History Main / TaxonomicTermConfusion

3rd Nov '16 10:02:43 PM nombretomado
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* In ''Cachalot'', a marine biologist refers to a newly-discovered undersea race as "the first intelligent invertebrates we've ever encountered". Granted, this wouldn't be an issue in some scifi series ... but ''Cachalot'' is one of the HumanxCommonwealth novels, where humans and thranx have been virtually joined at the hip for centuries. Did Creator/AlanDeanFoster forget that his insect-based thranx also lack an internal skeleton?

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* In ''Cachalot'', a marine biologist refers to a newly-discovered undersea race as "the first intelligent invertebrates we've ever encountered". Granted, this wouldn't be an issue in some scifi series ... but ''Cachalot'' is one of the HumanxCommonwealth Literature/HumanxCommonwealth novels, where humans and thranx have been virtually joined at the hip for centuries. Did Creator/AlanDeanFoster forget that his insect-based thranx also lack an internal skeleton?
27th Oct '16 2:00:05 AM SubbyP
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** Although some writers forget this, ''Homo sapiens superior'' does actually refer to a human subspecies with a single, quantifiable characteristic that ''Homo sapiens sapiens'' lacks--the emission of a certain type of brainwave (this is how Cerebro distinguishes mutants from baseline humans). Superhuman powers or anatomical quirks are very common among mutants, but they are not a requirement.
24th Oct '16 7:41:49 AM Prfnoff
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* In older works ScienceMarchesOn combined with LanguageDrift can come into play - e.g. prior to the last third of the 18th century, use of the word ''fish'' for "any exclusively aquatic animal" was quite acceptable. This could also be applied {{deliberate|ValuesDissonance}}ly for the works set in the past.

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* In older works ScienceMarchesOn combined with LanguageDrift can come into play - e.g. prior to the last third of the 18th century, use of the word ''fish'' for "any exclusively aquatic animal" was quite acceptable. acceptable, and ''bug'' once had no more specific definition than "monstrous creature." This could also be applied {{deliberate|ValuesDissonance}}ly for the works set in the past.
8th Aug '16 5:49:58 PM Morgenthaler
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[[folder: Film ]]
* In ''Film/TheHorrorOfPartyBeach'', a doctor explains that the monster is actually a dead human whose organs were invaded by aquatic plants before they had the chance to decompose, and calls the result "a giant protozoa." Protozoa are single-celled lifeforms, being neither plants nor animals. "Protozoan" is the word for describing one in the singular.
* ''Film/TheFaculty'' contains this line: "We discovered a new phylum in biology class today; maybe even a new species." This makes no sense, because something in a new phylum would have to be in a new species. Probably the actor accidentally switched "species" and "phylum" around from the scripted line, and nobody caught the mistake.
* In ''Franchise/JurassicPark'', Alan Grant says that humans and dinosaurs are "two species separated by 65 million years." Granted, that line probably sounded great in the trailers, but you'd think a paleontologist would know better than to call dinosaurs a species.

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[[folder: Film ]]
* In ''Film/TheHorrorOfPartyBeach'', a doctor explains that the monster is actually a dead human whose organs were invaded by aquatic plants before they had the chance to decompose, and calls the result "a giant protozoa." Protozoa are single-celled lifeforms, being neither plants nor animals. "Protozoan" is the word for describing one in the singular.
* ''Film/TheFaculty'' contains this line: "We discovered a new phylum in biology class today; maybe even a new species." This makes no sense, because something in a new phylum would have to be in a new species. Probably the actor accidentally switched "species" and "phylum" around from the scripted line, and nobody caught the mistake.
* In ''Franchise/JurassicPark'', Alan Grant says that humans and dinosaurs are "two species separated by 65 million years." Granted, that line probably sounded great in the trailers, but you'd think a paleontologist would know better than to call dinosaurs a species.
Films -- Animated ]]



* ''Film/BatmanForever'':
-->'''Dr. Chase Meridian''': Well, let's just say that I could write a hell of a paper on a grown man who dresses like a flying rodent.\\
'''Batman''': Bats aren't rodents, Dr. Meridian.
* Only three of the members of ''Film/KillBill'''s Deadly Viper Assassination Squad are actually named for vipers.


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[[folder: Films -- Live-Action ]]
* In ''Film/TheHorrorOfPartyBeach'', a doctor explains that the monster is actually a dead human whose organs were invaded by aquatic plants before they had the chance to decompose, and calls the result "a giant protozoa." Protozoa are single-celled lifeforms, being neither plants nor animals. "Protozoan" is the word for describing one in the singular.
* ''Film/TheFaculty'' contains this line: "We discovered a new phylum in biology class today; maybe even a new species." This makes no sense, because something in a new phylum would have to be in a new species. Probably the actor accidentally switched "species" and "phylum" around from the scripted line, and nobody caught the mistake.
* In ''Franchise/JurassicPark'', Alan Grant says that humans and dinosaurs are "two species separated by 65 million years." Granted, that line probably sounded great in the trailers, but you'd think a paleontologist would know better than to call dinosaurs a species.
* ''Film/BatmanForever'':
-->'''Dr. Chase Meridian''': Well, let's just say that I could write a hell of a paper on a grown man who dresses like a flying rodent.\\
'''Batman''': Bats aren't rodents, Dr. Meridian.
* Only three of the members of ''Film/KillBill'''s Deadly Viper Assassination Squad are actually named for vipers.
[[/folder]]
8th Aug '16 5:49:14 PM Morgenthaler
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** "Germ" is a colloquialism for any microscopic pathogen, not a biological category, so might include tiny parasitic animals like nematodes or early-stage flukes.
8th Aug '16 5:48:30 PM Morgenthaler
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* [[WesternAnimation/FindingNemo "Let's name the species of the open seaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!"]] The "species" mentioned in Mr. Ray's song are actually ''phyla''.

