Common names, such as “Dusky pigmy rattlesnake,” can be fairly easy to learn and pronounce. No problem there, right? Dusky-pigmy-rattlesnake. Easy. On the other hand, however, Latin names, the technical/scientific names for organisms, can be pretty tough learn and to pronounce. The Dusky pigmy rattlesnake, for example, is Sistrurus miliarius barbouri. Yikes. That’s a stiff drink of a Latin name. Try pronouncing that three times while spinning in a circle. Not. Easy.
Fortunately, however, we make it easy on ourselves from time to time. Featured here is the Anhinga, a lovely bird sometimes also commonly referred to as a “snake bird” because it can dive under water and slink its head above the surface in a somewhat-snake-like fashion. “Anhinga” is a pretty easy name to remember. It’s also really easy to pronounce. It gets better. If you want to be all technical and stuff, its Latin name is also easy to remember and pronounce: Anhinga anhinga. That’s right, this bird belongs to Genus Anhinga and species Anhinga within genus Anhinga. Thus, the scientific designation for the Anhinga is Anhinga anhinga. How’s that for easy cheesy?
So, if you want to be all technical and stuff and really impress your friends, next time you see an Anhinga, be sure to tell them its scientific name is Anhinga anhinga. It’s a hell of a lot easier to pull off than pronouncing the Roseate spoonbill’s name, Platalea ajaja.