October 24, 2012 11:45 am
Scientists are people, too. People with interests, hobbies and musical inclinations. So, sometimes, when a new species of plant or animal is discovered, it gets named after something cool. Take this blood-eating parasite named after Bob Marley, for example. But one Duke University biologist, Kathleen Pryer, saw fit to honor musician Lady Gaga with something a little more extravagant, MTV reports. Pryer, apparently quite the Gaga fan, named an entire genus of ferns after Gaga.
Let us put this in perspective, for just a second. Homo sapiens, homo erectus, homo habilis, homo neanderthalensis: the homo that pops up everywhere? That’s the genus. This is as if every single humanoid species that walked the Earth starting 2.4 million years ago bore the name of Gaga.
Pryer explained that there were several inspirations behind the new “Gaga” genus, including a similar DNA trait all 19 species shared — a repeated sequence of “GAGA” nucleotides — and, on a decidedly less scientific note, an Armani dress she wore onstage at the 2010 Grammys that bore a rather striking resemblance to a fern gametophyte.
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