Login Register

Nomen est omen II.

Kea (Nestor notabilis) - photo: ThiciusThis article is the continuation of Nomen est omen I. that I promised at the end of that article. If you haven't read the first part yet, you can find it here: First part.

This article will be about less funny, but more interesting names such as Colon rectum or Oedipus complex. I found much more interesting scientific names while I was browsing for this second article than when I was searching for the first time. I collected my favourites here, but readers will also have the opportunity to discover additional gems for themselves. It is a wonderful free time activity and a very useful one. To help, I put a few links at the end of this article.

Though this species is a bit out of line, it has a special name and many characteristics, therefore it is on the list. This one is not an animal but a plant species, whose English name is belladonna or deadly nightshade. The scientific name: Atropa belladonna. The name Atropa is derived from that of the Greek goddess Atropos, one of the Three Fates. The name belladonna comes from the Italian language, meaning "beautiful lady". People used this plant as a facial cosmetic material and to increase women’s pupil size.

Belladonna is also used for making homeopathy. The whole plant is poisonous, but the berries and seeds contain the most tropane alkaloids, making them very toxic. This plant often grows in different zoo enclosures too, it is important to note the presence of it. There are animals that don't prefer to eat it, this way the plant can help to keep enclosures green. I experienced this at a brown bear (Ursus arctos arctos) habitat. By the way, do you know the origin of the name Ursus arctos? Both ursus and arctos mean bear, ursus in Latin and arctos in Greek, so the literal translation is "bear bear".

Ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) - photo: ThiciusWhen I was reading e-lajos’ article about the 10 most common species in zoos, I decided to introduce the Lemur catta or ring-tailed lemur to you in this article because these animals are often kept in zoos and both zoo workers and visitors use the scientific name regularly. But do you know what it means? The species is the one and only in its genus, the ring-tailed lemur receives its genus name, Lemur, from the Latin for "ghost" or "spirit", and its species name, catta, in reference to the cat-like form.

There is another ESB (European StudBook) species that also has a particular name. This animal is a highly intelligent bird from New Zealand: the kea (Nestor notabilis). The Latin term notabilis means "noteworthy", and the common name, kea, is from Māori, probably representing the screech of the bird.

Did you know that the Brachinus genus includes more than 300 species? All species are interesting ground beetles with exciting scientific names. If you are bored, follow this link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brachinus. Trust me, it's a super pastime. Here is the first on the list: Brachinus aabaaba - and this is just the beginning...

In naming species after well-known people, one of today’s best-known naturalists, Sir David Attenborough from the United Kingdom, can be no exception. My favourite among several species is Sir David's long-beaked echidna (Zaglossus attenboroughi) from New Guinea, which is a Critically Endangered (CR) species on the IUCN Red List. It also pays to check out these following species: Blakea attenboroughii; Ctenocheloides attenboroughi; Prethopalpus attenboroughi; Trigonopterus attenboroughi.

Finally, four "tough guys"

1. Pseudatrichia atombomba
This species was discovered in Alamogordo, New Mexico, where the United States, United Kingdom and Canada researched and developed the first atomic bombs during World War II.

2. Afipia clevelandensis
This bacterium got its name after the US Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (AFIP).

3-4. Amaurotoma zappa and Anomphalus jaggerius
It might be easy to guess why these fossil snails got their names. Yes, they are named after Frank Zappa and Mick Jagger because rock will never die!

If you would like to read more, here are two links for your private discovery. Have fun!
http://www.curioustaxonomy.net/
http://cache.ucr.edu/~heraty/menke.html

Tagged under: relax,

You have no rights to post comments

Enter the zoo world!