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The 10 Worst Dinosaur Names

The Least Impressive Dinosaur Names, from Becklespinax to Uberabatitan


If dinosaurs were still around--and smart enough to know their own names--they might want to throttle some of the paleontologists that discovered them. Here's a list of the 10 least impressive dinosaur names, ranging from Becklespinax to Uberabatitan. (Just how pathetic are these dinosaurs? Compare them to the 10 Best Dinosaur Names.)

1. Futalognkosaurus

Wikimedia Commons

It sounds like a hot dog--and don't even get us started about that "g" before the "n," which is usually misspelled--but Futalognkosaurus was actually one of the biggest titanosaurs that ever lived, measuring a full 100 feet from head to tail. Too bad about that name, though. More about Futalognkosaurus

2. Opisthocoelicaudia

Getty Images

Probably the worst-named of all the dinosaurs on this list, Opisthocoelicaudia (Greek for "backward-facing tail socket"--cool, huh?) was immortalized in 1977 by an unusually literal-minded paleontologist. Too bad, because otherwise this was a fairly impressive titanosaur of the late Cretaceous period. More about Opisthocoelicaudia

3. Sinusonasus

Ezequiel Vera

With that "sinus" on the front end and "nasus" on the back, Sinusonasus sounds like a two-legged head cold (its name, in fact, means "sinus-shaped nose"). This small, feathered Troodon relative must have been standing behind a big rock when all the cool dinosaur names were being handed out. More about Sinusonasus

4. Becklespinax

Sergey Krasovskiy

Life sometimes isn't fair. What's the point of being a 20-foot-long, one-ton carnivore if you're saddled with a name like Becklespinax? Adding insult to injury, "Beckles' spine" (named after the naturalist who discovered it) may have been a close relative of the much cooler Spinosaurus. More about Becklespinax

5. Leaellynasaura

Australia National Dinosaur Museum

It seems unchivalrous to make fun of a dinosaur named after a little girl (the daughter of paleontologist Patricia Vickers-Rich). But nobody outside Australia, and probably very few people in it, know how to pronounce "Leaellynasaura," and even those who do probably have no idea how it's spelled. More about Leaellynasaura

6. Monoclonius

Sergey Krasovskiy

As a general rule, it's not a good idea to give a dinosaur a name that sounds like an obscure, fatal disease. Too bad about Monoclonius, because this ceratopsian (horned, frilled dinosaur) could have given Triceratops a run for its money, if only it didn't sound like a low-rated episode of House. More about Monoclonius

7. Mymoorapelta

Wikimedia Commons

Paleontologists often like to name dinosaurs after the geographical locations where they were found, often with unpronounceable results. The early ankylosaur Mymoorapelta references Colorado's Mygatt-Moore quarry; a better tribute might have been a name that people could actually remember. More about Mymoorapelta

8. Pantydraco

Nobu Tamura

You can stop laughing now: Pantydraco, the "panty dragon," was named not after a piece of women's lingerie, but the Pant-y-ffynnon quarry in Wales. Its name is apposite in at least one way: Pantydraco measured about six feet long and weighed 100 pounds, about the dimensions of your average supermodel. More about Pantydraco

9. Piatnitzkysaurus

National Museum of Prague

In paleontology circles, it's a huge honor to have a dinosaur named after you; the problem is that some paleontologists have cooler names than others. "Piatnitzky" seems like a particularly unfortunate choice for this dinosaur, a sleek, ferocious theropod of middle Jurassic South America. More about Piatnitzkysaurus

10. Uberabatitan

Dinosaurs of Brazil

It's fashionable to assign two-part names to titanosaurs: the location they were discovered in, attached to the Greek root "titan." Sometimes the resulting names are impressive and mellifluous, and sometimes they sound like utter nonsense. Guess which category Uberabatitan belongs to? More about Uberabatitan

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