Test Your Knowledge: Scientific Name or Gibberish?

By: Staff
Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

Most of us think of scientific names as the nonsense we scan right over when reading textbooks. But you're missing out on a world of fun if you're ignoring italics. Take this quiz to discover some truly entertaining scientific names.

What's the foul-sounding scientific name of this Tibetan fowl?

<i>Turdus maximus</i> is a Tibetan blackbird, or thrush. If you find that embarrassing, how'd you like to be <i>Turdus migratorious</i>? That's the standard American robin, who has been known to leave it's name on many a windshield.

What criminally underrated guitarist has a freaking dinosaur named after him?

Dire Straits frontman Mark Knopfler has the honor of dino designation.

What real scientific name could Bart Simpson use when calling Moe's Tavern?

<i>Pinus rigida</i> is a pine tree who probably has heard that one before, thank you.

What cheekily-named red algae fossil is a nod to its distinction as the oldest fossil form of multicelleular life -- and thus reproduction?

<i>Bangiomorpha pubescens</i> was named by scientist Nick Butterfield, who totally sounds like a kick.

What beautiful, dark orchid takes its name from a fictional villain?

The Dracula family of orchid also includes <i>Dracula vampira</i> and <i>Dracula diabola</i>.

What dinosaur's scientific name references Harry Potter's universe?

Who doesn't want to meet the "dragon king of Hogwarts"?

What animal has the scientific genus name of <i>sirenia</i>, based on an early belief that they were the sirens of myth -- despite their rotund body and not-so-pretty face?

That's right; even Columbus wrote that he was surprised to see that so-called sirens "were not as beautiful as painted."

What spider's scientific name sounds like some sort of magic fairyland?

<i>Abracadabrella birdsville</i> is where all the kids want to go on a family vacation.

What does the jellyfish <i>Csiromedusa medeopolis</i> species name actually mean?

The scientists weren't just having fun; to be fair, <i>Csiromedusa medeopolis</i> does keep its gonads on display externally.

What musician does NOT have any plants or animals named in their honor?

Sorry, Mariah -- maybe you can get a butterfly soon.

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