods Carnotaurus and Abelisaurus. The newly discovered skull was about 57 cm. (23 in.) long, relatively short and broad, with a blunt, relatively deep snout and rough, elongated, thickened nasal bones. A diamond-shaped projection from the parietal bones at the back top of the skull was about the size of the frontal "horn." The teeth were relatively low-crowned and blade-like, typical of abelisaurids. The postcranial skeleton is not completely known, but shows a combination of features from abelisaurids and primitive ceratosaurs. If the animal was otherwise similar to Carnotaurus, it would have measured 7 to 9 meters (23 to 30 ft.) long. The kinship between the abelisaurid theropods Majungatholus and Carnotaurus suggests that a land connection from Madagascar to South America through Antarctica and the Indian subcontinent (once attached to Antarctica and Madagascar) lasted into the Late Cretaceous.
Fragmentary remains of large theropod dinosaurs were known from Madagascar prior to the 1990's discoveries, including vertebrae and teeth first referred to as Megalosaurus crenatissimus ("very notched") in 1896, but later assigned to the separate genus Majungasaurus based on an additional incomplete lower jaw. More jaw fragments were found in 1993 (Sampson, Krause, Dodson & Foster, 1996; Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 16(4)). However, the type material for Majungasaurus is now considered too incomplete and poorly defined to be taxonomically useful, rendering Majungasaurus a nomen dubium. Although the new theropod skull and skeletal material was informally referred to the genus Majungasaurus, researchers (Sampson, Witmer, Forster, Krause, O'Connor, Dodson & Ravoavy, 1998; Science 280(5366) 5/15/98) now have chosen to assign the specimens to the better defined genus and species Majungatholus atopus because of its diagnostic "dome," with Majungatholus reidentified as a theropod rather than a pachycephalosaur.
The original misidentification of the type specimen of Majungatholus as a pachycephalosaur made the fossil the only apparent evidence of the group ever found on the ancient southern continent of Gondwana--pachycephalosaurs are otherwise known only from North America, Central Asia and Europe (regions once part of the ancient northern continent of Laurasia). The unusual (but now invalidated) occurrence of a supposed Gondwandan pachycephalosaur inspired the type species name Majungatholus atopus [AT-o-pus] "out of place." Theropoda Ceratosauria Abelisauridae L. Cret. (?Campanian) Madagascar
Malawisaurus Jacobs, Winkler, Downs & Gomani 1993 "Malawi lizard"
mah-LAH-wee-SAWR-us (Malawi + Gr. sauros "lizard") (m) named for the country of Malawi, southern central Africa, where the type specimen ("Gigantosaurus" dixeyi Haughton 1928) was found. Sauropoda Titanosauridae E. Cret. Afr.
Maleevosaurus Carpenter 1990 "Maleev's lizard"
mahl-YAY-yev-o-SAWR-us (Maleev + Gr. sauros "lizard") (m) named to honor Evgenii Aleksandrovich Maleev (1915--1966), Russian paleontologist who described the specimen as "Gorgosaurus" novojilovi in 1955. Theropoda Coelurosauria Tyrannosauridae L. Cret. CAs. (Mongolia)
Maleevus Tumanova 1987 "for Maleev"
mahl-YAY-yev-us (m) named to honor Evgenii Aleksandrovich Maleev (1915--1966), Russian paleontologist. Ankylosauria Ankylosauridae L. Cret. CAs.
Mamenchisaurus Young 1954 "Mamenchi (China) lizard"
mah-MUHN-chee-SAWR-us (c.u.: ma-MEN-chi-SAWR-us) (Mamenchi (Chin. ma "horse + men "gate" + qi (or xi)" stream")+ Gr. sauros "lizard") (m) named for the Mamenchi Ferry at Jinshajiang (upper Chang Jiang [Yangtze] River), Sichuan Province, China, near where the type fossil was found. Sauropoda Euhelopodidae. L. Jur. China
Mandschurosaurus Riabinin 1930 "Manchurian lizard"
man-CHOOR-o-SAWR-us (Mandschuria (German transcription) + Gr. sauros "lizard") (m) named for Manchuria, northern China, where the first specimen was found. Ornithopoda Hadrosauridae Hadrosaurinae L. Cret. CAs.
