Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Bootylicious flies, slime mold beetles, and famous people

Beyonce's bootylicious fly (credit:

Every species known to science is named using a taxonomic framework.  Scientists organize and name species to avoid the confusion that sometimes comes from common names.  Just think about the big tan cats that we call puma, cougar, or mountain lions -- their scientific name is Puma concolor.  Scientists sometimes name a species after someone as an honor to that person.  According to an article in the Washington Post today, two Cornell University  entomologists named a slime-mold beetle Agathidium bushi after President Bush.  And now President Obama has a fish!  Fittingly, Tosanoides obama is a small fish found in deep water corals in the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument in the President's home state of Hawaii.

This newly named species puts our presidents in fine company -- David Bowie, Johnny Cash, Angelina Jolie, Bono, and Shakira all have species named after them.  Check out CBS' list.  I'm still waiting for the greenmomster species......

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