Special Species

Combine latin and greek words to make your own Special Species!

Two special species!
Here is a rainbow-hoof (and body) frog and a green mountain fox!

Every species has its own unique scientific name that is chosen by the individual or team that discovers it. The name usually reflects something about the species itself.

Carl Linnaeus came up with the 'binomial' naming system, which means two names. Every species is known by two names - we are Homo sapiens (meaning man thinking, or wise).

You can come up with your own special species by combining together different latin or greek words and imagining what the species would look like and why it might have evolved to have those features.

How to create your own Special Species

There are three main ways:

1. Download and print our special species card game here. We also have a guide to playing the game here.

2. Use our random word generator below.

3. Pick words from the drop down menu's below, or search for their latin translations using Google Translate, or take a look at this Wikipedia page.

Special Species Card Game

You can download the name cards here: Special Species Name Cards (make sure you print them double-sided, flipping on the long-edge).

You can also download our handy guide to using the cards here: Guide To Special Species

Random Word Generator

Click the button below:

Word type Latin - English
Species:
Number:
Adjective:
Colour:
Body part:


Pick 3, 4 or 5 of these words and put them together to create a whole new species! The best combinations are Species, Colour/Number and Body Part.

For example, I might select Spider White Beard (arach, alb, pogo), which could represent a spider with a white beard, or a white spider with a beard, or a white spider that lives inside beards! You could then give it the scientific name ‘Arachna albapogo’ (don't be afraid to add vowels to make the word sound better).

