Mamerto Adan is a feature writer back in college for a school paper. Science is one of his many interests, and his favorite topic.
Whenever I hear the C.S. Lewis quote from his book The Silver Chair, dinosaurs come in mind. Remember the City of Giants eulogy? To be honest it’s kind of catchy. Here it goes then:
"Though under earth and throneless now I be, Yet, while I lived, all earth was under me."
I have trouble understanding the darn thing at first, but it says how the giant King came to rule the world when he lived.
And now, like the Kings of Lewis’ imperial giants, dinosaurs are buried underground and waiting to be discovered. Yet they ruled the world in their thundering heydays, millennia before humans came.
And being the kings and queens of this world, these folks surely deserve catchy titles. In the human world, fancy nicknames are given to great rulers. Even in every-man's level, we love to give catchy titles to known achievers. Cage fighters are good examples. And now scientists came up with some of the most colourful names being given to any living creatures. If there is something that most modern animals never enjoyed is having cool names. And below are just some of the best sounding dinosaur names there is (these are just few examples. We still got more out there).
But First; The Term “Dinosaur” Sounds Cool Enough
Dinogeeks already knew it, but it was Sir Richard Owen who coined the famed word “dinosaur. Upon seeing a specimen being uncovered in Southen England, he marvelled at the monumental size and described them as “terrible lizard.” Hence the Dinosauria taxon was born. And there is a good reason why the term itself resonates well with common people. Apart from the fact that it sounds catchy, the word plays well with our deepest fantasies; of giant creatures thundering the earth in a distant past.
Now with that said, let’s dig in for more.
The first creature that we have here has an unconventional dino name, let alone an exotic animal name. The name Anzu might sounds like something taken from a fantasy book (or some tribal terminology), but it is actually a dinosaur. Well a dinosaur name based from a Mesopotamian mythological demon. The original Anzu is a feathered demon of myth, a massive fire and water breathing bird. Though it’s very unlikely that we will ever meet Anzu in real life, this oviraptorosaurian dino is the closest we could get. Anzu wyliei might have toothless beak and prominent crest that gave it the appearance of a steroidal cassowary, but at 11 feet long it is the largest North American oviraptorosaur; only second to the behemoth Gigantoraptor. However, the Anzu is herbivore (or omnivore) and not much of a hunter; nothing demonic here actually. But we could assume that if the thing exist in present day, humans will be packing away regardless if its’ a carnivorous or not.
Its name resembles something from an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie. And unlike the Anzu who sounds more demonic than it really is, this creature will legitimately kill you. The Neovenator is an allosaurid dinosaur measuring 25 feet in length. And like any allosaurus, it is a real hunter. In fact the name actually meant “New Hunter;” whereas “Neo”is Greek for new, while “Venator is Latin for hunter.
Want to know who’s the giant beast that once usurped the T-Rex from its thrown as the biggest meat eating dino? The fearsome name says it all. Being christened Giganotosaurus (meaning giant lizard), this creature boasts a length of 43 feet, yet it could move at 31 mph. It became big to eat big. This creature may have fed on juvenile sauropods and might be an apex predator.
How’s that to challenge the Tyrant Lizard King.
If the name Neovenator doesn’t sounds cool enough, then how about Skorpiovenator. Hearing the name brings in mind an insanely fierce and venomous meat eater. It’s a therapod after all, belonging to the genus Abelisauridae. You might have guessed that its name meant “scorpion hunter,” but it is due to the abundance of scorpions in the dig site where it was uncovered. Nevertheless it is a fitting name to a formidable carnosaurus. At 20 feet long this thing could do a lot of damages, though it had a nearly useless arm as it is related to the Carnotaurus.
The name might sound like a T-rex offshoot, but it’s a legit badass of its own. The name literally means “titanic tyrant,” and it’s definitely a titan. The creature belongs to the carcharodontosaurid family, where the Giganotosaurus belongs. And people knew how large those therapods grew. And this behemoth could reach a length of 40 feet, rivalling the T-rex in terms of size. Titanic indeed!
But this list won’t be complete without the best loved creature that could tear you apart. Due to its massive size, the Tyranosaurus Rex reached legendary status. It basically satisfies our hunger for rampaging giant monsters, and people are fascinated the first time they saw it. It was one of the first giant therapod that was discovered, and it will held on to its belt as the biggest meat eater until Giganotosaurus came to challenge it (it grew at 40 feet). Hence it deserves the name “tyrant lizard king.” And though it is no longer the largest, it remains the king for having the biggest bite force. At a deadly 12 800 lbs, it would reduce bones to splinters.
Do you think therapods are amazing enough? Wait till you see the sauropods that evolved to survive their purges. This long necked thunderer went big to discourage potential meat eaters. So big in fact, that scientist began naming one after earthquakes. Meet Sauroposeidon, the dino earthquake god. Well the name literally means lizard earthquake god for a good reason. At 59 feet tall, it’s as tall as a six story building and could reach 112 feet long; with that size the creature is a walking earthquake.
Some Dinosaurs With Raptor In Their Names
It’s just the fact that the raptor word sounds cool enough. And now any dino names will be badass if they carry the raptor extension name. The word actually means “thief” in Latin and it also applies to modern day birds of prey (or modern dinosaurs). In the Paleo word,raptor are Dromaeosauridae dinosaur family (those feathered therapod with sickle claws). But unrelated species will also possess the name raptor like oviraptorosaur. Some famous examples are the Velociraptor (fast thief), Utaraptor (Utah thief) and Atrociraptor (savage thief).
And then there is the Dromaeosaur without the raptor name, but still sounds cool. Yes it never got the honor of being called raptor, but being named Deinonychus (terrible claw) is a fitting consolation. Like many of its family members, it got cruel sickle claws on the feet and feathered body. It’s about the size of a human and strong enough to takedown larger prey when hunting in groups.
It sound like a demonic dinosaur, but it’s just a triceratops relative with unique horns. The Diabloceratops has all the traits of a common ceratopsian like bony frills and large quadruped bodies. Its claim to fame is the curved diabolic horns on the frill and above the eyes. Aside from those it’s just a usual dino and yes it doesn’t breathe fire or summon spirits.
And speaking of horns, here’s a therapod that got them on their heads. With horns above the eye, it earned the name Carnotaurus (meat eating bull). And this is one animal you don’t want to meet. The function of the horn is still not clear, but with a robust skull and strong neck the Carnotaurus surely used them for ramming. Probably rival males fought by butting heads, or they gore their prey to death. The creature is also very fast, suggested by the leg structure.
Lastly we have a creature named the Lythronax, meaning the “Gore King.” Being a tyrannosaurid, it commands an awesome name. It had all the tools of the Tyrant Lizard King family member like good vision, crushing bite and speed. Yes it is only 24 feet long, but still too large to cause serious damages.