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Portrait of Carl Linnaeus by Alexander Roslin.

Sunday quiz: on scientific names of animals

If names are not correct, language will not be in accordance with the truth of things: Confucius

Sunday quiz: on scientific names of animals

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1. Born on May 23, 1707, Carl Linnaeus was a Swedish botanist and physician who spent a lot of time in Sweden travelling and collecting specimens of plants and animals. He would classify them and publish many volumes of his work, which led to him becoming one of the most acclaimed scientists of his time. His greatest contribution to science was to popularise ‘binomial nomenclature’ which made it easier for researchers studying ecology. What is binomial nomenclature, which usually consists of two words (hence the name)?

Answer :

Scientific names of plants and animals

1. In 2010, a new species of mushroom found in Malaysia surprised scientists with its spongy appearance. Unable to help themselves, they named it after a popular animated character. Its name is ‘Spongiforma ___________ii’. After which animated character who lives under the sea and is absorbent, yellow, and porous is this mushroom named?

Answer :

Spongiforma squarepantsii (Spongebob Squarepants)

1. These animals are the largest apes in the world and share almost 98% of our DNA. One particular sub-species is known as the ‘Western Lowland’ and is found in central Africa. Unfortunately critically endangered, they are completely herbivorous and are in danger due to habitat destruction. Their scientific name is unique as it is the same word thrice (trinomial nomenclature). What is the scientific name of this sub-species, which is the same as its common name but repeated thrice?

Answer :

Gorilla gorilla gorilla

1. ‘Monas lens’, a unicellular organism just 3 micrometres in size, was described in 1773. For a long time, it was poorly understood as it could not be observed with the human eye. In 1991, scientists were finally able to use optical imaging technology to study it. With a better description now available, a new genus name was given. If the updated genus was a reference to the technology used, and the fact that they might have used Kodak equipment, what is the new name of this organism?

Answer :

Kamera lens

1. With nearly 600 species of Amazonian beetles in the ____ genus, entomologist Terry Erwin, who is responsible for naming of over half the genus, decided to put his punning ability to the test. There’s the intolerable ____ vation, the magical ____ cadabra, the scary ____ phobia, and the headless ____ ichabod. What is the genus that should remind you of a city on the Yamuna River?

Answer :

Agra

1. __X___japyx ___Y___ is a species of two-pronged bristletails insect discovered lurking in caves in Spain. The ancestor of the species lived in the fields near rivers (just like Y), but has adapted to permanently living inside caves (just like X). The discoverer Prof. Ortuño named this subterranean species after the split personalities of a popular character in modern mythology. What are the two names you’d know if you followed the adventure of The One Ring in Middle Earth?

Answer :

Gollumjapyx smeagol (Gollum & Smeagol fromThe Lord of the Rings)

1. Stegodon _______ is a species of gigantic prehistoric elephant that used to roam around North India. The sub-species was described by Faloner and Cautley, and was named after one of the best-known and most worshiped deities in the Hindu pantheon. What is the full name of this elephant that used to weigh 12 tons and stand 13 feet tall?

Answer :

Stegodon ganesha

1. The conquered lorikeet (Latin name: __X_ _Y___Z__) is a species of parrot that became extinct 700-1300 years ago on the islands of Polynesia. The binominal name is wordplay alluding to the famous phrase “X, Y, Z,” which may be projected into the prehistoric situation in Polynesia, where people came to an island, saw the native parrots, and then conquered them, leaving behind only the bones. What is the name of this parrot, which you might have heard in Rome in 47 BC?

Answer :

Vini vidivici (Julius Caesar : ‘Veni, Vidi, Vici’, I came, I saw, I conquered)

1. One of the most famous rivalries in popular culture is between the animals Geococcyx californianus and Canis latrans. In one famous depiction onscreen they are funnily labeled as ‘Accelerati incredibilus’ and ‘Carnivorous vulgaris’. Who are these two animals/ characters you might have enjoyed in your childhood as they went around going ‘beep beep’ and ordering from ‘Acme Corporation’?

Answer :

Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote

1. Since the year 2000, May 23 has been observed worldwide to bring attention and increase knowledge of a certain species of marine animal. These are reptiles under the order Testudines and are one of the oldest living animal groups, having lived alongside the early dinosaurs. Easily identifiable by the cartilaginous carapace they have, their biggest threat has been commercial fishing and destruction of habitat. What is May 23 observed as?

Answer :

World Turtle Day

Sunday quiz: on scientific names of animals

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