Latin words in categories

Adjectives
English Latin Usage
Blind caec Caecilians are tropical worm-like amphibians which have small or nonexistent eyes
Broad lati The 'lats' are wide muscles that attach along the spine
Circular cycl Cyclamen is a genus of plants that have a large spherical underground structure called a tuber
Crawling reptans Reptiles are known to crawl along the ground
Curled crispus Chondrus crispus is a red algae that has curled structures
Dead necro A necrophage is an organism that consumes dead animal flesh
Deep profund To have a profound understanding is for your understanding to be deep
Fast tachy Tachycardia is a condition where the heart beats quicker than usual
Flat platy A platypus has a flat foot
Hard dur To be durable is to be resistant to damage
Hidden crypt Cryptogam are plants with hidden reproductive features
Hole trema Monotremes are a group of animals that have one hole for excreting all waste
Large macr Macropodidae is a family of marsupials that have big feet
Light photo Photosynthesis is the process of using light as an energy source
Lying back supin To be supine to the be lying on your back
New neo A neonate is the scientific name given to a newborn child
Pretty bell Atropa belladonna, aka deadly nightshade, is a pretty plant that can be used as a poison
Rough asper Streblus asper is known as the sandpaper tree
Round teres Terrestrial animals live on the ground
Sharp oxys Talostolida teres is a species of sea snail that is round
Shining gano Ganoderma is a genus of fungi that is known to have a shiny edge
Short brachy Brachyplatystoma is a genus of catfish which short flat mouths
Slender lepto Leptospira is a long and thin bacteria that can cause severe illness
Slow brady Bradycardia is a condition where the heart beats slower than usual
Small micro Microbes are small organisms
Smaller min Brookesia minima is the name of the Madagascan dwarf chameleon
Soft moll To mollycoddle is to treat too softly
Spiny echino An echidna is a spiny anteater
Star aster An asterisk is a little star used to indicate that extra information is available elsewhere
Sweet dulci To have a dulcet tone is to produce sweet soft music
Tall altissim Solidago altissima is among the tallest species of the Solidago genus of plants
Terrible dino Dinosaur means terrible lizard
Thick pachy Pachycephalosaurus was a thick-headed-lizard
Torn lacer To lacerate is to tear something
Twisted ileum The ileum is the final part of the human small intestine
Wooly ulo Ulomyia fuliginosa is a species of fly that has wooly, fluffy wings
Species
English Latin Usage
Bean fab The scientific name for a broad bean is Vicia faba, which is why it is also sometimes called the fava, or faba, bean
Bear urs Ursa major is a constellation of stars known as the Great Bear
Bird avi / ornith Aviation is all about making things fly
Cat feli Cats are commonly known as felines
Dog cani / cyno Dogs are commonly known as canines
Fish ichthy / pisc An ichthyosaur is a prehistoric giant fish-lizard
Flower foli The term foliage means all the leaves of a plant
Fox vulp In the popular childrens game Pokemon, a fox-like creature is called Vulpix
Frog ran The common frog is called Rana temporaria
Goat trago A Greek tragedy is often referred to as a 'goat-song'
Hawk hiera Hera was the ancient Greek Queen of the Gods
Horse equ / hippo Horse-like animals like horses, zebras, asses and mules are commonly known as equines
Lion leo Leo is a constellation and zodiac sign which is represented as a Lion
Lizard saur A dinosaur literally means terrible-lizard
Man homo Homo can mean man or same
Monkey simi Simians refer to primates that include monkeys, apes and humans
Mouse muri This is a well-used prefix to refer to mice or mice-like creatures
Pig porc Pig meat is referred to as pork
Plant phyto Phyto is a prefix that refers to anything related to or coming from plants
Sheep ovi Ovis is the genus of six species of sheep
Snake ophi Ophiuchus is a large constellation that looks like a man grasping a snake
Spider arach Arachnaphobia is the fear of spiders
Tree arbor Arboreal creatures are ones that live in trees
Viper echis Echis is a genus of vipers of which there is around 12 species
Wolf lupus Lupus literally means wolf. A werewolf in the popular book series Harry Potter is called Professor Lupin
worm helminth Helminth is a general term meaning worm but includes lots of different species
Colours
English Latin Usage
Black melan Melanin is a pigment in the skin, hair and eyes that gives it colour
Blue cyan Cyan is made by mixing equal amounts of green and blue light
Colour chrom Chromium is an element that was named so because it makes colourful compounds
Gold aur An aurora is a natural light display in the sky. It means 'shines like gold'
Golden chrys Chrysanthrax is a genus of bee flies that have a golden body
Green chlor / verd Chlorophyll is the name of the pigment found in plants to give them a green colour
Grey polio Polio is a disease that affects the 'grey' matter of the spinal colour
Pale pallid Pallid literally means a pale face
Purple iod Iodine is an element which is dark purple solid and can be heated to become a deep violet liquid or gas
Rainbow iris In Greek myth, Iris is the goddess of the rainbow
Red erythr / rhodo / ruber Erythrocyte is the scientific name for a red blood cell
Silver arg The country Argentina gets it's name because it borders a river called 'The River of Silver'
White alb / leuc Leukaemia is a disease which affects white blood cells
