unusual species names

Kate McCain kate.mccain at CIS.DREXEL.EDU
Thu Mar 10 06:31:01 CST 2005


I've really enjoyed this discussioin of vernacular/common names and other
related issues--takes me back to my youth when I was studying to be a
marine biologist.

With respect to unusual or "funny" scientific names, biologists are not
alone. When I taught science reference, I became aware of a number of
unusual names of chemical compounds reflecting the interests of their
discoverers. I was particularly fond of the compounds associated with
bohemic acid, such as marcellomycin, musettamycin, rudolphomycin,
mimimycin, etc. See: J Nat Prod. 1980 Mar-Apr;43(2):242-58. for an
overvivew of these compounds and
http://bmj.bmjjournals.com/cgi/content/full/319/7215/972 for a broader
discussion.  Then there are also the irrepressible geneticists and their
names for genes -- couch potato, sonic hedgehog, etc.

Kate McCain (former marine biologist)
College of Information Science and Technology
Drexel University

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