Jun 10, 2011

Compete for ugly immortality

Name this animal! This is a photo of Phallusia mammillata, the largest sea squirt of Britain. Did you know Britain had sea squirts? Were you even sure that a sea squirt is an animal and not, I don't know, some kind of fungus?

Well, they do and it is. And along with nine other types of endangered British flora and fauna, it's part of a contest at the Guardian to give common English names to neglected species that currently are known only by their Latin nomenclature.

For more inspiration, here's another angle:

Maybe that's its mouth... That photo comes from a website that has some nice cross-sectional drawings, and even though it is written in French it's quite clear that the critter has some organs that are only found in animals. In fact, the youngsters are tiny larvae that resemble tadpoles, and only later do they settle down into the immobile form you see here.

The winners of last year's naming contest included the Queen's executioner beetle and sea piglet shrimp. Can you do as well for this lovely blob of sealife? Wouldn't it be cool for the name you came up with to go down in history? Give it a try!

-Wombat (No Relation)


Anonymous said...

Puffer fungus extrordinaire. Indeed, an unusual animal!!

Anaheim termites pest control said...

Looking at it an image keeps popping in my head of a coconut that has been split open. So for a name, " Split Coco"?

Jelmer said...

I name it Herbert.

Cat said...

I'd call it a Butter Gourd squirt...too bad the comments are closed now. I snooze, I lose!