araçari (ärəˈsärē/ärəˈkärē)

Hi everyone!

When my family was in Costa Rica during spring break, we had a chance to visit the Toucan Rescue Center near San Jose. The Rescue Center cares for injured animals and in some cases, rehabilitates them and releases them back into the wild. The Rescue Center doesn’t just limit its efforts to toucans as its name suggests but also, sloths, owls, and monkeys.

The common name for the toucan featured in today’s post is Collared Araçari. Araçaris are small brightly colored toucans that belong to the genus Pteroglossus.

The genus name Pteroglossus comes from the Greek roots pter- meaning wing/feather and -gloss meaning tongue/language. Unfortunately, my pictures do not show the feathery tongue of the toucan. However, feel free to do a simple internet search to convince yourself that they do indeed have feather-like tongues!

The species name of this araçari is Torquatus. A torque (or torq/torc) is a twisted metal necklace worn by ancient Gauls, Germans, and many other ancient cultures. Torque comes from the Latin verb torquere meaning to twist or turn. If you look closely at the pictures of the araçari, you will notice a beautiful ring resembling a torq around its body.

The ‘Snettisham Great Torc’, is a treasure of the ancient world. It is made from an alloy of gold, silver and copper, and weighs over 1 kg. Image from http://www.britishmusuem.org

Can you think of any other words that contain the roots mentioned in this post? Be sure to comment and let me know!

Name That Animal: Challenge #6

What would you name this mysterious creature? (Image from pinterest)

It’s time for a Name that Animal Challenge, so here’s Challenge #6!

Pretend that you are a scientist and you have just discovered this new species and you have the privilege of naming it. Scientists usually name new species by using Greek or/and Latin roots because the prefixes, stems, and suffixes are just like building blocks that you can utilize in countless ways.

Your challenge is to name the strange animal in the picture above using your knowledge of Greek and Latin roots. Keep in mind that you can use characteristics like size, color, or shape to name this animal. Feel free to search my blog to find root words to help you or use the list below!

Greek:

lago-                                                 hare

ornitho-                                           bird

cephal-                                            head

-cephalic                                         head

-cephaly                                          head

-pter-                                               wing

phag-                                                eat

-phyll-                                                leaf

Latin:

lepor-                                                hare

-corp-                                                body

cunic-                                               hare

-capit-                                               head

ali-, al-                                              wing

avi-, av-                                            bird

I came up with lagcephalopter. The letter “o” is the most common way to link Greek roots, and the letter “i” is used to link Latin roots. However, you can do whatever you like and enjoy!

If you haven’t already done so, be sure to check out  Name That Animal Challenge #1, Name That Animal Challenge #2, Name That Animal Challenge #3, Name That Animal Challenge #4, and Name That Animal Challenge #5.

Name That Animal: Challenge #5

What would you name this fantastic beast? (Image from Pinterest)

I haven’t published a Name That Animal Challenge in several months, so here you go!

Pretend that you are a scientist and you have just discovered a new animal and you have the privilege of naming this unusual species. Scientists typically name new species by using Greek or/and Latin roots because the prefixes, stems, and suffixes are just like building blocks that you can use in countless ways.

Your challenge is to name the interesting animal in the picture above using your knowledge of Greek and Latin roots. Keep in mind that you can use characteristics like size, color, or shape to name the animal. Feel free to search my blog to find root words to help you or use the list below.

Greek:

hippo-, -hippus                             horse

morph                                               form, shape

cephal                                               head

pter                                                    wing

Latin:

equi-, -equus                                 horse

corp                                                body

ungul-, ungula                              hoof

capit                                                head

ali-, al-                                            wing

avi-, av-                                          bird

I came up with hippopter or winged horse. The letter “o” is the most common way to link Greek roots, and the letter “i” is used to link Latin roots. However, you can do whatever you like and enjoy!

It’s not too late to participate in my  Name That Animal Challenge #1, Name That Animal Challenge #2,  and Name That Animal Challenge #3, and Name That Animal Challenge #4.

Name That Animal: Challenge #3

What would you name this unique animal? Image from pinterest.

It has been a while since I have posted a Name That Animal Challenge, so here is Challenge #3!

Pretend that you are a scientist and you have just discovered this new species and you have the privilege of naming it. Scientists usually name new species by using Greek or/and Latin roots because the prefixes, stems, and suffixes are just like building blocks that you can utilize in countless ways.

Your challenge is to name the unique animal in the picture above using your knowledge of Greek and Latin roots. Keep in mind that you can use characteristics like size, color, or shape to name the animal. Feel free to search my blog to find root words to help you or use the list below.

Greek:

hipp                            horse

cephal                       head

pter                             wing

lepid                           scale

micr*                          small                                *used as a prefix

morph                       form, shape

Latin:

mari                            sea

equ                             horse

corp                            body

capit                           head

*- iform                      shape                        *used as a suffix

I came up with hippolepidopter or scaly winged horse. The letter “o” is the most common way to link Greek roots. The letter “i” is used to link Latin roots.

It’s not too late to participate in Name That Animal Challenge #1 and Name That Animal Challenge #2. Have fun!

Name That Animal: Challenge #1

What would you name this "dog bird?"

This semester, I am taking a fabulous etymology class called The Witty Wordsmith. Recently, the instructor challenged the class to name weird animals that people had created using Photoshop. We had to use our knowledge of Greek and Latin roots to name the animals. I had a lot of fun doing this assignment so I have created my own challenge and I hope you all enjoy it.

Pretend that you are a scientist and you have just discovered this new species of bird and you have the privilege of naming your species. Scientists usually name new species by using Greek or/and Latin roots because the prefixes, stems, and suffixes are just like building blocks that you can utilize in countless ways.

Your challenge is to name the unique animal in the picture above using your knowledge of Greek and Latin roots. Keep in mind that you can use characteristics like size, color, or shape to name the animal. Feel free to search my blog to find root words to help you or use the list below.

Greek:
cyno                            dog
cephal                        head
soma, somat           body
pter                             wing, feather
ornith, ornis            bird

Latin:
avi                              bird
can                            dog

Submit your names by leaving me a comment!

Lepidoptera (le-pə-ˈdäp-tə-rə)

 

We planted a small butterfly garden many years ago and it is starting to bloom again. The garden attracts many beautiful butterflies such as Monarchs, Swallowtails, Viceroys, and Fritillaries. Butterflies and moths belong to a large group of insects called Lepidoptera.  Lepidoptera comes from the Greek roots lepid, meaning scale and pter, meaning wing. The word literally means “scaly wing”, and refers to the brightly colored, overlapping scales that make up the wings (and bodies) of these insects.