(Roughly) Daily

The Annals of Taxonomy, Part 42…

Scientific discovery is not without its obligations. As new things– stars, particles/elements, species– are discovered, they must be named. Naming rights (at least the right to propose) typically resides with the discover; and, science being the collections of eccentrics that it is, some of those names are, well, unexpected. Consider:

Carmenelectra shechisme: Pronounced “Carmen Electra She Kiss Me”, is actually a name for a fossil mythicmyiid (that’s another word for moth) from Dominican amber.

Pieza kake: This one is easy, an absolute piece of cake. It’s a small furry fly. The name Pieza is derived from the Greek “piezos” meaning to squeeze, referring to the peculiar shape of the female’s sperm pump.

From “10 Most Bizarre Species Names,” where there reader will find these and eight other pretty bizarre species names.

As we noodle on nomenclature (“Happy Paternity Day, Pater”?), we might recall with gratitude that it was on this date in 1215 that King John met the barons of England at Runnymede, on the banks of the Thames, and put his seal with theirs on the Magna Carta (“Great Charter”), a document that helped lay the foundation for democracy in the English-speaking world.

Magna Carta

The Magna Carta

Written by (Roughly) Daily

June 15, 2008 at 1:01 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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