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Scientific name = common name.

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mollwollfumble
724388.  Wed Jun 30, 2010 1:38 am Reply with quote

Again I don't know if this question has appeared on QI, but if not then it would be suitable.

Q: Which living animal has a common name in English that is the same as its scientific (binomial) name?

Comment: I've only been able to find one. There are plenty of plants whose common name is the same as its scientific name. A few living animals, like "Lynx lynx", whose common name is "Lynx", have the common name repeated as a scientific name. Another is "Gorilla gorilla". There are a few extinct animals whose common name equals their binomial scientific name, of whom "Tyranosaurus rex" is the best known. But I only found one living animal.

A: Boa constrictor.

 
mollwollfumble
724392.  Wed Jun 30, 2010 1:50 am Reply with quote

> A few living animals, like "Lynx lynx"

and "Caracal caracal". I'm sure there are at least two more.

 
mckeonj
724408.  Wed Jun 30, 2010 3:43 am Reply with quote

mus mus=mouse

 
busk31
724439.  Wed Jun 30, 2010 5:44 am Reply with quote

Addax, Alligator, Amoeba, Anoa, Anhinga anhinga, Bison bison, Caiman, Caracal caracal caracal, Chinchilla, Colobus, Conger conger, Dugong, Gorilla gorilla, Hippopotamus, Hydra, Hyena hyena, Iguana iguana, Jabiru, Junco, Lemur, Loris, Lynx lynx, Mastodon, Manta, Mantis, Nautilus, Octopus, Oryx, Paramecium, Puma, Python, Rhea, Rhinoceros, Sphinx (the moth, not the mythical half-lion), Thrips, Vireo

Gekko gecko
Connochaetes gnu
Capra ibex L.
Equus onager Boddaert
Orcinus orca
Agouti paca (paca) The agouti is in the genus Dasyprocta
Equus quagga quagga Gmelin
Leptailurus serval
Catharacta skua
Equus zebra


#Boa constrictor used to be in this category, but it was later changed to Constrictor constrictor.

 
Flash
724442.  Wed Jun 30, 2010 6:02 am Reply with quote

If mollwollfumble's original suggestion (that Boa constrictor is unique amongst extant species in this respect) is true then that might indeed be rather a nice snippet for the show. The same is true of Tyrannosaurus rex, but can we find other extant species?

 
busk31
724450.  Wed Jun 30, 2010 6:22 am Reply with quote

This could be helpfull:http://www.curioustaxonomy.net/

 
RLDavies
724454.  Wed Jun 30, 2010 6:47 am Reply with quote

The common names of all dinosaurs (and most other prehistoric creatures) are their genus names. T. rex is unique in that its species name is familiar to the public.

You could argue that E. coli is a name well known to the public, although there aren't many who could tell you that the E stands for Escherichia.

 
djgordy
724505.  Wed Jun 30, 2010 8:17 am Reply with quote

mollwollfumble wrote:

Q: Which living animal has a common name in English that is the same as its scientific (binomial) name?

Comment: I've only been able to find one. There are plenty of plants whose common name is the same as its scientific name. A few living animals, like "Lynx lynx", whose common name is "Lynx", have the common name repeated as a scientific name. Another is "Gorilla gorilla". There are a few extinct animals whose common name equals their binomial scientific name, of whom "Tyranosaurus rex" is the best known. But I only found one living animal.

A: Boa constrictor.

Strictly speaking, Boa Constricor is a species but there are a number of subspecies. The nominate subspecies is actually Boa constrictor constrictor. So the identity between taxonomic and common name of any individual animal isn't quite exact.

"Homo sapiens" is often used as a common name.

 
Starfish13
724513.  Wed Jun 30, 2010 8:50 am Reply with quote

Organisms with a tautonym, e.g. Lynx lynx, only occur in the animal kingdom. Plants never have a specific name that repeats the genus name.

Also, many species lack a common name, and are therefore only known by their binomial.

 
thedrew
724651.  Wed Jun 30, 2010 5:25 pm Reply with quote

djgordy wrote:
"Homo sapiens" is often used as a common name.


I believe their English common name is "human."

 
Ion Zone
724663.  Wed Jun 30, 2010 6:04 pm Reply with quote

I think he meant that almost everyone knows that one and it is used fairly often.

 
MinervaMoon
724673.  Wed Jun 30, 2010 6:59 pm Reply with quote

Boa constrictor would seem to be unique among living animals, though among plants, there are species such as Gingko bilboa and Aloe vera.

 
djgordy
724684.  Thu Jul 01, 2010 2:56 am Reply with quote

"Beep" for Minerva. The identity doesn't work for the boa constrictor for reasons I outlined above. There are, according to Wikipedia, 10 subspecies of boa constrictor.

Boa constrictor amarali;
Boa constrictor constrictor
Boa constrictor imperator
Boa constrictor longicauda
Boa constrictor melanogaster
Boa constrictor nebulosa
Boa constrictor occidentalis
Boa constrictor orophias
Boa constrictor ortonii
Boa constrictor sabogae

So, if you had a pet snake (called "Fluffy" as pet snakes often seem to be) and said "this is my pet boa constrictor, whose common name is the same as its taxonomic name", you would, strictly speaking be wrong as you would be using the genus and species name but ignoring the subspecies name.

My comment about Hom sap was a little tongue in cheek and, anyway, would suffer from the same objection as the one for the boa constrictor. Modern humans are the only extant subspecies of Homo sapiens but there have been others in the past, such as Homo sapiens neanderthalensis, so modern humans are, strictly speaking, Homo sapiens sapiens.

 
themoog
724713.  Thu Jul 01, 2010 4:41 am Reply with quote

But the question was about species and specifically mentioned binomial. So why bother with subspecies?

Boa constrictor appears to be a perfect example. I wonder if there are others.

Aloe vera is a good example from the plant world but I'd suggest Gingko biloba is known commonly as Gingko rather than by the binomial.

 
strawhat
724722.  Thu Jul 01, 2010 5:14 am Reply with quote

djgordy wrote:

My comment about Hom sap was a little tongue in cheek and, anyway, would suffer from the same objection as the one for the boa constrictor. Modern humans are the only extant subspecies of Homo sapiens but there have been others in the past, such as Homo sapiens neanderthalensis, so modern humans are, strictly speaking, Homo sapiens sapiens.


Yet in alll the journals and text books I used during my Human Evo module, not one used Homo sapiens sapiens. This could just be down to a split in the nomenclature camps. Also it is also being debated rather hotly that Neanderthals should be Homo neanderthalensis or H. s. neanderthalensis. I think they should remain H. neanderthalensis and they arose differently to modern humans, they evolved in Europe and modern humans evolved in Africa before migrating.

 

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