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December 18th, 2021, 13:56
I admit I haven't been very active in this thread for a while. That is going to change, so prepare for more boring (to most people/everyone except pibbuR).

Here are a few post about animal names. Some of them are QI ("quite intesting"), but today we'll start with the basics.

Animals are named using the binominal system, that is they're given two names. One identifying the genus to which the animal belongs, the other identifying the species within the genus. Typically the first character in genus name is uppercase, but lowercase for the species one. A couple of examples:
  1. Chimpanzee: "Pan troglodytes"
  2. Cat: "Felis catus"
  3. Small intestinal roundworm: "Ascaris lumbricoides".

I restrict my post to animal names. That's because the filthy botanists and microbiologists tend to use their own systems for naming species. While some germs have classic binominal names such as the plague bacteria, "Yersinia pestis" (not to be confused with the black metal band or the album by the Norwegian viking metal band Helheim), viruses are typically given other types of names, like "Rabies lyssavirus" and the "Human Immunodeficiency Virus", or HIV (actually there are two of'em: HIV-1 and HIV-2)

Quite often the name describe properties of the species, like
  1. "Homo sapiens" which means wise or knowlegeable (hu)man
  2. The giant panda: "Ailuropoda melanoleuca" - "melanoleuca" comes from black and white.
  3. Dusky doplhin: "Sagmatias obscurus". Obscurus means dark, and this doplhin has a dark colored back.

Other names indicate where the animal lives (or lived). For instance the brown rat. "Rattus norvegicus" was so named because some british nitwit thought it came from Norway (it doesn't). Or (a bit egocentric?) it's relation to us: The pig is "Sus domesticus", the dog is "Canis familiaris".

Quite often the name doesn't say much. The western gorilla is called "Gorilla gorilla". Other times the name may be directly misleading. The name of the chimpanzee means cave dweller. AFAIK, no living chimpanzee has been found inside caves. For all I know, there may have been dead ones, perhaps caught and eaten by cave-dwelling lions (Panthera leo) or hyaenas (Hyaena hyeana), but the name still sucks. BTW, the bonobo aka dwarf chimp is called "Pan paniscus" which supposedly means a small Pan.

BTW2: The group "Troglobites" means several species of small (mostly) furless animals gathering together in a cave.

In some cases animals are given a trinominal name, when a species can be divided into two or more subspecies. Subspecies typically live in different regions or periods, limiting the possibility for interbreeding and with small morpholigical differences, but not enough to classify them as different species. The western gorilla is divided into two subspecies: the Cross river gorilla (Gorilla gorilla diehli) and the Western lowland gorilla (Gorilla gorilla gorilla (!)). I suppose the two are separated by a river (gorillas can't swim).

What about us: Well, we're actually "Homo sapiens sapiens" (the very, very wise human?). Which means there must be or have been a separate group of modern humans. And there was: The extinct "Homo sapiens idaltu". NB Subspecies has nothing to do with race. All living humans belong to Homo sapiens sapiens.

Well, that's enough for today.

pibbuR who promises to post more about this some time (unspecified) after midnight.
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December 18th, 2021, 15:54
Originally Posted by pibbuR View Post
Chimpanzee: "Pan troglodytes"

BTW, the bonobo aka dwarf chimp is called "Pan paniscus" which supposedly means a small Pan.

BTW2: The group "Troglobites" means several species of small (mostly) furless animals gathering together in a cave.
In Dungeons & Dragons, there is the "Troglodyte", which is an evil reptilian race of "stinkers" who mostly live in caves, too.

However, I once read - too long ago to be able to cite every word of it coreectly anymore - I read about a cultural message embedded with some of these names, those given out by earlier Zoologists.

"Pan Troglodytes" is the "in a cave living god Pan", which has the message, as far as I can remember that article, of Christian scientists trying to be kind of racist about non-christian religions.
With "Pan" also being some kind of moniker for the ancient Satyrs, that horned, male beings which were followers of the ancient Greek god Dionysos (later adapted by the Romans), and whose look was much lter adapted by the Christians as to tell everyone : "Well, this is how the devil looks like : With horns, and with feet lik of doinkeys (because horses are too pure for that) and a tail."

Having this … kind of racist badmouthing of ancient cultures in the back of my mind, I realized that some of these animals# names are used as vehicles to express … what one might nowadays call a "white or christian supremacy" thing. My wording is not very good, as English is not my first language, but I think you get what I mean.

