VOX POPULI: From Inazagi to Bowie, the names of the discoveries show the fun side of science: The Asahi Shimbun
Not all historical discoveries are necessarily given worthy names.
A female Australopithecus afarensis from 3.2 million years ago has been nicknamed Lucy after “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” by The Beatles, who was playing when her fossil skeleton was discovered in Ethiopia in 1974.
A certain creative freedom is also taken with Latin scientific names.
According to Stephen B. Heard, “Charles Darwin’s Barnacle and David Bowie’s Spider: How Scientific Names Celebrate Adventurers, Heroes, and even a Few Scoundrels”, a hunter spider was named Heteropoda davidbowie after rock star David Bowie (1947-2016 ).
Skinny and leggy, the arachnid would resemble Bowie with his orange hair.
A species of gadfly is named after singer Beyonce, while a bee takes its name from baseball legend Ichiro Suzuki.
According to a recent report, a new species of dinosaur was given the name Yamatosaurus izanagii after its fossils were found on Awajishima Island in Hyogo Prefecture.
In mythology, Awajishima is the starting point for nation building.
According to “Kojiki” (Records of Ancient Matters), the gods Izanagi and Izanami created an island called Onogorojima, went there and spawned Awajishima and other islands in Japan.
The dinosaur is considered a particularly primitive species of the Hadrosauridae family, which was distributed throughout the world.
The researchers may have chosen the mythical name because they enthusiastically theorized that the creature may have been behind the proliferation of duck-billed herbivores.
Japanese mythology has been used to advance the argument from an emperor-oriented view of history.
Today, it’s something we can even have fun with.
Let me quote Yu Onodera’s light innovative adaptation of “Kojiki” for young adults.
“Hey, Izanami, why don’t we name this island Onogorojima?”? Let’s build a temple here.
“Fresh! Love !!”
– The Asahi Shimbun, May 4
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Vox Populi, Vox Dei is a popular daily column that covers a wide range of topics, including culture, the arts, and social trends and developments. Written by veteran writers of Asahi Shimbun, the column provides useful perspectives and insights into contemporary Japan and its culture.