Taxonomy in the popular media

Richard Jensen rjensen at SAINTMARYS.EDU
Tue Jan 14 08:17:20 CST 1997

How about the "Little Shop of Horrors?"  :-)!  Just kidding.

More seriously, any good accout of the Lindbergh kidnapping will  include
the role of a wood anatomist who applied his taxonomic knowledge in
demonstrating that wood found at the scene matched wood found at Bruno
Hauptman's house (the ladder, I believe).

Recent movies (none very good) about the Ebola virus provide insight for
knowledge about the taxonomy of viruses.  Unfortunately, many of the
examples are what are considered bad science fiction - "Frogs", giant or
poisonous spiders (e.g., "Arachnophobia").  One of the key characters in
Jaws is a marine biologist who has knowledge of shark taxonomy.  As I
recall, "Altered States" includes reference to the taxonomy of
psychoactive mushrooms.

I know there are many others in which taxonomists (sensu lato) have bit

Richard J. Jensen      |   E-MAIL: rjensen at
Dept. of Biology       |   TELEPHONE: 219-284-4674
Saint Mary's College   |   FAX: 219-284-4716
Notre Dame, IN  46556  |

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