Tag Archives: weird scientific names

Funny Scientific Names, Part 3

Parts 1 and 2 here, and yes it has been three years.

Crikey steveirwini – a snail

Buffalopterus (means “Buffalo wing”) – a eurypterid, AKA “sea scorpion”

Godiva – a nudibranch

Han solo – a trilobite (officially named after the Han Chinese and for being the last surviving species of its family, but that’s not fooling anyone)

Eoperipatus totoro – a velvet worm

Klobiodon rochei – a pterosaur, named after Nick Roche, a Transformers comic book artist who redesigned the Dinobots to be more scientifically accurate

Fubaricthys – a fossil fish

Scrotum humanum – the name initially given to the first (non-avian) dinosaur to be properly named; fortunately, it was obscure then, and became famous under the name Megalosaurus before anyone realized they were the same (can you imagine there being a sculpture of Scrotum in Victorian London?!)

Gelae baen, Gelae belae, Gelae donut, Gelae fish, and Gelae rol – fungus beetles

Dermophis donaldtrumpi – a blind amphibian that buries its head in the sand

Funny Scientific Names, part 2

Part 1 is here.

Spongiforma squarepantsii (yes, really)- a mushroom

Tinkerbella nana – a fairy fly

Ittibittium – a mollusk

Oedipus rex – a salamander

Megapnosaurus (means “big dead lizard”) – a dinosaur

Irritator challengeri – a dinosaur

Gojirasaurus – a dinosaur, obviously

Not the name of a creature, but “thagomizer” is the name for the spikes on the end of a Stegosaurus’s tail. It originated in this Far Side cartoon:

Thagomizer

“Now this end is called the thagomizer … after the late Thag Simmons.”

And so finally, there is a louse named Strigiphilus garylarsoni.

Funny scientific names, part 1

I haven’t posted anything science-related in a while. If you’re at all familiar with the scientific names given to various creatures, you might have noticed that a few of them are weird or funny.

If you’re not familiar, the reason they have them in the first place is for international consistency; so scientists from all of the world can call a plant or animal by the same name. Most come from Greek or Latin, but not nearly all of them (in particular most of the funny ones don’t). The first word is the genus, the second is the species, and if there’s a third word it’s a subspecies.

Gaga germanotta – a fern (yes, it is named after Lady Gaga)

Hakuna matata – a wasp

Bison bison bison – take a guess (hint: bison)

Harryhausenia – a fossil sand crab

Laputavis – appropriately, a fossil swift

Brontomerus (means “thunder thigh”)- a dinosaur

Dracorex hogwartsia – a dinosaur

Bambiraptor – a dinosaur

Pantydraco – yet another dinosaur (this one is a coincidence; it’s named after Pant-y-ffynnon Quarry in Wales…which I need to remember if I ever do funny place names)

Zyzzyxdonta – a snail so slow it’s at the very end of the alphabet