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* [[WesternAnimation/FindingNemo ''WesternAnimation/FindingNemo'': "Let's name the species of the open seaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!"]] seaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!" The "species" mentioned in Mr. Ray's song are actually ''phyla''.
4th Aug '16 2:55:11 PM ScorpiusOB1
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* ''WesternAnimation/Dinosaucers'', even if it's a show about intelligent dinosaurs, includes in the cast an ichthyosaur, a plesiosaur, a dimetrodon, and a pterosaur. None of the four are actually dinosaurs.

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* ''WesternAnimation/Dinosaucers'', ''WesternAnimation/{{Dinosaucers}}'', even if it's a show about intelligent dinosaurs, includes in the cast an ichthyosaur, a plesiosaur, a dimetrodon, and a pterosaur. None of the four are actually dinosaurs.
4th Aug '16 2:54:00 PM ScorpiusOB1
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Added DiffLines:

* ''WesternAnimation/Dinosaucers'', even if it's a show about intelligent dinosaurs, includes in the cast an ichthyosaur, a plesiosaur, a dimetrodon, and a pterosaur. None of the four are actually dinosaurs.
14th Jul '16 4:18:21 PM Lymantria
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* The Childcraft book ''About Animals'' identifies arthropods as a "class" of animals, when it really is a phylum. It could be argued that ''phylum'' is too advanced a word for a book aimed at 6-year-olds, but that could also be argued of ''arthropod'', and that didn't stop the publishers. (Probably they figured that anything was better than risking spiders getting classed as "insects".) Even more JustForFun/{{egregious}} as there are more arthropods in existence than every other phylum of animals combined.
* ''The Book of College Pranks'': In relating a story about how a cow was elected Homecoming Queen because all the human entrants were disqualified, it says that the cow "was in the wrong phylum, but at least had not cheated." In fact, cows and humans are in the ''same'' phylum (Chordata) and the same class (Mammalia).

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* The Childcraft Literature/{{Childcraft}} book ''About Animals'' identifies arthropods as a "class" of animals, when it really is a phylum. It could be argued that ''phylum'' is too advanced a word for a book aimed at 6-year-olds, but that could also be argued of ''arthropod'', and that didn't stop the publishers. (Probably they figured that anything was better than risking spiders getting classed as "insects".) Even more JustForFun/{{egregious}} as there are more arthropods in existence than every other phylum of animals combined.
* ''The Book of College Pranks'': ''Literature/TheBookOfCollegePranks'': In relating a story about how a cow was elected Homecoming Queen because all the human entrants were disqualified, it says that the cow "was in the wrong phylum, but at least had not cheated." In fact, cows and humans are in the ''same'' phylum (Chordata) and the same class (Mammalia).



* The female scientist near the beginning of the series ''{{Surface}}'' described the creature she'd seen as "An entirely new phylum of mammal!" This is especially mind-boggling when we later learn that the creatures are created from the DNA of liopleurodons(a prehistoric sea reptile)... which she describes as "A type of prehistoric eel"... You know, just stop trying. If they just wanted to incorrectly refer to something as a "prehistoric eel", they could have at least used a mosasaur, which are far more eel-like in shape than pliosaurs such as Liopleurodon, which were generally shaped more like sea turtles with crocodile heads.
* Occasionally a host of a Creator/FoodNetwork show will try to emulate Alton Brown's use of scientific terminology, and wind up sounding like a KnowNothingKnowItAll. The host of ''Food Feuds'', for one, has openly referred to clams as crustaceans, apparently on the assumption that all seafood without fins is in the same taxon.

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* The female scientist near the beginning of the series ''{{Surface}}'' ''Series/{{Surface}}'' described the creature she'd seen as "An entirely new phylum of mammal!" This is especially mind-boggling when we later learn that the creatures are created from the DNA of liopleurodons(a prehistoric sea reptile)... which she describes as "A type of prehistoric eel"... You know, just stop trying. If they just wanted to incorrectly refer to something as a "prehistoric eel", they could have at least used a mosasaur, which are far more eel-like in shape than pliosaurs such as Liopleurodon, which were generally shaped more like sea turtles with crocodile heads.
* Occasionally a host of a Creator/FoodNetwork show will try to emulate Alton Brown's use of scientific terminology, and wind up sounding like a KnowNothingKnowItAll. The host of ''Food Feuds'', ''Series/FoodFeuds'', for one, has openly referred to clams as crustaceans, apparently on the assumption that all seafood without fins is in the same taxon.



* The narrator on ''Monsterquest'' seems to have confused "species" with ''individuals'', inverting the usual pattern where higher-than-species clades are mixed up. The voiceover claims that "millions of species" of fishes are found off the coast of Florida, which is [[WritersCannotDoMath a couple of orders of magnitude]] more than the actual number of fish species on the planet (~32 thousand).

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* The narrator on ''Monsterquest'' ''Series/{{Monsterquest}}'' seems to have confused "species" with ''individuals'', inverting the usual pattern where higher-than-species clades are mixed up. The voiceover claims that "millions of species" of fishes are found off the coast of Florida, which is [[WritersCannotDoMath a couple of orders of magnitude]] more than the actual number of fish species on the planet (~32 thousand).
4th Jun '16 9:56:32 AM BrendanRizzo
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* Referring to hyenas as dogs. Despite having a resemblance to canines, hyenas are actually more closely related to mongoose and felines.

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* Referring to hyenas as dogs. Despite having a resemblance to canines, hyenas are actually more closely related to mongoose mongooses and felines.



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