Maniraptora Gauthier 1986 "hand robbers"
man-i-RAP-tor-a (Lat. manus "hand" + Lat. raptor "thief" + -a) (n) The Maniraptora include the common ancestor of birds and deinonychosaurs with all their descendants, but exclude the ornithomimosaurs. The name refers to their raptorial forelimbs, adapted as wings by one branch (birds). [clade]
Manospondylus Cope 1892 "porous vertebra"
MAN-o-SPON-di-lus (Gr. manos "porous, thin" + Gr. spondylos "vertebra") (m) named for the porous texture of the exposed inner bone in a vertebra supposedly belonging to a "ceratopsian." The "vesicular" bone structure noted by Cope is a feature now known to be typical of large theropods. [= ?Tyrannosaurus]
Marginocephalia Sereno 1986 "bordered heads"
mar-JIN-o-se-FAL-ee-a (Lat. margin- (margo) "border" + Gr. kephale "head" + -ia) (n) Proposed for a clade consisting of Pachycephalosauria and Ceratopsia, in which bones at the back of the skull form an incipient frill, fully developed in the Ceratopsia. [clade]
Marmarospondylus Owen 1875 "marble vertebrae"
MAHR-mar-o-SPON-di-lus (Gr. marmaros "marble" + Gr. spondylos "vertebra") (m) named for the Forest Marble quarry at Bradford, Wiltshire, England, where the fossil was found. [= Bothriospondylus]
Marshosaurus Madsen 1976 "Marsh's lizard"
MARSH-o-SAWR-us (Marsh + Gr. sauros "lizard") (m) named to honor Othniel Charles Marsh (1831--1899), noted American paleontologist and dinosaur scholar. Theropoda i.s. L. Jur. NA.
Masiakasaurus Sampson, Carrano & Forster 2001 "vicious lizard"
mah-SHEE-ah-kah-SAWR-us (Malagasy masiaka "vicious, brutal" + Gr. sauros "lizard")* (m) named to indicate a predatory dinosaur from Madagascar, notable for strange protruding teeth. Masiakasaurus is based on a right dentary with teeth (Holotype: UA 8680 (University of Antananarivo)), plus vertebrae, limb bones and other incomplete material from six other individuals, representing about 40% of the animal's skeleton, collected from the Anembalemba Member of the Late Cretaceous (Maastrichtian) Maevarano Formation, Mahajanga Basin, near the village of Berivotra, northwestern Madagascar. The fossils suggest a small-bodied theropod about 1.8 m (6 ft) long, weighing around 35 kilograms (80 lbs) in life--roughly the size of a German shepherd dog. The extremely specialized teeth and jaws are unique among dinosaurs. The first tooth in the lower jaw projects almost horizontally, with the four teeth further back along the jaw angling progressively upward; teeth from the 6th on backward are vertical. The first four front lower teeth are long and conical, with hooked tips and only tiny serrations, contrasting with the back teeth, which are flattened, recurved and serrated like more typical theropod teeth. The front teeth in the upper jaw have not been found but appear to have been procumbent based on the angle of the first alveolus (45 degrees to horizontal) in the maxilla. Characters such as the peg-and-socket articulation of the ilium and pubis and the shape of the humerus show that Masiakasaurus is a member of the Abelisauroidea, a group of theropods known from South America, India and Madagascar, once parts of the ancient continent of Gondwana.