So, "Pan Troglodytes" is a notion that "these are the would-be humans that were there before Christian culture came and built houses", although that's totally wrong as well, because houses as such had been known with humans for lots of thousands of years before Christianity.

But it still stands there, that this equation of "ancient god Pan / Dionysos = an ape" was actively used as a name for animal species.


In modern times, there are other cultural inflences in these names as well. Animals and plants get named after artoists, musicians, politicians, etc. …. I once briefly heard of an horribly looking fossil named after Hitler - it was named after him, because that animal really looked horrible.

Animal names are sometimes used as cultural or political statements. One other animal was named after Mr. Trump, for example.

One interesting thing is, additionally, that names of animals from all around the world are given still mostly by "western" scientists. And, because of that, animals from Africa, South america, Asia, often get named with references to "western" cultures- not so much with references towards local cultures. Future generations might perhaps see this as a sign of colonialism, I think.

With fossils, the situation is far better : Because important fossuis (not only dinosaurs, but they as well) are found throughout the world, scientists more often draw upon local references for died-out animals, as fas as I know.
China with its LOTS of dinosaur fossils has become such an area. Within China, the most modern up-to-date dinosaur scientific research is being done there, because of the great preservation conditions of dinosaurs, which often even show feathers !

South America has also become a "hot spot" of current dinosaur research within the last decades.

Oops, I think this could go into the "science thread" as well …
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December 18th, 2021, 16:09
Thanks Alric. Didn't know that about the chimp name.

There are several names with a more or less hidden agendas. I'll come back to some lof them tomorrow.

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December 18th, 2021, 16:12
Quoted from Wikipedia : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pan_(genus)

The genus name Pan was first introduced by Lorenz Oken in 1816. An alternative Theranthropus was suggested by Brookes 1828 and Chimpansee by Voigt 1831. Troglodytes was not available, as it had been given as the name of a genus of wren in 1809, for "cave-dweller", reflecting the tendency of some wrens to forage in dark crevices. The International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature adopted Pan as the only official name of the genus in 1895,[7] though the "cave-dweller" connection was able to be included, albeit at the species level (Pan troglodytes – the common chimpanzee) for one of the two species of Pan. The genus name is a reference to Pan, the Greek god of nature and wilderness.[8]
The chimpanzee was named Simia troglodytes by Johann Friedrich Blumenbach in 1776. The species name troglodytes is a reference to the Troglodytae (literally "cave-goers"), an African people described by Greco-Roman geographers. Blumenbach first used it in his De generis humani varietate nativa liber ("On the natural varieties of the human genus") in 1776,[14][15] Linnaeus 1758 had already used Homo troglodytes for a hypothetical mixture of human and orangutan.[7]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pan_(god)
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December 18th, 2021, 16:15
Millipedes. Loooong animals with a thousand legs, right?

Not so fast! No millipede has that many legs, the name is misleading. Should have been called 768-pedes or something like that.

Not so fast! There is (since 2020) actually one with even more legs, the Eumillipes Persephone:

Its's got up to 1306 legs. It lives in Australia and may look a bit scary, but it's only 9 cm and is - surprisingly - not known to be venomous, AFAIK.

The name "Eumillipes" means "true millipede".

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December 18th, 2021, 16:22
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
Quoted from Wikipedia : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pan_(genus)…
Bah. I thought I had checked Wikipedia. Apparently not good enough.

Name is still misleading for a non-cave-living animal, though.

pibbuR who clould be called pibbuR ligna, because he lives in a house made of wood.
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December 18th, 2021, 16:48
Names of animals named after ancient Greek beings :

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamadryad
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iynx
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December 28th, 2021, 16:55
I have in an earlier post mentioned the importance of clearing ice from the windshield (and other pieces of glass) of your car. Some don't take the advice which for several reasons, including hostile reactions from authorities, is not recommended. However, most of them clear at least a small part of the front window.

Not this one:


Apparently driving was a bit erratic (understandable), and fellow drivers mentioned the fact to the police (understandable), who regarded the behaviour as an application for being released from responsibility of car driving (understandable), which was accepted on site. Understandable.

pibbuR who personally would have had problems even finding the road given the state of said windshield.
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December 28th, 2021, 17:09
Ah, so the front and rear detectors that do beep-beep when something is too close are not enough to drive in those conditions?
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December 28th, 2021, 20:07
Originally Posted by Redglyph View Post
Ah, so the front and rear detectors that do beep-beep when something is too close are not enough to drive in those conditions?
You have a point. A silly one, but a point. IMO. Unfortunaterly not according the powers that be…..

