We were once told by Nintendo that Yoshi is not a dinosaur, as we'd stated in a feature, but that he was simply a Yoshi. Once we'd dusted ourselves down from the polite but firm telling off, we felt indignant. He is a dinosaur, with boots, what's so wrong about that?

It is possible that down the road of such thoughts madness lies, we know, yet redemption may be at hand from a Nintendo Character Guide from the 1990s, which seems as likely a place as any. Console Wars author and all-round good egg Blake Harris has been reading this book from 1993, and discovered the following passage that provides the scientific name for Yoshi and, humorously, Mario.

Yoshi, properly known as T. Yoshisaur Munchakoopas, had been held captive in an egg until Mario (homo nintendonus) bopped along and rescued him. Instantly, the young dinosaur and the plumber became fast friends. Together, they set out to rescue Yoshi's dinosaur pals from the wickedness of Bowser.

Now, let's be clear, Yoshi in this context is an entire species, so when we say "it's Yoshi" we may as well say "it's dog" or "it's anteater". Deeply impersonal and hurtful, perhaps, but those are the breaks for our maybe-a-dinosaur pal; we also believe we have an upper hand in the dinosaur debate as part of the name is Yoshisaur, so there. What does the T stand for, though?

It's certainly one for a pub quiz, though naturally it's hard to take it too seriously due to the comedic nature of these scientific terms, and the fact it's a creature making strange noises and wearing boots, being ridden by a moustachioed plumber who'll happily use him to jump higher and send him plummeting to his doom...

Let's just play a bit of Super Mario Galaxy 2 and not worry about it too much. If you do want to worry about it, there are a couple of polls below.

Is Yoshi a dinosaur? (451 votes)

  1. Yes74%
  2. No12%
  3. What on Earth are you talking about?13%

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What does the 'T' stand for in Yoshi's name? (471 votes)

  1. The8%
  2. Tyrannosaurus23%
  3. T-Dog3%
  4. Terence2%
  5. Thierry  0%
  6. Turok3%
  7. Tim4%
  8. Tupac13%
  9. Teapot3%
  10. Tetris5%
  11. Thingy-ma-jig6%
  12. No idea, it's the greatest mystery of our times29%

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