Type Species: Masiakasaurus knopfleri [NOP-fle-rie] Sampson, Carrano & Forster 2001, named to honor Mark Knopfler, a rock guitarist. The discoverers of Masiakasaurus found more fossils of the dinosaur when they listened to Knopfler's music in the field. Theropoda Abelosauroidea Late Cretaceous (Maastrichtian) Madagascar [added 3/2001]
Massospondylus Owen 1854 "elongated vertebra"
mas-o-SPON-di-lus (Gr. masson "longer, somewhat long" [comparative of makros "long"] + Gr. spondylos "vertebra")* (m) alluding to the somewhat elongated shape of a single neck vertebra--Owen originally thought the bone was a tail vertebra. He first classified the genus as a possible "lacertilian," then as a crocodile. Richard Lydekker identified the form as a dinosaur in 1888, based in part on supposed specimens from India. The type specimen vertebra was destroyed in WW II. (Massospondylus does NOT mean "massive vertebra" (as if from Latin massa "lump, mass"), an inappropriate description of a rather lightly built dinosaur; Owen gave the etymology as Greek masson "longer.") Prosauropoda Massospondylidae E. Jur. SAfr. NA.
Megadactylus E. Hitchcock Jr. 1865 "large finger"
MEG-a-DAK-til-us (Gr. megas "great, large" + Gr. daktylos "finger") (m) named for the large size of its clawed digits. The name was suggested by Richard Owen. (Preoccupied by Megadactylus Fitzinger 1843. See Anchisaurus.) [= Anchisaurus]
Megalosaurus Buckland 1824 "great lizard"
MEG-a-lo-SAWR-us (Gr. megal- (megas) "great, large" + Gr. sauros "lizard") (m) name for its large size: "...We may calculate the length in this reptile from Cuckfield at from sixty to seventy feet. In consideration therefore of the enormous magnitude which this saurian attains, I have ventured, in concurrence with my friend and fellow labourer, the Rev. W. Conybeare, to assign to it the name of Megalosaurus." Owen, however, recalculated the length at less than thirty feet, an accurate figure. Theropoda Carnosauria Megalosauridae M. & L. Jur. Eur.
Megaraptor Novas 1998 "big thief"
meg-a-RAP-tor (Gr. megas "large" + Lat. raptor "thief, plunderer") (m) named to indicate a very large (estimated length: 8 meters (26 ft.)) sickle-toed theropod from Patagonia, Argentina, known from a fragmentary skeleton consisting of parts of the forelimbs (right ulna, left manual phalanx) and hindlimbs (right metarsal III, right ungual phalanx (claw)). The huge raptorial claw on the (presumed) second digit of the hindfoot was probably over 40 cm. (1.3 ft.) long when covered with a horny sheath in life, making it over twice as large as the slashing claw on Utahraptor, and four times as large as the claw on Deinonychus. The size and shape of the ulna and the finger joint suggest Megaraptor had long slender hands and arms, although these bones differ in important points from other known theropods. Megaraptor is difficult to reconstruct or classify without its skull or more of its skeleton, but it appears to be large, gracile predatory dinosaur--assuming it resembled Asian and North American forms such as Velociraptor, Deinonychus and Utahraptor. The slender proportions of the third metatarsal in its foot would be characteristic of coelurosaurs, and the authors tentatively include Megaraptor in the Coelurosauria, but outside other defined groups because of the unusual features of its forelimbs and slashing claw. Type species: Megaraptor namunhuaiquii [nah-mun-WIE-kee-ie] "foot lance" (from Mapuche Indian namun "foot" + huaiqui "lance" + - i). Theropoda ?Coelurosauria L. Cret. (Turonian-Coniacian) SA.
Melanorosaurus Haughton 1924 "Black Mountain (South Africa) lizard"
me-LAN-or-o-SAWR-us (Gr. melanos "black" + Gr. oros "mountain" + Gr. sauros "lizard") (m) named for Thaba 'Nyama ("Black Mountain") in the Cape Province of South Africa, where the fossil was found. Prosauropoda Melanorosauridae L. Trias. SAfr.
