Arizona State University's International Institute for Species Exploration announced its top 10 newly described species list for 2011 this week, and the species named through the Year of Science 2009 Biodiversity month activity was on the list!
A newly discovered and yet to be named Bonaire Banded Box Jellyfish (BBBJ) was "donated" to the Year of Science 2009 efforts by scientists Bud Gillan, Allen Collins, Basti Bentlage, and Tara Lynn to provide a really unique opportunity for anyone to participate in the excitement of naming a new species. The naming contest helped participants learn about biodiversity, taxonomy, and how science works.
Hundreds of names were submitted, and seven were posted to the Year of Science 2009 Web site for general voting. After nearly 800 votes, the winner was selected, and the BBBJ went down in scientific history as the now famous Tamoya ohboya.
Are you wondering how Lisa Peck came up with this name? Here is her explanation:
I bet "Oh Boy" is the first thing said when a biologist or layman encounters the Bonaire Banded Box Jellyfish. It is not often that a new amazing species is discovered, especially one so beautiful. I am confident that Bud Gillian exclaimed "Oh Boy" when he saw tourist Vicki Carr's video of the Bonaire Banded Box Jellyfish (a never before seen species of jellyfish). Vicki probably exclaimed "Oh Boy" when Bud called her to tell her the news of her amazing discovery. I am sure that "Oh Boy" was uttered by the 3 people who were stung by the Bonaire Banded Box Jellyfish. In addition, I bet that "Oh Boy" was spoken by the doctors when they saw the wounds inflicted by the nematocysts of the Bonaire Banded Box Jellyfish. Later, the doctors probably uttered "Oh Boy" when they were confident that these 3 people would survive their encounter with the Bonaire Banded Box Jellyfish. And finally, when I saw the website Year of Science: Species naming contest of the Bonaire Banded Box Jellyfish I loudly exclaimed "Oh Boy"!! Therefore I am suggesting the scientific name Tamoya ohboya be given to this amazing creature.
Congratulations to the scientific team Allen Collins, Bastian Bentlage, William (Bud) Gillan, Tara Lynn, Andre Morandini & Antonio Marques and to Lisa Peck! Read more about naming a new species and our species naming contest on the Year of Science Web site!