When you’re a busy biologist, naming new species can be a bit of a drag. Not only do you have to come up with something interesting and relevant in English, but you also have to come up with another often unpronounceable Latin version for its scientific name.
The trouble with spending all your time naming things is you don’t have much time to check that the names you’ve been handing out are correct.
Consider the Ascaphus Truei, which is otherwise known as the Coastal Tailed Frog. Yes, it is a frog and yes, it does hang out near the coast, but hang on a minute, is that really a tail between it’s legs?
So, if it’s not a tail, what is that large appendage? Why, it’s the equipment that froggy went a-courting with!
And there is the rub. The poor little frog proudly drags his mighty manhood around, but gets no recognition for his talent, even though it can grow up to a quarter of the length of his body! That’s huge
Although the comparative size of the beast to its ‘tail’ is impressive, it’s not what you’ve got, but what you do with it that counts and here the Coastal Tailed Frog shines, as it is the master of wagging its ‘tail’.
“It actually swivels around to different positions,” said aquatic ecologist, Harry Toadlicker. “Also, they have sex in very cold water, which is not easy either.”
Fortunately, for the little frog, the ladies don’t seem to mind that his most unique attribute has been incorrectly named – the latest buzz around the fish pond is that there are a bevy of wide mouthed beauties keen to meet a coastal ‘tailed’ frog.