Tuesday, 6 March 2012

...About the Panda's Latin Name.

I enjoy doing crossword puzzles. I do. Sue me. I'm also aware I should be 50+ and an uncle before I should enjoy them this much, but I do. There's also a trivia article next to the puzzle in the paper (that I enjoy reading as well) and it asked what the translation is for the Panda's latin name Ailuropoda melanoleuca is. I tried breaking it down- 'poda' might mean foot and 'melano' for skin and blah blah blah. Anyone care to guess....?

Black and white cat foot.

Close enough.

Why? I have no idea. Black and white I see. Pandas have paws like a cat, sure, but one of the toes works like a thumb (it's not actually anatomically a thumb) which is unlike how a cat's work. China has been know to offer unique culinary choices. So the best possible explaination I can think is that Panda and a Cat's Foot (paw) taste similar. I've only ever had Panda (goes well with avocado and tomato juice though) so I can't speak from experience yet.

They pee weird
 And why do we still use latin names anyway? Because. Scientists of yore spoke latin and so named them in latin, hence the unremarkable translation above. Just like how we call a Grasshopper a Grasshopper.....it hops around on grass. Why do we still use latin? Since no one really uses the langauge anymore it won't change. English words change over time. This is why Homer Simpson finds it funny when you say Titmouse.

Neat things about Latin Nomenclature:

-The Boa Constrictor's latin name is Boa Constrictor the only animal to have the same common and latin name.

-It took close to 300 years to give a latin name to the Giant Tortoise because it was so delicious to eat. Back then, when a new animal was discovered, you had to take it back to London alive so that the Royal Society could properly disect it and name it. But sailors couldn't resist not eating them on the voyage home.

Tortoise Veal
- A gorilla is gorilla gorilla, a bison is bison bison, and an iguana is iguana iguana.

-What is a puffinus puffinus? A Manx Shearwater.

And that is what I learned today.

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