History Main / ImprobableTaxonomySkills

5th Aug '17 1:45:02 PM Wynauttica
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And a lot of them happen to look and behave very similarly to each other. Unfortunately, Hollywood thinks that any person who is sufficiently intelligent is also able to name any animal or plant they come across with its specific (and correct) Latin name, taxonomic history, and favorite color. In reality, unless you happen to be a foremost expert in studying that specific creature, it's unlikely that you could say anything more about it than "Hey that's a bug!".

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And a lot of them happen to look and behave very similarly to each other. Unfortunately, Hollywood thinks that any person who is sufficiently intelligent is also able to name any animal or plant they come across with its specific (and correct) Latin name, taxonomic history, and favorite color. In reality, unless you happen to be a foremost expert in studying that specific creature, it's unlikely that you could say anything more about it than "Hey "Hey, that's a bug!".
28th Jul '17 4:22:19 PM bfunc
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* For a plant case similar to the felids, the Citrus family is pretty a pretty tangled mess; the most popular citrus fruits are mostly hybrids of the four (or so) original species.
28th Jul '17 4:11:19 PM bfunc
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* Species is, in general, a ''really'' fuzzy term, as witnessed by the fact that there are fairly acrimonious disputes over whether two animals which are pretty clearly similar but not quite identical are different ''species'', different ''subspecies'', or just different in appearance (generally called "breeds" when referring to animals, or "cultivars" when referring to plants). For many years the domestic dog was considered to be a distinct species from the wolf, but nowadays it's pretty generally accepted that they're the same species but ''may'' be different subspecies (which is an even fuzzier term). The usual definition for species is a "reproductively isolated population", but ... reproductively isolated ''how''? By behavior? By geography? By physically not being able to reproduce? Then there are felids, which are frequently cross-fertile across species that are of approximately the same size, as with lions and tigers (or lions and jaguars, or lions and leopards, or leopards and tigers, or ...), and in some cases the offspring ''themselves'' are fertile (many cross-species hybrids, such as mules, are sterile, but with felids this generally isn't the case).
28th Jul '17 3:48:11 PM bfunc
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In the same vein, this is also when somebody sees a Latin name and can automatically tell you the rest of its taxonomy from that information. If the character is already familiar with the species or genus, this makes sense, but since the Latin name only gives genus and species, and since even a person who knows Latin generally can't determine anything about an organism without context, it sticks out as serious research failure.

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In the same vein, this is also when somebody sees a Latin name and can automatically tell you the rest of its taxonomy from that information. If the character is already familiar with the species or genus, this makes sense, but since the Latin name only gives genus and species, and since even a person who knows Latin generally can't determine anything about an organism without context, it sticks out as serious research failure.
failure.[[note]]Also, knowing Latin only helps so much for many names; it would let you guess that ''Mephitis mephitis'' (Stench stench) is probably a animal renowned for its stinkiness, but there are plenty of those ... skunks, polecats, stink beetles ... so ''which one''? (It's the striped skunk.)[[/note]]
24th Jul '17 12:30:37 AM Piterpicher
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* ''Film/TheBeast'', the TV-movie adaptation of PeterBenchley's giant-squid-on-the-rampage novel ''Literature/{{Beast}}'' has the resident scientist instantly identify the squid as ''Archetuthis dux'' from a single sucker-claw and a whiff of ammonia. Especially bad because ''Architeuthis'' the giant squid ''doesn't have claws''. (The colossal squid ''Mesonychoteuthis'' does, though.) And most deep sea squid have a lot of ammonia in their systems.


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* ''Film/TheBeast'', the TV-movie adaptation of PeterBenchley's Creator/PeterBenchley's giant-squid-on-the-rampage novel ''Literature/{{Beast}}'' has the resident scientist instantly identify the squid as ''Archetuthis dux'' from a single sucker-claw and a whiff of ammonia. Especially bad because ''Architeuthis'' the giant squid ''doesn't have claws''. (The colossal squid ''Mesonychoteuthis'' does, though.) And most deep sea squid have a lot of ammonia in their systems.

25th Jun '17 1:38:26 PM Morgenthaler
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* Jane Porter from ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfTarzan'' is able to identify a ([[RaptorAttack typically grossly inaccurate and quite oversized]]) velociraptor at a glance. Worse still is that fact that she isn't a paleontologist of any sort and in fact the series takes place before velociraptors were scientifically described and named, and many decades before they were recognized in popular public consciousness

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* Jane Porter from ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfTarzan'' is able to identify a ([[RaptorAttack typically grossly inaccurate and quite oversized]]) velociraptor at a glance. Worse still is that fact that she isn't a paleontologist of any sort and in fact the series takes place before velociraptors were scientifically described and named, and many decades before they were recognized in popular public consciousness

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23rd May '17 1:08:00 AM PaulA
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* Slightly done in Litearture/SherlockHolmes when he correctly identifies the lion's mane jellyfish as the killer of the victim when he sees it at the bottom of a small pool. Very much justified, however, in that this is one species which is very distinctive (it's really, really big) and that the victim's last words were "the lion's mane."

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* Slightly done in Litearture/SherlockHolmes Literature/SherlockHolmes when he correctly identifies the lion's mane jellyfish as the killer of the victim when he sees it at the bottom of a small pool. Very much justified, however, in that this is one species which is very distinctive (it's really, really big) and that the victim's last words were "the lion's mane."
23rd May '17 1:07:34 AM PaulA
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* Averted in one of Creator/BarbaraHambly's ''Literature/{{Darwath}}'' novels. Rudy can instantly identify a small animal from its bones, but he was highly trained in botany/zoology/magic and the question is: 'rabbit or chicken'.

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* Averted in one of Creator/BarbaraHambly's ''Literature/{{Darwath}}'' novels.''Literature/TheArmiesOfDaylight''. Rudy can instantly identify a small animal from its bones, but he was highly trained in botany/zoology/magic and the question is: 'rabbit or chicken'.
22nd May '17 7:53:45 PM PaulA
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* Averted in one of Creator/BarbaraHambly's sequels to the ''Rising of the Dark''. One character can instantly identify a small animal from its bones, but he was highly trained in botany/zoology/magic and the question is: 'rabbit or chicken'.

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* Averted in one of Creator/BarbaraHambly's sequels to the ''Rising of the Dark''. One character ''Literature/{{Darwath}}'' novels. Rudy can instantly identify a small animal from its bones, but he was highly trained in botany/zoology/magic and the question is: 'rabbit or chicken'.
22nd May '17 7:49:08 PM PaulA
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* Slightly done in SherlockHolmes when he correctly identifies the lion's mane jellyfish as the killer of the victim when he sees it at the bottom of a small pool. Very much justified, however, in that this is one species which is very distinctive (it's really, really big) and that the victim's last words were "the lion's mane."
* Averted in one of BarbaraHambly's sequels to the ''Rising of the Dark''. One character can instantly identify a small animal from its bones, but he was highly trained in botany/zoology/magic and the question is: 'rabbit or chicken'.

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* Slightly done in SherlockHolmes Litearture/SherlockHolmes when he correctly identifies the lion's mane jellyfish as the killer of the victim when he sees it at the bottom of a small pool. Very much justified, however, in that this is one species which is very distinctive (it's really, really big) and that the victim's last words were "the lion's mane."
* Averted in one of BarbaraHambly's Creator/BarbaraHambly's sequels to the ''Rising of the Dark''. One character can instantly identify a small animal from its bones, but he was highly trained in botany/zoology/magic and the question is: 'rabbit or chicken'.
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