If there are any of you who remember the last time I presented a quiz - don't worry, this one will probably be easier. But first, a little background (which may be familiar to some of you):
In 1887, Othniel Charles Marsh described a pair of large fossil horns as Bison alticornis, placing them in the same genus as the modern bison. As it turned out, the horns were not from a bison, they were from a dinosaur, either Triceratops or a close relative (the 'Bison' alticornis remains are not extensive enough to be sure). 'Bison' alticornis is just one of many cases of species originally assigned to genera to which they are no longer regarded as closely related. In some cases, such as the example I've just given, the original author did not have the material available that would have allowed a more accurate placement (ceratopsid fossils combining both dinosaurian characteristics and horns would not be described until a year later, by Marsh himself; at the time he described the alticornis horns, the possibility that they might have come from some sort of gigantic lizard probably never entered the equation). Sometimes, the concept associated with the genus name was simply far broader than its present circumscription (Linnaeus' original concept of Vespertilio, for instance, covered all bats). And sometimes, the characters regarded as defining a genus were different from the characters used today (Linnaeus' Falco was defined as carnivorous birds with a feathered head, hooked beak and without a covering of bristles at the base of the beak; it therefore included members of modern Accipitridae as well as Falconidae).
Below are fifteen examples of species names that are now placed some distance taxonomically from their original (or early) genera. Some are still recognised as valid species, some have been synonymised with other species. What I want you to do is tell me what these animals really are:
1. The 'ciliate' Vorticella cinctum.
2. The 'snail' Helix smaragdus.
3. The 'nautilus' Nautilus radicula.
4. The 'harvestman' Phalangium cancroides.
5. The 'crab' Cancer pulex.
6. The 'starfish' Asterias bifida.
7. The 'sea cucumber' Holothuria priapus.
8. The 'stickleback' Gasterosteus volitans.
9. The 'condor' Vultur fulvus.
10. The 'hoopoe' Upupa eremita.
11. The 'anteater' Myrmecophaga striata.
12. The 'lemur' Lemur simiasciurus.
13. The 'mouse' Mus canguru.
14. The 'otter' Lutra minima.
15. The 'civet' Viverra cancrivora.
And as a bonus point:
16. The 'slug' Limax lanceolatus.
Winners win the right to say "I won".
Vorticella used before, but original source page appears to have vanished.
Helix pomatia by Janek Pfeiffer.
Nautilus from here.
Phalangium opilio from Morten Hansen.
Cancer productus by Dave Cowles.
Asterias forbesi from here.
Holothuria edulis from here.
Gasterosteus aculeatus from here.
Vultur gryphus from here.
Upupa epops by Claudio Torresani.
Myrmecophaga tridactyla by Christopher Reiger.
Lemur catta from here.
Mus musculus from here.
Lutra lutra by David Pape.
Viverra zibetha by Robert Sterndale.
Limax maximus by Matthew Bulbert.
1 day ago in Variety of Life