Three newly discovered species of beetle in Australia have been named after three classic Pokémon by researchers, after it emerged that one of the PhD students responsible was a fan of the series.
Professor of entomology Dr. Darren Pollock at Eastern New Mexico University (ENMU) and PhD student Yun Hsiao chose to name the three beetles after the three legendary birds first seen in Pokémon Red & Blue: Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres. As reported by IGN, it's all down to the fact that Hsiao grew up with Nintendo's classic franchise and couldn't let such a golden opportunity go to waste.
Binburrum Articuno, Binburrum Moltres and Binburrum Zapdos might sound like some kind of fancy variant announced by Nintendo to sell more cards and games, but these are now real-life critters. They were actually identified and named in a research paper published in The Canadian Entomologist back in December 2020. Let's hope Nintendo doesn't hit these beetles with a cease-and-desist.
"The choice of a name for a new species is not trivial; it must be different from any other described species," Pollock explained on the University's website. "One of the ways to ensure this is to make a name that nobody would ever have come up with before. Yun says that he was an aspiring Pokémon trainer when he was young, and so, because of the rarity of the specimens of the three new species, he suggested that we name them after the three Legendary bird Pokémon.
"Naturally, I thought that this was a great idea, and so, the new species which were unveiled to the world in 2020 are Binburrum articuno, Binburrum moltres and Binburrum zapdos - all with Hsiao and Pollock as the authors."
The dream-team of Pollock and Hsiao add that they've come across more new species since finishing the paper, and that they hope to give these creatures Pokémon-related names too.
"We already have plans to describe more new species of this genus that have turned up since we finished the paper, with perhaps more Pokémon names," Pollock wrote.
You know what they say: gotta catch 'em all.
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