Imagine you discovered a new species of animal — what would you name it? Would you name it after yourself perhaps, or maybe your mother, or even your favorite pet? Scientists have long relied on descriptive words in languages like Latin and Greek to name species within the animal and plant kingdom, but there must be a point where they come to the end of the line and have to get…less creative. These 10 species are named for their resemblance in some way, whether physical or behavioral, to other creatures within the animal kingdom, and while some are rather obvious, there are a few that require you to stretch your imagination just a bit.
This leopard seal can’t change its spots any more than a real leopard can!
Alligator Snapping Turtle
Despite the obvious differences in size, the alligator is definitely this snapping turtle’s mentor.
This beautiful bird is named not so much for the animal it resembles, but rather the company it keeps.
This one’s a no-brainer — that deer is as cute as a little mouse!
Yes, this is also a wolverine. But you can kind of see where their heads were at when they named it skunk bear.
We have no idea.
If butterflies were seafaring creatures, we could see a little confusion here.
Look at that bushy, foxy red tail!
Goose + Swan-like characteristics = Swan Goose. Genius.
The word “bandicoot” is thought to come from a Telugu word that means “pig rat.” Stick with rabbit bandicoot, kid.