335RE: [eldil] Tolkien in taxonomy
- Feb 12, 2013Cute! 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?
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.
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