Metriacanthosaurus Walker 1964 "moderately spined lizard"*
met-ree-a-KAN-tho-SAWR-us (Gr. metrikos "moderate" + Gr. akantha "spine" + Gr. sauros "lizard") (m) referring to the spiny ridge along its backbone, less elevated than in some other theropods. Theropoda i.s. L. Jur. Eur.
Microceratops Bohlin 1953 "small horned face"
MIEK-ro-SER-a-tops (Gr. mikros "small" + Gr. kerat- (keras) "horn" + Gr. ops "face") (m) named for the small size of a ceratopsian dinosaur. Ceratopsia Protoceratopidae L. Cret. China
Microcoelus Lydekker 1893 "small hollow (vertebra)"
MIEK-ro-SEEL-us (Gr. mikros "small" + Gr. koilos "hollow") (m) named for the short size of the pleurocoels on a dorsal vertebra. Sauropoda Titanosauridae L. Cret. SA. [nomen dubium]
Microhadrosaurus Dong 1979 "small hadrosaur"
MIEK-ro-HAD-ro-SAWR-us (Gr. mikros "small" + Hadrosaurus) (m) name based on a very small hadrosaur dentary. Ornithopoda Hadrosauridae Hadrosaurinae L. Cret. China [nomen dubium]
Micropachycephalosaurus Dong 1978 "small pachycephalosaurid"
MIEK-ro-PAK-i-SEF-a-lo-SAWR-us (Gr. mikros "small" + Pachycephalosaurus) (m) named to indicate the small size (50-60 cm.) of a pachycephalosaur. Pachycephalosauria Pachycephalosauridae L. Cret. China
Microraptor Xu, Zhou & Wang 2000 "small robber"
MIE-kro-RAP-tor (Gr. mikros "small" + Lat. raptor "robber, plunderer") (m) named to indicate a very small dromaeosaurid dinosaur. Microraptor is the smallest known non-avian theropod (est. 39 cm. (15 in) long from head to tail, smaller than Archaeopteryx); based on a partial skeleton (Holotype: IVPP V 12330 (Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, Beijing)) found in the Early Cretaceous (Barremian) Jiufotang Formation at Xiasanjiazi, Chaoyang County, western Liaoning Province, northeast China. The teeth are heterodont and have some features found in toothed birds: all the teeth lack the anterior serrations found on teeth from other dromaeosaurids; the front teeth also lack posterior serrations; the back teeth have fine posterior serrations, but are "waisted" like those of toothed birds in having a constriction between the crown and the root. The tail has fewer than 26 vertebrae, close to the number in Archaeopteryx; the caudal vertebrae have long rod-like extensions typical of dromaeosaurids. Patches of feather-like integument are preserved with the skeleton. Microraptor's small size and curved narrow toe claws suggest it might have climbed trees--the first pedal digit also seems to be positioned more distally, as in Archaeopteryx and Confuciusornis. If Microraptor was arboreal, the existence of such small, tree-climbing theropods could add important new evidence to the debate about how bird flight developed--from running animals that lived on the grond or from climbing animals that lived in trees. The type specimen of Microraptor formed part of the notorious "Archaeoraptor" mix-up--a faked, composite fossil that combined the tail from Microraptor with the body of a fossil bird (to be described in the near future).
Type Species: Microraptor zhaoianus [JOW-ee-AY-nus] Xu, Zhou & Wang 2000 for Zhao Xijin, "a distinguished dinosaurologist who introduced [author Xu Xing] to the field of vertebrate paleontology." Theropoda Maniraptora Dromaeosauridae Early Cretaceous (Barremian) China [added 3-2001/corrected 9-2001]
Microvenator Ostrom 1970 "small hunter"
MIEK-ro-vee-NAY-tor (Gr. mikros "small" + Lat. venator "hunter")* (m) named to indicate a "very small, delicately built coelurid". Theropoda Elmisauridae L. Cret. NA.
