The Greek and Latin root words that make up the scientific name often describe the animal. Using the Greek and Latin root words below, students will decode each dolphin's scientific name.
Each species of dolphin has a scientific name. This helps scientists know exactly which
animal is being discussed, even though it may have more than one common name. For example,
what one scientist calls a short-snouted spinner dolphin, another might call a Clymene
dolphin. But if they used the mane Stenella clymene, they would both understand
which dolphin they were discussing.
Tursiops truncatus (bottlenose dolphin) = dolphin with a cut-off face
Stenella coeruleoalba (striped dolphin) =
Grampus griseus (Risso's dolphin) =
Lagenorhynchus obscurus (dusky dolphin) =
Globicephala melaena (long-finned pilot whale) =
Lagenorhynchus actus (Atlantic white-sided dolphin) =
Pseudorca crassidens (false killer whale) =
Lagenorhynchus albirostris (white-beaked dolphin) =
Lagenorhynchus cruciger (hourglass dolphin) =
Lissodelphin borealis (northern right whale dolphin) =
Lagenorhynchus australis (Peale's dolphin) =
SeaWorld/Busch Gardens Animal Information Database
www.seaworld.org / www.buschgardens.org
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