Scientific names of organisms are not usually known for their entertainment value. They are indispensable for clarity in communication, but most people skip over them with barely a glance. Here I collect those names that are worth a second look.
Some names are interesting for what they are named after (for example, Arthurdactylus conandoylensis, Godzillius), some are puns (La cucaracha, Phthiria relativitae), and some show other kinds of wordplay (such as the palindromic Orizabus subaziro). Some have achieved notability through accident of history, and many show the sense of humor of taxonomists.
Home brings you back here. Rules gives a brief overview of the rules governing biological naming (and, along the way, includes several curious examples). Etymology lists names that are notable for what they are named after. Puns lists names which are unusual for how they sound. Wordplay includes all unusual features of names other than their meaning and pronunciation. Gene Names lists a few of the interesting names which have been given to genes. Misc. includes things which do not fit elsewhere, including other curious biological terms, interesting stories about names, and some creative writing. References includes also links, acknowledgements, and a list of the newest entries. Feedback gives directions and requests to those who want to contact me.
The names which are recent additions to this collection will be shown in a brighter shade of red. (How recent depends on how often I update. I'll try to keep the newest names distinctive for about a month.) The most recent additions are also listed separately, with links to the page each appears on.
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