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Old/Obscure Taxonomically Incorrect names for Animals

Discussion in 'Zoo Cafe' started by Cassidy Casuar, 17 Oct 2019.

  1. Kakapo

    Kakapo Well-Known Member

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    A couple of sarcastic ones:

    Amblyramphus holosericeus. Amblyramphus means "blunt bill".
    Balaenoptera musculus (musculus = "little mouse")
     
  2. Cassidy Casuar

    Cassidy Casuar Well-Known Member

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    A local name for the extinct Norfolk Island subspecies of the Long-tailed Triller was, 'Java Sparrow'. 'Sparrow', is understandable, but, 'Java'?
    Also, the current Japanese name for the guinea pig (morumotto) is a transliteration of, 'marmot'. I'm not sure whether that's better or worse than its former Japanese name; 'tenjiku nezumi' (Indian rat).
     
  3. Dassie rat

    Dassie rat Well-Known Member

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    What about 'Congo eel'? It's another name for an amphiuma, a North American salamander.
     
  4. aardvark250

    aardvark250 Well-Known Member

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    Guinea pig is probably the worse. At least Japanese know it's a rodent but not a pig.
     
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  5. birdsandbats

    birdsandbats Well-Known Member

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    Goldcrests were historically called Woodcock Pilots because they supposedly rode on the backs of woodcocks during migration.
     
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  6. Terry Thomas

    Terry Thomas Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Why not just use the scientific names? For a time that is exactly what I did, however, before and after leaving the scientific community I learned that very few people knew what I was talking about. So I use common names, even though these can, and do, cause confusion at times. As we all know just about every species has several "common names", often due to geographical distribution, even over small distances. My pet hate is the almost constant changing of names, most of which are meaningless to me! Not that I do not understand that changes must be made as we gain more insight and knowledge - but I still find that having to re-learn the names of animals that I have known for most of my life is more than annoying!
     
  7. TinoPup

    TinoPup Well-Known Member

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    Scientific names change frequently too, though. Especially right now, with all of the new genetic tests helping determine the actual relationships between species. Even some mammal groups are a taxonomic mess.
     
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  8. Dassie rat

    Dassie rat Well-Known Member

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    There is some confusion about the generic name of the snow leopard - is it Panthera or Uncia? It has also been classified in Leo and Felis.
     
  9. Cassidy Casuar

    Cassidy Casuar Well-Known Member

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    For a long time now, there has been confusion regarding whether the European Greenfinch belongs within the genus, Carduelis, or, Chloris.
     
  10. TinoPup

    TinoPup Well-Known Member

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    It's firmly in Panthera. Much of the historical confusion came from them being a a difficult species to study, and people assuming it much be related to Lynx because of color, etc. Pretty much all cats have been in Felis at some point. This does a good job explaining some of it: Snow Leopards

    On the species level, Felidae is rather solid; the only main room for change would be the most hard to study small species, like the little ones in South America.

    Mongooses, though, are a big mess. Another that comes to mind is the brockets.
     
  11. Imperator Furiosa

    Imperator Furiosa Well-Known Member

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    Elephant shrews, tree shrews, golden moles, and flying lemurs are all rather bad offenders imo. At least flying lemurs are adjacent taxonomically to real lemurs and other primates?
     
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  12. evilmonkey239

    evilmonkey239 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, binturongs are probably the viverrid best known to the general public (which is saying very little of course), but most “commoners” probably know them better as “bearcats” thanks to bearcats (which is admittedly a catchier name) being the mascot for several universities.
    Obviously, they aren’t actually bears or cats, but just for the record, Viverridae is closer on the tree of life to Felidae than to Ursidae.
     
  13. evilmonkey239

    evilmonkey239 Well-Known Member

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    Personally, I’ve always preferred to call Bassariscus astutus “ringtail cats” as opposed to simply “ringtails” even though they certainly aren’t cats because that reduces confusion with the better known ring-tailed lemurs that they (vaguely) resemble.
     
  14. HOMIN96

    HOMIN96 Well-Known Member

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    Nilgai deserves a shout doesn't he? Boselaphus tragocamelus...that is like 4 animals in one?
     
  15. Dassie rat

    Dassie rat Well-Known Member

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    Crab-eating seals don't tend to eat crabs.
    Black-headed gulls have dark brown heads in summer
     
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  16. Luke da Zoo nerd

    Luke da Zoo nerd Well-Known Member

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    Crab eating macaques eat way more things than just crabs.
     
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  17. birdsandbats

    birdsandbats Well-Known Member

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    I just found out another name for the Striped Skunk is the Fart Squirrel. :p
     
  18. Luke da Zoo nerd

    Luke da Zoo nerd Well-Known Member

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    :p
     
  19. KevinB

    KevinB Well-Known Member

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    As do crab-eating raccoons.

    I've also read people referring to them as 'stink kitties'.
     
  20. Dassie rat

    Dassie rat Well-Known Member

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