Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Taxonomy for the timid.

Or: Anne's quick and quirky way to loving Latin. (I recently learned that only the two-part species names are to be italicized. C'est la vie.)
Kingdom: Animalia.  Okay, that one's easy!
Phylum: Chordata.  Basically, this means 'has a spinal cord' (as opposed to an exoskeleton, like our phylum Arthropoda).
Class: Reptilia.  Another easy one.
Order: Squamata. Fom the Latin squama - scale. You may have encountered 'squamous cells', which comes from the same Latin root.
Family: Phrynosomatidae. [fry no so ma tee day] Okay, this one's Greek to me. Really. From the Greek phrynos - toad; soma - body. I love the internet.
Toad-bodied, scaly reptiles. Yes, lizards!  Quite a few of our Sabino Canyon favorites are in this family, including: Zebra-tailed, Greater Earless, Regal Horned, Clark's Spiny, Desert Spiny, Ornate Tree, and Common Side-blotched Lizards. (You might be wondering: which ones aren't in this family? Those secrets will be revealed in due course, i.e., whenever I get to it.)

Photo phrom our phavorite Ned Harris
This is a young Desert Spiny. On the rocks. Someone should invent a drink with that name - not containing anyone from the Phamily Phrynosomatidae, though.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the above information Anne. It has indeed allowed me to identify this subject as a young Desert Spiny.