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August 10, 2009

Species named after famous people

Kate Winslet and the ground beetle named after her

Thousands of new species are identified each year, and each and every one of them needs a name. As a general rule, the scientist who discovers a new species gets to name it, and the names are often inspired by someone the scientist knows...a spouse or lover, an influential teacher, a relative, and sometimes a celebrity.

That's why we've ended up with a lichen named after Barack Obama, a slime-mold beetle named after George Bush, a lemur named after John Cleese, and...wait for it...a sub-species of bunny named for Hugh Hefner. Pictured above is Agra katewinsletae, a ground beetle named for actress Kate Winslet.

Popular Mechanics' website
has a bunch more.

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Posted by Chris Spurgeon at August 10, 2009 10:05 PM

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