While reading a 19th century text of new species description, I'm confused by some Latin phrases.

The case here is:

Corp. long. 8 poll., caud. 9 poll.

I guess 'corp.' and 'long.' are abbreviations of some Latin terms, and the whole meaning of the combination of these two words is probably "body length". But I still can't figure out what "caud." and "poll." (the number seems like is in inch though) are stand for.

The species described is a rodent species. Full text could be found here (p.185).


2 Answers 2


The pollex was a Roman length measurement, approximately equivalent to an inch. The pollex was also known as the uncia, which is where the word "inch" comes from. There were 12 unciae in a pes ...

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the further explanation. Sorry don't have enough rep to upvote. $\endgroup$
    – Peterlee
    Aug 26, 2014 at 16:21

"Caud." refers to the tail (lat: cauda) and, judging from the description, "poll." seems to be another word for inch. So the translation should be something like:

Body length: 8 inches, tail length: 9 inches.


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