Thursday, February 08, 2007

Species named after celebrities

Just for laughs you can check out this site which has 9 examples of species named after celebrities. They have some good ones such as a rabbit named after Hugh Hefner, slime mold beetles named after members of the Bush administration, and flies named after Bill Gates and Paul Allen. There is even a blind cave bug named after Hitler that is facing extinction because of collectors. In fact there is a long history of bugs being named after people to insult them. The most famous story is in the "19th century, when entomologists Mr. Chase and Mr. Dyar were engaged in a collecting war. When Mr. Chase found a liparid moth, he named it "in honour" of his rival: The moth is now known as Dyaria, and a target of scatological fetishists everywhere.". Not to mention all the rock bands: "A team of palaeontologists with poor music tastes named a Madagascan dinosaur masiakasaurus knopfleri, after Dire Straits singer Mark Knopfler. There is Bufonaria borisbeckeri (a marine snail), Hyla stingi (a Colombian tree frog) and a wasp called Polemistus Chewbacca. In 1994, a fossil chaoborid fly was named "I", until a researcher pointed out that he didn't want to keep writing "I have small male genitalia." (it was changed to Iyaiyai). There's even another hitleri - a paleodictyoptera (flying insect fossil) named in 1934."