Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Taxon of the Day: Gaga

The Catalogue of Life's Dynamic Checklist is a monthly updated online taxonomic resource supplying existing and new species names as and when they are published by taxonomists and updated by the relevant species database curator. 
An example of the quick turnaround of newly named species was the newsworthy fern genus Gaga, which was first described at the end of 2012 and was in the Dynamic Checklist the very same month. Named after the current queen of pop and the person with only a few more Twitter followers than the Catalogue of Life, the Gaga genus contains 19 species, two new (Gaga germanotta, Gaga monstraparva) and the rest reclassified from another genus. All can be found in the Catalogue of Life supplied by ITIS Database. Why Gaga? Well the video will tell all, but in summary, in addition to the fact that she is a vocal representative of minority groups like fern scientists, it was reported that GAGA was a distinguishing section of the DNA base pairs of the ferns in question. 

CoL Annual Checklist page: Gaga germanotta
CoL contributor: ITIS Regional Database 
Video copyright: Duke University

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