Species Stories

We couldn't fit all of the amazing species name stories into the museum exhibit. Here you will find a few more interesting species stories:

Dodo. Extinct birds London :Hutchinson,1907


The Dodo’s scientific name has changed several times as ideas of its evolutionary relationships shifted.

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Most strains of E. coli are harmless and even beneficial.

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All pangolins today belong to the family, Manidae, which come from the Latin word for ghost or underworld.

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Rock Tripe

“Rock tripe”, genus Umbilicaria, is an edible lichen.



If it looks like a worm, and its name sounds like a worm, is it a worm?

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Sugar Maple

The Latin name Acer saccharum means “sharp sugar.” The “sharp” genus name refers to the shapes of the leaves.

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Vargapupa biheli

The newly discovered snail, Vargapupa biheli honored the Biodiversity Heritage Library in its name (bi he li).

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Yeti Crab

Named for the furry legend of the Himalayas, the Yeti crab, genus Kiwa, is a crustacean that dwells in deep sea vents.


Image Credits
Dodo, Raphus cucullatus. Extinct birds London:Hutchinson,1907. CC BY-NC-SA; E.Coli, Escherichia coli. United States Department of Agriculture. Public Domain; Pangolin, Manis temminckii Smuts, 1832 by Masteraah. Public Domain; Rock tripe, Umbilicaria mammulata by J. Carmichael. Wikimedia Commons. Public Domain.; Shipworm, Teredo navalis by Deplewsk. CC BY-SA 3.0; Sugar Maple, Acer saccharum by Susan Elliott, iNaturalist.org. CC BY-NC; Vargapupa biheli. Image courtesy Dr. Barna Páll-Gergely; Yeti Crab, Kiwa tyleri by Thatje et al. PLoS ONE CC BY