Parlor Spider...Step In, Little Fly

Insightful thoughts and/or rants from atop the soapbox from one who wishes to share the "right" opinion with everyone.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Forget Having a Star Named After You...This Is Better!

I'm certain you've already been confused by the matching of pictures of famous people with various members of the non-human world; turns out, there's a very logical explanation for the pairings. It seems that each of the famous people have been honored by having a new species named after him or her! "Odd," you might exclaim, but not necessarily so.
There are between 15,000 and 25,000 new species discovered yearly, and scientists have begun to run out of the more ordinary Latin names so they've turned to their madcap sense of humour (if they're British, anyway) whenever they discover something new...but not just any old )new) name will do. It has to be accepted in publication by a respected scientific journal. That means a mention on TMZ won't get it done.
Apostichus angelinajolieae is a variant species of trapdoor spider. Whether or not this had something to do with the vial of Billy Bob's blood she used to hang around her neck is up for conjecture. it doesn't resemble her much.
Gnathia marleyi was discovered by Arkansas State University marine biologist (and HUGE Marley fan) Paul Sikkel. This small crustacean lives in the coral reefs in the eastern Caribbean and feeds on the blood of other species. Sikkel discounted the blood-drinking thing when naming it after his musical hero, citing it's importance to the Caribbean and the fact that he owns every track Marley ever recorded.
Perhaps in recognition of the great Zappa soul patch, the species of droopy jawed spider was named after the MOthers of Invention founder. Zappa has had several accolades in the form of species naming rights, including Phiallela zappai, a type of jellyfish discovered by Italian Fernando Boero...who named it after Zappa, wrote a poem about it, and publicized it in hopes of meeting Zappa. It worked!
The last one you should get right away...especially now that you have seen some of the other examples...a famous writer...a huge whale...yep, it's Livayatan Melvillei, named after the author who made whales famous (and scary).
Of these, I think the most appropriate might be the Marley designation. After all, a "reef" organism in the land of "reefer religion"? genius.


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