Linguistic Speculative Cryptozoology

Inspired by the various threads about amusing animal names…

I’m intrigued by animal names which imply the existence of linguistically complimentary animals — to “fill in the gaps”, so to speak. Why don’t they exist? What might they look like? How might they interact with the real animals which imply their existence?

For example, the “Least Weasel” implies the existence of, at the very least, a “Most Weasel”

The existence of “spider crabs” and “crab spiders” implies a “crab/spider” permutation matrix, and thus the existence of “crab crabs” and “spider spiders”

I’m curious what other examples people can think up.

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Spider-Spiders and Crab-Crabs do exist. We just shorten the names to make them less redundant. So the names become “Spider” and “Crab”.

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This is from a book called " Little Known and Seldom Seen Birds of North America"

yellowlegs

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Galactic Emperor Penguin (?)
Emperor Penguin
King Penguin
Prince Penguin (?)
Baron Penguin (?)
Mayor Penguin (?)

And the Adelie penguin is just one letter away from implying similarly artistically-inclined penguins…

Adele Penguin (almost — Adélie is named after Adélie Land, who was named for Adèle Dumont d’Urville)
Kate Bush Penguin (?)
Madonna Penguin (?)
Annie Lenox Penguin (?)

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As a side of random thought: cock-of-the-rock: 2 pics, one of the bird, the other significantly more lewd…

Damn you @barnabywalters I have a board meeting tomorrow and this is going to play hell with my ADD.

Hmmmm. Let’s see…

Wandering Secretkeeper
Sedentary Tattler
Northern Hirsute Tyrannulet
Pedestrian Habrosyne Moth
Clear-headed Eusarca

That’ll have to do for now.

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I have, and love, that book!! Perfect example.
One of my favorites is the Small Flycatcher: “Named after the little-known and currently dead ornithologist, Dr. Magnus Small, this flycatcher is yet another in the genus Empidonax. Because it has no field marks, it is particularly difficult to identify. The best approach is to look at the wings, tail, and feet. However, other parts of the bird can also be looked at if you like. It is so similar to other species in this genus that even individual birds have difficulty with identification, drastically reducing mating opportunities.”
BTW, the last bird is the “very least yellowlegs”!

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Oh my, this reminds me of a funny story.

When I was a kid, like nine or so, a friend of mine told me about the horrifying barraid owl. He described it as standing five feet tall, one-eyed, and hunts and kills children who wander out after dark. Now, even for a nine-year-old I knew most of the owls in my area (barred, great horned, barn, etc) so this ultra-aggressive, man-eating “barraid owl” was something entirely new to me and scared the Hell out of me.

Only years later when the story came back to me one day, I realized he must have read “barred owl” somewhere and phonetically interpreted it as being pronounced “barr-aid” instead of “bard,” and made up a story about this terrifying psycho owl.

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For a long time I thought this was a “bard” owl because it had a song. Probably till I was 19 or so…

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American Golden Plover
American Silver Plover
American Bronze Plover
American Platinum Plover
American Pewter Plover
American Aluminum Plover
etc.

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but that is a giraffe weasel ;~))

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No doubt a close relative of the Giraffe Weevil.

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The Ferrous Plover, which lives exclusively in oil spills to avoid corroding
The Caesium Plover, which can never touch water
The Mercury Plover, which melts if it ever leaves the antarctic

Hmm, now I want to make a Periodic Table of Plovers, and write a fake academic paper presenting it as a breakthrough in avian taxonomy…

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I shudder to think what you folks would do with the greater short-horned lizard…

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Not quite a -zoology, but.


Wild sparrow

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Welcome to the Forum!

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The bard owl, commonly seen hunting alongside the wizard owl, rogue owl and barbarian owl

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The comma (https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/50392-Polygonia) and question mark (https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/58579-Polygonia-interrogationis) butterflies imply the existence of winged ampersands, fluttering hyphens, and perhaps (perish the thought!) emoji lepidoptera!

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And crab spiders… https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/47866-Thomisidae

That was the point of original joke.)