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335RE: [eldil] Tolkien in taxonomy

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  • Andrea Luxenburg
    Feb 12, 2013
      Cute!  Do you know if it is actually taken from Tolkien, or directly from the  Norse?
      What about the diminutive hominid from Indonesia or thereabouts known colloquially as hobbit?  Does that count?


      To: eldil@yahoogroups.com
      From: yahoo@...
      Date: Mon, 11 Feb 2013 19:22:25 -0800
      Subject: [eldil] Tolkien in taxonomy

      Rather far from the literature and a bit frivolous, this, but I just found out about an animal with a formal scientific name taken from a character in The Hobbit.

      This would be "Beorn leggi", a tardigrade (or water bear!) found as a fossil in Canada. The "leggi" is from the name of a student of the discoverer.

      There may be other Tolkien names in biology, but I haven't heard of them. Has anyone?

      BTW, if one has any interest in biology, and especially in extreme biology, tardigrades are amazing creatures and I recommend the Wikipedia article, in which I found this reference. Teaser: they can survive a few minutes in boiling water, and days in the vacuum of space or at the bottom of the ocean, not to mention up to 10 years of dehydration. I am not making this up.

      Dan Drake

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