Have you ever wondered why cats are sometimes referred to as felines? Or why dogs are referred to as canines? How about horses and all those mentions about equines? In case you didn’t know this, these words are the Latin root for these animals.
These words are very helpful in categorizing the animal kingdom. For example, that tiny miniature horse or that pony is as much an equine as that gargantuan Clydesdale. Another example that might wow you is realizing that the pet goldfish in your sister’s aquarium is as much a piscine as is the cod in the sandwich you had for lunch! (If you’re thinking of the Zodiac sign of Pisces, you’re right on target!)
By now, you’re probably wondering about additional Latin monikers for animals. Here are some fun Latin terms to learn:
Dogs – Canines
Cats – Felines
Fish – Piscines
Horses – Equines
Birds – Avians
Cattle – Bovines
Sheep – Ovines
Wolves – Lupines
Goats – Caprines
Lions – Leonines
Pigs/Swine – Porcines
Another advantage of knowing these Latin roots is that it’s much easier to decode words once you know these Latin terms. For example, if you see the word “equestrian,” you can easily ascertain that it must be an event or topic that involves horses due to the obvious kinship of the word “equestrian” to the word “equine.” An Aviary is a habitat for birds; it might be a parrot cage or it might be a large canary display at a zoo. Nevertheless, it’s easy for you to figure that out due to the similarity between “aviary” and “avian.”
If you would like to verify this information and find out some other interesting relationships between Latin roots and animal names, visit this helpful website. It offers a very educational exposition of Latin words that end in “ine” that are either a scientific name for a species, or there is a direct correlation between the word and the animal kingdom.
Now take your intellectual self and your pet for a walk and show off your newly learned academia to your friends.