Minmi Molnar 1980
MIN-mee or MIN-mie (m) named for Minmi Crossing, near where the fossil was found north of Roma in southeastern Queensland, Australia. ("Minmi" seems to be of aboriginal origin, but of uncertain meaning: either a corruption of Min Min (a kind of will-o-the-wisp-light), or referring to a large lily. Australians commonly pronounce the name [min-mee], but the local pronunciation near Minmi Crossing is [min-mie]. (per. corres. R. Molnar). Treated as a Latin name, the first syllable in Minmi should be stressed.) Ankylosauria i.s. E. Cret. Aus.
Mochlodon Seeley 1881 "barred tooth"
MOK-lo-don (Gr. mokhlos "bar, lever" + Gr. odon "tooth") (m) named to indicate that "these teeth appear to differ from those of Iguanodon in the persistent development of a powerful median ridge..." [= Rhabdodon]
Mongolosaurus Gilmore 1933 "Mongolian lizard"
MONG-go-lo-SAWR-us (Mongol + Gr. sauros "lizard") (m) named for Inner Mongolia, China, where the fossil was found. Generally classified as a sauropod, it is possibly a segnosaur. ?Sauropoda L. Cret. Mongolia [nomen dubium]
Monkonosaurus Zhao in Dong 1990 "Monko County (Tibet) lizard" [mang kang long]
MONG-kon-o-SAWR-us (Monko + Gr. sauros "lizard") (m) named for Monko County in eastern Tibet, where the fossil was found. Stegosauria Stegosauridae L. Jura or E. Cret. Tibet.
Monoclonius Cope 1876 "single sprout (teeth)"
mon-o-KLOHN-ee-us (Gr. mono- "single, one" + Gr. klon "sprout, twig" + -ius) (m) named for the supposed single row of functional teeth in the jaw, replaced from the front, in contrast to the supposed double row of functional teeth in Diclonius, replaced from the back: "The teeth in this genus resemble those of Hadrosaurus, and like them, are replaced from the 'front,' an arrangement with precludes the possibility of more than one series of teeth being functional use at one time." Diclonius (based only on teeth) and Monoclonius (based on teeth and skeletal material) were described together as hadrosaurs in the same 1876 paper. According to Cope, Monoclonius resembled Hadrosaurus in its teeth, but had "robust forelimbs." The original Monoclonius teeth that he described in fact came from the lower jaw of a true hadrosaur, not a ceratopsian, and were incorrectly included in the type specimen. He misidentified the crest at the back of Monoclonius's skull as part of a breastbone and did not mention a horn in his original description--the existence of horned dinosaurs was not formally recognized until Marsh named the Ceratops in 1888. Cope only restored Monoclonius with its familiar single nose-horn in 1889, after Marsh had described the first complete skull of Triceratops. The true arrangement of the horns and crest in ceratopsians became clear, and Cope recognized parts he and Charles Sternberg had collected earlier but misinterpreted. Monoclonius is currently considered diagnosable, based on its parietal frill (Dodson 1990), and distinct from Centrosaurus, which was once commonly treated as a junior synonym. Recently, however, D. Tanke and other researchers have proposed that most, if not all, specimens called Monoclonius may be immature forms of other ceratopsians, rendering the generic name a nomen dubium. (The name Monoclonius does NOT refer to a single nose horn as commonly stated. See additional comments at Agathaumas and Diclonius. The name cannot refer to the single root of the teeth, either, since Diclonius teeth also have a single root, and Cope's clearly indicated contrast between the names Monoclonius and Diclonius would not make sense.) Ceratopsia Ceratopidae Centrosaurinae L. Cret. NA.
