Table of Contents
There are many different fascinating animals in the world today. Many of these animals we never saw before, but have you ever wondered who inspired these creatures' names?
You will be very surprised at the origins of these animal names. There are many animals named after characters you see in fictional films, cartoons, and even TV shows. Let's take a look at these animals.
The first animal happens to be scientifically named after a fictional character. It is a lizard-looking extinct dinosaur called a Gojirasaurus quayi. The name "Gojira" is actually Japanese for Godzilla. Of course, we know Godzilla to be the fictional iconic reptilian monster who terrorized the city of Tokyo. When you take a look at this 220-million-year-old predator, you will see why it is named after the creature. The gojirasaurus quayi is the earliest known large carnivorous dinosaur.
The second animal named after a fictional character is a Hawaiian spider called Tetragnatha quasimodo. If you're familiar with the old tale, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, you will be able to figure out who inspired this animal's name. This spider is named after the story's title character, Quasimodo. It is a genus of long-jawed orb weavers found all over the world.
This next animal actually happens to be named after the popular Nickelodeon cartoon, Spongebob Squarepants. It is called a Spongiforma squarepantsii. Despite being named after the spongey cartoon character, this organism may look like a sponge, but it is actually not. It is actually a mushroom discovered in 2010.
This organism happens to be in a class of blind crustaceans known as a Remipedia. These animals are found in coastal aquifers containing saline groundwater. They are one to four centimeters long. These species comprise of a head and an elongated trunk of up to 32 similar body segments. An animal that happens to be a part of this crustacean family is the Pleomothra. This crustacean is named after the flying menace Mothra from the Godzilla franchise.
The Gamera Turtle
Did you know that a turtle that existed in a certain period was named after a fictional character? Sinemys gamera, a turtle that existed during the Early Cretaceous Period, was named after a Japanese film character Gamera. Although this extinct species may have existed in Japan, its fossils were actually found in Inner Mongolia.
Apparently, there's even a genus of spiders named after the Terminator. The Hortipes terminator, or the H. terminator, is a genus of the tiny creepy crawlers inspired by the Terminator character. This is reportedly due to the male H. terminator resembling a futuristic gun. This species lives in the soil of sub-Saharan Africa.
Star Trek Beetle
Named after the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine character, Jadzia Dax, this genus of ground beetles has over 500 described species. They are known as Agra dax. There is still well over 1,000 specimens that have yet to be described. Beetles of this genus have narrow heads and long, constricted necks. They are within the Carabidae family, which is comprised of 40,000 species worldwide.
Wockia chewbacca is a genus of moths in the Urodibae family. This family of moths represents its own superfamily, Urodoidea. The species was discovered by a team led by David Adams of the Smithsonian Institution in western Mexico. Judging by the name, you can tell exactly what character inspired its name. That is none other than the Star Wars character, Chewbacca. Wockia chewbacca was named after Chewbacca because of their similar-looking characteristics.
This extinct horned turtle's name was inspired by the sewer-dwelling animated mutant amphibians the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Ninjemys existed during the Pleistocene epoch. In 1992, anatomical differences with the type species M. platyceps led to its placement in this new genus of stem-turtles. That is when the plant-eating turtles were named in honor of the famed cartoon characters. It is too bad they don't eat pizza like the animated turtles. Pizza did not exist during the time Ninjemys were around.
Most of these species may not be around anymore, but it is very fascinating to learn about the true origin of their names. So, be sure to take notice the next time you learn an animal's full name. It may be scientifically named after your favorite fictional character.
Your MLA Citation
Your APA Citation
Your Chicago Citation
Your Harvard CitationRemember to italicize the title of this article in your Harvard citation.