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Curiosities of Biological Nomenclature
Mark Isaak       specimen@curioustaxonomy.net
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Puns: Scientific and Common Names the Same

Many plants use the same word for their scientific and common name. Examples among animals are less common.

Addax, Agama agama, Alligator, Amoeba, Anhinga anhinga anhinga, Bison bison bison, Boa constrictor, Caiman, Caracal caracal caracal, Chinchilla, Colobus, Conger conger, Dugong, Gorilla gorilla, Hippopotamus, Hydra, Hyaena hyaena, Iguana iguana, Jabiru, Junco, Lemur, Loris, Lynx lynx, Manta, Mantis, Nautilus, Octopus, Oryx, Paramecium, Puma, Python, Quelea quelea (an African bird, perhaps the most common bird in the world), Remora remora, Rhea, Rhinoceros, Saiga, Sphinx (the moth, not the mythical half-lion), Thrips, Vireo

Arctictis binturong (an Asiatic civet)
Bundibugyo ebolavirus Towner et al. 2008 [PLOS Pathog 4(11): e1000212]
Gekko gecko
Connochaetes gnu
Canis dingo Meyer, 1793
Capra ibex L., 1758
Equus onager Boddaert, 1785
Orcinus orca
Agouti paca (paca) The agouti is in the genus Dasyprocta
Equus quagga quagga Gmelin, 1788
Leptailurus serval
Catharacta skua
Equus zebra

Other common names which are no longer the accepted scientific names are:
Anoa (syn. of Bubalus)
Manta raya (syn. of Manta birostris; "manta raya" is the common name of manta rays in Spanish)
Mastodon (syn. of Mammut)

One example has been proposed among virus genera. (It has not yet been approved by the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses.)

Megavirus

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