Monolophosaurus Zhao & Currie 1993 "single crested lizard"
MON-o-LOF-o-SAWR-us (t.L.m.: mo-NOL-o-fo-SAWR-us) (Gr. monos "one" + Gr. lophos "crest" + Gr. sauros "lizard") referring to the single crest on the midline of the skull roof of a medium-sized carnivorous dinosaur; for a genus once informally referred to as "Jiangjunmiaosaurus." Theropoda i.s. M. Jura. China
Mononychus Perle, Norell, Chiappe & Clark 1993 "one claw"
mo-NON-i-kus (Gr. mono- "one, single" + Gr. onykh- (onyx) "claw" + -us) (m) named for a short, robust forelimb possessing a single stout claw "...unlike the delicate, recurved manus claws of most theropods." (Preoccupied by Mononychus Schueppel in Germar 1824, a conserved name under ICZN Opinion # 1529). [= Mononykus]
Mononykus Perle, Norell, Chiappe & Clark 1993 "one claw"
mo-NON-i-kus (arbitrary respelling of Mononychus (Gr. mono- "one, single" + Gr. onykh- (onyx) "claw" + -us) "one claw") (m) replacement name for preoccupied Mononychus Perle, Norell, Chiappe & Clark, named for a short, robust forelimb possessing a single stout claw "...unlike the delicate, recurved manus claws of most theropods." The function of such a strange modification of a wing or forelimb in conjunction with a running bipedal posture is unclear--the large claw may have been used for digging, or perhaps for tearing into bark, termite mounds or insect nests after food. The genus is possibly related to Alvarezsaurus from Argentina (Novas, 1994), a form generally classified as a dinosaur. The identification of Mononykus as a bird rather than a dinosaur is disputed by a number of researchers, but a newly discovered specimen with a complete skull appears to support bird status--the orbit is connected to the infratemporal fenestra, a condition known only for birds among archosaurs. Metornithes L. Cret. Mongolia [dino-bird]
Montanoceratops C. M. Sternberg 1951 "Montana horned face"
mon-TAN-o-SER-a-tops (Montana (from Latin montana "mountainous") + Gr. kerat- (keras) "horn" + Gr. ops "face") (m) named for the state of Montana, where the specimen from the St. Mary River formation was found; originally identified as Leptoceratops cerorhynchus. C.M Sternberg pointed out in proposing a new generic name: "In almost every respect the Montana species is more advanced than Protoceratops, whereas Leptoceratops is the most primitive of all." Ceratopsia Protoceratopidae L. Cret. NA
Morinosaurus Sauvage 1874 "Morini lizard"
MOR-in-o-SAWR-us (Lat. Morini, an ancient people of northern France + Gr. sauros "lizard") (m) alluding to where the teeth were found at Boulogne-sur-mer in northern France, a region once inhabited by the Morini; for isolated teeth. Sauropoda L. Jur. Eur. [nomen dubium]
Morosaurus Marsh 1878 "stupid lizard"
MOHR-o-SAWR-us (Gr. moros "stupid" + Gr. sauros "lizard")* (m) alluding to the small size of the brain compared to the huge size of the body in sauropods. [= Camarasaurus]
Mussaurus Bonaparte & Vince 1979 "mouse lizard"
moo-SAWR-us (Lat. mus "mouse" + Gr. sauros "lizard") (m) named for its tiny size (25 cm.); based on a juvenile prosauropod specimen. Prosauropoda Plateosauridae L. Trias. SA.
Muttaburrasaurus Bartholomai & Molnar 1981 "Muttaburra (Australia) lizard"
muht-a-BUHR-a-SAWR-us (Muttaburra + Gr. sauros "lizard") (m) named for the township of Muttaburra, central Queensland, Australian, near the fossil site. Ornithopoda Iguanodontidae E. Cret. Aus.
Mymoorapelta Kirkland & Carpenter 1994 "Mygatt-Moore shield"
mie-MOHR-a-PEL-ta (My(gatt) + Moore + Gr. pelte "shield")* (f) named to honor Peter and Marilyn Mygatt and John D. and Vanetta Moore, who discovered the Mygatt-Moore Quarry in the Morrison Formation of western Colorado where the specimen was found. Ankylosauria ?Nodosauridae L. Jura. NA