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New animal species should not be named after famous faces

Scientists should not name new species after celebrities in case they fall out of favour or are ‘cancelled’, an expert has said.

In recent years, a millipede has been named after Taylor Swift, a moth after Donald Trump and a rubber frog after Sir David Attenborough.

But Professor Robert Poulin, from the University of Otago in New Zealand, has said the trend should be avoided as it can lead to ‘nomenclatural regret’. 

A millipede

American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift

American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift

Derek Hennen, a researcher at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia, is a fan of Taylor Swift so he decided to name one of the millipede species Nannaria swiftae

A moth named Neopalpa donaldtrumpi

A moth named Neopalpa donaldtrumpi

Donald Trump former American President

Donald Trump former American President

Neopalpa donaldtrumpi is a moth species found in Southern California and Northern Mexico

Writing in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, he added: ‘One person’s hero is another’s…


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