Between Two Gagas
October 24, 2012 7:22 PM   Subscribe

You might have heard of Masiakasaurus knopfleri, the dinosaur named in honor of Dire Straits singer/guitarist Mark Knopfler. You may not have realized just how many organisms are named after celebrities great and small. Well, today, you can include a new genus of ferns, which includes 19 species, all named for the pop star, Lady Gaga. Despite appearances to the contrary, the announcement video is not a hoax. Watch the video for all the fabulous synchronicities, including a secret surprise hidden in the DNA.
posted by symbioid (15 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
posted by carping demon at 7:59 PM on October 24, 2012

I thought it might have been due to the fact that when the lead researcher was pushing through the jungle, the fronds of this particular fern would continually poke her face.
posted by benito.strauss at 7:59 PM on October 24, 2012 [7 favorites]

I cannot believe they resisted working in a "germinate" pun. Her family name is right there.
posted by psoas at 8:08 PM on October 24, 2012

psoas - did you catch the full name of one of the species? "Gaga germanotta"
posted by symbioid at 8:12 PM on October 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

Yep. Not a pun.
posted by psoas at 8:25 PM on October 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

OK Mefite scientists-who-name-things, I will buy you a beer and thank you in the acknowledgements of my next book if you name some creature after me.
posted by LarryC at 9:08 PM on October 24, 2012

LarryC Slug?
posted by symbioid at 9:20 PM on October 24, 2012

This one is great
posted by drugstorefrog at 1:00 AM on October 25, 2012 [2 favorites]

From the Wikilist, without its own article:

"Funkotriplogynium iagobadius", named after James Brown. Apparently "Iago" is "James" and "Badius" is "brown" in Latin, but I'm also pleased to see they brought the funk.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:22 AM on October 25, 2012 [2 favorites]

Harrison Ford has an ant:
posted by Buckt at 7:44 AM on October 25, 2012

Well. Looks like I've got one too!

posted by Kronos_to_Earth at 7:51 AM on October 25, 2012

I've got a bunch! One of them's even a mammal!
posted by Zed at 10:28 AM on October 25, 2012

Hey, that's a cool search site, Zed. It looks like I've got Mayetia benitoi, which is, surprise, a beetle.
posted by benito.strauss at 11:52 AM on October 25, 2012

On the Origin of Species Nomenclature

It still goes against my grain that there is no such thing as a Brontosaurus excelsus beyond a historical footnote and a Linnean synonym. I mean, I grew up with the brontosaurus brand, if you will, but the damn thing was reclassified as Apatasaurus excelsus 63 years before my birth. Brontosaurus is a far better brand, which explains its staying power. Rolls off the tongue better. Apatasaurus sounds more like a sneeze.

Here's the kicker, though - Othniel Marsh discovered and named them both! Marsh was so gung-ho about finding and naming dinos (some 500), that he didn't really follow up too much to weed out the redundancies, so B. excelsus, which was named a year after Apatasaurus ajax, loses because the name registry favors the first named.
posted by plinth at 6:40 AM on October 26, 2012

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