Yellow flav / lute To be flavescent is to turn yellow
Numbers
English Latin Usage
One mono / un A monobrow is having one eyebrow
Two bi / di Bipedal is walking on two feet
Three tri Triceratops had a three horned face
Four quadr Quadrapeds have four feet
Five pent Pentremites are an extinct fossils that have five distinct grooves
Six hexa A hexapod has six legs
Seven hepta . septem Coccinella septempunctata is the name of the seven-spotted ladybird
Eight oct Ludwigia hexapetala is a water primrose with six petals
Nine novem Dasypus novemcinctus is the name of the nine-banded armadillo
Ten deci A decade is ten years
Eleven undecim Un + decim = 11
Twelve dodeca A dodecahedron is a shape with twelve flat faces
Hundred centi / hect There are 100 centimeters in a meter, and 100cm long by 100cm wide is known as a hectare, i.e. 100cm2
Thousand kilo / milli A kilometer is 1 thousand meters. A millimeter is 1 thousandth of a meter
Single haplo Haplo is used in genetics to talk about one single bit of DNA from one parent
Both amphi An amphibian lives both in the water and on land
Half hemi The earth has a northern and a southern hemisphere
Double diplo A diplodocus was a dinosaur with a double boned structure in its tail
Equal iso An isosceles triangle has three equal sides
Greater maj Something major is something big
Greatest maxim The maximum number is the greatest number
Many multi / poly Polygons are shapes with multiple corners or sides
Body Parts
English Latin Usage
Ankle talus A talon is the claw of a bird of prey
Arm brachi Brachiopods are shelled animals that have upper and lower surfaces/arms rather than left and right surfaces (like bivalves)
Back dors Sharks have dorsal fins, i.e. fins on their backs
Back of the head occip The occipital protuberance is the little bony lump on the back of the human head
Beak rostr Some reptiles have a rostral scale on the tip of their snout
Beard barb / pogo Pogona barbata is commonly known as the bearded dragon
Belly ventr Your ventral side is your front including your stomach
Big toe hallux A Hallux valgus is the scientific name for a bunion, a deformity of the big toe
Body corp The corpus callosum is the body of tissue that connects the left side of the brain to the right side
Brain cerebro The cerebellum is a main part of the brain
Breastbone stern The human breastbone is called the sternum
Chest pect The human chest is made up of pectoral muscles
Ear ot Otariidae are a family of seals which have noticeable ears
Egg ovo An ovum is a human embryonic egg
Eye omm / opt The optic nerve connects the eye to the brain
Fat adipo Adipose tissue is fatty tissue
Feather plum Plummage is the collective term for features
Finger dactyl Polydactyl is the condition of having more than the normal number of fingers
Foot ped / pod Ornithopods were dinosaurs with feet like birds
Hair capill / nema Capillaries are thin, hair-like vessels for blood
Hoof ungul Ungulates are a group of animals with hooves
Horn cera A rhinoceros has a horned-nose
Leaf lamella / phyll Chlorophyll comes from the latin 'chlor' which means green, and 'phyll' which means leaf
Lower jaw mandib The mandible is the name of the human lower jaw
Lung pulmo Pulmonary arteries are blood vessels that feed into the lungs
Mouth bucca / stom Barbucca elongata is a fish which a beard (barb) around its mouth (bucca)
Nose rhin A rhinoceros has a horned-nose
Pouch marsupium Marsupials are categorised as having pouches for their young
Scale lepid Lepidoptera are butterflies and moths. They have scale-wings
Shell conch A conch is a common name given to different medium to large shells
Shoulder omo Omophoita is a genus of flea beetles that has a light colour on its shell that looks like shoulders
Skull crani The cranium is the skull
Spot macula Cypraea macula is a species of mollusc that has lots of spots
Tentacle cirr Barnacles are known as Cirripedia as they are curl-footed
Tongue gloss Tsetse flies (Glossinidae) are known as tongue-flies because of their large tongue-like sucker
Tooth dont Vampire bats belong to a group called Desmodontinae, meaning mouse-sized teeth
Wing pter Lepidoptera are butterflies and moths. They have scale-wings
Environments
English Latin Usage
Clear water lymph Lymphatic fluid is a clear liquid that moves around the body
Dawn eo In Greek mythology, Eos is the goddess of the dawn
Fire pyro Pyromania is a disorder characterised by the intentional and repeated setting of fires
Heat therm A thermometer measures heat
Hot calor A calorie is a unit of energy needed to raise the temperature of one gram of water by one degree
Of mountains montan Centaurea montana is a plant that grows in mountainous regions
Of the sea maritim Comes from the latin 'mare' meaning 'sea' and '-timus' which means inmost.
On the ground chamae Chamaedorea is a genus of palm trees which means gift on the ground.
Rock petr To be petrified is to be so frightened that one is unable to move - like a rock
Sand ammo Ammophila is a genus of plants that grows on coastal sand dunes
Stone lith Lithium is an eleme
Sun sol / helio Lithothamnon erianceum is a a species of coralline algae which has a Scottish local name of 'hedgehog stones'
Water aqua / hydr Make sure you stay hydrated
Wood lign Limnoria lignorum is an aquatic 5mm organism that tunnels into wood and can destroy wooden structures

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More info

Here's a great archive of some definitions/origins of plant names: http://www.plantlives.com/plant_botanical_def_list.php