Thursday, November 02, 2006

Scientific Naming

On this beautiful, warm day in the swamp, 6th and 7th graders from Clay Hill Middle School learned about the classification of living things (Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species). We used the example: Kingdom=Earthlings, Phylum=Americans, Class=South Carolinians, Order=Dorchesters (county), Family=Summervillians, Genus=SHS or FtD (high schools), Species=Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, and Senior.

The Eastern Cottonmouth shown in yesterday's log is scientifically known as Agkistrodon piscivorus piscivorus. That's a mouthful for most of us because the words are derived from Greek and Latin. Agkistrodon is derived from Greek meaning "fishhook" and refers to the recurved fangs, while Latin provides piscis meaning "fish" and voro meaning "devour". Students created a creature adapted to thrive in a swamp environment. Using a list of Greek and Latin prefixes and suffixes, the students named their creation. The example above shows the newly-discovered Megaorus macropod (big mouthed bigfoot).

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