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December 29th, 2021, 02:33
On the topic of milliped's once again I present their pre-historic ancestor.



Researchers in Australia have discovered "the first true millipede" – a 3-inch-long creature with 1,306 legs. But that bug doesn't come close to a recently discovered ancestor from more than 300 million years ago, one that scientists in England say was a millipede "as big as a car" at nearly 9 feet long.

The fossil was found on a beach in the city of Northumberland in northern England, according to the report in the peer-reviewed Journal of the Geological Society,

The millipede is bigger than previously discovered ancient sea scorpions, which were long thought to be the biggest invertebrate animal of all time.
"It was an incredibly exciting find, but the fossil is so large it took four of us to carry it up the cliff face," Davies said.

The Arthropleura was alive for about 45 million years during the Carboniferous Period when the ancient supercontinent Pangea was mostly still intact. During that time period, present-day England was near the equator. The tropical climate allowed invertebrates and early amphibian species to thrive in vegetation surrounded by creeks and rivers.

There are no clear answers to why the species became extinct, but theories suggest warmer climates and the evolution of reptiles and dinosaurs were probable factors.
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December 30th, 2021, 22:05
I don't know what to make of this
You may soon be able to taste those Skyrim sweet rolls with this lickable TV screen

How many licks to the center of a virtual sucker?

Imagine you’re sitting down to play The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim on your 32nd different platform, but instead of traveling and fighting you just want to cook. You decide to make all of these different meals for your character, but you have no idea if they’re good or not. Sure, you know they help you in some way within the game, but are they actually tasty meals? Well, one person has a way to solve that great mystery with a lickable - yes, lickable - TV screen.

As spotted by PC Gamer, Homei Miyashita, a professor at Japan’s Meiji University, has developed a prototype to help create that experience for users. [. . .]
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December 30th, 2021, 22:53
I still have issues actually touching a screen with my fingers or hand, let alone with my tongue. It sounds uber-creepy to me.
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December 30th, 2021, 23:10
I'm sure it will be popular with the porn industry
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December 30th, 2021, 23:50
Originally Posted by crpgnut View Post
I'm sure it will be popular with the porn industry
If there is a way to do something the porn industry will find it! Nothing drives, or sells, like sex
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December 31st, 2021, 12:20
Originally Posted by Couchpotato View Post
On the topic of milliped's once again I present their pre-historic ancestor.

We've had similar findings in Germany as well. Hagen-Vorhalle, for example.
I've actually seen parts of an arthopleurid having a very similar size in a museum in the 90s, I think it was the Fuhlrott-Museum in Wuppertal (which doesn't exist anymore, I have no idea where the fossils are nowadays, the town Wuppertal didn't have any interest in keeping the museum), with the Palaentology professor telling us that the reconstructed length was 3 metres !

So, to me, this ancestor isn't something new.
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December 31st, 2021, 12:59
Originally Posted by wolfgrimdark View Post
If there is a way to do something the porn industry will find it! Nothing drives, or sells, like sex
A corollary: I don't think there is anything yeeechy that is not also the name of a black metal band.

pibbuR who admittedly couldn't find a band named "Yecchy Things"
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December 31st, 2021, 13:09
Elon Musk says SpaceX will land humans on Mars in 10 years in the worst-case scenario (https://www.businessinsider.com/elon…1-12?r=US&IR=T)

I would like to believe this is true. But then: "…eventually plans to build 1,000 Starship rockets and launch three of them a day to fly one million people to the Red Planet."

Still….

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December 31st, 2021, 14:59
Originally Posted by pibbuR View Post
Elon Musk says SpaceX will land humans on Mars in 10 years in the worst-case scenario (https://www.businessinsider.com/elon…1-12?r=US&IR=T).
Sometimes I think Musk is missing a few bulbs on his Christmas tree.
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December 31st, 2021, 15:04
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
Sometimes I think Musk is missing a few bulbs on his Christmas tree.
My favourite part is that his official title at SpaceX is "CEO and Chief Engineer". Lol. Can you imagine the meetings? "Oh yes, Mr Musk - what a wonderful idea Mr Musk."
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